Can Tires Burn for Years?
Tires contain rubber, which degrades over time, and rubber accumulates contaminants like oil and dirt during its life cycle. If tires aren’t properly cared for, they can degrade until eventually, the tire material is combustible. Which means tires can sometimes catch on fire. So, make sure your tires are always in good condition by getting routine inspections and tire changes to avoid driving on tires at risk of combustion. The most common reason for a tire to catch on fire is excess heat caused by friction.
If gas or diesel fuel spills onto the road, under the right circumstances, it can also cause a car tire to catch on fire as well as other surrounding materials such as rubber hoses and fluids. If the temperature is hot enough, spilled liquid from a vehicle that has been in an accident can ignite, causing a tire fire. If a tire catches fire, it can end up burning for a long time, especially if multiple tires are being burned in a pile. While it may seem crazy to believe, tire fires can last for years.
Even tires in good condition can be damaged on sharp turns or during collisions, triggering heat build-up, resulting in the need for a tire change. If you notice smoke coming from a tire, remove your vehicle from traffic and have it towed to a service station or check with your mechanic as soon as possible.
A tire blowout is the most common type of flat tire. A blowout can happen for several reasons, including faulty tires or damage to the wheel or tire assembly. Even without visible evidence of damage, it’s wise for drivers to have their tires inspected or at least once per year.
When one side of your car’s tire loses air suddenly, your vehicle can lose its ability to steer and brake properly. Blowouts, however, don’t always happen suddenly. Sometimes they develop over time as a result of uneven wear or underinflation. Although defects in the tire itself often cause blowouts, they also can occur because your wheels aren’t aligned properly, or there is damage to the suspension system, such as the shocks and struts.
DIY Tire Change
When you get a flat tire, jack up your car and take out the spare tire from the trunk of your car. Take off the flat tire and use the donut spare to drive slowly to an auto repair shop or gas station. Get back on the road as soon as possible-do, don’t drive far, and go slowly. Tighten lug nuts to the manufacturer’s specification and then lower your car to the ground by hand or using a floor jack. Use an adjustable wrench or ratchet strap to tighten the lug nuts for another 90 degrees so that they hold the wheel securely in place. Tighten lug nuts before driving your car.
Having your tire casing melt and burn during high-speed driving can be quite deflating. This is why you need to take your time, do some research, and consult a pro when purchasing tires, or else the results could be disastrous. Many folks don’t do this when buying new tires, thinking only old and worn-out tires pose a safety risk. But, finding the right tire for your car make and model is extremely important.
You may be surprised to learn, for example, that not all car tires are created equal. Some of them will start burning for seemingly no reason at all.
How To Tell If Your Car Tire Is Burning
If you notice any of these signs, it may be time for you to take a closer look at the tires on your vehicle:
- A soft or spongy feeling when you drive over bumps in the road. This means that there has been some damage to the tire casing.
- Steering wheel vibration. If you notice a shaking motion in your car when you drive, this is most likely due to uneven wear of your tires. It may also be due to air bubbles trapped in the treads or damage to the tire casing.
- One side of your car tire is more worn than the other side. The reason for this would be that the tire has developed an unbalanced rotation, which could happen if either your car or the tire has undergone some damage.
- Tread is coming apart. If you see signs of the tread separating from the casing, it’s probably too late for you to save your tire.
How To Prevent Car Tire Burnout
There are several things that you can do to keep this from happening:
- Check the sidewall for any bulges and check the treads for unusual wear or bubbles.
- Make sure that all the tires on your car have the same tire pressure.
- If you notice any damage to your car tires, take them to a mechanic for a tire change right away.
Car tire burnout is not something that anyone wants to experience. It’s important that you check your tires regularly for anything out of the ordinary and do not wait until it has reached the point where they are already burning.
Donut spare tires are designed to be used only for short distances at lower speeds, so have your flat tire repaired or replaced as soon as possible. If you let the donut tire go too long without being fixed, it could compromise the other four tires on your vehicle.
If you aren’t able to drive and your car is stuck on the road where you can’t change the tire, call for a tow truck.
Reducing The Risk
To minimize the risk of getting a flat tire:
- Check tire pressure at least once per month with an accurate gauge. Don’t forget to check the spare. As tires wear, they lose air, so it’s important to keep them inflated.
- Rotate your tires every 6,000 miles or at least once per year to make sure they wear evenly. Ask your service advisor for more information about how often you need a tire rotation.
- Inspect your tires when getting an oil change and look for signs of wear or damage.
- Keep your tires properly inflated by using an accurate gauge.