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Bubble on the side of a whitewall tire?


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I just noticed a slight elevated bump on the site of my whitewall tires, as seen in the pictures below.   Does anyone have informed thoughts on whether it's just a cosmetic issue or is an indicator of a dangerous condition in the tire?  The bump is around two inches by one inch, and it's elevated somewhat and firm but not particularly hard (if that makes sense).   The tire is a bias-ply tire I bought from Coker just last year;  it has seen about 500 miles of use in that time.  

 

Any thoughts very welcome.

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I had a similar bump on a General tire. It is unsafe. If a show only car I guess it would last. This can happen if you hit a pothole. Did you buy the Coker protection when you got the tire. They are good at standing behind their products. I replaced 2 of mine with Coker tires. Ordered on Friday morning and received Saturday which I was not expecting but I'm only a few hundred mikes from them. Good luck. 

Edited by SC38DLS (see edit history)
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It appears to be a tube type tire, if so, it's a bonding issue with the white wall portion of the tire. I would suspect that it is only cosmetic. If the tire is tubeless, it would be a ply separation and structural failure. Keep an eye on it, do not drive at high or sustained speeds until you see if it gets worse. Sudden tire failure(blow out) can ruin the fender and runningboard. Don't ask how I know.......

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14 minutes ago, edinmass said:

It appears to be a tube type tire, if so, it's a bonding issue with the white wall portion of the tire. I would suspect that it is only cosmetic. If the tire is tubeless, it would be a ply separation and structural failure. Keep an eye on it, do not drive at high or sustained speeds until you see if it gets worse. Sudden tire failure(blow out) can ruin the fender and runningboard. Don't ask how I know.......

 

Please , 1935.....read Ed's post and UNDERSTAND !

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38 minutes ago, edinmass said:

It appears to be a tube type tire, if so, it's a bonding issue with the white wall portion of the tire. I would suspect that it is only cosmetic. If the tire is tubeless, it would be a ply separation and structural failure. Keep an eye on it, do not drive at high or sustained speeds until you see if it gets worse. Sudden tire failure(blow out) can ruin the fender and runningboard. Don't ask how I know.......

 

 

Ed, yes, it's a tube-type tire.  Any thoughts on how long I should stay at low speeds and watch it?  Will a few drives around the neighborhood tell me, or is this something to watch longer term? 

Thanks again.

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You need to watch it until it either blows out or you replace it. 

It is public knowledge now that you know about the "bubble" so if it blows and someone is injured or worse you are negligent and solely responsible.

It's only one tire, replace it.

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10 hours ago, Tinindian said:

You need to watch it until it either blows out or you replace it. 

It is public knowledge now that you know about the "bubble" so if it blows and someone is injured or worse you are negligent and solely responsible.

It's only one tire, replace it.

 

I agree that the smart move is to be overcareful in these circumstances.  As you might guess, I am posting here because I am exercising my duty of reasonable care, not only to others, but to myself, as I am trying to figure out whether a problem exists in the first place.   But for what it's worth, I  don't think your understanding of tort law is correct, at least for purposes of United States law.  (I haven't studied Canadian negligence law, and the law there may be different.)  

Edited by 1935Packard (see edit history)
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1935- I should have also said that I have installed five sets of the EXACT same tire, including size in the last 24 months. We have not had any issues. If the tire is still under warranty and you can exchange it, I would. You could also,swap it out with the spare, if your spare is the same size.  

 

As as far as driving on it, I would use the car as normal, checking on it every time you get in and out of the car. Let's face it, with all the down side of a issue/flat on the side of the road, potential car damage, exposure to traffic while changing the tire, and the distraction of the tire issue, the best choice is to replace it. With only five hundred miles on it, it's probably going to continue to get worse. 

 

I put a new new set of tires on our 851 Auburn a few months ago, have NOT even driven the car, and had the same thing happen. It was a different brand of tire.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Remove the wheel from the car, deflate the tire, and at the bubble plunge a 4 inch knife into the sidewall.  You have now done two things -- you can dissect the problem for the sake of curiosity and you have taken a potentially dangerous tire out of circulation so that it doesn't unwittingly wind up in the hands of a new owner. 

 

In the overall grand scheme of the ownership of a twelve cylinder Packard, having to absorb the cost of an extra tire is nothing, particularly when compared to the potential of having to pay someone to come to your aid, damage to the car in the event of a blowout, or even the just hassle of having to deal with it when it's least convenient.  It's a money saver in the long run.    

