Tire Repair vs. Tire Replacement: Which One Do You Need?

tire replacement

As any Fresno, CA-area driver knows, it’s practically impossible to overstate the importance of a good set of tires. Having high-quality wheels installed on your vehicle can keep you safe and comfortable while driving around this part of California.

But like any other car component, tires need regular attention to reach their maximum potential — and if they’re ignored for too long, you could find yourself in real trouble. Keep reading for everything you need to know before scheduling tire repair or replacement work.

Do You Need Tire Repair or Replacement?

Sometimes, a quick tire repair can be enough to get your wheels back in action. However, tires don’t last forever — the average set of tires has a three-to-five-year lifespan. If your current tires are approaching that milestone or have sustained severe damage, you’ll need to start thinking about tire replacement.

Obviously, not every damaged tire needs to be replaced ASAP. But some tires definitely shouldn’t be in active use, and it’s in your best interest to know the difference between fixable and unfixable tire damage. Here’s what to do when your tires are suffering from various types of damage:

Tire Puncture Damage

If one of your tires has puncture damage, it may still be repairable, depending on the type of puncture. Holes smaller than a quarter-inch in diameter can often be fixed, assuming they aren’t located in a wheel’s sidewall or shoulder.

While you might assume tires with more than one puncture are unfixable, that might not actually be the case. If you have only two holes that are at least 16 inches apart, tire repair may still be a possibility. But if your punctures are too close together, or you have more than two punctures, you’ll need to get your tire replaced instead.

Bubbling in the Tire

Sidewall bubbling in a tire can be caused by:

  • Driving on a flat tire
  • Hitting curbs and potholes
  • Going over speed bumps or railroad tracks too quickly
  • Carrying heavier loads than your tires can safely handle

No matter why your tire has developed bubbling, you need to take this type of damage seriously. Tires with bubbling are unfixable, and you’ll need to replace them immediately to avoid a potential blowout.

Car Accident Damage close-up of car tire on gravel road

Have you just been involved in a car crash? Incidents like these can do a number on every part of your car, including its tires. If your tires have had their treads separated or have been cut during a collision, it’s time to buy new tires.

Multiple Damage Incidents

There’s no inherent reason why you can’t repair a tire more than once. That said, you won’t be able to fix previously-repaired tires if the damaged area overlaps with earlier damage. But if that’s not a concern, there’s a strong chance that your tires are still repairable.

Aging Tire

While taking good care of your tires can extend their lifespan, you won’t be able to drive on the same set of tires indefinitely. One of the most common signs that your tires are reaching the end of their service life is low tread depth. Perhaps the simplest way to test your tread depth is placing a penny head-down in your tire treads — you’ll know you need new tires if you can still see the top of Lincoln’s head.

Your wheels might also be getting old if they’re having trouble maintaining tire pressure. Typically, tires lose one pound of pressure per square inch each month. If your tires are losing pressure faster than that, they may need to be replaced.

Don’t Neglect Tire Maintenance Services

Even if you don’t need to repair or replace your tires, you’ll want to pay attention to them by prioritizing tire maintenance. These services can go a long way toward protecting your wheels:

Tire Balancing

Ideally, your tires should be effectively identical, and tire weight is a big part of this. While not an issue for new tires, the weight of the wheels will change as they wear down. And if your tires suffer from abnormal wear, your wheel weight irregularities could get even worse.

If you find yourself in this situation, the most effective way to deal with it is to schedule tire balancing work at a nearby Fresno tire shop. The mechanics responsible for handling this work will take your car’s tires off their axles, check their weight distribution, and install small weights on your lighter wheels to keep everything balanced.

Tire RotationFresno mechanic working on a tire rotation service

The weight of your tires isn’t the only thing that can affect how they wear. One of the biggest factors behind tire wear is the wheel’s position on your vehicle. Vehicles that drive longer distances or drive frequently are more likely to experience tread wear at a faster rate, which may result in requiring tire rotations more often.  

You’ll need to rotate your tires every so often to alleviate this. That involves removing your tires and moving each one to a different spot on your vehicle, carefully following a specific pattern along the way. 

Tire Alignment

Let’s say your car’s wheels are misaligned by one or two degrees. While you might assume this isn’t a huge issue, it’s more significant than you might think. Misaligned tires can wear unevenly, make it harder to steer, and can even cut down on your fuel efficiency.

Instead of ignoring your misaligned tires, look for a Fresno repair auto shop that can provide tire alignment service. To complete this service, technicians will adjust your car’s suspension (instead of the tires themselves) to return your wheels to their correct angles.

How To Choose a Tire Shop in Fresno

By now, you should thoroughly understand the differences between tire replacement and repair services. But there’s something else you should understand, too — the importance of not attempting to do this work on your own. Your tires are responsible for protecting your vehicle’s well-being, so they deserve service from people who know exactly what they’re doing.

When it’s time to pick a Fresno tire shop, you’ll want to know your tires are being inspected by ASE-certified mechanics — the most qualified technicians in the industry. Beyond that, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for businesses offering convenient locations, auto and tire repair coupons, and other perks to their customers. 

If you want high-quality service and the best possible bang for your buck, schedule tire repair or replacement work at Goodguys Tires & Auto Repair today!

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At Goodguys Tires & Auto Repair, our highest priority is serving our customers. We are 100% committed to you, our valued customer. We strive to make every part of your experience with us hassle-free and pleasant. That’s why we’ve created our Customer Bill of Rights. These Rights are our pledge that your business with us is subject to the highest level of service from everyone in our company.

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