Is It Possible to Repair a Flat Tire?

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Your tire pressure monitoring light comes on. Before you have a chance to even process what that means, you hear the dreaded flap-flap-flap and your car feels like it has an anchor attached to the back. You limp it off the road and into a parking lot, and call the tow truck.

It’s a flat tire.

Can the mechanic fix it on the spot, or will he put the spare tire on? Or, worse yet, will you have to get towed to the mechanic? Will your tire be repairable or will you have to buy one or more new tires? Hopefully it can be patched.

Repairing a flat tire

Yes, it is possible to repair a flat tire most of the time. Almost all flat tires are caused by punctures by nails or screws, or objects less than ¼ inch in diameter. That’s a good thing, since tire repair procedures recommend you don’t repair a flat tire with a hole larger than ¼ inch, and instead replace the tire.

Should your tire be punctured in the tread, it will likely be repairable. On the other hand, if the puncture is on the shoulder of the tire or in the sidewall, it is not recommended that it be repaired, but should instead be replaced. The shoulder and the sidewall are constantly flexing while driving, and an attempt to seal the hole will let loose shortly after driving.

How should my tire be repaired?

There is only one correct way to repair a steel-belted radial, which virtually all modern tires are. That method is a combination patch and plug. The plug is pushed through the hole from the inside of the tire, and the attached patch is sealed overtop of the entry point.

Any other type of repair is improper, including a patch from the inside or simply a plug pushed through the puncture. A rule of thumb is if the tire isn’t removed from the rim to be repaired, it is not an approved repair.

Steel-belted radials nearly encompass all modern tires. If your steel-belted tire has been punctured, it needs to be repaired as soon as possible to prevent deterioration. If water enters the steel belts, they can corrode or rust, causing tire failure down the road.


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Pardeep

20 years of experience
652 reviews
Pardeep
20 years of experience
Ford Fusion - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Fremont, California
Again 5 star service. And already scheduling him for my next appointment. Highly recommend Pardeep for your car needs.
Chevrolet Camaro - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Jose, California
Great knowledgeable mechanic and fast great work. I will use Pardeep and your services again. Thank you

Theodore

15 years of experience
1137 reviews
Theodore
15 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Everett, Washington
Theodore arrived on time, he did a great job replacing my brakes on my Camry, I will definitely work with him again.
Subaru Outback - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Renton, Washington
We have had previous work done by Theodore. Really appreciate his thoroughness and professionalism!

Matthew

32 years of experience
734 reviews
Matthew
32 years of experience
Jeep Wrangler - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Yorktown, Virginia
We've been using Your Mechanic services for a few years, for a few reasons. The convenience of having an expert mechanic "on-call," the great pricing and transparency for services (saving 10% - 25% at times), most of all Matt is our go-to guy who is highly qualified, knowledgeable in the work and knows how to explain it to us in detail.
Ford F-150 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Newport News, Virginia
Matt's technical knowledge of his profession is incredible! He is prompt, thorough, friendly, professional, engaging, and completes the job to 100% perfection! Thank you, Matt for the most outstanding auto repair service in all my many years!!!

Jason

31 years of experience
162 reviews
Jason
31 years of experience
Nissan Altima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Mateo, California
Jason was very professional and friendly. He provided extremely honest and helpful advice on issues with my Altima that would require proactive future maintenance.

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