What you can and can’t repair on a flat tire

What you can and can’t repair on a flat tire

Regulations should be followed while performing all tire repairs to ensure your customer’s safety after sending them on their way.

You never want to turn customers away for anything, especially if they need help with something tire-repair-related. However, sometimes tires are damaged beyond repair, which means you may have to recommend a new one or set for your customer. So, how do you know when you can and can’t repair a flat tire?

Flat tires and tire damage can be a real thorn in the side for customers. They will probably come to you first to fix a repair rather than buy a brand-new tire, but they should know there are some repairs you legally can’t do.

Regulations should be followed while performing all tire repairs to ensure your customer’s safety after sending them on their way. There are a few problems you’ll come across that you just won’t be able to repair. For example…

If the tread depth is lower than the 1.6 mm legal limit; The structural integrity of the tire has been compromised or there is run flat damage; The rubber is cracked, worn or deteriorated; an external object causes damage; The cords are exposed; or if there’s any sign of faulty repairs made in the past.

The location of the puncture is also important to keep in mind. Tire repairs have to stay within the central three-quarters of the tread, known as the “minor repair area.” If the size of the puncture is more than or equal to 6 mm (about ¼ inch) in diameter, a repair can’t be done. In these situations, your customers will have to shop for a new tire instead.

Unfortunately for customers with sidewall punctures, the sidewall is off-limits for repairs for a good reason – when their car is driving, the sidewall undergoes a lot of stress. Attempting to repair it could weaken the structural integrity of the tire. The sidewall experiences the most flex in the tire, so any repair patch applied will only stay in place until the tire fails again.

Tell your customers that if they get a flat, the best course of action is to avoid driving on it if possible. Proper inflation pressure maintains the tire’s shape while driving, but when that pressure is lost, the sidewall gets pinched between the wheel and the road, causing damage to more than just the tire.

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