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As I originally said it is unsafe. You asked if it is dangerous. Yes. Any abnormalities in a tire at any speed is unsafe.  Your second post asked how long you should drive at lower speeds?  To me this indicates you use your car at higher speeds sometimes. So again it is unsafe.  A tire with 500 miles on it that is a year old will still be under warranty if it is ten years old it will not be but again it is unsafe. Think about this. - I have no idea how much a 35 Packard is worth but let's say $20,000 a new Coker tire will average $200 so it you are doing 50 miles per hour and blow the tire causing you to loose control and rolling the car (again just suppose) was it worth saving 1/100th the value of the car?   Even if you don't total it the damage, possible injuries and hassle was it worth it?  I am not a lawyer and just feel you are taking the easy way out asking if it is unsafe. You know it is not right so fix it. I know Coker has a very good repetition regarding their warranty and you have not even contacted them! But yet you post on here "is it safe?" Take responsibility and get a new tire. 

Sorry for being harsh but I just don't understand why anyone drives on bad tires. 

Good luck. Have fun. 

Dave Sweeney 

Edited by SC38DLS (see edit history)
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I had an issue just like yours on a Coker tire. It started out as a small one half inch "blister". One day when I returned home from a car show, my wife noticed that the small blister was as big as a tennis ball cut in half. I immediately drove my car to my local tire shop and was advised not to drive the car. They told me that it was only a matter of time before it burst. I called Coker and got absolutely nowhere. Because of this and other issues with Coker tires, that I won't go into now, I now use B. F. Goodrich wide whites on my cars.

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2 hours ago, SC38DLS said:

As I originally said it is unsafe. You asked if it is dangerous. Yes. Any abnormalities in a tire at any speed is unsafe.  Your second post asked how long you should drive at lower speeds?  To me this indicates you use your car at higher speeds sometimes. So again it is unsafe.  A tire with 500 miles on it that is a year old will still be under warranty if it is ten years old it will not be but again it is unsafe. Think about this. - I have no idea how much a 35 Packard is worth but let's say $20,000 a new Coker tire will average $200 so it you are doing 50 miles per hour and blow the tire causing you to loose control and rolling the car (again just suppose) was it worth saving 1/100th the value of the car?   Even if you don't total it the damage, possible injuries and hassle was it worth it?  I am not a lawyer and just feel you are taking the easy way out asking if it is unsafe. You know it is not right so fix it. I know Coker has a very good repetition regarding their warranty and you have not even contacted them! But yet you post on here "is it safe?" Take responsibility and get a new tire. 

Sorry for being harsh but I just don't understand why anyone drives on bad tires. 

Good luck. Have fun. 

Dave Sweeney 

 

Dave, thanks for the advice, and my apologies if my post was unclear.  I asked the question because I was trying to determine if the tire is unsafe.  I do'n't know much about tires: I don't know enough to know if what I see is just a common cosmetic issue or is a potential safety issue.   If is unsafe, I will replace it, so I decided to ask those who would know better than I do.  I don't think that's "taking the easy way out."   

 

In any event, thanks to everyone for the feedback:  I will not drive the car again with that tire, but will instead get a replacement tire from Coker and will have the car towed to a shop for the new tire to be installed. 

 

 

Edited by 1935Packard (see edit history)
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1935. Again I didn't mean to be harsh but as others have said a bubble can go at any time. Based on your name it sounds as if you drive a nice car and I would hate to see it damaged or anyone hurt. Some have  posted problems with Coker but I've found them very good IF you purchased the long term warranty. I don't know if you have not purchased it. Good luck. If it were me I would take the bad tire to the dealer and get them to mount and balance it instead of towing the car in. Just a thought. 

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I think many posters are making a mountain out of a small bump.

Suggestion:   Let the air out of the tire.   If the bump  disappears, it's an air bump and could be a problem.  If not, it's probably a small piece of rubber between the black a white side of the tire,  NO problem.   I've had one like it for 10 years and 8000 miles.   

Like women,  tires ain't perfBuick@Parkers.thumb.jpg.f42c7ab8bca55139c420fbcd4d870806.jpgect.  I even have a small bump on my own knee.

Buick@Parkers.thumb.jpg.f42c7ab8bca55139c420fbcd4d870806.jpg

Edited by Paul Dobbin
spilling goof (see edit history)
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10 hours ago, SC38DLS said:

As I originally said it is unsafe..... So again it is unsafe.  ...... doing 50 miles per hour and blow the tire causing you to loose control and rolling the car (again just suppose)

 

BLOWOUTS ON PACKARD TWELVES:

Let's not get TOO carried away - I agree the tire should be replaced,  and until it is, I would  not go on trips or go much over 40 mph,  for the simple reason if it fails catastrophically ,   you want to be in a situation where you are not involved with high speed Interstate traffic while trying to get off the road.

