When Can a Tire Be Repaired Instead of Replaced?

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You’ll save money anytime you can repair a tire instead of replacing it, but here’s the caveat: In some cases, it might not save you money in the end. It’s better to have an expert assess tire damage, even if you just ran over a nail. If you take chances, the tire could blow out and/or damage your suspension. Can a tire be repaired instead of replaced? AutoFix says yes it can under the following circumstances.

When You Can Repair a Tire

Tire punctures can often be repaired but there are limitations. If the puncture is greater than 1/4-of-an-inch in diameter, it’s better and safer to replace the tire. The most common cause of tire punctures is nails, and if the nail is small enough, it might not even penetrate the tire tread. Large nails, such as roofing nails, however, can cause enough damage to warrant replacing the tire, and if the nail or other road debris punctures the sidewall or tire shoulder, you have to replace it.

Perhaps your neighbor is getting a new roof and he hired an irresponsible contractor for the job. As a result, you didn’t just pick up one nail; you picked up several nails. Multiple punctures must be 16 inches apart or more in order to repair the tire. If they are closer together, you’ll have to replace the tire and, as mentioned above, if the puncture wounds are too big, you’ll have to replace the tire. You will also have to replace a severely damaged tire such as one with cuts or separation.

What About Tire Fixes?

Yes, if you walk into any automotive supply store you’ll see plenty of instant “tire fix-its” in cans. These are only meant to be temporary fixes and those fixes should only be utilized for as long as it takes to drive your vehicle to the auto shop. Emergency inflators or sealants are not a long-term solution. They are not capable of repairing anything other than a small hole and they do not stand up to cold weather. They also interfere with the system that monitors your tire pressure.

Patches or plugs are not long-term solutions either. Neither permanently seal the tire damage, which can lead to slow leaks and further trouble. Again, these short-term fixes are meant to get you to a qualified auto shop quickly for proper tire repair or replacement, so don’t take chances. If you have a tire issue, call AutoFix or drive into our Franklin, TN, shop.