Broken Belt In Tire (Causes, What To Do, Is It Safe + More)

Each tire comes with a belt consisting of a series of steel cords that give it the rigidity it needs to handle the vehicle’s weight.

If this belt breaks, it could turn into a disaster. Therefore, if you’re curious about how to deal with a broken belt, keep reading to learn more on this topic!

Broken Belt In Tire

Tires come with a belt made of steel cords that helps in providing a supporting structure for the whole unit, and helps the tread stay flat along the road surface. If it breaks, the whole tire becomes compromised, so you should address it immediately. However, keep in mind that a tire belt is different from a drive belt.

For more on broken belts in tires, including its causes, symptoms, fixes, whether it’s safe to drive with and more, keep reading for more useful information!

What Are The Causes Of Broken Belts In Tires?

A tire’s belt usually fails due to manufacturing defects because the tire company usually outsources them so they don’t have the control they do over other parts.

Tread separation is also a major cause of broken tire belts, and it occurs when the tread breaks away from the rest of the tire and leaves it bald.

Rather, it’s likely in tires whose rubber wasn’t cured properly, and this happens when impurities are introduced during this stage of the tire manufacturing process.

Reckless driving or driving under harsh conditions could also break your tire’s belt.

Your tires take on the brunt of the shocks when you drive, so if you’re constantly driving on rough terrain at high speeds, they’ll take more of a beating and the belts will grow weaker and weaker over time until they eventually break.

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How Can You Tell If A Tire Has A Broken Belt?

How Can You Tell If A Tire Has A Broken Belt?

If you feel your ride is different and you suspect the tires are the culprit, you should listen closely for the noise that lets you know if the belt is broken, and if you hear a loud squealing sound when driving fast, this could be the issue.

Apart from a squealing sound, you should also listen for a rumbling sound when driving, as this could also point towards a defective belt.

You can also take a look at the tires to see if they still have their round shape and, if they look different or misshapen, it could be a sign of a broken belt.

As stated above, the belt plays a significant role in providing support for the tire, and if it breaks, the tire’s rigidity could also suffer.

Inspect each tire’s tread for bumps because if the belt breaks a certain way, it could cause a protrusion on the surface of the tread.

You should check for this closely because this protrusion is where the cords are likely to break through the tire, and this could cause you to lose control when driving, resulting in a serious accident.

Pay close attention to the feedback you get from the vehicle while driving to let you know if the tires are functioning as intended, because vibrations in different areas of the car, especially the steering wheel, could be the sign that your tire has a broken belt.

Also, if it feels like you’re driving over bumps and potholes when you’re moving at both high and low speeds, this could also be a sign.

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Additionally, if your car makes any unusual movements such as bouncing or your steering wheel moves back and forth, you should check for broken belts.

What Does A Broken Belt Sound Like?

As we’ve established above, a broken belt will produce a loud squealing sound, a rumbling noise or both while driving.

What Happens If A Tire Belt Breaks?

What Happens If A Tire Belt Breaks?

If a tire belt breaks, it will start by affecting how your tires look.

They could become misshapen, lose their roundness, or have bumps on the tread, shoulder or sidewall. Their belts could also manage to penetrate the rubber and stick out of the tire.

Aside from affecting how the tire looks, the issue could also have a significant impact on your ride.

For example, you could start hearing sounds while driving, such as rumbles and squeals, and your ride will get rougher overall, with shakes and vibrations in the chassis and steering wheel.

If left unaddressed, the defective tire could explode when driving, causing you to lose control and possibly end up in an accident.

Is It Safe To Drive On A Tire With A Broken Belt?

As stated above, a tire with a broken belt is an accident waiting to happen, so you shouldn’t let the situation progress as soon as you notice it, and due to the nature of this issue, repairs aren’t possible.

Tire repairs usually involve sealing up a puncture in the tread, but the belt is made up of a series of coils on the inside that would be harder to get to than the rubber surface, so repairs would be almost impossible.

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Moreover, you can’t tell the extent of the damage to the tires, because even if a section of them is poking out, there could be more damage that has remained on the inside and will only grow worse with time.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Broken Belt?

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Broken Belt?

Your only available course of action when a tire belt is broken is to replace the whole tire, ideally with a brand new one.

Entry level tires cost between $50 and $150 per tire, medium grade tires cost between $100 and $300 each, while high end tires go for between $300 to $1,000.

To learn more about tires, you can also see our posts on tires damaged from hitting a curb, if you can patch the sidewall of a tire, and tires noisy after rotation.


A broken tire belt is one of the most serious ways your tire can fail, and you need to address it as soon as you notice it. A broken belt is usually the result of defective manufacturing, but it can also result from poor driving practices, overworking the tire, tire wear and more.

To detect the break, listen for unusual sounds such as rumbling or loud squeaking from your tires while driving.If there aren’t any steel cords showing yet, you should inspect the tire for changes in shape and bumps on the rubber surface.

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