Got a Flat? Repair or Replace?

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Got a Flat? Repair or Replace?

No one likes a flat. Especially since they always seem to happen at the most inconvenient times! But how do you know if you should just get it repaired or replaced?

What Caused the Flat?

You’ll need to do a visual inspection of your tire. Check the tire treads, sidewall, and the tire bead along the edge of the rim for any visible punctures, cracks, or embedded debris, like nails or broken glass. Also, if there is a defect in the wheel that may have caused your flat. So it’s important to keep an eye on the wheels for the life of your vehicle.

If you can’t find any visible leak, check your valve stem. If this part of the tire is damaged or leaking, it can cause a flat. Still can’t find the leak? Try the soapy water test:

  • Mix dish soap with water in a spray bottle.
  • Spray the entire tire from the treads, sidewalls, tire bead and valve stem.
  • Check to see where bubbles appear, and you’ll have found the leak.

When was the last time you checked your tire pressure? Weather can adversely affect the internal pressure of your tires, especially in sudden cold or heat waves. Cold can deflate your tires, but when the temperatures rise, the air in your tires will expand, which can increase your chances of a leak.

If you still can’t determine the cause, it’s definitely time to take it to a trusted auto repair shop, as many leaks are only visible once the tire is off your vehicle.

Repair or Replace?

Repairs: Minor damage, like punctures and splits, can be repaired by plugs and patches, as long as the damage does not exceed ¼” in length. Plugs work from the outside of the tire, and patches are applied on the inside. Sometimes the best option is a plug patch, which will cover your tire from both sides.

Replacement: However, if your tire is cracked or the sidewall is split, this cannot be safely repaired, and the tire needs to be replaced.

Not sure what you need? Contact the knowledgeable technicians at Yeoman Service Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to schedule a tire appointment today!

Written by Donny Yeoman