What Are Some Conditions When A Tire Should Not Be Repaired?

plug a tire on tread wall

It is early in the morning and you are heading to work when you see that you have a flat tire. When you get to the car, you see that your new set of tires have a hole in them. New tires should be replaced every time they wear out.

It’s always a tough decision to make when you have a flat tire and your car is un-drivable. Should you repair the tire, or replace it? The answer can depend on how often you drive and what type of vehicle you use. There are many factors that go into this decision, but we hope these tips will help!

plug a tire on tread wall

When should a tire not be repaired? This question is different for everyone, as driving habits vary from person to person. For those who only drive their cars occasionally (less than 500 miles per year), repairing may be the best option as tires generally last longer if they’re rotated every few months; however, if your driving habits include more frequent trips (more

The cost of a new tire can add up quickly, especially if you have a lot of them. If you need to keep your vehicle on the road, it’s best to replace your worn-out tires as soon as possible. If you’re in a pinch and need to keep your vehicle on the road, go ahead and buy a new tire.


Replace It Or Buy A New Tire?

Tire tread damage is repairable or a replacement is available, but you may not know which is the best option for your situation. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Determine whether or not you have a puncture or a cut. If a tire has been cut, you will need to get a new set of tires unless the cut is less than one-quarter of an inch in size. The strength of a tire depends largely on the strength of the cords that hold the air in the tire. If a tire has been cut in this way, it will not be strong enough to support the weight of the car.
  • If you have a puncture in your tire, there’s a good chance that you can fix it yourself with a patch. A tire patch is designed to fit well around the hole with a lot of overlap. The ideal size for a patch is a quarter of an inch in diameter.
  • Size is not everything when it comes to repairing a puncture; you’ll also need to ensure that the hole is in a specific spot on the tire’s tread face. If your tire does not have circumferential grooves, you should not go any closer than two inches to the hole.

A tire can be repaired up to three times before it needs to be replaced. Understanding when a tire should not be repaired is essential to keeping your tires safe and extending their life.

Tires that are driven on despite damage or poor tread wear could present risks, including blowouts at high speeds, which increases the risk of serious accidents. Many newer cars include tire pressure monitoring systems that will alert the driver to a puncture or other issue, but even these systems cannot determine if a tire is otherwise experiencing wear or has been damaged.

The following are a few situations where a tire should not be repaired:

Insufficient Tread Depth

Any surface area of the remaining tread must be greater than 2/32 of an inch to qualify for repair. Tires that don’t meet the tread depth requirement should be replaced as soon as possible.

A Puncture Or Cut Longer Than 1-Inch

If any of these conditions are present on a tire, it should not be repaired. Additional damage will likely prevent the tire from being able to hold air pressure. If you have repaired a tire that exhibits the signs listed above, you may notice that it is losing air more quickly than usual or may go flat while driving.

The Tire Sidewall Is Cracked, Cut, Or Punctured

Tires with cracks, cuts, or punctures in the sidewalls cannot be repaired and must be replaced immediately to prevent further damage.

One of the main limitations of tire repair systems that work by injecting compressed air into the tire is that they cannot seal sidewall punctures and tears. If a tire has any visible cracks or cuts in the sidewalls, it should never be repaired or patched.

A damaged tire should never be used on a car again to prevent the chance of causing additional damage to other tires, wheels, suspension components, and even entire vehicles.

Tires That Have Been Previously Repaired

Tires that have been plugged or patched should never be used again, even after the plug/patch has been replaced. The plug/patch may not hold due to wear at the site, which can cause it to tear and expose steel wires that are sharp enough to cause a tire failure.

If you notice any of these conditions, it’s best to have the tire repaired by a professional. There are many warning signs of tire damage that drivers often ignore or aren’t familiar with, but taking these simple steps could save you money on costly repairs or replacements.

If your tires are properly maintained and inspected on a regular basis, you will be able to catch small potential problems before they have a chance to turn into big ones.

Can You Plug A Tire If The Hole Is On The Side?

NO! A puncture in the sidewall can be repaired by only replacing the damaged tire. A tire that has been punctured can be repaired by replacing it with a new one. However, the shoulder flexes the most, so it is best to replace it as well.

