Blowout (tire)

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Automobile tire damaged after an impact.

A blowout is a rapid loss of inflation pressure of a pneumatic tire leading to an explosion. The primary cause for this is encountering an object that cuts or tears the structural components of the tire to the point where the structure is incapable of containing the pressurized air, with the escaping pressurized air adding to further tear through the tire structure.[1]

It is also fairly common for tread separations to be termed “blowouts” - even those where the inflation pressure is not compromised. Because of this confusion, the term is rarely used by experts in tire failures, where the term "impact damage" is more frequently used.

Tire blowouts have been a concern since the dawn of the motoring age. First generation automotive tires suffered from frequent problems until technology developed.[2][3]


  1. ^ Passenger & Light Truck Tire Conditions Manual published by Tire Industry Association copyright 2005
  2. ^ "Blowout into Leak". Time. 1935. 
  3. ^ "Fabric inner tube lessens blowout hazard". Popular Mechanics. 63: 488. 1935.