Getting a flat tire is never fun, but it’s something that everyone has to deal with occasionally. It can often be difficult to know whether you should try and opt for a tire repair in order to save money or if you’ll need to replace the tire. While repairing can be a good choice in some situations, there can be some safety concerns to keep in mind.
One of the most common reasons a tire can go flat is that is has been punctured by something. If you’ve run over something sharp, chances are its left behind a pesky leak for you to deal with. The good news is that punctured tires can often be repaired.
A few things to keep in mind when examining a punctured tire are the location of the puncture and its size. If the puncture is on the tread there’s a good chance that a tire repair would work well. Unfortunately, holes in the side of the tire may be harder to deal with. If the hole is large, then replacement may be a better idea than repairing it. A general rule of thumb can be that if the puncture is under a fourth of an inch across then it can probably be fixed, but if it is bigger, it should be replaced.
Splits and Tears
Sometimes a flat can be the result of a more serious problem than a small puncture. Splits and tears in the tire can occur because of bad driving conditions or an accident. If a tear is present, tire repair is usually not an option. The extent of damage that occurs when a tire is split or torn can mean that a repair probably wouldn’t hold up, and it can be much safer to opt for a new tire.
If your tire went flat while you were on the road, then chances are it took some additional damage to whatever was originally wrong with it. Something to keep an eye out for is scuffing along portions of the tire that don’t normally come into contact with the road. This can happen when you drive on a tire that is low on air, and it may be a signal of more serious damage within the tire.
Using a tire sealant to reflate a tire can be a good remedy in a tight situation. While it can be a good temporary tire repair, this option shouldn’t be overly relied on as it probably won’t solve the problem for very long. Patches are another option that you shouldn’t depend on as a permanent fix but that can be good enough to get you to a tire store.
If you decide that a tire repair is a reasonable option, then you should go to a professional to get the job done. Trying to repair the tire yourself can be difficult and the results may not be the best. Hopefully, the tire technician you go to will be able to fix it, but it can also be possible that they will recommend a replacement as the best option.
Final Things to Keep in Mind
Tires are a vital part of your safety while driving, and while spending the money to get a new tire is never anyone’s favorite option, sometimes it can be worth it in order to ensure that you have a tire that works well. It can be a good idea to price shop when looking into a tire repair or replacement in order to find a good deal. Getting a professional opinion as to whether the tire should be repaired or replaced can be a good way to know that you are making the right choice.