How to Repair a Punctured Tire
What Punctures Tires?
Let’s start with the obvious: Nails. They can really do some damage. Hit a nail that’s bent and it can cause a serious puncture.
Screws can put a hole in a tire and plug it at the same time. As you drive, the tire rotates, which makes the hole bigger, potentially causing a blowout. Removing a screw, however can create a leak.
Sharp rocks can be dangerous, too. You can help protect against them with tires made for all kinds of terrain and off-road conditions. Broken glass and construction debris like metal sheets and pieces of steel or wood can also be damaging to tires.
Signs to Tell if You Have a Punctured Tire and Have Lost Air Pressure
- Your vehicle’s TPMS is the first indicator that your air pressure is low.
- Your steering wheel starts shuddering or your car feels wobbly.
- Your car is suddenly hard to steer. It probably means you have a slow leak in a tire.
- Your car starts steering to the left or right or feels like it’s being pulled one way or another.
- Your car swerves severely to the left or right. It usually means you’re driving at a high rate of speed and have a blowout.
- You might hear a noise caused by the object as the tire rotates.
How to Fix a Punctured Car Tire
As long as your puncture is within the center of the tread area, you should be able to fix the hole. First, the hole must be filled; then, the tires should be patched from the inside. In case of a tire puncture, make sure to always have a professional repair it for you to ensure safety.
Professional Tire Repair
If you decide to take your tire to a professional, you’ll benefit from a service that most consumers can’t perform. A professional tire dealer will, in most cases, remove the tire from the rim, fill the injury and add an interior patch that will cover the surface around the hole from the inside of the tire. This provides a second layer of protection in preventing air from escaping.
How to Handle a Punctured Tire
Make sure you always have a spare tire so you can remove the damaged tire. If you don’t have a spare, stop driving – your damaged tire will only get worse. It’s best to call a tire service to have it repaired or replaced.
Can You Repair a Tire Sidewall?
A punctured tread doesn’t always mean a tire has to be replaced. But puncture a tire’s sidewall and you’ll have to take that tire out of service. Tires have cords that run all around the tread, but they aren’t on the sidewall, which leaves it unprotected. The hole can’t be plugged and a patch won’t hold. So it’s time for a replacement.
If you do need a new tire, check out our article: “Original Equipment Tires vs. Replacement Tires” for more information.