We have all been there. You park somewhere only to return and find one of your tires is flat; you've picked up a nail on the road. You're hoping you can just have it patched and be on your way. That beats the cost of replacing the tire, but will that patch hold up for the long haul?
The key is where the tire has been punctured and how big the hole is. First, tires can be punctured by more than just nails. Sometimes you can put a hole in a tire when you hit a curb, pothole, or road debris.
Holes larger than 1/4 of an inch or 6mm, cannot be safely repaired. The next factor is where the puncture is. If it's in the tread blocks, that's good. But if the hole is on the sidewall or shoulder of the tire, then it is time to replace the tire. Here's why.
Sidewalls flex on a tire when you drive. The strain from that flexing eventually can cause a repair to loosen up. A weak spot in the sidewall will be more prone to a blowout.
The same goes for the tire shoulder (that is the part between the sidewall and the tread, usually rounded). And that curved design is a tough place to get a patch to hold.
Some punctures aren't simply holes; they can result from gashes or cuts. When whatever damaged the tire causes a gash or cut, it possibly also cut the cords that strengthen the tire. If you have a sizable cut or gash in your tire, it should be replaced.
Ask one of our techs here at Chickasaw Garage what the best course of action is when you have tire damage. On front wheel drive and rear wheel drive vehicles, tires should be replaced in pairs, with the new tires on the rear axle. Four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles should have all four tires replaced. Tires with mis matched sizes can cause expensive differential and transfer case damage.
Count on us for your tire repair and replacement needs.
Chickasaw Garage Inc.