What is a heat ring? Well, this is a tire condition. It takes place when the tire runs flat, and the sidewalls bend such that the exterior part comes into contact with the road.
In some cases, the interior part of the upper sidewall may touch the lower side. As a result, rubbing takes place, creating a ring around the wheel owing to scuffing. Over time, this friction wears out the interior rubber on one or both of the sidewalls. This rubbing also generates a lot of heat, which can lead to the formation of a thin ring inside the rubber. This ring is an indication of overheating, and this is what goes by the name heat ring. The interior rubber is the only part of the tire that can hold on to air. As such, with a ring around tire sidewall, you have no option but to get a new tire.
Types of tire damage
Sidewall tire damage is but one of the few things that can have you buying new tires. Tire damage is an unfortunate thing that can happen to anyone, even when you are careful about the way you drive. It does not discriminate against the age of the tires, either. It is thus best to carry out regular inspections of the tires to ensure that they are at par with reasonable standards. In this way, you can avoid huge repair costs in the future. Additionally, you can prevent some damages.
The most prevalent tire damages are punctures, irregular wear, cuts, cracks, and bulges. Failure to attend to these leads to more damage. A good example would be where you drive on a flat tire only for a heat ring to develop. Check your tires once a week to catch any damage from the onset. Running your hand along the tire will help you find anything caught in the treads. Also, check the air pressure and ensure that it remains at the optimum level. Below are some of the tire damages you are likely to encounter:
- Sidewall Bulge
If the tire has a puncture or lacks adequate air pressure, this is likely to happen. It can also result from improper mounting or demounting, which damages the bead ply cords. In this case, you should always check the air pressure and deal with flat tires the moment that they occur.
This bulge can also occur due to repeated abrasions on the carcass, which damages the ply cords on the low sidewall. The carcass loses strength over time, and this leads to a bulge in the wall. To avoid this, you should drive carefully, avoiding any places where abrasive objects may be. And stop when you get a puncture.
A bulge on the sidewall may also be an indication of an impact. You may have hit a pothole and broken the ply cords in the wall, without showing the same on the outside. It could also be that you hit a blunt object. In this case, the exterior will not show any signs of damage, but there will be a bulge. This bulge may also result from reduced air pressure. It is best to drive at the recommended speed and to avoid hitting objects while on the road.
- Run Flat Damage
This damage results from getting a puncture and driving on it. Where this happens, you could also get a heat ring. Also, where your car lacks adequate air pressure, you can experience this problem. You can avoid this by maintaining air pressure at the recommended level. When you get a flat owing to a puncture, you should stop the car in a safe place and ask for help. If you keep driving, not only can you damage the tire, but you risk the lives of other road users.
- Sidewall Shoulder Cut
Here, it is likely that you have driven over a sharp object which has torn through the tire. The best way to avoid this is by driving carefully with an eye out for any foreign objects on the road.
Undulation is another sign of damage that results from overloading or over-inflating tires. You do not need to worry about this, as it will not affect tire performance. However, you must maintain the air pressure as required and stop overloading. Else, you will have problems in the future.
- Tread Wear
Where the wear is present on one side, this damage owes to a problem in the wheel alignment. You should thus check this and make the recommended changes. It is also best that you rotate the tires as needed.
Where it is on the shoulder, it is an indication of loose bearings or defective rotating parts. You should thus change any worn out bearings and align the tires as needed. It also helps to replace any faulty parts that could put undue strain on the tires.
Where the treads burst, you have likely run over an object at high speed. You should drive carefully, and where the roads are in bad condition, you should reduce your speed to enable you to avoid hitting objects.
Neglected tread cuts result in the rusting of steel belts. You should thus go for tubeless tire repairs to avoid this situation.
- Tire bead damage
This problem comes about when the mounting of the tire takes place forcefully. It can also be a result of the use of improper tools during mounting or using the wrong rim size. If you want to know how to tell if a tire bead is bad, the answer lies in the state of the tire upon mounting. It is best to lubricate the beads and to use the recommended mounting process.
Always get your tires from recommended dealers such as Discount Tire and follow through with the right care practices. Remember that tire damage inside will affect the performance of the vehicle and can endanger other people’s safety. In all these cases, failure to repair the damage can lead to the development of a heat ring. Act fast in the event of tire damage and avoid added costs.