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Horror story: bulge in the side wall

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Horror stories

Here’s an extreme example of a bulge in a tyre’s side wall showing that the internal structure has failed. It would only be a matter of time before the tyre rapidly deflates, resulting in potential loss of control of the vehicle. Clearly it makes you wonder how this hadn’t been picked up earlier by the vehicle user - or had it been ignored?

Huge bulge in tyre sidewall

Remember, when inspecting a tyre it’s not just the tread and tread depth we’re interested in. The whole tyre must be examined for damage, such as cuts, tears and signs of possible internal structural failure. This will usually be obvious if there are lumps or bulges on the outer surface caused by the separation or failure of the underlying structure and cords of the tyre.

In this example, the existence of the underlying failure of the tyre’s structure is clear with air leaking through the carcass resulting in a large bulge on the outer wall. However, sometimes signs of potential failure, like deformed shape or lumps and undulations in the outer surfaces, can only be identified by closer examination.

See section 4.1 D1 of the Inspection Manual for more details on inspecting the condition of tyres.

Please keep sending us your horror stories, whether it’s dangerous items or unusual things you find when testing vehicles and motorcycles. Also make sure you give us information about the defect so that we can tell your story.

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  1. Comment by Slightly scared posted on

    That looks like a Transit wheel...

  2. Comment by Chris B posted on

    Can you put a tube in it ???? 😉

  3. Comment by DS posted on


    • Replies to DS>

      Comment by darren posted on

      you never this space

  4. Comment by ronnie posted on

    i havent seen one as bad as that in a long time when i started doing mots 20 years ago we also licenced taxis for the council and have tested MANY OF potential DEATH TRAPS in my time and sadly i see this sort of thing quite a lot still and a tyre like this usually is replaced with a 2nd hand part worn one

  5. Comment by Marks posted on

    Find it hard to believe someone was driving around with that and not noticing bit sceptical about it as it is possible it would catch the wheel arch when turning on lock etc as it would have rubbed through the sidewall would rather have seen a pic of it still on the car.

  6. Comment by jaytee posted on

    please tell me this was not on a car in use!!!