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What to Do if Your Tyre Sidewall is Cut or Damaged?

The sidewalls of your tyres are just as important as the treads, so you need to take care of them and check them regularly for signs of wear or damage. If left, cuts, bulges, or scuffs on your sidewall could lead to bigger issues, such as a blowout, which can be dangerous.

What is tyre sidewall damage?

Damage to your sidewall can come in various forms:

  • Cuts
  • Scrapes
  • Gashes
  • Bulges
  • Cracks

Each can become serious if ignored, so it’s important to have any damage to your sidewall checked by a professional.

What causes damage to your sidewall?

Cuts and gashes can be caused by debris in the road, such as metal, glass, or nails.

Cracks can form over time and are a sign of age, but they can also be caused by exposure to UV rays, chemicals, or harsh changes in temperature.

Scrapes can appear if you catch the kerb. Bulges can form if you drive over something too fast, such as a speed bump - known as an impact break. Bulges can also be caused by overinflating your tyres.

Damage to the sidewall severely weakens the overall structure of the tyre, so you want to keep them in good condition along with the rest of the tyre.

Can you drive with a damaged sidewall?

Because sidewall damage can severely affect the structure of the tyre - particularly with run flats which rely on a reinforced sidewall - it’s not recommended that you drive if you spot any signs of damage, particularly bulges or cuts.

Damage to the sidewall can indicate a larger issue with the tyre, which could cause a blowout.

The only time you should drive on a tyre with sidewall damage is when taking your vehicle to be looked at by a professional, or to change the damaged tyre.

How to check your sidewalls for damage

Make sure your tyres are kept clean, which will help you spot any imperfections or signs of damage. Conduct a thorough visual inspection once every two weeks, looking for any cuts or bulges along the sidewall at the same time you check your tread depth and air pressure.

Sidewall damage will be fairly obvious and can occur without the tyre necessarily having gone flat.

Can you repair sidewall damage?

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to repair a damaged sidewall. As mentioned previously, sidewall damage can affect the overall structure of your tyre, which repairing the sidewall won’t fix.

If your sidewall is damaged you will need to replace the tyre as soon as possible.

How to prevent sidewall damage

There are a number of ways you can help prevent damage to your sidewalls:

  • Avoid hitting or scraping the kerb
  • Avoid potholes, especially when driving at high speed
  • Don’t approach speed bumps too quickly
  • Make sure your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure, which you can find in your vehicle’s handbook
  • Avoid overexposure to UV rays, and try to park in shaded spots if possible
  • Avoid exposure to chemicals such as ozone or oil
  • Keep your tyres clean
  • Don’t use the incorrect seasonal tyres
  • Store unused tyres correctly where they’re not going to be exposed to changes in temperature

Replace a tyre with a damaged sidewall

Do you have a tyre with a damaged sidewall that needs to be replaced? Just Tyres have a selection of tyres available from manufacturers to suit any budget. Use our simple tool by adding your vehicle reg number and it will do the work for you so you can buy your tyres online right now.

Customer services: 01908 222208 [email protected] Calls are recorded for training purposes


Ratings from A-G
A = Best Fuel Economy

WET GRIP wet grip

Ratings from A-G
A = Best wet weather

NOISE LEVEL noise level

The lower the decibel,
the quieter the tyre