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Scratched tire with some rip - does this need replacing or can it be patched or left alone?

See photos. The side of the tire got scratched and that ripped off a bit of the outer layer of rubber. It still feels pretty solid though. The wheel cover by the rip also got a bit dented in. Other than that the tire seems normal.

Does the tire need to be replaced for safety or can it be patched similar to nail holes that puncture the road facing tread side of tires?

I’m no expert, but I’d replace it if it were my tire.

You can’t patch a tire sidewall. It flexes too much.

Wooow, that’s a replace yesterday. Sidewalls can never be patched and the cords are exposed. New tire time or two actually if front wheel drive or four if all wheel drive. Don’t feel bad, I did the same thing on my car with 1500 miles on it. I got lucky though and only had to buy one for $300 since it was still new enough to not cause a problem with the transaxle.

Wow. Peeled open a sidewall. That tire is still good enough to drive on, as long as it’s directly to your local tire store to have it replaced.

That tire needs to be junked right now

Head straight to the tire shop tomorrow morning, if they’re open

Any tire with cord exposed is unsafe and unacceptable. I agree with @Bing . . . you might be better off getting a set.

Another thing, have the mechanic balance the rim(s). Have him carefully watch while it’s spinning on the machine. If the rim is obviously bent, he’ll see it. Better to know as soon as possible.

And don’t let the shop talk you into nitrogen. If you’re not Nascar, it’s nothing more than a profit generator and bragging rights for the shop.

If the car has a tire pressure monitoring system, have them install a new kit (grommet, valve stem, aluminum nut, etc.). The old parts might not seal correctly, once they’ve been disturbed. The kit will only cost a few dollars more per rim.

Although the radial cords don’t appear to be damaged they are exposed and deterioration is somewhat certain. Moisture will get into the polyester cords and then get hot when flexed at highway speed. Moisture will cause the cords to separate from the rubber when heated and at highway speed the failure will be catastrophic. Replace the tire ASAP.

Replace the tire. I don’t know of any tire shop that would “patch” that and still sleep good at night.

There is no question whatsoever that this tire is dangerous, and that the OP needs to replace it immediately.

While it might not fail for awhile in purely low-speed driving, once this tire is taken up to expressway speed, a blowout is sure to happen as a result of that type of damage. When you have a blowout at high speed, losing control of the car is very common, and the outcome is…not pretty.

Referring to this severe sidewall damage as a “scratch” is akin to describing a bullet wound on your leg as a skin rash.

The OP can’t afford to NOT replace this tire.