Tire Sidewall Repair Basics

A tire on a blue car.
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Tire sidewall repair is something most car owners leave to professionals, and with good reason.

While it's possible to fix a tire sidewall, some experts are hesitant to recommend this project as a do-it-yourself activity.

Why You Shouldn't Fix Tire Sidewalls

When you notice your tires need to be repaired on the sidewalls, you may be tempted to complete this project on your own.

But, this is not recommended for one main reason—it doesn't typically work.

While you may be able to plug up the hole, the structure of a sidewall is different from other tire areas.

The sidewall needs to move in multiple directions, which causes more strain on the tire parts.

Even if the tire sidewall is fixed, experts say there is a high chance the tire will break and explode anyway.

Who Can Fix Sidewalls

torn tire sidewall

Some mechanics say they can fix up sidewalls, but this is still a difficult task. Ideally, those with broken sidewalls should simply replace the tire as opposed to repairing it.

The repairs are just not considered to be reliable or effective. Even if the glue of a professional sidewall repair holds, it is not a permanent solution.

Plus, you don't know when the glue might decide to give out. That said, a boot is one way a sidewall can be fixed, though this is best left to a professional.

The Boot Fix

A boot is a larger piece of rubber material that can be placed inside of a punctured tire. This rubber is attached to the inside and it helps to protect the tube of the tire.

However, this process requires taking off the entire tire and even then the boot will not last forever. The boot can move out of place, causing the tire to be vulnerable to damage.

For some, this is too labor intensive of a process to have a mechanic complete or to complete on their own.

Used Tires

Instead of buying a new tire to help replace the worn tire sidewall, a used tire can be a cost-effective way to make your car safer.

However, just as with any used item, the quality can be suspicious. You just never know when a used tire is going to be at the end of its intended life. A new tire is always the best choice for tire stability.

Vulcanizing Tires

tire sidewall

Some larger tire shops are able to grind out the rubber from the inside of the tire and create a strong patch to keep the sidewalls strong.

However, this process can be costly and is, again, not a long term option. For this sort of repair, you will want to find an experienced shop with a proven track record of success with their method.

Repairing a tire sidewall is not always recommended, especially for those without car repair experience. You can fix these sidewalls if you have professional help on your side, though.