Tire Maintenance

Repairing a Tire Puncture in the Sidewall


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Damage to the sidewall of a tire, such as a tire puncture, is treated a bit differently than damage to the area in which the treads are located. Often, tire sidewall damage, cannot be repaired at all. This is especially true for slices or cuts that run deep. Punctures are another matter, as these often can be fixed. In order to perform a repair on a punctured sidewall, you will need to purchase a tire repair kit. These kits are found at all major department stores, gas stations and vehicle repair shops.

Safety First

It is always a good idea to park your car in a flat area with no traffic (such as your garage), where you can perform the repair without worry. Sometimes this isn’t possible and you will be forced to fix your tire at a gas station or on the side of the road. If this is the case, make sure you try to find the safest spot possible before you begin.

Removing the Debris

Next, you will need to remove whatever debris has caused the damage in the first place, assuming it remains in the tire. If possible try to keep the tire inflated (at least partially) as the repair is much easier then. After removing the object, the tire is going to deflate, perhaps quickly. You will have a limited amount of time to finish the task.

Patching the Tire

Using the cement tube that came with your repair kit, you should now place a small amount of cement on the new plug installer (also provided in your kit). These installers look a bit like a screwdriver with a drill-like end on them. Next, push the installer into the puncture wound, moving it in and out while simultaneously twisting it. This will coat the surface of the hole with cement while also cleaning up and smoothing the opening for your new plug.

Take a plug and place some cement on the center of it. The plug itself looks like a long strand of rubber, and you want to make sure you put the cement near the middle. Using your plug installer, jam the new plug into the hole (per the directions in the kit). Make sure you don’t push the plug all the way into the hole either. The middle of the plug goes in first and each end should be on the outside of the tire when you are finished. Cut the ends of the plug off and refill the tire and you are done.

A Word of Caution

Prior to driving your vehicle, you should test drive your car on roads with relatively low speed limits before attempting to take it onto the highway.  Furthermore, sidewall repairs should NEVER be considered a permanent repair. This should only be done so that the car can be taken in to have a new tire put on. It can be extremely dangerous to drive on tires with sidewall plug repairs.

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