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Can You Glue A Tire Sidewall?

When you notice that you have a damaged tire sidewall, can you at least put glue on it in the meantime until you have it checked by a tire specialist? This is what we'll talk about today. We did the research and we'll share with you what we found out.

For cosmetic cuts or shallow cuts on the tire sidewall, you can use glue to patch them and prevent the damage from worsening. However, if the damage is deep that it exposes the tire's internal parts or causes air bubbles on the sidewall, it is not advisable to use glue as a remedy. The tire needs to be replaced immediately for your safety.

Keep on reading to learn more about when you can use glue to fix your tire sidewall and when you shouldn't. We'll also teach you how to apply this remedy. This article will also answer if it is safe to drive with sidewall damage to your tire. Let's get started!

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The car tires have a tear on the sidewall and a nail stabbing at top, Can You Glue A Tire Sidewall

Can you use glue to fix a tire sidewall?

The car tires have a tear on the sidewall and a nail stabbing at top

The tire sidewall isn't given that much attention. Maybe because it isn't part of the tire that is in direct contact with the ground surface that's responsible for safe grip on the road, traction, acceleration, and smooth braking.

But tire sidewalls also have a special role. They cover the internal structure of the tires, protecting them from dirt, debris, and water. They also provide additional support to the tire so that it can stand up to the weight and pressure of the car. The markings on the sidewall also show you all the important information you need to know about your tire.

However, since the sidewall doesn't contact the road, it is made of thinner material. As such, it is prone to damage.

A tire sidewall can be damaged due to contact with sharp rocks and objects, trauma on a roadside curb, or an accident. When this happens, it is really not advisable to continue driving. You may not feel the immediate effect like when you have a flat tire or tire blowout but the end result is the same. It'll not only put you in danger but other motorists as well.

A visual inspection should be immediately conducted. A scratch, tear, puncture, bulge, or air bubble in this area is a threat to the condition of the whole tire and wheel. It compromises the internal structure of the tire.

But it would depend on the extent of the damage. A small and shallow scratch or a cosmetic cut isn't serious but when the tear exposes the tire's threads, that is about 3 mm to 4.5 mm into the tire, you need to have it checked by a tire specialist right away for proper assessment.

There are also cases when air bubbles or bulges occur on the tire sidewalls. These are indications that you need to have the tire replaced immediately as a blowout is imminent soon due to internal damage.

Using glue for small cosmetic cuts

When tire sidewall damage happens, you stop to check the problem. As mentioned earlier, your next action will depend on the severity of the damage. When you find a small tear on the sidewall, you'll need some first aid on it so that it won't get worse.

To be clear, small cuts are those with a diameter of 1/4" or less for passenger tires and 3/8" for light-duty trucks. These are considered cosmetic cuts when they don't allow air to leak out of the tires.

There are different ways to remedy the situation but one of the easiest and fastest ways is to use glue on it. You can purchase these sidewall repair kits in stores and keep them in your toolbox for situations such as this. You won't even have to remove the tire and you can continue driving after a short while.

Check out this sidewall repair kit on Amazon.

It's a pretty simple process really. Here's how to go about it:

  1. Use the sandpaper included in the kit to clean the sidewall. Make sure that you remove any dirt and debris on the surface for proper adhesion.
  2. Once the sidewall is clean, apply glue on the damaged surface.
  3. Put the patch over the glue to cover the damage. Press firmly to secure it in its place.
  4. Check label instructions for adhesive curing time. You can also apply a curing accelerator to shorten the waiting time.

Click this link to find this curing accelerator on Amazon.

When the glue has cured properly, you're done! You can take your car on the road again.

Keep in mind though that the glue remedy is only recommended for shallow cuts. For more serious damage, you need to replace the tire with your spare and drive to the nearest auto repair shop to have it inspected by a pro.

Why tires with punctured sidewalls cannot be repaired

Close up of damage car tire on blurred vehicle in garage.

As discussed above, the remedy can only be applied to cosmetic or shallow cuts. The reason why it won't work for deeper cuts and punctures is that the thin surface of the sidewalls doesn't have any cords on their underside that would help hold the plug or patch in place. This means that the air will just continue to leak and compromise the integrity of the tire structure and consequently its performance and safety.

There is a high risk of a tire blowout and serious accidents can happen on the road when you lose control of your tires.

That's why experts say that tire punctures with a depth of more than 1/4" for passenger tires and 3/8" for light-duty trucks shouldn't be attempted to be repaired at all. It is strongly recommended that you have the damaged tire replaced immediately for everyone's safety on the road.

Is it safe to drive with sidewall damage to your tire?

In general, it is unsafe to drive with a damaged tire. But then again, we go back to how severe the damage is.

There are what we call cosmetic damages that are minor cuts or gashes on the sidewall's surface. There may be visible damage on the outer surface, but it doesn't reach the interior components of the tires, doesn't allow air to leak out, and doesn't affect its performance. As such, this type of damage is not considered serious and can still be repaired.

But still, it is advised that you take your car to a tire specialist who can perform a more thorough inspection of the tire's condition. This will assure you that the tire is good to take on the road.

But for damages that cut deep and expose the tire's cords, it is totally unsafe to still use the tire for driving. This kind of damage will allow air to leak from the tire and the tire will eventually lose its attachment to the wheel which can lead to serious road accidents. You should replace it with your spare tire and buy new tires when you get to the auto repair shop.

When should you replace a cut tire?

Flat tire. Tire punctured by big nail

The basic rule is if the cut on the tire sidewall exposes the internal parts and allows air to leak, you should have it replaced. For your guidance also, experts have specified the cut's depth such that anything that exceeds 1/4" for passenger tires and 3/8" for light-duty trucks is considered a major concern and should be replaced immediately.

However, even if it is just a minor cut, you can also consider having your tires replaced when they have already incurred previous damage. This makes the structure of the tire weaker.

It is also suggested that you replace your tires when they are already showing signs of wear and tear especially if you've been using them for more than five years. At this point, the tire is already losing its elasticity, becoming brittle, and little cuts may be more serious than you think. By replacing them with new tires, you will be more confident that your car is safe to drive on different types of roads.

Final Thoughts

Rubber car tire cheek or sidewall of rubber tire damaged from curbs and sharp object condition background

It is useful to have a glue and sidewall repair kit in your toolbox for an easy fix of small cosmetic cuts on your tire sidewall. But if the damage is more serious, no amount of glue can have it fixed so it's best to replace the tire altogether.

If you enjoyed reading this article, you might also like the following posts:

How Long Can A Car Sit On A Flat Tire?

Can I Drive Long Distance With A Plugged Tire?