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Should You Repair Your Damaged Tire?

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One of the worst feelings that you can get when driving down the road is a flat tire. When this happens, you switch the flat tire out with the spare and often wonder whether the tire is done for or if it can be repaired. Some tires can be repaired, while others will simply need to be replaced. Here is what you need to know about repaired or replacing your damaged tire.

When to Repair or Replace

There are certain situations when you should get your tire repaired, and there are certain situations when you should get your tire replaced. Here is a look at those situations:

  • If your tire has been punctured by a nail, screw, or another sharp object, it is possible for the tire to be repaired; however, this is only if the puncture is within the thread and doesn't measure over one-quarter of an inch in diameter.
  • If your tire has been punctured in the shoulder or sidewall of the tire, then the tire needs to be replaced with a brand-new tire.
  • If your tire has been punctured in more than one area, it is possible to get the tire repaired as long as the punctures are roughly 16 inches apart.
  • If your tire has serious tread separation or big cuts—possibly from a crash—it should not be repaired and should be replaced instead.

Tempting Quick Fixes That Shouldn't Be Used for the Long-Term

When you have a flat or otherwise damaged tire, it is very tempting to perform a quick, temporary fix so that you can be back on the road again with your regular tire as opposed to a spare tire—or maybe you don't even have a spare tire! However, it is important to understand that these quick fixes are exactly that; they only to be used in emergency situations and for the short-term. Here are two of them.

Sealants/Emergency Inflators – These types of quick fixes are often a mixed blessing. They will often help you get your vehicle to a tire services center, but you shouldn't count your eggs before they hatch, as they won't get you too far. So, make sure that a tire dealer is nearby.

Plugs/Patches – These types of quick fixes are not meant for the long-term, regardless of how many people use them for such. A plug does not provide a permanent seal, and a patch is unable to cover a hole in a tire completely. Therefore, plugging or patching a tire is never a sufficient fix.  

For more information, contact a tire shop, such as East Bay Tire Co.