As long as you drive your car, it will add more mileage. Inevitably, they will show signs of aging. One of the signs is the exposure of tire wires through the tread. In this article, I’ll discuss wire showing on the tire – causes and what to do.
When some of the cords are already showing on your tires, your tires are excessively worn out. If you still use your tires beyond their recommended lifespans, most likely, their structures are already compromised. These tires are no longer safe and are illegal to use.
If the tire cords are showing, it indicates uneven wear on your tires. One of the common causes of uneven tire wear is unbalanced tires; another reason is poorly aligned wheels. Whatever the cause, the cord exposure will make your tires more prone to blowing out.
Read on to learn more about tires with exposed cords, the reasons for this condition, and what you can do about it.
Wire Showing on Tire
If some cords are showing on your tires, they are already worn out. You are already using them beyond the manufacturer’s recommendation. They are no longer safe to use, meaning they are illegal.
There are several reasons why tire cords can be exposed. Two of the common causes are unbalanced tires and misaligned wheels. Whatever the cause, your tire is no longer safe to use because it can’t function adequately and are prone to blowing out.
Is your car safe to drive if its tire cords are already showing? Yes, but only as far as you can park your vehicle safely on the roadside. Driving farther is dangerous because, with the wires exposed, tire blowouts and mishaps are a distinct possibility.
Even if just one of the tires shows its cords, it can still lose traction. You can lose control of your vehicle, and there is no way you can predict what will happen next. It is illegal to use tires with exposed wires for apparent reasons.
What Can Cause Tire Cord Exposure?
There are several reasons why the steel cords of a tire will show themselves. Rubber is the only material you should see in a good and fully functioning tire. There are several layers of rubber in a tire aside from the steel wires around it, making it strong, challenging, and durable.
So, when some of its inner layers, such as its wire supports, are showing themselves out, the tire has somehow lost its structural integrity. While it still appears “solid,” it is not as strong and tough as before. What, then, are the causes of wires showing on tires?
1. Uneven Tire Wear
The most common reasons for tire wires showing are unbalanced tires and wheels that are not aligned. It is easy to tell if your tires went bald due to unbalanced tires or misaligned wheels by how the balding occurred.
Overinflation and underinflation of tires are the primary causes of uneven tire wear. If a tire is balding on both left and right sides only, its wheel is not aligned correctly. So, when the tire rotates while you drive, the tire makes contact only with the left and right surfaces.
If the tire’s balding occurs on the tread’s center, you have overinflated the tire. An overinflated tire will have its center tread slightly higher or above its left and right sides. So when the tire rolls out while you are driving, only the center trade makes contact with the road surface.
In case of overinflation, the tire handles excess air pressure. This can cause the tire sidewalls to bulge. When this happens, it will create weak spots on the sidewalls. These weak spots will eventually cause the steel cords inside to break through.
The wire bead of the tire can also pop out if the tire is underinflated. Under-inflating a tire will cause its sidewall to flex excessively. This affects the steel wires that reinforce the tire sidewalls to the point they can pop out of the rubber.
An underinflated tire will run hotter. This condition can cause the tire tread to detach itself from the tire cord.
If the wearing of the tire is spread out in certain sections of the tread, then you have an unbalanced tire. As the tire rotates, it has varying contact points on the road surface. You can remedy this tire situation by going to a tire service center for tire balancing and wheel alignment.
2. Bad Wheel Rim
Even if you are a careful driver, there’ll come a time when you will accidentally hit a pothole so hard that it damages the rim of the wheel. When this happens, the tire’s bead wire becomes stressed, causing them to break.
Driving with a damaged wheel can further damage the tire cord, so it’s essential that you get the wheel fixed or replaced before it hurts the tire further.
3. Misaligned Wheels
If a vehicle has its wheels correctly aligned, it won’t have any problems with tire cords showing. However, if the wheels are misaligned, you will have uneven tire wear, exposing tire cords outside.
Two processes ensure the proper wheel alignment of a vehicle. One is the adjustment of the camber, and the other is the adjustment to the toe.
Adjusting the wheel camber prevents the tire from wearing from the top and going inward or outward. On the other hand, adjusting the wheel toe prevents the tire from wearing faster on one side than the other. The wearing out is usually in a circumferential direction.
Another consequence of poorly aligned wheels is the tires can rub against some parts of the car’s suspension system. If this happens, it will lead to the wearing of the tire. This can lead to tire wire exposure as well.
4. Overused Tire
The recommended lifespan of a typical tire is only about four years or 50,000 miles. If your tire is approaching this age, be ready to replace it, or else some nasty things can happen. One of them is the tire wires showing.
But remember that this recommended time or distance has to be qualified. It is suitable for normal conditions. You should replace your tires sooner if you often drive your vehicle in difficult situations or for long distances.
As your tire rotates while driving, you subject it and its bead wire to stress. Even if these wires are solid steel, they can snap due to too much tension. What’s more, if your vehicle is using cheap tires.
5. Cuts or Punctures
Having a cut or a puncture on your tire can also cause the exposure of its bead wires. So, you need to fix the hole immediately so it won’t get bigger and cause more damage to the tire.
Again, what does it mean if the wire is showing on the tire? If a tire’s wires or cords are visible, it might be due to an uneven, unbalanced, or poorly aligned tire.
What to Do When Wires Are Showing on Tires?
If you see a steel cord showing itself on your tire, you should fix it right away. It could signify that something more serious is happening to the tire. This is a beginning sign of a tire coming apart. You must do something before it puts your vehicle and yourself in danger.
Here are several steps that you should take at the first sign of this problem:
- Park your vehicle somewhere safe and far from other motorists or vehicles.
- Switch on your hazard lights.
- Get your car jack and lift the wheel of the affected tire.
- Dismount the affected tire and inspect it for any other damage or imperfection.
- If the damage is big, replace it with your spare tire. If you don’t have a spare tire, call for roadside assistance.
- Then, replace the spare tire with a new one as soon as possible.
- If it’s minor damage, you may be able to temporarily fix the punctured tire with a plug kit or a tire patch.
- As soon as possible, have the tire set correctly in a tire service shop, or if you can afford it, replace it.
If you must drive on the temporarily fixed tire for some distance before it is appropriately set, drive slowly, constantly monitor its air pressure, and stay away from rough roads and potholes.
How Can You Fix a Tire With Its Wire Showing?
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to fix a tire with its wires showing. Even if the tire only shows one wire outside its rubber shell, its entire structure is already compromised. This means it is no longer safe to use.
However, if the overall condition of the tire is good, and there is only a tiny piece of tire cord showing in a small part of the tire, it may still be used temporarily until you can repair it or replace it with a fresh, new tire.
Retreading can cure and mold the damaged portion of the tire. This process replaces the damaged tire tread where the wire is exposed and restores almost 100% of the tire’s structural integrity.
However, retreading a tire depends on the damage sustained by the tire and the driving conditions in the tire most often used. An experienced tire service technician will greatly help assess if your affected tire can still be retreaded or recapped.
Always remember that it is unsafe and illegal to drive a tire with even one of its wires showing. There are several reasons for this. The most important reasons are: the tire can blow up, you can lose control of your car, and you can get into a car mishap. Just use a spare tire in the meantime.
When some of the cords on your tires are already exposed, they are worn out excessively. This means you are using your tires beyond their recommended lifetimes. The structures of the tires are already compromised.
So, you can’t use them anymore because they are no longer safe. It is illegal to use a tire if even one of its wires is showing. Using a spare tire is much safer.