Step-by-step tire side cut repair

Repairing a tire sidewall: how to tape a cut

Damage to the shoulder zone is usually classified as critical. Your safety is at stake, which means there is no reasonable alternative to replacement with a new tire. Nevertheless, lateral cuts may be repaired and it is necessary to admit that qualitative services return the tire to its former durability and the tire serves its declared service life without any complaints. Of course, the successful operation of the repaired product is not a coincidence, but the faultless adherence to the technology, the principles of which the editorial staff of will introduce you today.

Types and causes of damage to the side surface of the tire

If you can patch a side cut on your tire

There are many circumstances in which a tire may encounter a lateral puncture. It is not only close parking to the curb, from which the armature is sticking out. Someone drove in a narrow yard and accidentally hit a usual curb, someone was driving on concrete slabs and didn’t notice a hole with sharp bars, and someone miscalculated and hit a step with a metal corner on the edge. The cases are different – the defect is the same: an instantly flat tire. You may use two recipes: change the cut tire with a new one or repair it with further installation on the rear axle or on the place of spare tire.

Cuts on the side of the tire are subject to classification:

  • A tear (pluck). This is not a cut, but just a chipped piece of rubber, behind which is either the same rubber, or barely bare cord. The distinctive feature is that the tire does not run flat.
  • A puncture is up to 5mm long.
  • A cut over 5 mm in length.

Each of these defects are repaired individually. We must note the fact that on low-profile tires with a sidewall height less than 50% of its width, through side cuts cannot be treated. The only treatment is to buy a new tire!

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vulcanizing a tire sidewall cut

Tearing on the Side of a Tire: To Repair or Not to Repair

The lack of seriousness in treating a tire sidewall tear is due to the absence of tangible consequences immediately after its occurrence. The tire, as a rule, does not run down even a day or two after the occurrence of damage, there are no bumps and visible damage of a serious nature. Only for the sake of visual comfort, the defective place is treated with superglue.

However, any qualified specialist will summarize that tears can not be underestimated. The strength of the sidewall is reduced, in addition, the cord is exposed. And the bared cord corrodes intensively under the influence of moisture and reagents, from which the rubber quickly becomes unusable.

What methods are used for restoring a tire with a tear-out? There are actually two technologies:

  1. External vulcanization of the defective area. Hides the damage, and reliably protects the cord from damaging effects. It is used for shallow defects.
  2. Cord patch from the inside + external vulcanization. Costly, but very reliable method of repair with the accompanying restoration of strength characteristics to the condition of a new product. Recommended for use in places with bare cords.

How to seal a lateral cut up to 5 mm long

A cut is not a situation with rubber burning on one side which is difficult to detect. This defect is easy to detect: it is indicated by an instantly deflated tire, and you can’t go far here. The size of the damage is always evaluated from the inside. If outside the size of the crack is impressive, usually not inside: 2-3 mm of through puncture are fixed at once.

The repair technology is simple: a cord patch is glued on the inside, and the outside is vulcanized, followed by stripping of the treated location. The process should look like this step by step:

  • Mark the outline of the flaw on the inside. Water-resistant chalk can be used as a tool.
  • Treat the damage with a buffer rubber cleaner and clean with a scraper.
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to patch a tire sidewall cut

  • Clean the puncture area with a low-speed drill with an abrasive nozzle.
  • Complete the cleaning of the defect with a metal brush using the same low-speed drill.
  • Remove the dirt from the prepared place with a special vacuum cleaner.

Is it worth it to repair a side cut tire?

  • Apply the adhesive to the treated tire location according to the instructions.
  • Once the adhesive has dried, glue the patch. Press the patch with your fingers and squeeze the air out from the center.
  • Roll the patch with a roller. The operation should be carried out crosswise.
  • Seal the patch with a pneumatic hammer.

tire side cut welding

According to experienced tire fitters, the origin of the cord patch and the use of a pneumatic hammer on the finish have a special influence on the quality of the work. Thus, pneumatic tools can increase adhesion of the patch with rubber up to 30%, and the original Tip-Top, Rossvik and Maruni patches have an undeniable advantage over sliced rounds of thin rubber of unknown composition.

