When you get a puncture, you have several options for repairs, one of which is using a patch to seal it up.
This is common knowledge for the tread, but is it something you can also do for the sidewall or shoulder? We’ve compiled everything you need to know about patching a tire sidewall.
Can You Patch The Sidewall Of A Tire?
You could patch the sidewall of a tire in some situations, but its effectiveness depends on the kind of damage you’re looking to fix. If the tire has suffered a puncture from something like a nail or screw, then patching should be an option. If the tire has been sliced and has developed a gash, then you should get rid of it and find a replacement as soon as you can.
For more on patching a tire sidewall, including which vehicles you can perform the procedure on, how to do it, its effectiveness and more, read on!
Is It Safe To Patch A Car Sidewall Tire?
Unlike the tread area, the sidewall doesn’t have a corded belt that would provide some strength if it gets damaged.
This means that once your sidewall is punctured, its integrity is compromised for good and this is why laws by bodies such as the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) have stated that a sidewall puncture is not repairable.
You should also avoid patching the sidewall on run flat and self sealing tires because their enhancements are meant to help in the event of a puncture to the tread, not the sidewall.
Can You Patch The Sidewall Of An ATV Tire?
ATVs are subjected to harsh driving conditions, making them more likely to suffer sidewall damage, but you can puncture them.
This is only recommended as an emergency option that allows you to get it to a shop for replacement because the conditions they’re used in make a patched tire a liability.
Can You Patch The Sidewall Of A Tractor Tire?
You can patch the sidewall of a tire in certain scenarios, but you would have to use a patch that’s made specifically for tractor tires because they’re often thicker than regular tires.
Can You Patch The Sidewall Of A Trailer Tire?
Trailer enthusiasts do not recommend that you attempt patching it under any circumstances, especially if the damage is a slice instead of a round puncture.
Can You Patch The Sidewall Of A Lawn Mower Tire?
You can patch a punctured sidewall on a lawn mower but you have to make sure that you drive it at a slower speed where you can manage it if the patch fails.
Can You Patch The Sidewall Of A UTV Tire?
Utility task vehicles (UTVs) should be treated like ATVs when the sidewall is punctured in that patching should be considered as a last resort to get it to the shop.
How Close To The Sidewall Can A Tire Be Repaired?
Regulatory standards in certain places prohibit the repair of any damage to the sidewall resulting from a puncture regardless of size entirely.
You can, however, patch up a puncture on the tread that’s 1 inch or more from the shoulder of the wheel.
A wheel’s shoulder is the point where the tread transitions into the sidewall, and this region is unstable enough after a puncture that you should avoid attempting repairs on or close to it.
If you get a puncture on your sidewall, you could patch it but this is not a recommended course of action.
Your sidewall holds in a lot of the tire pressure and supports a lot of the vehicle’s weight without the aid of a belt of cords like the tread, which is why any time it gets punctured you should just look for a replacement.
For this reason, in the U.S., the DOT has made it illegal to attempt repairs on the sidewall when the issue is a puncture.
Even on a run flat tire where the sidewall is reinforced, you should look into getting the tire replaced when it gets punctured because the reinforcements are only there to help you get to the shop.
It’s the same on self sealing tires when the sidewall gets punctured because the self sealing mechanism is only available on the tread.
You can’t patch too close to the sidewall and a good rule of thumb when patching a puncture on the tread is to make sure it’s at least 1 inch away from the tire shoulder.
In a nutshell, it is possible to patch a tire sidewall but we do not recommend it because a punctured sidewall presents a significant risk regardless of repairs.
Any patch work on the sidewall should be done in an emergency when you have no other options available, and it should be a placeholder until you get a replacement as soon as you can.