Bulge in one year old tire

Hi there, I have a 2009 Honda Fit, and it’s just about a year old. I have been in no accidents, and don’t recall ever bumping a curb hard or anything. A reputable mechanic has just told me that I have a bulge in the right front tire and that I should get both front tires replaced. My questions are:

1. Do I really need to get both tires replaced, and does having two year old tires with two new tires make a difference?

2. Can’t I just replace the one tire?

3. Is it likely that the tire manufacturer (dunlop sports) will cover this?

4. The mechanic quoted me $300 for the new tires and alignment. Does this sound reasonable?

Thanks for your time.


Clueless about Cars

How many miles on the tires??

More then 10k miles then I suggest you replace two.

BTW…Did you see the buldge???

If these are the original equipment tires, they are warranted by the tire manufacturer, in your case Dunlop, for manufacturing defects. Years ago, I had a Goodrich tire on a new car that was defective. The Goodrich dealer measured the tread depth to determine the amount of service I had gotten from the tire and then wanted to sell me a tire adjusted for treadwear off what I considered a phony retail price. I bought an equivalent tire by another manufacturer for much less that what the warranty would give me.

The Dunlop dealer will have to determine if in fact the problem was a manufacturing defect. He may decide that the bulge was caused by something else. If you get an all wheel alignment and two tires for $300, this may be in line with current prices in your area.

My experience is that if you have bulge in the sidewall they will claim that it is road hazard damage and not cover it under warranty.

Check in your area for a tire dealer handling Dunlop tires and have the tire dealer inspect the tire. If you need a new one you should be able to get a warranty replacement. Say your tire is 1/5 worn, so you’ll pay for about 20% of the new tire. I don’t think you’ll need two tires, but that depends on how much tread is worn off the defective tire.

Your car is front wheel drive so you could mount the new tire on the back and let it wear in for 10K miles then move it to the front when you rotate tires.

Is this a bulge or an indentation which makes it appear the tire has a bulge?

If it’s the latter this can be an entirely normal characteristic due to the forming of the tire and is nothing to worry about.

If there’s no scuff on the tire, how could it be road damage?

$300 for tires and alignment sounds high. What tires did he have in mind?

I also think that you should get a second opinion in writing from a Dunlop dealer authorized by Dunlop for warranty work. Why in writing? If they tell you there is no problem and the tire bursts because there really was a defect, you have legal recourse in case of injury. If they tell you there is not a problem, they may well be correct. But you are forcing them to be honest.

One more thing: Check the tire warranty in the glove box. It probably is a limited warranty, meaning that you won’t get a full replacement, but a prorated replacement based on the number of miles driven.

Note: If you replace two tyres and If there is a significant difference in wear between the new tyres and the old, be sure to put the NEW ones on the BACK. It is safer that way.

There were no scuffs on mine, but they refused to replace it under warranty. I’ve heard from others with the same experience.

Clueless, can YOU see a bulge in the tire?? or is it more like a little ripple, …Can your mechanic see things you can’t? Does he work in a tire store?

Thank you for all the very helpful replies!

To answer generally, yes, I went to see the car after work and did see a definite bulge. It was the size of a large egg, and didn’t look like it was being caused by a bent rim or anything. The mechanic I went to see is an independent biz owner, who has been around for a while and was recommended by a friend.

I also learned that the two front tires are likely not in alignment, as he pointed out that the wear and tear on each front tire was uneven. so, the side of each tire facing the car was noticeably more worn than the outside. the mechanic said it’s possible a bad pothole or a bump against a curb knocked off the alignment and now my tires were facing in at an angle.

he also said that since my car is not 4 wheel drive, that it’s not necessary to replace all 4 tires (I had asked if it would matter that I’d be driving with two year old tires and two new ones). based on suggestions here, looks like I should consider replacing old ones in front, new ones in back? why is this?

I’ll be replacing with new dunlop sports tires. that is what i originally had. I am shopping around, and will find out more tomorrow morning, but I’m not sure I’m hopeful about the tire manufacturer honoring any part of a warranty. I’ve also heard that if it’s not obviously a manufacturer’s defect, it’s tough…but i’ll try.

oh, also, i have about 22,000 miles on my car after one year.
thanks everyone!

Put the new tires on the back to keep the rear tires from breaking loose. Fishtails can be tough to maneuver out of if you aren’t familiar with how to do it.

Contact Dunlop and ask who they recommend to inspect the tire on their behalf. What you heard may be true, but it means nothing in this specific case.

Why buy more junk? If there is a goose egg on the sidewall of one tire I would not trust any of them. Drive over to Costco and put on a set of four decent tires then have an alignment done. Or maybe the goose egg and the mis-alignment occurred at the same time when you hit a curb or something…

tires are rated for distance. are yours 20,000 or 50,000 mile tires? the wear sounds like a towin problem. you do need alignment, should cost 20 bucks or so as I recall, but then Im an old guy from long ago. New tires on front means better stearing. If you are going to have a blow out, you dont want it on the front. the bubble is definetly a hazard, not likely related to the two in problem, but 300 bucks for two tires is highway robbery. the best tires for your car should not cost more than about 100 bucks each with new valves and dynamic ballance.

Ok, I’ll ask again. Is this an actual bulge or is it an idention which could lead to the perception there is a bulge?
Former is a problem, latter is not.

Hi again!

To me it appears to be an actual bulge, and not an indentation, and considering two mechanics have confirmed this I’m more inclined to believe them. It’s definitely a goose egg. I went to another mechanic today and previously spoke to a dunlop dealer. the mechanic this morning quoted me 110 for each dunlop tire (85 for a cheaper option) plus 60 for alignment (tried to talk him down unsuccessfully). the dealer quoted me 140 for just one tire. At this point I’m not skeptical about the goose egg or the wear and tear of the two front tires, though I do realize that Costco might be cheaper (for Costco, however, I’d have to order the tires as they don’t appear to have them in stock, and searching through some of their tire options, they weren’t necessarily cheaper). Unfortunately I am driving out of town this weekend and don’t feel I have too many options for saving money.

As for tire rating for distance, you know I’m not sure. It was surprising to me that a year old car should have as much wear as it did, but seeing it with my own eyes it does seem like there is an alignment problem as well, and today while driving I noticed the car seems to drag a bit, if that makes sense.

Well, we’ll see what happens. If I had caught this problem earlier, I may have shopped around…lesson learned.

Thank you for the info. The reason I asked was that it can be pretty common to get a tire with an indention in it and this can very easily appear to some as a bulge.

That indention or bulge is entirely normal and is the result of the tire mold when it is manufactured.

The tire dealer or the car dealership will invariably tell you that you must have hit a road hazard, and not realized it. But there is another way that a sidewall bulge can be caused. If the innerliner (the lining inside the tire, which makes it airtight) was ripped

a little when the tire was mounted on the wheel, air from inside the tire can seep in between the plies (layers) of the tire, and then cause the bulge. The problem is that the chance of the innerliner being ripped on the assembly line is very slim, as compared to the

chance of it being ripped, say, by the guy at the tire store while he’s in a rush at the tire machine. Also, is the surface of the goose egg area “scrubbed” or abraded, the way it would look if it impacted/rubbed the concrete curb? If not, you may have a fighting chance at a pro-rated replacement under warranty, as opposed to having to buy tire(s) outright.