Have a flat tire? Wondering if you should replace it or get it repaired? While a patch is not the same thing as buying a brand-new set, it is a much cheaper option.
Everyone knows flats are a part of owning a car, but not everyone knows how to fix this problem. Driving on a flat is not an option, and using your spare is not long-term. If you want a durable option for cheap, a tire patch is the way to go.
But how long does a tire patch last? Will a DIY fix last the same amount as a professional patch job? Before deciding to get your tire patched, read this guide on tire patches.
The Short Answer
A patch and plug repair can last around seven to ten years if installed correctly by a professional. A patch by itself will not last as long but is more reliable than driving on a spare.
Types of Repairs and How Long They Last
The answer to ‘how long does a tire patch last’ depends on the type of repair. Here are the most common types of patches or repairs:
There are many ways to repair a damaged tire, as long as the damage is not too bad. A patch is one method that works for leaks or small gashes anywhere in the center of the tread area. It will close a hole by sealing the rubber.
A patch can last 7-10 years if repaired by a professional. The Tire Industry Association emphasizes professional repairs are safer since technicians have the training and tools to complete the job efficiently.
Another way to repair a tire is to use a plug. This method is much less reliable but is a good option if you need to get somewhere to do a better repair. A plug repair can last up to 25,000 miles.
Yet another way to fix your flat is to do a patch-plug repair. This repair combines both a patch and plug to create a long-lasting solution. This method is better and safer than either getting your tire patched or plugged.
Are Patched Tires Safe to Drive On?
A patched tire should be safe to drive on for a reasonably long time. However, a patch-plug combination repair will be even safer to drive on for more extended periods. Be aware that doing the repairs yourself could make it unsafe to drive on.
Having the repairs done by a professional is the best way to guarantee safety. Repairing it yourself until you can get it to a professional is fine if you cannot see a professional right away. Using your spare until then is also a safe option until you can get the tire repaired professionally.
Is a Patched Tire Good as New?
The answer here depends on how old the tire is when you get it repaired. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends buying new tires every six to ten years, regardless of tread wear and repairs. This means that a patch repair will only make a tire as new as before the repair.
If you have to repair a fairly new tire, a patch and plug combination done by a professional should make it good as new. However, if done incorrectly, it may need replacing very soon. So make sure you get your repairs done professionally!
Is a Patch Permanent?
While a patch can last a very long time, it is not a permanent solution to a flat. For a more permanent solution, get a plug and patch combination repair. A combination of the two repair methods can last up to ten years, which is when you should replace all tires regardless of wear and tear.
How Quickly Does a Patch Dry?
Patches will dry instantly. However, a proper repair should take at least thirty minutes. The reason is that with a proper repair, you have to take the tire off the vehicle to inspect it for further damage.
If it takes less time than this, then the procedure is incorrect. Make sure the person performing the repair checks both the inside and outside tread for damage. Otherwise, you may end up having to get another repair.
What repair method is best for you? Before buying a new tire to replace your flat, make sure you consider these cheaper options. As you can see, choosing which repair to get is not exactly straightforward.
When asking how long a tire patch lasts, it depends on the type of fix. A repair could last for a decent amount of time, although the patch or patch-plug repair would last the longest. Both methods cost about the same amount, so you don’t have to worry about money when choosing which repair is best for you. Whatever you decide, make sure you get your tire repaired as soon as possible!