Tire Threads/Wire Showing On Tire: Causes & Preventions

Robert Herrera-COR-Wheels

By Robert Herrera

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Not many people know about the existence of tire cords. Made of nylon and polyester, this component is flexible to maintain the perfect shape possible under variable pressure. Hence, as you notice tires showing metal, you know it gets closer to the end. Is there any solution to fix it? Scroll down to learn.

Tire Tread Showing: What Does It Mean? 

The wire hidden inside the tire, also known as the steel belt, keeps the tire attached to the wheel. It also contributes to the healthy shape and condition of this part. Another use is to create a firm surface to enhance traction. 

Drive With Tire Cords Showing

To get the most out of these uses, the cords must stay in their place – on the inside of the tire. Once you see it sticking out, it equals a red flag.

This condition indicates extreme wear and sends a death sentence to your tires. In other words, it is time for a new replacement tire as the damaged internal structure puts you in danger. If you continue to drive on, other components are also exposed, resulting in an explosion.

What Causes Wires To Show On Tires

Extent Usage

If you have used your tire for about 5-6 years or more than 50,000 miles, natural wear and tear come out as the reason for its deterioration. Of course, some external factors such as driving terrain, production standards, or maintenance may shorten this period.

Though manufacturers usually recommend an average lifespan of 7 years, you should have a tire inspection done at year 4 to assess the current condition. 

Feel free to continue with your tires if the tread depth is within a safe range. Until the 10th year, installing a new set is a must as rubber compounds surely decrease in quality after a decade.

Improper Alignment

tire alignment

Alignment issues affect fuel economy and handling. It also causes wheels to tilt and allows for friction with the suspension. Over time, the direction of inclination leads to different wear patterns.

Camber wear:

This condition refers to the inclination of the tire when viewed from the front. If the wheel tilts to the side, it represents a negative camber and vice versa. The affected edge suffers from excessive wear and tear compared to the rest. As a result, cords are exposed from this edge.

Toe wear:

This type of wear occurs when the toe angle is off. Tires lose grip and slip instead of rolling. While camber corrodes both sides, toe wear makes one side slippery and the other rough.

Inadequate Inflation

Overinflation puts enormous pressure on the tire. This part is forced to become stiffer than usual to bear the center of gravity in the center. If this persists for a long period, the treads experience uneven wear.


Besides, this situation reduces the contact area with the road. In other words, the tire has less contact with the flat surface, resulting in a decrease in grip and handling. Simultaneously increased drag thus triggers rapid fuel loss.

Meanwhile, underinflation takes a great toll on the sidewall. This part bends and pushes in the middle. The outer edges now reach the maximum friction with the road and end up with uneven tread.

The consequences of this situation are no different from the one above, including poor handling and reduced fuel economy.

Punctures Or Cuts

These failures do not directly damage the tire bead but result in loss of air pressure. Car owners should spot them early to patch the punctures or cuts. Otherwise, driving on a flat tire brings more serious damage later on. 

Is It Safe To Work With Wires Coming Out Of Tire? How Long Can You Drive?

The quick answer is NO. When you notice wires exposed on tires, you should only drive another 87 – 94 miles to reach the repair shops. Do not risk speeding or running far away because the consequences are dire for your vehicle, yourself, and other road users.

Poor Control

The tire surface becomes smooth if tread wear links to the wire exposure. Then, the cords have to bear the tension and friction. Because it is made of metal, it is not flexible enough to achieve a balance in traction. As a result, your vehicle experiences loss of control, and wheels, suspension, and several other components all fall victim to damage.

The Risk Of Blowouts And Accidents

Similar to other damage brought by improper inflation, an exposed wire carries the risk of a tire burst. The tire structure is destroyed and torn when it comes out from the sidewall. At a certain speed, it will still explode eventually – the faster the pace, the sooner the blowout

As the wire fails to create a grip, the great friction leads to a build-up of heat. It sometimes takes only a short time for an explosion to occur. When you travel on busy public roads, it is bound to be a desperate and chaotic accident.

