Dent In Tire: Can You Drive With a Dent On Tire? (Sidewall)

They do not look normal. Tires take on some weird shapes at times. Some of those shapes indicate a problem with the tire and some shapes you do not have to worry about. Identifying which is which can take some time to master. It is not always easy to tell with tires.

They say that the dent-like look in your tires is normal and nothing to worry about. What creates this look is that the dent indicates where the ply material overlaps and not the belts. This is a common feature on PSR, LTR, and STR tires.

To learn more about this interesting tire look, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can relax and not worry about this feature. It is the bulges you have to worry about most.

Can You Get a Dent in Your Tire?


It is said that this little feature is normal. It is caused by the stretching of the materials inside the rubber and not because of some bad driving habits. It seems that the fabric, not the steel inside the tire stretches when you add more air.

However, this fabric does not stretch as much when it is at the intersection where the ply material meets. Once you get into this situation, your tire looks like it has a dent in it.

Keep in mind that it is easy to be confused by hearing the word dent. In the case of a tire, the word dent does not really mean an indentation that changes the shape of the tire.

When people use the term dent, it is referring to the illusion of a misshapen tire. They are not referring to a dent as you would see in metal. The dent only appears to be there and it is quite normal to see that illusion on different tire varieties.

Most people drive on ‘dented’ tires without any problems as there really is nothing to worry about. What you need to worry about are the bulges that sometimes appear.

Is a Dent in a Tire Bad?

No, it is not. As we just explained, it is the fabric inside the tire that is getting a bit stretched due to the fact more air was placed in the tire. The steel belts remain in place and do not do anything that would damage the tire.

The cause of this dented look is the fact that the overlaps of fabric or ply material are stronger than the rest of the ply material. It does not stretch as far as the other parts creating this dented look.

There should be no problem driving on a dented tire as it is not placing too much air pressure on one specific point on the rubber. Nor is it pushing the rubber out of shape as a bulge would do.

If your tire had a bulge in it, then that would be a deformity that you would need to be concerned about. Those bulges do put extra air pressure on a specific part of the rubber and they can create a blow out if you do not look after the problem as soon as you spot it.

Just get familiar with the different looks of your tire to know when you need to take action and when you need to leave it alone.

Can You Drive With a Dent in The Tire?


Yes, you can. This is a normal look on many tire models. It is more of an illusion than anything else. Nothing is being warped, pushed out of shape, damaged, and more ailments when you see a dent in the tire.

The word dent may be the wrong term to use for this illusion as it brings to mind all sorts of damaged looks that do not bode well for any item made of metal. People get worried when they hear the word dent as they know it damages an item and costs them money to fix.

The good news here is that this tire dent does not cause any damage and there is nothing to repair. There should be no problem driving your vehicle when you see this feature on your PSR, LTR, and STR tires.

Your vehicle is not in any danger of having a blowout when you see this feature. You can drive normally in this situation and get to your destination without any hassle.

However, when you see other deformities, make sure they are not damaging your tire or putting you at risk of a blowout. Talk to some tire experts and have them fill you in on different tire looks that can be a problem.

Why is There a Dent in My Tire?

This is supposed to be a common feature that happens on most, if not all, PSR, LTR, and STR tires. It occurs when the overlapping ply material does not stretch as far as the non-overlapping fabric material.

What will help you identify the problem as dangerous or normal all you have to do is look at the direction of the rubber? If the rubber is looking like or actually going ‘in’ then that means it is safe to drive on the tire.

If the rubber is coming out in specific spots, then that direction means you have trouble and you need to deal with the problem as soon as you can. The technical term for this illusion is ‘undulation’ and this is a normal feature you will see on most tires.

What causes bulges and makes your car unsafe to drive are the following sources:

1. The tire is getting too old- tire life is not long and may not make the upper limit of 10 years.

2. Underinflated tires- this can cause a tear in the sidewall especially if you are carrying a heavy load

3. Overloading- trying to get everything plus the kitchen sink into your trailer or truck bed, etc., will cause tire issues you should be concerned about.

