Tire Wire Showing: What Could Go Wrong?

Your tire wires are showing due to extreme tread wear, impact damage or damage to the tire sidewall. Do not drive with tires with exposed wires as it can lead to sudden blowouts, loss of handling, increased stopping distance during braking, hydroplaning and even corrosion. Replace your damaged tires before the treads get worn enough to show tire wires.

Accounting for that, what to do when your tire wire is showing? Let’s find out.

Why is My Tire Wire Showing?

Your tire wires are showing due to being excessively worn off from driving around. It can also happen due to receiving damage, such as hitting a pothole.

The reason behind your tire wire showing depends on the location where the tire wire is showing. Here are the reasons why the tire wire is showing in the middle, the sides or the sidewalls of your tire:

Why Is My Tire Wire Showing in The Middle?

Your tire wire is showing in the middle due to overinflation as inflating the tire with too much air can cause the centerline of the tire to over-expand. This is usually not a problem for new tires. But tires that are excessively worn off can suffer from this.

An over-expanded centerline will come into contact with the road more than other areas of the tire. This results in excessive wear on the middle, which can cause the tire wire to expose at that part.

Why Is My Tire Wire Showing on The Sides?

Your tire wire is showing only on the sides, and not in the middle, due to poor wheel alignment and ageing coil springs. Poor wheel alignment may cause your tires to wear more on the sides. If the tires are too worn off the tire wires will come out.

Bad coil springs in the suspension system, on the other hand, can sag and interfere with the alignment of the wheels, also causing this issue. Correct the wheel alignment and replace any sagging coil spring before doing your tire replacement to permanently resolve this problem.

Why Are Tire Cords Showing on The Sidewall?

Tire cords on the sidewalls of your tires can show due to damage to the sidewall from an impact, such as a curb strike. This can happen even if your tire is relatively new and the tread depth of the tire is still adequate. 

A damaged sidewall with tire wires showing will compromise the structural integrity of your tire, so have them replaced to avoid any danger.

What are the Dangers of Tire Wire Showing?


A Tire with wires showing can suffer from a blowout during driving. If the blowout happens when driving at high speeds, you will lose control of your car.this can result in a severe accident. A blown tire in the middle of the road can be deadly not just to you but also to the people nearby.

Poor Handling

Tires with exposed wires have less grip and can reduce the handling of your vehicle. Your damaged tire is not providing enough traction and can lead to an accident on the road. Due to the loss of traction from the tires, the stopping power of your car can also decrease. So, avoid driving at high speeds if you can see your tire wires.


Having worn-off tires can lead to hydroplaning. What is hydroplaning? It is a driving hazard when the tire fails to displace water underneath it and simply slips on the water. 

When you are hydroplaning, your brakes and steering may become unresponsive for a short time. For this reason, always inspect your tires beforehand when planning to drive in heavy rains.


The exposed wires from the tire come into contact with the road. And these wires cause extra friction when driving, resulting in more heat generation. And, overheating can make the condition of your tire worse, possibly leading to a road accident.

Air Pressure Loss

The exposed wires of your tire can end up puncturing your tire, causing a leak. A damaged sidewall can also cause the compressed air in your tire to gush out. A loss in air pressure of your tires can affect your handling and also increase your stopping distance.


The exposed wires of your tires are more susceptible to corrosion. The purpose of your tire wires is to reinforce the structure of your tires. Tires with corroded wires can become weak and structurally fail over time. 

The longer and the more the steel wires of your tire remain exposed to the environment, the more the corrosion. Replace your damaged tires as quickly as possible.

Can You Fix a Tire With Wire Showing?

Yes, you can temporarily fix a tire with its wires showing, but only if the damage is minor. However, it is strongly discouraged, and may even be outright illegal in some of the states of the USA.

Even if you manage to patch it up, it will still remain hazardous and you should replace it as quickly as possible. Furthermore, ensure that the tire has a minimum tread depth of 4/32 inch for safety.

What to Do If You Cannot Replace The Damaged Tire Immediately?

If you can not replace the damaged tire entirely, use a tire patch to cover up the damaged spot. This can only be done if the damaged spot is not on the sidewall and is not bigger than ¼ inch.  

Clean up the spot first. Then sand down the spot where the wire is showing. Remove all the debris from the location. Apply vulcanized cement to the spot. Remove the plastic covering from the back of the tire patch. Then apply the tire patch on the spot. 

This method only applies when the extent of damage is low and is a temporary fix. If a lot of wire is visible then it can not be fixed and must be replaced instead.

While replacing an old tire, be careful about installing a new one. Choosing between a narrow and wide tire can be a bit difficult but 225 vs. 245 vs. 265 Tires the guide can help you with that.

Can You Drive on a Tire with Wires Showing?

Yes, you can drive on a tire with its wire showing, but only temporarily, and only by taking certain precautions because it’s dangerous. Do this only if you lack access to any nearby tire replacement facility and have no choice but to drive to a tire shop further away.

How Long Can You Drive on Tires with Wire Showing?

You can drive on tires with tire wires showing for a very short distance. How far you can travel will depend on the current condition of your tires, your car’s speed and the road conditions. Maintain the speed of your car below 30 km per hour, so that you can control your car when the tires blowout.

Where Can You Drive on Tires with Wire Showing?

You can drive on tires with the wires showing only on some roads. On highways it is usually a violation of Vehicle Safety Regulations. Most states in the USA have a minimum tread depth requirement. 

So if your tires are worn off enough that the wires are now exposed, it is most likely illegal for you to drive on public roads. However, if it is not illegal, you should pick a road where you can drive slowly and can stop immediately when necessary. 

How can I Inspect My Tires?:

Perform following checks at least once a year: 

  1. Check the tread depth of each tire
  2. Check your tire’s air pressure
  3. Check the age of your tire
  4. Check for damage to treads and the sidewall
  5. Look for uneven tread wear

Always maintain tire records. Keep track of age, depth, type, size and manufacturer of your tires for subsequent maintenance. 


Is It OK to Replace Just One Tire?

Yes, it is OK to replace just one tire of your car if other tires have adequate tire tread and show no significant damage. As a rule of thumb, if only one of your tires are bad, and the other tires have a tread depth of at least 4/32 inch, then it is okay to replace only one tire. Otherwise, change every tire with insufficient tire tread depth.

Is It Safe To Drive with a Plugged Tire?

Yes, it is safe to drive with a plugged tire, but only at speeds below the rated speed of the tire. People plug their tires all the time with insignificant negative consequences. But a plugged tire can rarely lead to a blowout if the plugging is done improperly.

Usually an improperly plugged tire only leads to air leaking out, which can be diagnosed easily. But having too many plugs on your tire can reduce structural integrity of your tire, leading to an eventual blowout.  

Is A Plugged Tire A Permanent Fix?

No, a plugged tire is not a permanent fix as the hole in the tire does not get completely closed up. The tire may continue to leak out air over time. But other than having to inflate the tire with air occasionally, a plugged tire is generally not of much concern.  


Now you know what to do when your tire wire is showing. If you can see wires protruding from your tires they are already badly worn out. That is it for today. Hope you do not drive for long with damaged tires as it can result in a road accident. Replace them as fast as possible.  All the best and goodbye!

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William Baldwin

This Is William Baldwin, The Founder & Managing Editor of this website. Me and my team share automotive tips, tricks, and news

Fact Checked And Mechanically Reviewed By


Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at Autoglobes.com with a passion for the automotive industry.