As electric vehicles (EVs) gain in popularity, more drivers will visit repair shops hoping technicians can handle EV tire service needs. However, how different is servicing an EV tire compared to servicing an ICE vehicle in your shop?
“Lots of shops don’t think they can repair EV tires,” Rich Watts, a tire repair consultant with 38 years of experience at Myers Tire Supply, said. “They just throw them out without trying or educating their technicians on the proper way to do it. But, it is possible to repair them. You just have to understand how they are constructed.”
EV tires typically contain unique features like sound suppression foam, but Watts emphasized that does not mean a puncture repair isn’t possible.
“There may be things like sound cushioning inside, which you have to remove first,” he explained, “But once you understand how it’s built, an EV tire can still be repaired using the same fundamentals and techniques as tires made fore ICE vehicles.”
Tires with sound suppression foam can be repaired with just a few extra steps. Sound suppression foam lines the tread area inside the tire to reduce the noise that tires create. Using a knife or razor, technicians can cut the foam near where the damage occurred, repair the tires using standard procedures then rebalance it before placing the tire back on the EV.
Brent Blackburn, a national accounts sales manager at Myers Tire Supply, added that technicians must be mindful of load ranges on EV tires.
“You cannot assume normal load ratings will apply,” he said. “Heavy battery packs require higher load capacities. You have to carefully check the guidelines from the manufacturer before attempting any repairs.”
Proper inspection before repair remains just as critical on EVs and other modern tire types.
“Whether it’s a passenger, truck, OTR or EV tire, many technicians just want to pull the tire off. They want to find the object, get it out, put a patch on, and get it going down the road,” Watts said. “However, that could be a dangerous tire to put back on the rim if you don’t inspect for signs of run-flat damage or other problems.”
Both experts agree that as new tire technology emerges, continued training will be essential to help technicians. Myers Tire Supply offers resources like its “Do It Right” certification program to keep technicians updated on manufacturer guidelines so they can master proper repair techniques across passenger, commercial truck and EV tire segments.
Fundamentally, Watts and Blackburn emphasized that the basic building blocks of tire repair hold true regardless of the tire type rolling into the bay. Those fundamentals include a comprehensive inspection, marking injury locations before demounting, carefully following OEM repair standards, using quality repair materials and resealing injuries for maximum air retention post-repair.
By combining repair knowledge with training on modern tires and practices, dealers can safely and effectively service EVs to build customer trust and loyalty for a new era of tire repair.