How Long Does It Take To Patch A Tire? – Tire Repair Basics

Robert Herrera-COR-Wheels

By Robert Herrera

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If you’ve ever had a flat tire, you know how frustrating and time-consuming it can be to deal with. One option for repairing a punctured tire is to patch it, which is often quicker and less expensive than replacing the entire tire. But just how long does a tire patch take? What factors can affect the repair process? Find out the answer in this post.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Tire Patched?

In general, patching a tire will cost you 15-30 minutes, based on the method you used and your skills.

patch on the rubber

Using Patch

The process involves removing the tire from the wheel, locating the puncture or leak, and then applying a patch to the damaged area. Typically, it takes about 30 to 45 minutes to patch a tire using this effective method, depending on the skill level of the person doing the repair and the complexity of the damage.

When I had my tire patched at Walmart Auto Center, it took me more than 1 hour since I didn’t book in advance. And the mechanic seemed amateur. But the next time when I brought my punctured tire to a Discount Tire store, I only had to wait 15 minutes, and they didn’t fix it for free (I bought tires there).

Using Patch-Plug

With this technique, the tire is inflated again after a special glue is applied to the ruptured area and allowed to dry. This method is faster than using a patch because it eliminates the need to remove the tire from the wheel. On average, it takes about 15 to 30 minutes to patch a tire using a patch-plug combo.

Using Patch Glue

This method involves applying a special glue solution to the punctured area and then drying it before reinflating the tire. While it is a fast method, taking only about 10 to 15 minutes to complete, it is not always a reliable fix and may not last as long as other methods.

But I consider this a last resort, as I used to apply patch glue on a puncture, and the air leaked more quickly than I expected. Anyway, this is still a lifesaver on a deserted highway, as even an amateur like me can do it.

How Long Does It Take To Plug A Tire?

Using a patch plug to repair a tire is a relatively quick process compared to other alternative methods. It takes about 15 to 30 minutes to plug a tire. Without removing the tire from the wheel, this technique entails sealing the leak or puncture by inserting a plug into the affected area.

Tire Plugs

The skill level of the person doing the repair and the complexity of the damage have a say in the time needed. Still, it is a faster and more convenient option compared to other methods.

However, note that plugs may not be suitable for all types of tire punctures or leaks. And you should not drive more than 8 miles and exceed 85 MPH with a plugged tire.

Consulting an experienced professional is always recommended if you are unsure about the best method for repairing a flat tire.

When You Shouldn’t Patch Your Tires

While patching a tire can be a quick and cost-effective way to fix a flat, there are certain situations where patching may not be the best option. Here are a few instances where you shouldn’t patch your automobile tires.

Sidewall damage: If the puncture or damage is on the tire sidewall, it is unsafe to patch the tire. The sidewall is not as thick as the tread tire area, making it more susceptible to further damage or failure.

Worn-out tires: When the tire is already worn out or driven on while flat, it may not be safe to patch. In this case, it’s best to replace the tire entirely.

Large punctures: Suppose the hole or damage to the tire is larger than 1/4 inch in diameter; it may not be safe to patch. Larger punctures can compromise the tire’s integrity and make it more prone to further damage or failure.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Can The Patched Tire Last? How Long Can I Drive?

Tires can last between seven and ten years if properly repaired and patched. Good cementitious patches will guarantee your tires’ durability. 

Despite the tire components’ high level of durability, you shouldn’t patch them in the same spot twice. It will eventually wear out, may slow you down, and is explosive and combustible while driving.

How Much Will It Cost To Patch A Tire?

A mended hole typically costs from $30 to $40, depending on the auto repair facility. Costs are impacted by tire condition as well. For instance, patching tires with minor punctures will be quicker and less expensive.

Should I Patch The Tires Myself?

You can if you have enough knowledge and experience to pull it off. However, it is recommended to have an automotive professional patch your tires, as they have the basic tools and expertise to do so safely and effectively. 

While tire patch kits are available for purchase, attempting to patch your own tires without appropriate training can be dangerous.

Do I Need A New Tire After A Patch?

It depends. In some cases, a tire can be safely repaired with a patch and continue to provide reliable performance for its remaining lifespan. In some instances, however, the structure or integrity of the tire may have been seriously harmed or damaged by the puncture, making it risky to repair.

The Bottom Line

The amount of time it takes to patch a tire is not fixed but fluctuates with several factors, like the type of repair method used, the severity of the puncture, and the technician’s experience performing acceptable repair.

While patching a tire can be a cost-effective solution, it’s important to prioritize safety and always consult a professional to ensure the repair is done correctly and the tire is safe to drive on.

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Robert Herrera

President & Automotive Expert at COR Wheels

Robert Herrera has been with COR Wheels for 17 years and has a great passion for the automotive industry. During his time at COR Wheels, he has driven and test-driven a variety of vehicles.

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