What is tire burst? Causes, preventive measures, and what to do when it bursts | MOBY [モビー]

What is a tire burst phenomenon?


Tire burst refers to the phenomenon in which a tire explodes. It is an extremely dangerous condition in which the tire explodes with a “bang” sound, making it impossible to drive. This failure occurs mainly while driving on highways, and can easily lead to accidents.

The difference between a tire burst and a puncture

Burst and punk are fundamentally different. A puncture is a phenomenon in which a hole opens in a part of the tire and air leaks from it, but a burst causes the rubber to tear over a wide area and makes it impossible to drive in an instant.

Although it depends on the location, in most cases, a puncture is repaired and the tire is used as is. However, when it bursts, the tire cannot be used and there is no choice but to replace the tire.

Tire-related accidents are the most common on general roads and highways

Reference: Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism “FY2020 Survey Results of Road Breakdowns”

As shown in the image above, there are many tire failures on both general roads and expressways, and the past statistics show that there are many tire failures.

You can prevent this from happening by checking the deterioration of the tires, the appearance of scratches, and checking the air pressure before driving.

Cause of tire burst


The steering wheel is caught and leads to an accident

If the front tire bursts, you will not be able to operate the steering wheel. And the car will head in the direction of the burst tire.

If a car is running in the lane next to you, it is almost impossible to avoid the car because you cannot operate the steering wheel. It will collide as it is.

Scattering of damaged parts can lead to secondary disasters.

The impact of a burst tire can also damage car parts. Scattering damaged parts on the road can lead to secondary disasters, such as involving following cars.

There is a good chance that the scattered parts will hit the body of the following car and damage it.

Even if it doesn’t cause a big accident, the scattering of parts on the highway is dangerous.

Causes of tire burst ➀ Low air pressure


One of the most likely causes of bursts is low air pressure. Even if the tire is not punctured, the air will gradually decrease.

Running at high speeds with tires with low air pressure causes the standing wave phenomenon.

Standing wave phenomenon is that the deflection generated in the tire is transmitted to the whole tire and deformed into a bumpy state.

The side of a tire that touches the ground is always concave. Too low air pressure spreads the flex in the tire across the tire. Ultimately, the rubber becomes unbearable and bursts.

The standing wave phenomenon can be prevented by maintaining proper air pressure.

Be careful on highways in hot summer

When the standing wave phenomenon occurs, the air inside the tire becomes kneaded, so the temperature inside the tire rises rapidly.

As the air heats up, the pressure inside the tire increases, and an underinflated tire will have areas of low pressure and areas of high pressure. High pressure is applied only to the hot part.

When the rubber finally loses to the high pressure, that part bursts and the rubber avoids over a wide area, causing the tire to burst.

In summer, when the temperature is high, the air inside the tires tends to rise, and on expressways, the heat caused by friction is strongly affected.

In other words, highways in the summer are dangerous because they have all the main causes of bursts. Even if your tires are new, it’s important to keep the air pressure in check, especially in the summer.

Causes of tire burst ② Leaving tire deterioration and scratches


Leaving tires with deterioration or scratches can also cause bursts.

Even if the tire is not scratched, cracks will occur due to deterioration. Cracks reduce the strength of the tire.

It is also necessary to pay attention to tires that have scratches on the side due to being hit by a curb. By leaving the damage unattended, the air will escape from the damaged area, and by the time you realize it, the air pressure in the tire may be quite low.

If you drive on a highway as it is, the standing wave phenomenon is likely to occur.

There is also the possibility of bursting just by hitting the tire against the curb

If you leave the tire deteriorated or damaged, it may cause a burst just by hitting the curb.

Tire damage often occurs on the sidewall. Cracks due to deterioration also develop on the sides as they progress.

If you keep riding in that state, the strength of the ties and sides will decrease, and even if you hit the curb just a little, you may burst.

How to prevent tire burst


Maintain proper tire pressure

Maintaining proper tire pressure is essential to prevent tire bursts.

It is important to check the air pressure once a month to maintain the proper value. Also, when checking the air pressure, measure it when the tires are cold before driving, not after driving.

Please check the specified air pressure for each vehicle model, as it is listed in the vehicle owner’s manual.

Storage and maintenance to prevent tire deterioration

Tires deteriorate due to heat, ultraviolet rays, and chemicals, and cracks occur.

Tires deteriorate with use, so it can’t be helped, but it’s important to suppress the deterioration speed.

Here are some ways to prevent deterioration:

  • avoid direct sunlight
  • Do not leave tire wax on

Let’s take care of the above two points and carry out storage and maintenance.

What to do when a tire bursts


When a tire bursts, stop the car on the side of the road immediately without trying to drive. Riding forcibly is dangerous and can damage not only the tires but also the wheels.

Then contact a road service such as JAF and have it towed. If you have a spare tire, you can replace it with a spare tire.

However, due to the weight reduction and space constraints of recent cars, more and more cars are using puncture repair kits instead of spare tires.

A burst cannot be repaired with a puncture repair kit, in which case you will need to contact roadside assistance. Even if you make a mistake, don’t drive yourself.

JAF is reliable for road service

JAF is reliable for road service. Voluntary insurance sometimes comes with roadside assistance, but the conditions are surprisingly strict and it is not uncommon for them not to respond.

If it is JAF, there are no conditions such as location. If you become a member, you will be towed for free up to 15 km. In addition to towing, you can rest assured that the battery will be dead, the key will be locked, and you will be able to run out of gas.

If you panic after an accident, it becomes difficult to make calm decisions. For this reason, we recommend joining JAF for those who do not have roadside assistance in their voluntary insurance, or those who may have but do not know the details.

Replacement cost when a tire bursts


Let’s think that the repair cost when a tire bursts is the same amount as the cost of replacing one tire. Of course, since the repair location changes depending on the degree of damage to the car, there will be a difference in the amount.

If the alignment is out of order due to the burst and the steering wheel is out of alignment, you need to adjust the alignment. Also, if any part is damaged by the burst, there will be a repair fee for that part.

The specific wage for tire replacement is 2,000 yen to 4,000 yen per tire. Wages vary depending on where you work. And since it also costs new tires, at least around 10,000 yen is necessary.

If you stop immediately after bursting, you don’t need to replace the wheels

It’s not uncommon for a burst repair to not replace the wheel.

However, if you continue to drive after the burst, the wheels may be damaged or deformed, which cannot be reused. Also, while the steering wheel is being held, it may hit a building or curb, causing damage or deformation.

In such cases, the wheels should also be replaced. In other words, depending on the degree of damage after the burst, it is decided whether the tires alone or whether the wheels need to be replaced.

Checking your tire pressure regularly can greatly reduce accidents caused by bursts. In order not to cause a sad accident, let’s manage the tire properly, including air pressure.

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