Cords Showing on Tires | How Long To Drive & How To Fix?

Many drivers have experienced the cords showing on tires, and it’s important to understand both how long you can safely drive with this issue and how to fix it. As a tire enthusiast, today I’m gonna show you why this process happens, what risks it poses, and provide expert advice on effectively addressing the problem. So get ready!

Cords Showing on Tires

What Is The Wire Called In A Tire?

The tire wire, also called the wire cord, is a layer of steel wires woven together under the tread to make the belt. It adds stiffness and stability to the tire structure and helps improve traction on the road, especially during turns or sudden moves, making driving safer.

Steel wires used in tires are chosen for their durability and resistance to corrosion. They are carefully woven to create a strong pattern within the tire’s layers, making it able to withstand external forces and keep its shape even under heavy loads.

What Do Cords Showing On Tires Mean? (Signs of Tire Showing Wire )

Cords Showing on Tires

If you see wires on your tire, it means the tire is very worn out. This is called cords showing on tires and it’s dangerous. When the treads are so worn that the inner cords show, the tire is not safe to drive on and might be illegal in some states. Wires showing on tires make it harder for the tires to grip the road, which can lead to accidents, especially in bad weather or when you need to make quick turns.

Driving with exposed cords also makes the tire more likely to get punctures or blowouts. It can also damage other parts of your car, like the suspension system.

What Causes Cords To Show On Tires?

Tire wear-out is the primary factor that can lead to cords showing on your tires, which can ultimately result in a dangerous situation.

Cords Showing on Tires

Improper Tire Alignment

Incorrectly installed tires can cause improper alignment, leading to premature wear and tear. It’s important to fix this problem right away. This can negatively affect your vehicle’s performance and safety. When tires are misaligned, they work against each other instead of together, causing uneven weight distribution and pressure. This leads to faster wear and tear and puts unnecessary strain on certain parts of the tire, causing them to deteriorate more quickly.

Improper alignment can also expose tire wires, which are important for the tire’s structure and stability while driving. This poses a serious safety risk as it affects the tire’s overall function.

Driving On Bad Roads

Rough roads can damage your tires and make them wear out faster. If your tires are not good for the road, they can wear out even more. When your tires start to show the cords through the rubber, it means they are very worn out.

It’s important to have good tires when you drive on challenging roads. Potholes, gravel, and uneven ground can all make your tires wear out faster. Driving on these rough roads can make the rubber surface of the tires lose tread and get chunky.

Low Tire Pressure

Low tire pressure can make tires wear out faster, but other things can also cause this. One of these is when the wheels are not aligned properly, which can make the weight on the tires uneven and put extra pressure on certain areas.

If you put too much weight in your vehicle, it can also make the tires wear out faster. This makes the tires get hot, which can make them weaker and more likely to get punctures or blowouts. Low tire pressure can also make the sides of the tires weaker and more likely to get damaged.

How To Fix A Tire With Wire Showing

Cords Showing on Tires

Attempting to fix a tire in this condition is not only challenging but also potentially futile. Unlike cases of uneven tread wear, which can be resolved through machine buffing, wire protrusion requires a different approach.

More than simply patching or repairing the damaged area is required. The only proper and safe fix is to replace the entire tire. It is important to understand that if one tire shows signs of wire visibility, the others may be in a similarly compromised condition.

How Long Will A Tire Last With Wire Showing?

Generally, tires with exposed wires are likely to last up to an average range of 87-94 miles. It’s important to note that this distance is not absolute and cannot guarantee your safety during that timeframe. So, replacing a tire with a visible wire showing is highly recommended to ensure a much longer warranty period. 

It is essential to prevent your tires from deteriorating to a point where they jeopardize your life. As we mentioned earlier, the wires within your tires provide reinforcement, protecting against potential damage. If these wires become visible, it indicates that your tire is nearly condemned.

How Dangerous Is It To Drive On A Tire With The Wire Showing?

When the wires become visible, it indicates that the tire’s tread has worn down beyond its safe limit. This significant wear means that the tire is no longer capable of providing proper traction and control on the road.

One of the immediate risks associated with driving on a tire with exposed wires is a loss in tire pressure. As the air begins to escape, your ability to maintain control over the vehicle becomes compromised. The reduction in pressure causes an increase in surface area contact between the tire and the road, leading to heightened friction.

tire showing wire

When wires start protruding from your tire while on the road, it serves as a red flag, indicating an urgent need for action. Your first instinct should be to safely maneuver your vehicle off the road as soon as possible. Continuing to drive on this compromised tire can increase the chances of it failing, which may result in an accident or further damage to your vehicle.

To address this issue promptly, you have two options.

  • Replacing the damaged tire with a spare (if available). 
  • Heading to the nearest auto shop. 

Driving on a tire with exposed wires for an extended period is akin to playing a dangerous game of chance, as you never know when it might reach its breaking point.

Wrap Up

Taking care of your tires through proper maintenance and regular inspection can save you from various troubles down the road. When it comes to your tires’ integrity and safety never underestimate the importance of addressing any issues just like cords showing on tires – especially when encountering wire showing. Remember, putting off necessary repairs compromises not only your safety but also that of everyone else sharing the roads with you.


What is a cord separation on a tire?

Tire cord separation happens when the cords under the tire tread start to come apart. These cords give strength and stability to the tire. If they separate, the tread can come off, which can be dangerous when driving, especially at high speeds.

Do all tires have wires?

Not all tires have wires. The presence of wires in a tire depends on the manufacturer and the specific type of tire. While many tires use steel wires as part of the construction, other materials, such as a carbon-kevlar weave, can be used to form the central belt. In some 

Can you drive on a separate tire?

Driving on a separate tire is not recommended as it poses significant risks to both the driver and other road users. While it may be physically possible to drive a short distance on a separated tire, there is a high chance of losing control of the vehicle if it blows out completely.