How to tell if a tire can be repaired

How to tell if a tire can be repaired


When your vehicle is out on the road, your tires are liable to run over all kinds of debris or suffer an impact with potholes or curbs. The tire(s) can suffer a puncture that could be immediately noticeable or cause a hard to detect a slow leak. Whether you immediately notice that your tire is losing air pressure or not, it may or may not be necessary to replace the damaged tire with a new one. The following are a few of the clues that you should use to determine whether you need to replace or repair your damaged tire. 

Location, Location, Location

The location of the tire puncture is very important when determining whether or not it can be repaired. Anytime there’s a puncture on the sidewall of your tire, it’s best to replace it. If you attempt to drive on a tire with a puncture in the sidewall, you are increasing the likelihood of experiencing a tire blowout. Sidewalls are under extreme pressure when in use, and a patch or plug will not be able to withstand the pressure. This should be a hard and fast rule, that any puncture on the sidewall of the tire will make the tire unsafe for use. 

More Than One Puncture

Some vehicle owners might say that tires with more than one puncture should be replaced. But that’s actually not always true. It’s more true that you need to replace any tire with a puncture that’s larger than a quarter inch. The patches and plugs are meant to seal a circular hole or puncture, not a lengthy gash. If you have two punctures, you can still repair the tire as long as they are at least 16 inches apart from each other. When they’re closer, they could compromise the integrity of the tire tread, and cause a tire blowout.

General Rules

As a general rule, you can look to repair a flat tire or tire puncture when it’s been pierced along the tread. When the tire puncture is along the sidewall or bordering the sidewall, you should start looking for a tire replacement. The first thing you should look for after you discover hole is where the puncture was made. It may be quite easy to spot if you removed a nail that you found still sticking out of the tire. Submerging the tire in water is one quick way to find out from where the air is leaking. First, find the location of the hole. Then, you decide whether tire repair is an option.  

Written by AMPM Automotive