 

My own recommendation would be to forget "repro/collector" bias tires for a car as heavy as a Packard 12.   There are modern " repro/collector" radials available that have authentic-width white-walls,   that are far, far safer in that particular application.  (  for this application,   they take an off-the-shelf modern  tire that meets modern technical standards ) as in "Load Range "D",   and simply put a  authentic-looking white-wall on it.)

 

Here's why.   The Packard V-12 is unusual in that it is a particularly heavy car,   incredibly silent, powerful, and smooth at ANY speed.   Like a modern car,  it is very easy for ones speed to be creeping up to extreme levels without realizing it.

 

On lighter cars,  a collector / repro bias tire most likely will work out well.   Bear in mind that  sustained higher speeds with bias tires are unwise because of the internal over-heating, inevitable due to the nature of construction of the bias tire.

 

A Packard V-12 I (or, for that matter, a Cad V-16, Pierce, Lincoln K series,  Marmon V-16, and so on,   are capable of imposing a much harsher environment to their tires  then some ordinary low or middle class car of ANY era.    Over the years I have had numerous catastrophic ( translation...the tire carcass came apart)    blow-outs on my Packard V-12,  some on the front wheel, some on the rear.   All at higher speeds (60 mph+............on a couple of occasions...much faster !)      In all cases they were "repro/collector" tires from a reliable supplier, who was quite frank in his warning that I was not respecting the limits of the bias method of tire construction.....!     In every case,   while the noise scared the ##)$( out of my wife,   there was no problem in control,  getting off the highway.   The only problem was how mad my wife got.  At me....for the language I use when I have to confront those damn spare tire covers....!

 

Bottom line  -  no -  "35" does not need to have the car towed - just drive it around locally while you are waiting for your new white-wall radials to be delivered...., keep an eye on the tire,  and remember the Packard slogan...'ASK THE MAN WHO OWNS ONE"....!

 

 

Edited by SaddleRider (see edit history)
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I don't think I was getting carried away. You left off part of my statement that said -

 I originally said it is unsafe. You asked if it is dangerous. Yes. Any abnormalities in a tire at any speed is unsafe.  Your second post asked how long you should drive at lower speeds?  To me this indicates you use your car at higher speeds sometimes. So again it is unsafe.  A tire .....

 

The cars of that era were heavy and a tire with a defect can blow out. My point was is an expensive car worth damaging for a $200 tire. I don't think so and from what you are saying I don't think you think it is either. I agree with you it does not need to be towed to get a tire repaired but should also not be driven around at low speed to see if it gets worse. Certainly not driven at speed after a test like that is not a good idea. It's a defective tire that's life get it fixed.  

Edited by SC38DLS (see edit history)
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How are whitewalls constructed? I have no idea. For all I know the white is just a nonstructural layer glued onto the outside, so if a bit of it comes loose in the form of a bubble it wouldn't forebode a blowout. On the other hand the OP said the bubble was "firm." How can that be? Does that mean it has pressurized air behind it? Air is leaking through the casing pushing it out? In that case it would have blown out already. Seems the bubble should be anything but firm. Just soft.The tire has a tube so no air can be escaping through the casing to cause this bubble.

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i would drive it until it utterly fails . ain't none of them tires that gonna last forever.

 

.  enjoy.

 

edit... i know this is easy for me to say... i bet it's just a cosmetic flaw. just pop the blister with a needle to bleed off the blister. the air that is in the blister is most likely trapped air that is caused by a good  'rim to tire' seal. the air just hasn't escaped.

 

(btw i made this edit just before i read the most current original poster's oct 10 post.)

Edited by mrspeedyt
language (see edit history)
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From my experience....

I have never had a blow out in my life till last month!

My car was off the road up on jack stands for 12 years and the tires were on the rims stored in a dry place all that time. Fortunately, after getting her back on the road, I took a lightly travelled county road to a car show IMG_1956.thumb.JPG.6791b6ce960fd94e5f93d1f29114e94d.JPGand was going under 40 mph when one blew! :o

Being it was the right front and the car has power steering, I did not panic and jamb on the brakes, was able to coasted to the side of the gravel edge safely. It could have been much, much worse....

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Clearly by looks only they appeared fine, lots of tread, cleaned up nice and held air but.... they were old and I never want a blow out again so ordered a new set (5) that week and now travel with confidence!

