Tips & Advice
How long does it take to change a flat tire?
With the correct tools and conditions, changing a tire oneself can take around 15-20 minutes. Professionals at auto shops can change flats in about half that time.
What is the proper car tire pressure?
The ideal tire pressure for the majority of vehicles is between 30-35 psi. A specific vehicle’s optimal tire pressure depends largely on the car’s make and model; the owner’s manual will list its ideal tire pressure. This information can also be found on a placard within the driver-side door jam.
How far can one drive on a spare tire?
There are two types of spare tires: donuts, which are smaller and far less durable than a vehicle’s regular tires, and full-sized spares, which are the same size as a vehicle’s standard tires and can be used without restriction. Generally, it’s not advised that donut spare tires be driven on for more than 70 miles or at speeds of more than 50 mph.
Can only one car tire be replaced at a time?
No, multiple tires can be replaced at one time if that service is needed. The majority of auto shops have the tires and staff on hand to fulfill the requests of customers that need to replace more than one--or even all of their tires--if needed. Some offer discounts if more than one tire is purchased.
A tire plug is a rubber stem used to seal holes no bigger than 1/4 inch (6mm) in diameter. Do-it-yourself tire plugging kits can be purchased online or from many auto body shops if you choose to repair the tire yourself. Attempting to plug holes bigger than this size is not advisable, as the tire should be replaced at that point.
How long does it take to repair a tire?
Most auto body shops can do a full repair (patch and/or plug) in around 30 minutes. If there are additional services required or requested, such as tire refilling and/or rebalancing, it can add around an hour to the total work time.
Can a hole in the sidewall of a tire be repaired?
It depends on the nature of the hole and where it lies within the tire. If the hole crosses into the sidewall belt, the tire cannot be repaired and should be replaced. If the hole is running alongside the sidewall belt and is not touching it, it can be replaced.
Can run-flat tires be plugged?
Whether or not a run-flat tire can be plugged is usually dictated by the tire’s manufacturer. Some run-flat tires can be plugged using standard methods, and other tires require special tools and training only provided by the manufacturer. Some run-flats cannot be plugged at all and should be wholly replaced.
Read your vehicle’s manual thoroughly to find out if its run-flats can be patched. If no information is present in the manual, call either the dealership where the you bought the car or a local auto body shop.
When can a tire not be repaired?
When the tear runs across (perpendicular to) the sidewall belts, the tire is irreparably damaged and should be replaced. If the tear runs alongside (parallel) the sidewall belts, it can be repaired because the belt itself is still intact.
How much does it cost to repair a tire?
Generally, most auto body shops can patch or plug hole within a tire for less than $20. Some shops might provide the service for free if you have bought tires from them in the past. If the tire has to be refilled and rebalanced after the leak is sealed, it can cost more than $100.