Can tire be patched?


This weekend, I noticed a screw stuck in the passenger rear tire of my wife’s Hyundai Veracruz. We took it to the dealer who said that if they remove the screw and find that the tire has been punctured, we’ll have to replace the tire.

I asked why they couldn’t just patch it, and the dealer said that because the screw is close to the sidewall (about an inch or so), patching it would compromise the integrity of the sidewall, and thus the tire.

Does this make sense? I’ve been told by relatives that patching it shouldn’t be a problem, and to get a second opinion, which I’d rather do that risk replacing a tire on the Veracruz.

Secondarily, the worst that could happen with leaving the screw in would be a flat tire, right? The screw wouldn’t cause a blowout?

I appreciate the help.

You don’t want to leave the screw in the tire! Even if the tire is currently holding its inflation properly, this could suddenly change, due to the flexing of the tire and resulting increase in the size of the puncture. If this changes at high speed, the effect is not very different from a blow-out, and sudden loss of pressure is not something that you want to deal with on an SUV. This tire definitely needs to be repaired (if that is feasible) or it needs to be replaced.

I suggest that you go to a well-reputed tire dealer, and ask to have your tire repaired. You might even want to visit two tire dealers in order to see if the tire is repairable. While I can’t see the placement of the puncture from here, it is very possible that the puncture is, in fact, too close to the sidewall in order to be safely repaired.

If the consensus is that the tire must be replaced, I strongly suggest that you not “cheap-out” on this issue, because–yes, a blow-out can be the result of tire damage or from repairing a tire that was not safely repairable. A blow-out on a car can be very difficult to overcome if it occurs at high speed–which is when most blow-outs occur. A blow-out on an SUV will likely be catastrophic, due to the much higher center of gravity of the vehicle.

So, verify the dealership’s recommendation and, if necessary, replace that tire. Just be prepared for possible replacement of all 4 tires, simply because many AWD systems will not tolerate the presence of tires with different tread depths (which results in differing circumference among the tires), and very expensive damage to the transfer case will be the result. This type of damage would not be covered by warranty, because it would be considered to be owner negligence. You should read what your Owner’s Manual has to say on this topic, because there will definitely be a statement in that booklet if your AWD system is one that is subject to problems from “mis-matched” tires.

Good luck!

If the screw is in the side wall or close to the side wall then it CAN’T be patched.

Take the car to a good tire dealer…First off they are far more likely to know if it can be patched…and second…if the tire does need to be replaced they usually do it a LOT CHEAPER then the dealer.

The dealer is correct that if the screw is close to the sidewall, the tire can’t be repaired. Don’t drive the car with the screw in the tire. If the screw hasn’t punctured the tire, driving may force it into the tire and then the tire. Then you will be replacing the tire, while if you have a reputable shop examine it now and the tire isn’t punctured, you won’t need to replace the tire. I have had tires lose air suddenly because of a puncture and when this happens, the car isn’t the easiest thing to control. This situation is particularly bad if it is a rear tire.

I picked up a screw in the rear tire on my Chevrolet Uplander. I noticed the tire was low and then found the screw. My trusted tire dealer told me that it was too close to the sidewall for a safe repair. I didn’t hesitate to replace the tire.

A tire dealer is a good idea. Years ago, I took my 91 Taurus to a tire dealer to have a puncture fixed on a fairly new tire. I was used to paying ~$5 for a tire plug. The bill was around ~$15-20. The dealer explained that the tire was dismounted and the patch was applied from the inside of the tire for a better repair. It may be easier for the dealer to sell you a new tire(s) than to do a proper patch.

Ed B.

If by “an inch or so” you mean one inch inboard of the edge of the tread, it should be possible to repair the tire. It should be dismounted, patched from the inside, remounted and balanced. Regardless of the location of the screw, if the tire has been driven with little or no air pressure, there will be structural damage which cannot be repaired.