You may get into trouble even before a tire blows out due to poor handling. Unfortunately, this situation comes with weird little sounds or nothing at all. Drivers find it hard to determine whether their tires have a problem.

Unbalanced Wheels

When damage arises from wheel alignment, your inner rim is at risk. To deal with friction from the road, even for a moment, the cord concaves the inner edge and then breaks it down. Chances are the suspension system also faces significant destruction shortly after that.

It depends on where you live.

There is no clear regulation on bald tires, but some states have strict requirements for tread depth, which end up with the same meaning behind them.

For example, the Florida government asks for a minimum tire depth of 1/16 or 2/32 inches. You can check the tread depth using the penny test. The locals cannot pass the periodic car tests if they fail to meet this standard.

Only six regions do not state this law, while the remaining 42 governments and the whole of Canada apply the same policy.

It is important to note that Federal Law requires tire manufacturers to install an anti-wear bar on their products. This part issues warnings when wear exceeds a certain threshold.

What To Do If You Notice Exposed Cords On Tires 

Act immediately if you see steel wires sticking out of the tire. Stay calm and take the following steps:

  • Turn on the hazard lights, find a safe location, and pull over.
  • Raise the vehicle with a jack and pull out the tire. Perform a quick inspection of the tire and related components to assess the extent of the damage.
  • If you have some automotive experience, do not hesitate to replace the broken tire with a spare tire or take some temporary measures (e.g., a plug or patch for punctures).
  • If you are not confident in your skill, call roadside assistance. Once the wheel has recovered, nothing can get in the way of your next ride. However, take your vehicle to a service center as soon as possible to conduct thorough maintenance by a tire expert.
  • Slow down and monitor the pressure if you must keep moving on the faulty tires. Avoid rough roads and potholes, and go to the nearest tire shop.

Tips To Prevent Tire Metal Showing 

One important thing worth mentioning is that the tire stays beyond repair when its cord shows up. Hence, you’d better take prevention measures before paying an amount for a new replacement.

  • Invest in good-quality tires. Substandard items do not last for long, decrease your driving experience, and cost you more on repair soon. 
  • Maintain careful driving manners. Avoid exceeding the maximum speed capacity, braking sharply, or driving roughly on bumpy surfaces.
  • Stick to the manufacturer’s recommendation of air pressure and load rating. 
  • Do the maintenance on time, including cleaning, inspection, alignment, tire rotation, balance, etc. 
  • Equip yourself with knowledge about tire pressure and replacement. 


Why Does Tire Threads Showing Happen In The Middle?

This sign warns of overinflation. When the air pressure inside the tire exceeds the manufacturer’s recommended threshold, the center part comes in close contact with the road surface more often than the rest. As such, it wears out faster.

Is The Car Tire Wire Showing On The Sides?


Without a doubt, your vehicle suffers from poor alignment, causing a loss of focus. Your wheel is tilted, so the tire is under excessive pressure on this side.

Besides, this situation may also point to weak coil springs. The ball joints wear out after a while resulting in a shortened height.

How Long Do Bald Tires Showing Wire Last?

The degree of cord exposure determines the remaining days of the tire. If the damage is not too bad, it may last several days. However, you need to bring your car to the auto center as soon as possible. When the actual condition turns out to be severe, the grace period is zero.


Wires showing on tires indicate the end of their lifespan. Remember that mechanics break the law if they try to convince you of the repair. You have no choice but to install a replacement for your vehicle. It is best to find out the cause of the failure. Except for aging, consider these reasons and adjust your driving habits and care routine to prolong the lifetime of the new tire.

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Robert Herrera

President & Automotive Expert at COR Wheels

Robert Herrera has been with COR Wheels for 17 years and has a great passion for the automotive industry. During his time at COR Wheels, he has driven and test-driven a variety of vehicles.

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