Although your car's tires all look good, you may suspect that there is something wrong with at least one of them. If so, look for the following signs that one of your tires may have a broken steel belt.

Vibrations Felt While Driving

One of the first signs you may notice when you have a broken tire belt is feeling vibrations while you are driving down the road. Because the steel belts inside your tires provide support for the rubber, one broken belt will make an area on the tire uneven, resulting in the vibrations.

How the vibrations present themselves can give you a clue as to which tire has the broken belt. If the vibrations increase when are driving at higher speeds, the affected tire is one of the front ones. However, if you notice that the vibrations are worse at lower speeds, the problem lies with one of your back tires.

Thumping Noise Is Heard

Aside from vibrations, another notable sign that you have a broken belt is when you start hearing a thumping noise as you drive along the highway. You may notice this sound more when you are driving at slower speeds because there will be less road noise to interfere with the noise.

Because the belt has created an uneven surface, the rubber will hit the pavement unevenly. As it does, the area right after the broken belt will strike the surface harder, creating the thumping sound.

Hump Is Seen When Tire Rotates

If you are feeling vibrations and hearing the thumping noise, you can discern which tire it is by inspecting the tire as it rotates. When a belt is broken underneath the rubber surface, as hump will present itself as the steel bands push against the tire.

Have someone stand on one side of your car. Then, pull up as slowly as possible while they look carefully at each tire. If no hump is detected, have them stand on the other side of the vehicle so they can inspect the other two tires. 

If they see a hump in your tires, and you have noticed other signs, use extreme caution while driving on the tire, the rubber in this area has been severely weakened because there is no longer a stable supporting structure. Since the tire could blow out at any given moment, take your car to a tire dealer to discuss your options for replacing the bad tire.

For more information, contact a company like East Bay Tire Co.