Cost to Patch a Tire (Exact price From Auto Repair Centers)

The cost to patch a tire is usually around $20. This is taken from accredited national tire repair service centers in the U.S.

This can be more expensive depending on the specific damage and tire involved.

Service CenterCost
Town Fair Tire$19.95
Pep Boys$19.99
Sullivan TireFree (with package)
Cost to patch a tire from Town Fair Tire and Pep Boys
cost to patch a tire featured image

How is a tire patched?

When you pay $20 for the service to get a tire patched, you are paying for a plug-patch repair.

This process involves removing the tire from the rim, inserting the plug-patch from the inside and sealing the outside. See the video below for the exact process.

Can your tire be repaired?

Before you go paying for a tire repair service, you need to decide if your tire has the ability to be repaired and patched.

Though the decision on whether tires can be repaired is situational, there are guidelines that will help you determine the best path forward.

Though the decision on whether tires can be repaired is situational, there are guidelines that will help you determine the best path forward.

Lets first look at when a tire can’t be repaired. A tire is unfixable if:

  • the tire was driven while completely flat
  • the walls of the tire have thinned out from driving at low pressures
  • the hole in the tire is larger than 1/4 in
  • the hole is located on the side wall or shoulder of the tire

In all of these situations, the tire needs to be completely replaced and thrown out. There is no way to safely repair these tires.

So let’s look at factors to consider if you want to try to repair the tire.

The first thing to consider is the location of the hole. If the damage is in the main threading, there is a good chance it can be repaired.

Any hole in the side wall or shoulder of the tire can’t be repaired. In order for the tire to be repairable, the hole must be within 1/2 from the edge of the tire tread.

repairable area of a tire

The hole cannot be greater than 1/4 in. in order to be repaired. Anything beyond that is irreparable.

This next part is a bit trickier. As mentioned in the first section above, driving with constant low tire pressure can cause the insides of the tire to wear out. Without removing the tire from the rim, it is nearly impossible to assess this. It is not safe to repair a tire that already has compromised walls.

This video from South Main Auto Repair LLC has a great example of this.

Can a tire be patched for free?

Yes, there are instances where you can get your tired patched for free. These occur for a couple reasons.

The first may be a warranty with the tire supplier. I personally just bought tires at Town Fair Tire and I was able to add a package that would cover damages to the tire for the entire life of the tire. This package was about $75 but all the tires were $800.

So when I purchased this package I was able to get free tire repair services or replacements for any major damage to my tires.

An example is the Tire Maintenance Protection Plan from Sullivan tires. This service offers free tire repair for the life of the tire as well as full and partial replacement if the tire can’t be fixed.

Can you patch a tire yourself?

A tire can be patched by an individual, but the best results come from when the tire can be removed from the rim and thoroughly inspected.

The most common form of tire repair at how is a plug kit type repair. This involves inserting a “string” into the hole. This type of fix is not the most effective. Ideally this type of repair should only be used in emergencies and for temporary fixed.

If you decide you want to repair you tire in this ways, you will need a tire repair plug kit such as the one below.

WYNNsky Heavy Duty Tire Repair Tool Kit

WYNNsky Heavy Duty Tire Repair Tool Kit

Amazon Affiliate Link

And once you have that kit, you can watch the following video to apply the plug.

The basic steps of filling the hole are to:

  1. Remove the object causing the hole (if applicable) with tweezers or T probe
  2. Even out the whole with the T probe
  3. Insert string into the T insert tool forceps
  4. Push the T insert tool into the hole
  5. Remove the T insert tool while leaving the string
  6. Cut excess string (add sealant if desired)
  7. Test tire pressure to make sure hole is filled

Performing a plug-patch, which should be done at a tire repair service is a bit more involved.

The video below is great for walking through this process step by step. You will see that some of the tools being used will not likely be ready available for the average person, making this process more difficult.

Conclusion

Getting a tire patched can cost between $0 and $20. The service can be free with the purchase of a tire protection plan from most major tire suppliers and repair centers. There is a possibility the service could be more expensive if there is more complicated damage.

Not all tires can be salvaged, however, and may need to be replaced.

It can be done a little bit cheaper at home if you choose to use a plug kit, but this is less effective and efficient. Replicating the service from a repair center will be more difficult to perform.

It is recommended that you bring a damaged tire to a service to be inspected to evaluate if the tire can be fixed.

Leave a Comment