man checking if can you patch the sidewall of a tire
Tips & Tricks Car Tires

Can You Patch the Sidewall of a Tire — Experts Say You Shouldn’t

There’s nothing more irritating than seeing the sidewall of a brand new tire burst. But can you patch the sidewall of a tire? The answer is yes — you can use a tire plug kit for sidewall repair. However, experts suggest this isn’t the safest repair method. 

Can You Patch the Sidewall of Tire by Yourself?

You can take care of sidewall damage using a repair kit, but according to experienced tire technicians, this is not a permanent repair and is not recommended for safety reasons. 

According to industry guidelines, at-home repairs are not recommended to deal with tire punctures. However, in some extreme cases, an emergency repair can be done to get you on the way to the nearest tire shop. A quick fix like this can help you as an emergency option until you are able to opt for a long-term solution.

For at-home repairs, you can take care of minor holes and tears in your tire. However, a larger hole or a completely burst tire can only be fixed by a professional. Typically, this method involves using rubber cement that acts as an adhesive patch to keep your tire in shape until you can get it to a professional. 

You can purchase a tire plug kit and rubber cement from any auto shop near you. It’s a good idea to keep these supplies in your car in case you need to do any emergency roadside repairs. It’s always better to be prepared in case you are in a dangerous situation.

How to Repair Tire Sidewall Holes

man checking car tire sidewall

You can repair a damaged tire with the help of at-home plugging kits and rubber cement. Once you remove the object causing damage and plug the holes, you need to keep an eye out for leaking air. 

Here’s how you can do emergency sidewall tire repair:

  1. Check the tire, and inspect the level of damage caused.
  2. After the tire inspection, make sure that the object that caused the damage is completely removed. 
  3. Once the object in question is removed, work fast to patch up the tire, as you will immediately start to lose pressure inside. 
  4. Use the T-handle tool to sand out the sides of the tire hole. You will need to plug it into the hole and move it up and down and sideways to roughen up the edges. 
  5. Place the plug strip, and then coat it with the rubber cement. Then, slowly push it into the hole with some force.
  6. Once the plug strip with rubber cement is in place, fill the tire with air. If there is no air leaking, you have successfully patched the walls. 

How Does Tire Damage Happen?

Tire damage can happen to anyone for numerous reasons. Sometimes, your tire may run over sharp objects while driving, which can cause a puncture. Some of the most common culprits for this kind of damage are nails and broken glass.

While the average tire is not flimsy by any measure, if the nail is angled in a certain way, it can penetrate through and cause a puncture. 

In other cases, the damage can be caused by vandalism or an attempt to harm you or your passengers. This circumstance is extremely rare, but it can still cause worry. Therefore, having an emergency repair kit in the car can be a real life-saver in these circumstances. 

You should always make it a habit to check your tires before driving. This will help keep you aware of any possible dangers before you start driving. 

Driving With a Repaired Patch — Is It Safe?

man patching a car tire

We’ve answered the question, “can you patch the sidewall of a tire?” Now, the question on your mind must be, can I drive with a patch-repaired tire? In truth, this is a short-term solution, and it is not safe to drive long distances like this.

Because the sidewall of your tire is compromised, the biggest risk will be catastrophic tire failure. This means that while driving, because of the pressure on the tire by the car, the patchwork can fall apart, and the tire can burst. A burst tire is extremely dangerous, especially if you are driving at high speeds. 

So, only use a patching kit as a temporary solution and go to the nearest professional to have it fixed. When your car has been somewhat patched, avoid driving at higher speeds and go towards the nearest repair shop instead. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Patching a Tire Worth It?

Patching a tire might be cost-effective, but it can be dangerous in the long run. Smaller patches (up to 1/4th of an inch) can be carried out. However, you should always get the repairs done by a professional when you can.

Can Strong Glue Be Used to Patch a Tire?

No, you cannot use superglue, gorilla glue, or any kind of similar product to patch a damaged tire. The glue can become brittle and break off when exposed to air, causing even more damage.

Instead of using glue, you should opt for a specialized patch repair kit, which includes a rubber cement adhesive. This is the correct option for short-term repairs. 

What Parts of a Tire Can You Patch?

You can patch the tire in the central tread area. Any patches on the shoulder of the tire are dangerous and can affect the tire’s ability to function. If you notice a puncture or hole in these areas, the tire needs to be replaced immediately. 


So, when the question comes up, can you patch the sidewall of a tire, the answer is yes. However, this is not a long-term solution. You will need to take the tire to a professional, and either have it professionally repaired or replaced.