A few days after Xmas weekend I noticed a bubble in the sidewall of the front right tire. It was large enough that I called ahead at the local tire shop and drove — carefully — down to get it replaced, since there’s really not much you can do with a sidewall bubble, and once formed, they’re rather like a ticking bomb.
Luckily for me Discount Tire stood behind their replacement certificate, no questions asked, and popped a new one on for free as advertised. The funny part is, during the hour I was there getting the rest of the rubber rotated and the new one swapped out, about five other people came in with the same issue.
Idle chat with an on-break tire guy revealed that they had extra staff on call that day to handle just that sort of thing. It seems that when folks are out in ice and badness and then the temperature snaps back up forty degrees, as it tends to do in Texas, a tire that had hit a small pot hole and happens to have a weak spot in the sidewall will pop a bubble in no time, well, flat.
The bubbles herald the substantial shortening of your tires’ road life. They can burst at almost any time and most often do it while driving, so it’s a good idea to get the weakened tire off the car as soon as you can. There are, of course, any number of ways a tire gets a weakened sidewall but it’s interesting that it happens enough that they prepare for it when crazy weather happens. You learn something new every day.
What’s the lesson here? Get the warranty on your tires; you never know when you might need it.
Discount Tire [Website]