Calgary winters are rough on tires. This isn’t a surprise to anyone. Winter tires make driving easier and safer, but what do you do when those tires are damaged? You could replace the tires each year, but the cost seldom justifies the regular expense. You might choose not to repair the tire, but this can lead to unnecessary harm to you and your vehicle. Sometimes tire repairs are needed. Keep reading to learn when you should repair, when you should replace and when you can wait another season.
Worn out treads need to be replaced
Your tires need 6/32 inch treads. Treads that no longer have that depth cannot be repaired. Those tires should be replaced before the heavy snow and ice of winter rears its ugly head. You can use the toonie test to determine if your treads are deep enough. This simply involves placing a coin in the treads to learn the depth of the trenches. If you are unsure of the depth of your worn treads, you can visit a tire shop to receive an expert opinion.
Punctured winter tires can be repaired
A patch can be used on a punctured tire, though this depends on the location and depth of the puncture. Most punctures that are less than one-quarter inch in diameter can be repaired by a professional. Likewise, punctures that are between treads can often be repaired rather than replaced. As with all issues such as these, head to a tire repair shop for a diagnosis and patch. Do not attempt to do this yourself unless you are willing to take a risk of a blowout while you are driving.
Rotting tires may be beyond repair
Believe it or not, a tire that is showing signs of rot may be repaired. However, this is only true in the early stages. Dry rot can be repaired by a professional who will use a water-based sealant on those cracks. If the dry rot has advanced beyond those very early stages, the tires should be retired as soon as possible. If you are considering tire repairs technicians will let you know whether the tires can be salvaged or if you need a replacement.
Some cracks can be fixed
Not all cracking is caused by dry rot. Some cracking in tires is due to simple exposure to the sun. In fact, the most common reason tires crack is due to exposure, which is why this type of damage is often referred to as “weather cracking.” Cracks may also be caused by exposure to harsh chemicals. Light cracks can be fixed. As with dry rot, your tire repair person will use a sealant to ensure the cracks do not progress any further. Your technician will also recommend that you cover the tires as much as possible, park indoors rather than outside and regularly check the cracks to make sure they don’t get worse over time. Issues that are deeper than surface cracks might be beyond repair. Make sure you talk this over with a tire repair specialist if you detect a crack in your winter tires.
Normal wear and tear is fine
When you take your car in for tire repairs technicians will be honest about what needs to be repaired and what needs to be replaced. Sometimes, what you think of as a serious issue is normal wear and tear. Most mechanics will happily send you on your way with no extra repairs as long as the treads remain deep and there are no serious cracks or punctures.