It’s early in the morning, and you are walking out the door to head to work. As you walk up to your car, you notice your tire is flat. “I just bought these tires two months ago,” you think. Unfortunately, no matter how new your tires are, they are always susceptible to being damaged by nails or other debris in the road. Can it be replaced, or will you have to buy a new tire?
The ability to repair the damaged tire instead of replacing it will depend on how large the puncture is, where the puncture is located and how quickly you spotted the damage. Sure, repairing the tire is the most cost-effective option but not at the expense of you and your passengers’ safety. Before deciding to repair your tire versus buying a new one, you’ll want to ensure your tire is a good candidate for a repair.
The first factor when deciding if your tire can be replaced will be how long you drove on the tire before noticing and responding to the puncture. Driving for any period of time on a low or flat tire can severely damage the tire’s sidewalls causing hidden damage within the tire. The tire will need to be thoroughly inspected by completely dismounting it before attempting any repair.
Another factor will be the size, location and type of puncture to the tire. Industry guidelines typically allow punctures up to ¼” in diameter to safely be repaired, based on the location of the damage. Any puncture on the sidewall or shoulder of the tire cannot be repaired no matter the size. If the puncture is irregular, long and straight, or larger than ¼” in diameter, the tire is not a candidate for repair. Long cuts can mean the tire’s belts have been damaged, resulting in reduced durability of your tire.
We recommend taking your tire to a professional and not attempting a repair yourself. They will be able to properly inspect your tire and repair it to ensure the tire is returned to its pre-damage condition. We know a flat tire can be an inconvenience, and replacing the tire can be an expensive cost. However, safety is the highest priority. Your tires are the only part of your vehicle that comes in direct contact with the road, so it’s extremely important to keep them in proper working condition.