The term “blowout” refers to an explosion or bursting of a tyre mainly because of a rapid loss of air pressure. Most of them often think that, this problem is caused when there is extra pressure inside a radial. But the actual reason for a blowout is too little air pressure or under inflation of tyres. Such radials tend to bounce up and down especially, when a vehicle is driven at high speeds. It is this time, when a high level of friction is generated by the tyre wall thus, causing it to overheat. Additional heat certainly weakens a radial and this leads to an explosion. On the other hand, blowouts also happen because of overloading a vehicle, massive cuts, unnoticed punctures, impact damage and a few other reasons, which lets air to escape. When a radial starts losing air, it will no longer be able to support the weight of a vehicle.
Causes of blowouts:
There are several reasons that causes a radial to blow out and some of the main factors are explained below.
The air filled inside a tyre plays a key role in carrying the total weight of a vehicle and its cargo as well. Even some of the internal components tend to bend without the right amount of air. These include elements such as steel, rubber and fabrics as well. All these materials not only weaken with time but they also fail eventually. Hence, it is vital that the level of air pressure should be checked regularly. One can seek help of an experienced technician or make use of a tyre pressure monitoring system for this purpose.
A tyre tends to damage even if a vehicle is overloaded. These components are developed with a capacity to carry certain load and if this exceeds, damage certainly takes place. One can check the company’s manual to find out the gross vehicular weight rating.
Potholes are one of the reasons that can cause an injury to a radial. Driving on such surfaces will have a great impact mainly on the tyre’s internal structure. Many times, these can even cut through the fabric and rubber compounds thus, leading to a tyre damage.
However, the radials available today are highly reliable and blowouts have become a thing of the past. Almost every tyre making company nowadays, is using advanced technological methods to build these components with an improved design, while not compromising with quality as well as safety. But when it happens, it can turn out extremely dangerous mainly when a vehicle is run on a high speed.
What must be done during a blowout?
1) The first thing that one must do if they notice an explosion of tyre is not to panic and stay calm. If the radials in the front bursts, it is necessary that one holds the steering wheel tightly and try to keep the vehicle under control. This is because, in such cases, it goes to the direction of a blown radial. As a result, it is necessary to grip the wheel properly and maintain stability.
2) One should try not to hard brake in such cases as this can over stress the pull on a vehicle and can even cause an accident. But if it is needed, try braking it very gently.
3) It is essential to grip the wheel even when the rear tyres blowout. One has to ensure a controlled braking as this aids in shifting the vehicle’s weight to front radials as well and this makes it easy for a driver to keep it in control.
4) Maintaining a safe driving speed is always recommended. If a vehicle is run at a low speed then, it is possible to minimize the damage.
5) One must remember to maintain accelerator input momentarily rather than releasing it abruptly. Also make sure to disengage the cruise control function immediately.
6) Try to keep the vehicle away from turns as cornering will just make the situation worse. One has to steer it in the opposite direction and keep it going straight.
How to prevent it?
However, one can also try to minimize the possibilities of a tyre blowout by following certain measures. Some of these are mentioned below.
1) Since, under inflation of tyres is one of the main causes of this problem, it is necessary to have the air pressure checked on a regular basis. An experienced technician can be of aid or one can even make use of tyre pressure monitoring system for this purpose. Doing it every week will help in finding out even if there is a small puncture.
2) It is necessary to keep these components always in good condition. An owner of a vehicle should inspect them regularly so as to spot any cuts, bulges and cracks, if any.
3) Using tubeless tyres is highly recommended when compared to the tube type radials. As the latter type is more likely of a dangerous blowout.
4) One must go only with the high quality tyres that are offered by a renowned company. Avoid selecting the cheap radials that lack quality. Moreover, choosing run flat tyres is always the best thing one can do, as these can be life savers in such situations.
5) Keep a tract on the remaining depth of a tyre tread. Doing this, will help not just in avoiding punctures but also in improving the level of grip. If one notices a worn out tread, replace it as soon as possible.
6) Always remember not to overload a vehicle as this can damage a tyre’s internal structure. Make sure to never exceed the load rating as well as vehicle’s payload capacity.
7) Do not continue using a tyre, which has a sidewall damage. Always remember that driving on a punctured radial will cause damage to its sidewall.
8) Get rid of wheel caps that are not properly designed or which lack quality. In some cases, these caps actually rub against the sidewall of a radial and causes damage to it.
9) Tyre sealants might not help a radial from overheating but they can aid in fixing slow punctures. This altogether will assist in avoiding under inflation.
10) A break after every 90 to 120 minutes of driving is recommended as this lets the radials, brakes and other components to cool down.
Hence, the above mentioned are some of the main causes that lead to an explosion of radials. Every owner of a vehicle should have knowledge about this and by following such measures, one can certainly prevent a blowout to ensure safety.