Patching a Tire: Is This a Good Idea?

Tire issues are all too common during the summer. This is especially true with respect to blowouts. Punctures and lacerations are another issue. In these instances, you might wonder which is a better idea, patching a tire or replacing it entirely (no pun intended).

Driving with a Punctured Tire

You should pull over the minute you suspect you have a punctured or flat tire. If you can’t put on your spare, arrange for a tow to an auto service shop. Continuing to drive with a flat tire can damage the tire’s outboard and inboard sidewalls. If the sidewalls are damaged, then patching is won’t do any good; you will need to replace the tire.

Can You Patch the Tire?

Is the damage a cut or puncture? With the former, you will need to replace the tire unless the cut is less than ¼-inch in diameter. Cuts are more serious than a puncture because cuts damage the tire’s steel cords, which gives them their strength. Patching a tire in this instance would stop the air leak but would not restore the tire’s strength.

With a puncture, though, you may be able to plug the hole. As with a cut, the opening should not exceed ¼-inch.

Location of Damage

The damage’s location matters just as much as the damage’s size. Regardless of size, if the damage is on the sidewall, then patching is out of the question. The sidewall flexes when the tire is in motion. The flexing may cause the patch to loosen. The same applies if the damage is on the tire’s shoulder.

We Check Tires on all Car Models

We inspect tires and perform services for other car components, such as differentials and CV axles. If you suspect tire damage, bring your car to Chuck’s Auto Repair for an inspection. Do not continue to drive even for short distances. Depending on the nature of damage, we may be able to patch the tire.

Tire Inspection, Patching, and Replacement

Serving motorists in the Greater Seattle area

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