What to do about larger lateral cuts

Cracks over 5 mm in length are not easy to fix. Here a different technological approach is required. A single cord patch is not enough in such circumstances – there is a great risk that it will start leaking. Therefore the damage is initially sealed with a mushroom. This is the classic way of fixing the fault.

As for the exotic, the advanced tire shops have mastered the technique of restoring the integrity of the cord with subsequent vulcanization. Reviews give hope that the tire is really restored and serves the declared resource without problems. The cost of such service is impressive – about 6-7 thousand rubles. Judging by the price, such service is justified only for new tires of a non-marketable size.

How to repair a side cut tire with your own hands

What is the result

When a cut appears, the first thing you need to understand is what is more rational: to buy a new or used tire or to repair the cut. You should be guided by the size of the damage, the age of the rubber and the cost of both the tire and resuscitative tire fitting services. Despite the level of development of repair technologies, you should experiment with the elimination of large lateral cuts in special cases, such as non-market size of rubber, its high price, etc.

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And remember, having on hands the repaired tire, it is better to establish it on the back axle, and even better – on a place of a spare.

Step-by-step tire side cut repair

In this article, let’s talk about how to repair a lateral tire cut with your own hands. The cord thread is the carrier of the tire’s shape and stiffness, as it does not overlap with other threads along its length in the tire. Unfortunately, during a repair, no matter how well it’s done, it’s impossible to achieve the original stiffness. As a consequence, the circumference characteristics will be different.

Step by step guide for repairing a lateral tire cut

Many tire repair centers now offer side-cut repair services. The process of repairing a side cut is extremely time-consuming, responsible and high-tech. And I also want to brag immediately, yesterday bought a chameleon mask for welding work and was surprised how much more convenient to weld in it, just no words … so let’s go further …

Preparing to Repair Tire Cuts

First, use a drill to deburr the area for the cord patch on the inside of the tire. If the tire does not need to be stitched, you can clean the patch after the cut on the outside has been cured.


Next, we strip the tire from the outside as well.

In order to partially restore the stiffness of the lateral surface and eliminate the possibility of a hernia, the tire must be stitched using an awl and capron thread.


When all the necessary places have been prepared and stitched, you can proceed to the further process of repairing the side cut. To do this you need to thoroughly clean the tire surface from dirt and degrease the area of the cut and apply a special hot melt glue.

When the glue has dried a little, a piece of damp rubber cut a little bit bigger than the size of the lateral cut is applied. Make sure that the damp rubber covers the whole cut and the whole surface of the cut.

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Step by step guide for repairing a lateral tire cut

Vulcanizing the tire

When all the preparations for curing are done, put the tire on the vulcanizer. In order to properly repair the tire, the duration of the vulcanization should be long enough to handle the raw rubber. But you must also avoid burning the rubber. Recommended vulcanizing time is 50-70 minutes depending on the thickness of the raw rubber strip.


The final stage in repairing a sidewall cut

After the tire has been sealed, it should be allowed to cool for a while. Then you need to carefully treat the internal stripped surface. Clean off the dirt with a special scraper and degrease. Apply the adhesive activator to the cleaned surface, and after it has dried a little, apply another thin layer of glue.

Step by step guide for repairing a lateral tire cut

Once the surface is ready and the adhesive activator dried (ceased to shine and became matte) to apply the cordovaya patch. Then a special roller to carefully roll the patch from the center to the edges, so that the patch is tight to the work surface.


At this stage, the repair of the side cut can be considered complete. But still in such cases it is impossible to say that the tire is suitable for further use. Such a tire is still recommended for use as a spare.

Step by step guide for repairing a lateral tire cut

If it is still decided to install the repaired tire on the car, it is necessary to operate it only as a rear wheel. Also the speed of the vehicle must be reduced. Have a good road trip!

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