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CostHelper > Cars  > Flat Tire Repair

Flat Tire Repair Cost


How Much Does Flat Tire Repair Cost?

 
average costPatching or Repair: Free - $40, up to $60 for a Run Flat Tirehigh costReplacement: $50-$750+ Per Tire
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  Typical costs:
  • A do-it-yourself tire repair kit can cost $5-$20 for simple tools and plugs (to fill the puncture), or $20-$50 for a larger kit with a sealant and a pump or compressor to re-inflate the tire. A do-it-yourself kit is typically designed to create a temporary fix on the outside of the tire to get the vehicle back on the road, so the tire can then be professionally repaired (with an interior patch) or replaced. Tire repair kits are available from auto parts stores like Autozone[1] , big box discount stores like Walmart[2] ; or online retailers like Amazon[3] .
  • Having a flat fixed by a tire or repair shop typically costs $5-$40 for a standard tire and $30-$60 to repair a run flat tire (designed to be safe to drive on even when it is flat). Many tire and repair shops offer free flat repair for tires purchased from them, or through other programs; a few offer free tire repair for any tire, regardless of where it was purchased. For example, Walmart[4] charges $10 to repair a flat tire, or it is free if the owner purchased the Road Hazard Warranty at $10 per tire when buying tires at Walmart; Pep Boys[5] repairs flat tires for free for members of its Rewards program; and Discount Tire[6] (aka America's Tire) offers free flat repair, no questions asked.
  • If the tire damage is too severe or located in an area of the tire that can't safely be repaired, a single replacement tire typically costs $50-$200 for a passenger car; $60-$350 for a standard tire on a pickup or SUV; and $110-$750 for an all-terrain tire on a pickup or SUV. Modern suspension systems work best with matching tires; if only one is replaced, the replacement must be an exact match for the other three tires. Worn tires are often replaced in pairs, and many experts recommend replacing all four tires at once.
Related articles: Roadside Assistance Service, Towing a Car, Tires, Snow Tires, Wheel Balancing, Wheel Alignment

What should be included:
  • For a safe and permanent repair, the tire must be removed from the rim and the work done inside the tire (rather than an outside patch); repairs must be made in the tread area only; the puncture cannot be more than 1/4" in diameter; repairs should not overlap; and a rubber stem (plug) should be used to fill the puncture and a patch applied to seal the inner liner (or using a single unit that combines a plug with a patch). The Rubber Manufacturers Association outlines repair procedures for passenger and light truck tires[7] ; and provides a video illustration of proper and improper tire repair[8] .
  • CarsDirect.com provides instructions for using a temporary tire repair kit[9] with tools and a plug.
  • Consumer Reports has an overview of compact emergency flat tire sealants[10] .
Additional costs:
  • Most repair shops include the cost of wheel balancing (placing weights on the rim so the tire rotates evenly) in the cost of flat tire repair. If it's not included, this can cost $6-$20 per wheel.
  • If the spare tire is flat or not available, and if a temporary fix isn't possible, towing a vehicle to a shop where the flat tire can be repaired or replaced can cost $35-$125 or more, depending on location and type of vehicle. Towing or installation of a viable spare tire may be provided free to members of roadside assistance plans ($15-$360 a year, depending on the level of service included).
Shopping for flat tire repair:
  • Flat tire repair is available from most gas stations; tire stores like Firestone[11] or Goodyear[12] ; national automotive shops or departments like Meineke[13] , Pep Boys[14] or Walmart[15] ; or independent local repair shops.
  • Both the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence[16] and the International Automotive Technicians Network[17] provide a searchable directory of repair shops.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.autozone.com/autozone/accessories/Wheel-Tire-Repair/Tire-Repair/_/N-26z2
  2.  www.walmart.com/search/search-ng.do?search_query=tire+repair+kit&ic=16_0&Find=Find&sear...
  3.  www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=15706711
  4.  www.walmart.com/cp/1087266
  5.  www.pepboys.com/service/tire_services/tire_puncture_repair/
  6.  dt.know-where.com/DiscountTire/
  7.  www.rma.org/tire_safety/tire_maintenance_and_safety/tire_repair/
  8.  www.rma.org/tire_safety/tire_maintenance_and_safety/tire_repair/video_viewer.cfm?videof...
  9.  www.carsdirect.com/car-repair/how-to-patch-a-flat-tire
  10.  news.consumerreports.org/cars/2012/11/sema-compact-emergency-flat-tire-sealants-are-fas...
  11.  www.firestonecompleteautocare.com/repair/tire-repair.jsp
  12.  www.goodyear.com/en-US/services/flat-tire-repair
  13.  www.meineke.com/services/tires.aspx
  14.  www.pepboys.com/service/tire_services/tire_puncture_repair/
  15.  www.walmart.com/search/search-ng.do?search_query=tire+repair+kit&ic=16_0&Find=Find&sear...
  16.  www.ase.com/Landing-Pages/Car-Owners/Find-a-Repair-Shop/Shop-Locator.aspx
  17.  autorepair.iatn.net/
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