Pros And Cons Of Patching A Tire Rather Than Replacing It

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If a tire springs a leak, sometimes the easiest solution is to just throw that tire away and replace it with a new one. However, many tire shops also offer tire patching services. Assuming the leak is not too large, they can simply patch it, preserving the tire and preventing you from having to buy a new one. So, should you patch a tire? In some cases, it really is the right choice, and in other cases, it is not. Consider these pros and cons as you make your choice.

Pro: Tire patching is cheaper than tire replacement.

A new tire may run you a few hundred dollars. Large truck tires, especially, can be really pricey. If you don't have the money to spend on a new tire, patching is a much more affordable option. Most shops will just charge you a small amount for the patch and adhesive, plus another small fee for the labor, which really only takes them a few minutes.

Con: Patches do sometimes fail.

Your tire repair contractor will do their best to patch the tire properly. However, the patched area will never be quite as strong as the original tire. A patched tire is, therefore, more likely to fail again than a brand-new tire that has never been patched. 

Pro: Tire patching allows you to maintain your current pair of tires.

If you were to replace the damaged tire, you would have two different tires on either side of your vehicle. Since one tire would have less tread than the other, this could lead to uneven wear on your tires in the coming months. If you patch the tire instead, you will still have your original pair of tires, which should wear evenly because they were installed at the same time.

Con: Patches don't work well on sidewalls.

If the leak is in the sidewall of your tire, your tire repair shop may not be able to patch it as well. Some tire repair teams won't even try to patch a sidewall because they fail so often. Other tire repair companies will do this repair, but they may not guarantee the work, and they'll let you know that failure is a distinct possibility.

If you have a leaky tire, you may be better off patching it rather than replacing it. But there are times when replacing the tire is the right choice, especially if you can afford to do so.

For more information, contact a tire repair shop, such as East Bay Tire Co.