4. Poor driving- hitting curbs, too many pot holes, and so on can create sidewall issues that damage your tire very quickly

5. Vandalism- it happens to many good people. Tires are an easy target and some people get their kicks out of slashing tires, letting air out, and other stunts.

The dent look is actually a natural look and comes from a natural source.

What Causes a Dent in The Sidewall Of a Tire?


There is only one source for this problem and that is tire construction. This look appears more in radial tires than in bias tires. It is all due to how the tires are made that creates this look.

The tire is made by having a machine wrap the tire cord around a mold, from one tire bead to the next tire bead. The cords are wrapped side-by-side and they go up the sidewall, across the tread, and down the other side.

When the machine wraps the last cord, it overlaps the first tire cord creating this dent or undulation look. It is also called, and it is a better term than a dent, an indentation.

As you can see, it is all perfectly normal and there are no faulty spots in your tire. This is not a defect either as some people may assume. Then you may see this indentation on tires that have larger sidewalls more than you would see it on low-profile tires.

Also, you should see this indentation look on those tires requiring a higher psi than other tire models. But if you do not look for it, you may not see it at all.

Dent in The Tire From Hitting The Curb

Some people claim that you can get dents in your tire through other means. They say that hitting a curb or a pot hole will create a dent if you are going at the right speed.

The people that make this claim may confuse a bulge with a dent as they lay out the possible reasons for this situation. You can get damage done to your tire if you are not careful but it is highly unlikely it will appear as a dent.

Some of the looks you will see will be sidewall rash which comes from rubbing your tire against a curb. Another look will be a slash or a tear if you hit pot holes or speed bumps, road debris, and so on.

An actual dent does not harm any other component of your car. These other issues may. You can damage your steering and suspension components, your transmission, lose wheel alignment, and more.

Those tire conditions can cost you a lot of money in repair bills. A real dent won’t or shouldn’t cost you anything. It is a normal feature that may not be permanent.

The indentation should set your mind at ease when you spot it because the rubber’s direction is inward and not outward.

Dent in The Middle Of The Tire


If you are going to get a dent in your tire, it is most likely going to appear in the sidewall portion of the tire. Not in the middle of it. The exact location will be determined by where the final tire cord overlaps the first one.

Keep in mind that rubber and those tire cords are not made of metal and do not respond as metal does. It is a flexible material that can change its appearance due to different factors.

Because of the flexibility of rubber, the dents are not causing any damage to that material. Unlike what a dent would do to the inflexible metal pieces. That inflexibility helps cause the dent because it can bend like rubber can. Nor can it stretch.

What that means is that the rubber in the tire is merely flexing a little bit to meet the stress of demand of the overlapping materials. As long as the dent goes inward, then you can drive safely and without worry.

Now bulges can appear just about anywhere in your tire, but their usual spot is the sidewall as well. When you see a bulge head to your nearest tire shop to get a replacement.

Can Dents in Tires Cause Shaking?

There are common sources for tires causing any shaking or vibration in your steering wheel or vehicle. However, a dent is not one of those sources. Here are the causes of shaking or vibrations:

1. Over or under inflated tires

2. Tires that have been worn out

3. Bent or cracked wheel

4. Tires or wheels out of alignment

5. Tires are not balanced correctly or balanced at all

Another cause would be that you hit some road debris and it stuck in or on your tires. Another source would be an alternative wheel or tire balancing method. There are some balancing methods that are not good for the vehicle or your tires.

When used, they can create a bad shaking or vibration in your vehicle. Then, your suspension could be out of whack which will create a lot of vibration or shaking.

Not to be left out, your driveshaft can cause this problem as well. No matter how you look at this vibration or shaking issue, the indentation is not the cause of it.

Look to these other sources and fix them to stop that problem completely. The indentation is merely a normal feature that does not influence your vehicle’s movement in any way.

Some Additional Words

It may look like a dent but the reality is this feature is just the difference between one piece of fabric stretching further than another. It looks bad at times but it is perfectly normal and should not harm your vehicle.

As far as we can tell, there is no method to remove the dent from the tires. It is a natural event when one piece of fabric stretches further than another. These fabric pieces are inside the tire so there is little you can do about it.

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