If your tire is in good condition and meets specifications, there is no need to go to the service station to have it fixed. You can fix your own tire if you have the right tools. Always follow the instructions that come with your tire repair kit.

Where Can You Not Plug Tires?

You can not plug a tire anywhere not on the tread. The sidewall, the rim, the corner of the tread face are all reasons to scrap the tire. More specifically check out the illustration below for exact restrictions for tire repair or replacement:

Tires are the single point of contact between the road and the vehicle, and if they are damaged, they can have a detrimental effect on the vehicle. If you do not know how bad the damage is, it’s best to have a professional check your tires.

A rubber stem, or plug, should be inserted into the wound, and a patch placed over it.
When you repair a puncture, make sure that you repair it in a spot where it won’t damage the tread. Two inches is a good rule of thumb.

Can You Plug A Tire In Cold Weather?

Under 45° F rubber begins to lose its pliability. plugging or patching a tire in this cold weather is not reliable. Plus it’s a pain in the butt to do anything in weather this cold. I am from California so some people may deal with cold weather better than me. Ok, enough whining. If the weather is dry and above 45° F then you should have no problem repairing a tire.

Some low mileage tires may deal with colder weather better than high mileage tires as the rubber is more pliable and would be softer and easier to manage in colder weather conditions.


Tire punctures can be repaired at home if you have access to the right tools and materials. You can make a patch by cutting a small hole in the sidewall of the tire with a sharp knife. Make sure that the hole is no larger than a quarter of an inch.

Tire repair is best done by a professional if you do not have the skills to do it yourself. A professional will take a look at the condition of the tire and make sure that it is safe to drive on the road.

The cost of a new tire can add up quickly, especially if you have a flat. It’s best to keep your tires in good condition by keeping them clean and free of debris. Your tires must be kept in good condition to avoid flats. You should replace your tires every three to five years.

Pro tip: Only specially trained personnel should repair your tires.

frozen flat tire damaged rubber

Can I Plug Tire Without Taking It Off?

When you have a tire that needs to be repaired, make sure that the service provider knows this. Make sure that the service provider knows exactly what needs to be done to the tire, such as:

  • Never perform a tire repair on-the-wheel
  • Never use only a plug (stem)
  • Never use only a patch
  • Never use an inner tube as a substitute for a proper repair

Tires should always be replaced when they begin to lose air pressure. If you notice that your tires are starting to lose air, you need to replace them immediately. If your tires start to lose air, you could end up in a serious accident.

Can You Use 2 Tire Plugs?

Yes, because tire plugs are only temporary. If you manage to get a second hole in your tire when you already plugged your tire while you are on your way to a mechanic then using 2 tire plugs is ok. Make sure the plugs are 16 inches away if you can not immediately get to a shop to repair the tire. You should not use 2 tire plugs as a long-term solution. At this point, you should look into replacing the tire.

2 tire plugs will not be covered under any warranty and it should be done as a last resort as it is not very reliable. Though many people do it as it is usually their only immediate option.

Never perform a tire repair on a vehicle without first removing it from the vehicle’s wheel hub. If you do this, you’ll be in a position to check the condition of the tire and ensure that it is in good working order.

When a tire is repaired and rated at a certain speed, the speed rating is not valid. Please don’t think the tire will perform like new after you get the thing patched.

Main Takeaways – When Should A Tire Not Be Repaired

So when is it time to replace a tire instead of repairing it? It’s complicated, but here are some general guidelines. One way to think about whether or not your tires should be repaired is how many miles you have on them and the size of the tread.

If your tread depth has reached 3/32nds inch, then they may need replacing for safety reasons. Tires that have been punctured by something sharp will also need to be replaced if they cannot be patched up with a plug kit because there’s always a chance that this hole could get larger over time and lead to future problems down the line.

Finally, any tire more than six years old will likely need replacement as well due course from natural aging alone.

In this article, I have given my opinion on when it is best to repair or replace a tire. In general, I think it is better to replace a tire instead of repairing the tire. I feel this way because most tires, in particular, light truck tires can be expensive and harder to come by.

This may lead someone in a poor financial situation to have to repair a tire over and over again, which is both costly and inconvenient. In conclusion, if it’s one of those new modern-day tires with special polymer inserts or “plugs” inside them, then definitely replace the tire as any puncture can lead to a bigger problem down the line.