Broken Belt In Tire: Don’t Ignore Its Causes And Symptoms

There are several factors that can cause a broken belt in tires, such as overloading the vehicle, hitting potholes or curbs, driving on poorly maintained roads, and the natural aging and wear of the tire. As a tire expert, pay attention to any uneven or bumpy ride experiences, including vibrations or unusual noises coming from the tires. By the end of your reading, you’ll be well-prepared to handle a broken tire belt situation.

What Is a Broken Belt in Tires?

A broken tire belt refers to a situation where this rubber-coated layer of fiberglass, rayon, and steel within a tire becomes damaged or compromised. A broken tire belt refers to a condition in which the tread of a tire separates from its inner air compartment.

This separation can lead to several consequences, including an uneven surface that may cause the vehicle to tilt to its side. Note that driving on a tire with a damaged tread poses significant hazards.

What Causes a Broken Belt in Tires?

Here is a breakdown of potential causes for a tire belt failure:

Broken Belt In Tire

Defective belts/Manufacturing issues 

Composed of durable steel cords, they provide essential support and structural strength. These steel cords are encapsulated by a layer of rubber known as the tread, ensuring a secure and long-lasting grip on the road surface.

There is an increased likelihood of encountering lower-quality steel being used in the belt manufacturing process. Using inferior steel compromises the structural integrity and durability of the belt. These subpar materials can weaken and fail under normal operating conditions, resulting in a broken tire belt.

Tread Separation

Tread separation occurs when the outer layer of a tire detaches from the underlying belts, compromising its ability to grip the road, as it causes the tires to slip and spin rather than maintaining traction with the road surface.

The consequences of tread separation are twofold: not only does it leave your tire bald, it also means that the vital layer responsible for providing friction against different terrains becomes detached.

Rough Roads And High Speeds

Constantly driving on rough roads with gravel or encountering potholes can weaken the tire belts over time. The repetitive impact from these rough surfaces gradually degrades the integrity of the tire. 

Improper Mounting

When a tire is not mounted correctly, there is a significant chance that it could detach from the rim while in use, leading to an explosive release of air pressure.

Broken Tire Belt Symptoms

Here are a few commonly observed symptoms of a broken tire belt:

Broken Belt In Tire

Steering Difficulty 

The outer tire belts play a significant role in providing stability and enabling smooth steering, ensuring you can navigate the road without much hassle. 

Vehicle may start tilting even though your steering remains straight. This misalignment can be confusing and concerning for drivers, as they may assume it’s related to a problem with the front end of their vehicle.


Metal weights are commonly used for their functions to prevent any wobbling or vibrating of the tires while they roll.  If the belt within your tire breaks, the wheels of your vehicle will lose their balance, resulting in vibrations during use.

Broken tire belt does not render your vehicle undrivable, it does have an impact on your driving experience. The steering wheel will most likely exhibit noticeable vibrations when in motion.

Sidewall Cracking 

The tire belt plays an important role in reinforcing the sidewall of a tire. This weakening makes the sidewall vulnerable to various issues, such as cracking or separation.

The weakened sidewall can develop visible cracks or even separate from the rest of the tire. These cracks may initially appear insignificant but can gradually worsen and compromise the overall integrity of the tire.

Tread Issues

You may encounter with your treads is uneven wear caused by a broken tire belt. This can result in an odd shape or pattern on the surface of the tire, leading to compromised traction and handling. To identify such problems, perform a visual inspection by carefully examining the tread area.

These signs should be addressed promptly to prevent further damage or potential accidents on the road.

Thumping Noise

Unlike the serene silence of a Tesla, the evident symptom of a broken tire belt manifests in the form of noise generation. This issue becomes apparent through the distinct thumping sound that resonates throughout your journey.

The noise produced by a vehicle tends to amplify at slower speeds due to the lack of wind or engine sounds commonly associated with higher velocities. This amplification is attributed to the occurrence of a distinct thumping noise, which occurs when a belt within the vehicle’s internal components becomes damaged.

How Long Can You Drive on a Broken Tire Belt?

Not recommended to drive for more than a few miles on such a damaged component. The tire belt providing shape and stability to the tire and is composed of robust materials like steel or fiberglass. It is situated between the tread and casing of the tire.

Driving on a broken tire belt increases the chances of a complete blowout occurring, which can be extremely dangerous, especially at high speeds or on busy highways. Continuing to drive on a broken tire belt puts extra strain on other components of your vehicle’s suspension system.

Can You Fix a Broken Belt in Tires?

Repair a damaged tire belt can have unforeseen consequences and ultimately lead to future complications. The tire belt helps to maintain the structural integrity of the tire, ensuring its proper functionality.

Need to replace your tires, practicing proper maintenance can significantly extend their lifespan, properly care for your tires will ultimately save you from encountering various troubles down the line.

You can also find How to Reset Tire Pressure Light: A Step-by-Step Guide in this post.


Causes of a broken belt in tire can range from manufacturing defects to road hazards and improper maintenance. Be aware of symptoms such as vibrations, uneven tire wear, and bulges or bubbles on the tire surface. Ignoring these signs can lead to further damage and even accidents on the road. 

Regularly inspect your tires for any abnormalities and seek professional help if you suspect a broken belt. Ignoring these signs can lead to further damage and even accidents on the road. Tire maintenance and addressing issues promptly can ensure a safer driving experience for you and others on the road.


Can a loose belt cause a misfire?

Yes, a loose belt can potentially cause a misfire in your vehicle. It is likely due to a worn-out belt. This can have an impact on the engine’s timing and potentially lead to misfiring. If the belt is loose or worn, it may slip, causing the cylinders to open and close prematurely.

How does a car sound when the belt is loose?

It may produce a range of noises, such as squeaks, squeals, chirps, and clunks. These sounds can mimic issues with engine-driven accessories or bearings, which can be misleading even for experienced mechanics. Squeals and chirps are the most frequently encountered serpentine belt noises and typically indicate distinct underlying problems.

What are the three belts in a car?

Cars are equipped with 1-3 drive belts, including the serpentine belt, V-belt, and timing belt. It is crucial to grasp the significance of each drive belt in order to identify any potential issues with its functionality.