How Close to Sidewall Can a Tire Be Patched? [Warning: Beware]

When we travel, we can experience some problems like having a punctured tire. Having it patched is the best solution for it.

But what if the damage is near the sidewall? Can it still be patched?

If the distance of the damage to the sidewall is 6mm or more, then you can patch your tire. Otherwise, if the puncture is closer than 6mm, you cannot do anything anymore, it is best to dispose of the tire rather than repair it. This is even if the tire is still new.

As much as with a plug kit and some rubber cement, you can patch the hole, experts in the field often recommend repairing the tire’s sidewall. This is because of the potential safety reasons for repairing a sidewall. 

You should replace your tire if the distance is less than 6mm. It is not suitable for a patch anymore.

If you want to know more about this topic, you can watch the following video:

YouTube video

What is a Tire Sidewall?

How Close to Sidewall Can a Tire Be Patched

The part that connects the tread and the bead is the tire sidewall. This can also be called the tire’s shoulder.

You can find the details of the tire on it. Information like the speed rating of the tire, its load index, and the size of the tire are imprinted on it by the manufacturer.

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Understanding Sidewall Patches

Understanding Sidewall Patches

These are the parts of the tire that you have to know for you to make the right patches from the sidewall:

Parts of the Surface of the Tire

  • The crowns
  • The shoulder
  • The sidewalls

The Plies of the Sidewall

  • The number
  • The content

Causes of Holes in the Tire’s Sidewall

Before we can look at how you can patch the side of a tire, we first need to know how the tire can get damaged in the first place. Here are some ideas;

  • So long as the tire is pressed against something sharp such as a nail, screw, or broken glass, you may end up with a hole in the sidewall. 
  • Potholes in the rod can also lead to damage to your tire. It is always advisable to watch out for potholes or slow down in areas known for having potholes. Other than damaging your tires, the same can also bend your rim. 
  • Vandalism is another possible cause of damage to your sidewall. If you park in a neighborhood known for vandalism, you may find the tires damaged. 

Those are just but a few causes. What is important is that you are always careful when driving and also where you park. 

How to Fix Sidewall Damage

Remember that we pointed out that you can only patch such a hole if it is small. We are talking of no more than a ¼ -inch hole. If anything is bigger, then you should replace the tire. 

The most popular method of fixing such a hole would be using rubber cement. This is an adhesive that can be found in most auto shops, and it is still affordable. 

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With your plug kit ready, locate the puncture on the side of the tire. If it is a nail, remove it and start working on the patch. You will have to work fast because the tire will also lose air. 

Each tire plug kit will have instructions to follow. Check them out before starting the process to repair the sidewall fast and correctly.

  • Step 1 – Remove the wheel. Use a tool to remove the nuts.
  • Step 2 – Check for holes. Remove anything that can hinder you. Remove the air pressure of the tire.
  • Step 3 – Put cement on the plug.
  • Step 4 – Clean the hole.
  • Step 5 – Increase pressure by putting air in.
  • Step 6 – Put sealant on the center of the plug.
  • Step 7 – Use the plug to patch the hole.
  • Step 8 – Keep the plug outside the wheel to cut off.
  • Step 9 – Insert the wheel. Inflate it.
  • Step 10 – Reassemble the wheel. Return the nuts.

If you want to know more about how to fix sidewall damage, you can watch the following video:

YouTube video

Tools Needed in Tire Patching

  • Shop vacuum cleaner
  • Tire plugging tool
  • Tire jack
  • Immersion tanks
  • Impact wrench
  • Upright jack
  • Rubber preparation
  • Tire spreader
  • Extruder
  • Tread depth gauge


Can Damage to the Sidewall of a Tire Be Repaired?

Sidewalls tend to flex a lot while you are using the vehicle. This means they are not as robust as the part having treads. Also, the car’s weight might lead to the bursting of the tire if the sidewall is not strong enough. 

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Damage in the sidewall that is up to the tread cannot be repaired. It can damage the structure of the whole tire. Even if it has a bubble, it cannot be fixed either.

How Long Can You Drive on a Patched Tire?

If a tire is well-patched, it can last for 8 months to 1 year. But the durability will lessen if you patch your tire many times.

You can never be sure of performance and speed. You can face the risk of blowout and vehicle damage.

How Fast Can You Drive on a Patched Tire?

If the tire is patched properly, you can have the ideal speed experience. You can drive up to 80 mph with a patched tire.

Can You Patch a Tire on the Side of the Road?

Even if the puncture is easy to fix, you must not patch it on the side of the road. The best way is to insert a tube inside the wheel to keep the shape of the tire.

How Close Can a Tire Patch Be to Another Patch?

The gap between patches is not good. Though it is possible, do not do it. It is better to replace your tire than have two patches on it.

It is only safe to patch a sidewall if the puncture is ½ inch or more away from the tire tread edge where the internal steel belt would begin. 

Can You Patch a Tire with 2 Nails in It? 

Yes, you can patch a tire with 2 nail punctures. Just be sure that the distance between the two punctures is less than 16 inches. 

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Seal the punctures with 2 large patches. But there can be no more than 2 patches or you have to replace your tire.

What is Considered Sidewall Damage?

Any deficiencies on the sidewall of the tire, whether inside or outside are considered sidewall damage. This is a serious matter that can bring tire failure.

How Thick is the Sidewall of a Car Tire?

Tire sidewalls may vary in thickness. But most sidewalls are between 6 to 15 mm thick. Or between ¼ to ⅝ inch thick.

Is Sidewall Tire Damage Covered Under Warranty?

Yes, manufacturers have a warranty for sidewall tire damage. If there is a severe cracking or loss of a block of a tread, you can bring the tire back to the manufacturer.

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