A patched tire means a patch sealant is applied to the outside of the tire where the leak is located. A patch can be done to a tire with a small puncture that has not caused much damage to the tire itself. To put a patch on a tire, the entire tire has to be taken off, so it is best to have a mechanic do it, as they will have all of the proper tools.
For the most part, a properly patched tire should allow you to drive safely for a long period of time. However, there still are some concerns. Here are some things to know about driving with a patched tire safety:
A patch can be a stronger repair than a plug, yet it is not designed to be used on, or near a sidewall. A tire patch should only be done by a trained technician who knows what they are doing. If your tire needs to be patched or you notice a leak, contact your mechanic so you can have your tire fixed as soon as possible.
If you have had a flat tire for more than a couple hundred yards, there is potential for the sidewall of your tire to be damaged. If this happens, the sidewalls can rub against themselves and become damaged. This damage is shown by a strip of wear around the tire that is soft to the touch. If you notice this, do not put air into the tire. If you put air pressure into a tire with a damaged sidewall, there is a potential the tire could blowup. This can injure you very badly.
Your vehicle can be driven with a patched tire if the tire has been professionally fixed by a mechanic. The mechanic knows how to stop the leak and will look for any potential sidewall damage. If the tire is damaged beyond repair, the mechanic will advise you to replace the tire. Once the mechanic patches the tire, they should advise you on how long you can drive on your patched tire.
Driving on a patched tire can be done for a certain amount of time if the tire was professionally fixed by a mechanic. If your tire has sidewall damage, it is important not to put air into your tire as this could cause it to blowup. If you experience a flat tire, pull over to the side of the road and contact a mechanic right away or have a spare tire installation. If you ever feel that there is something wrong with your patched tire, be sure to have that tire inspected right away.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Is it Safe to Drive With a Patched Tire? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.