Can Tire Repairs Prevent Catastrophic Failure?

Catastrophic tire failures can be frightening events. If a tire blows out or shreds while traveling at high speed, it's possible to lose control of your vehicle. Even if your failure is less dramatic, you will still find yourself stranded on the side of the road. Monitoring the condition of your tires is the best way to prevent this eventuality, but can a timely repair save you from a dangerous situation?

Understanding the Causes of Tire Failure

Tires can fail for various reasons, but improper inflation or sudden impacts are by far the most common. A tire may fail both when it has too little and too much air pressure, so it's crucial to maintain a proper level of inflation. When you underinflate your tires, their sidewalls can flex and suffer structural damage. When overinflated, they are significantly more vulnerable to punctures or road hazards.

Since chronic underinflation can significantly weaken a tire, slow leaks may be a particularly severe problem. If you routinely add air to one or more tires on your car, then the sidewalls on those tires are likely wearing out much more quickly. Even if you are careful to reinflate leaky tires regularly, some damage is probably still occurring.

Note that it's possible to push a tire beyond the point where repair is viable. If you routinely drive your tires on low air pressure, you may notice air bubbles forming in the sidewall. These bubbles indicate internal damage to the tire's structure, and repair is no longer possible once a tire reaches this point. Any tire with bubbles is unsafe to drive on and requires immediate replacement.

Saving A Damaged Tire

If you notice that one of your tires is losing air, then the best course of action is to have an experienced tire shop evaluate it as soon as possible. A proper repair involves removing your wheel so that a technician can inspect it for the source of the leak. As long as the structure of the tire appears intact and there are no bubbles, it should be possible to restore the tire.

Additionally, the shop will need to remove your tire from the wheel to perform a proper repair. Fully repairing a damaged tire requires a combination approach that uses both a patch and a plug. Once a technician applies this repair, your tire will once again be safe to drive and should no longer lose significant amounts of air.

By recognizing tire problems and addressing them quickly, you can avoid catastrophic failure. Not only will you save yourself the trouble (and risk) of a blowout, but you'll also save the money you would otherwise need to spend on a replacement tire.

To learn more, contact a tire repair shop.