When it comes to tire repair, safety should be a priority. But how do you know when it is possible to repair a flat tire or when it is damaged beyond repair?

Flat tires and tire damage can be frustrating and inconvenient. Most people would prefer to have their tires repaired rather than purchasing new ones. However, it’s important to understand that certain repairs cannot be legally performed.

Following regulations and guidelines is crucial in maintaining safety standards during tire repairs. There are a few common issues you may encounter that cannot be repaired. These include situations where the tread depth is lower than the legal limit of 1.6 mm, compromising the structural integrity of the tire and resulting in run-flat damage. Additionally, if the rubber is cracked, worn, or deteriorated, or if there is any damage caused by an external object, repairs may not be possible. If the cords of the tire are exposed or if there are indications of faulty repairs made in the past, it is best to recommend a new tire instead.

In addition to these considerations, the location of the puncture plays a significant role in determining if a repair is feasible. According to industry standards, tire repairs should be limited to the central three-quarters of the tread, known as the “minor repair area”. Punctures larger than or equal to 6 mm (about ¼ inch) in diameter cannot be repaired, and in such cases, you will need to purchase a new tire.

It is important to note that sidewall punctures are off-limits for repairs. This is because the sidewall of a tire undergoes significant stress while the vehicle is in motion. Attempting to repair the sidewall could compromise the structural integrity of the tire and pose a safety risk. The sidewall experiences the most flex within the tire, so any repair patch applied will only be temporary until the tire fails again.

If you have a flat tire, it is crucial to avoid driving on it if possible. Proper inflation pressure is vital for maintaining the tire’s shape while driving. When pressure is lost, the sidewall can become pinched between the wheel and the road, resulting in damage that extends beyond just the tire.

While it is generally best to repair tires whenever possible to provide cost-effective solutions, some regulations and guidelines must be followed. It is important to prioritize safety and to purchase new tires or sets when damage exceeds repair limits.

For more information, check out the video above from our friends at Tire Review.

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