Ask yourself this, what's the cost of a tire (or a set) in the scope of the potential alternative to car, self or passengers?

Edited by dei (see edit history)
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steel belted radials are the worse for potential damage to the car. and they are unpredictable. if i feel any new vibration i try to pull over quickly in a safe area and check for a tire belt starting to break. and in my experiences it usually ain't related to the age of the tire.

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1 hour ago, mrspeedyt said:

steel belted radials are the worse for potential damage to the car. and they are unpredictable. if i feel any new vibration i try to pull over quickly in a safe area and check for a tire belt starting to break. and in my experiences it usually ain't related to the age of the tire.

 

Yes -  Mr Speedy is absolutely right.  A frequent THROUGH inspect of tires should be part of your use of any vehicle.   

 

You point out the big DISADVANTE of redials.  IF they fail, they CAN come completely apart,  damaging or even ripping off a fender in the process.

 

There is a simple way to reduce this to a VERY remote possibility.   1)  only use legit radials from a legit manufacturer,  that are AT LEAST  "D" rated.  2)  as Mr. Speedy points out...INSPECT at frequent intervals.  

 

 

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11 minutes ago, JACK M said:

Tires have a ten year life.

If you don't drive them they may look like new but are used up from time,

 

Let me disagree just a bit.

 

First of all,  tire mfgs are trying to limit their liability.  I understand some are maintaining a tire is not to be used if it is more than seven years old.   I read somewhere this has to do with some chemistry issues - loss of strength of materials used.  This may not really be relevant to a responsible old vehicle collector.

 

Given poor storage conditions and./or abuse,   I agree - who cares what a tire LOOKS like - a frequent inspection to BOTH sides of the tire as well as the tread surface,  should be done to reduce the risk of carcass failure (agreed...even on a tire that LOOKS new !)

 

Not sure what you are suggesting in your use of the term "used up".   Tread depth...or just the passing of time ?

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The passing of time.

Its not just the mfgs. Its in real life.

I have had a terrible experience with an old tire that looked good but blew out at a bad time and place.

Motor homes are famous for this and I learned the hard way.

As I might have mentioned earlier it is difficult to step up every ten years to outfit the coach with a set of semi type tires at a couple of thousand for a set of six. 

But the knowledge that I have a good  set of meats under me makes the drive less stressful.

The trailer is the same way, How often do you see trailers along side of the road with a blow out?  Boat trailers, car haulers, travel trailers etc.

They spend most of the time parked on dirt or pavement and still have good looking tread.

So these barn finds with "good" tires are a fallacy. Ok for yard drives at best.

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my experience so far with steel belted radials is not age related. i have run 10 even 20 year old steel belted radials successfully. then again i have experienced failure with young (less than 5 year)steel belted radials.

 

please understand. i like the improved ride and handling of steel belted tires. BUTT i don't trust them. especially new ones. the old bias tires seem to last longer. as in much longer in many years.. and if and when a bias tire fails it is usually an inconvenience and not a damaging event. 

Edited by mrspeedyt (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, mrspeedyt said:

............. steel belted radials is not age related..... i have experienced failure with young (less than 5 year steel belted radials.) ......... i like the improved ride and handling of steel belted tires. BUT i don't trust them. especially new ones. the old bias tires seem to last longer. as in much longer in years.. and if and when a bias tire fails it is usually an inconvenience and not a damaging event. 

 

Yes, as we have discussed,   a blow-out with a bias-construction is typically much less theatrical...and damaging....then that of a radial.   Here's a suggestion to reduce the possibility of a blow - out with a radial to a VERY small statistical possibility.  PICK GOOD  TIRES !     If it dosnt carry AT LEAST a "D" rating,  don't put it on your car.

 

Life means choices.  I choose the FAR greater over-all safety of the radial.

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  • 2 weeks later...

As the original poster, I thought y'all might like an update.  I bought a new tire from Coker, took the old wheel off, and brought them both to the tire shop near me.  I had the new tire put on, and an inspection of the old tire suggests it's only a cosmetic bubble. You can't see or feel any irregularity from the inside.  (See picture -- bubble on the outside is located at the center of the picture.)

 

I called Coker, and a Coker rep also messaged me on the forum, and they said that they would cover the tire under the manufacturer's warranty.  So that's good news.  One catch is that I bought the old tire through a classic car repair shop -- technically, they bought the tire, for use on my car -- and so the shop needs to be the one to trigger the warranty.  They're a bit messy on the paperwork, and I haven't been able to get them to get the paperwork together and to contact Coker so that I can return the tire.   Hopefully that will work out eventually.

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