A damaged tire can be fixed with a patch. Some might not know this but tire patching is liable to regulations. Therefore, inaccurate tire patching might invalidate your car insurance in case of an accident. Due to avoid this, the location of the damage can be one of the biggest decision-makers in repairability. Especially, the distance to the sidewall. But, how close to the sidewall can be tire patched? Let’s see!
If you’d like to read technical articles –> https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0307904X05002507
In summary, any damage that occurs on the center section of the tire can be patched. That means the entire length from shoulder to shoulder can be patched.
The reason behind this is simple. Even though the tires look like only contain rubber, they comprise steel and nylon as well as rubber. These materials are playing a huge role regarding keep tires’ integrity. Yet, due to their stiff textures, they create stress during wheeling. The stress mostly gathers on the shoulders and sidewalls. For this reason, any damage that occurs on the shoulder or sidewall can’t be patched or plugged.
How to Define Tire Sections?
Tires sections might seem so easy to separate at first blush. This’s okay for superficial classifications. Yet, when it comes to tire patching, identifying tire sections properly can save you from unnecessary tire replacement costs.
The tire contains 4 different sections,
- Tread Center
The Tread center is where most of the grip and the traction are provided. The tread center is easy to identify,
- View tire from above
- Find the first vertical groove from each side
- The tread is the area that stays between two grooves
If any damage occurs on the tread, you can confidently fix it. Though worth reminding, if you have a puncture on the groove, don’t try to fix it on your own and let professionals do it for you.
The tire shoulder is the area of the tire between the tread center and the tire sidewall. The tire shoulder may look different or may look like the tread center. While off-road tires mostly have a similar shoulder with their tread center, the other segments have different designs from the tread center.
The Tread center and sidewalls are protected and supported by the shoulder. In fact, this is also one of the reasons why tire shoulders can’t be patched. The patched tire shoulder generally loses its stiffness. Since these sections absorb the most lateral force, it’s extremely dangerous the weaken these parts.
Note: You may think that this little decay doesn’t change anything. Yet, tires are very sensitive technology products in terms of load distribution. While 2-3 psi inflation pressure can cause irregular wear, don’t try to underestimate little plugs or patches that can ruin all load distribution.
Tire sidewalls are the portion between the shoulder and the bead. When you leave your wheel at the starting position and look at your vehicle from the side, the portion you see is a sidewall.
The simplest task of the sidewalls is to maintain the shape of the tire. Though, depending on the tire segment, sidewalls can enhance load capacity. Moreover, they might have protection tasks depending on the ply rate of the sidewall.
Such as off-road tires. Although these tires have thick sidewalls, they also have sidewall protectors as an extra.
The very latest task of the sidewall possesses information about tires. DOT number, size, speed index, load index, or the place of manufacturing. Any information can be found on the tire if you know how to read it.
If you’d like to learn how to read tire size –> https://tireterrain.com/how-to-read-tire-size/
No matter what type of damage you have, bubble, puncture, or anything else, sidewall damage isn’t repairable.
The only situation that might not need a repair is sidewall cracking. Some cracks can even be repaired. However, this fix is purely visual. If the crack has progressed deeper, the operation is meaningless. Therefore, I personally recommend that if you see cracks in your sidewalls, you should consult a professional and have your tire replaced as soon as possible.
If you’d like to know more about sidewall cracking and repair –> https://simpletire.com/learn/tire-maintenance-safety/cracked-tires
The bead is the reinforced part of the tire that sits on the rim.
It works as a seal between the tire and the rim and restrains air leaking.
Bead damage doesn’t see so often. Yet, if the damage really occurs on the bead, the tire should be replaced.
However, bead issues are generally caused by rim bending. Hence, rearranging the rim place can fix the problem.
The bead issue could be vital. Please, do not underestimate them. A slow leak rapidly turns into a vent hole and causes a crucial accident.
If you’d like to learn more — > https://simpletire.com/learn/tire-maintenance-safety/tire-bead
The tread center is the only portion that is repairable on the tire. If you have any damage on the sidewall, shoulder, or bead, you should replace your tire.
Still, the inner part of the shoulder sometimes can be repairable. In this case, the limit is 1/2”. So, you can add 1/2” to each side of the tread center and find the exact location of the repairable area.
- Puncture greater than 1/4” inch can’t be repaired
- If any damage occurs on the previously repaired area, the tire can’t be repaired
- Tire patching isn’t a trustworthy repair. The punctured area should be filled with a plug first and strengthened with a patch
- Run-flat tires aren’t recommended to repair
- If you have 2/32” or less tread, you should replace your tire
I hope the article was helpful. If you have any further questions, please leave them in the below section. If you want me to decide whether your tire is repairable or not, you can leave the photo links in the comment section.
This is your money or your life situation. Taking a risk in these kinds of situations isn’t make sense. Please, stay on the safe side folks. Have a safe ride!