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I have a Subaru Legacy 5.0i wagon, which has all-wheel drive.

Taking a right turn yesterday, my rear passenger tire bumped on a curb. About 20 minutes later the tire was flat.

There is an 'L' shaped cut on the sidewall that does not go all the way through, but exposes some threads - and obviously is no longer air-tight.

Can this tire be repaired?

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Bottom Line: I chose to replace the tire (all 4 tires, in fact - because of the all-wheel drive). See: mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/9124/… –  jmsmcfrlnd Apr 8 at 23:30
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2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

No, it cannot. In fact, in the United States it is illegal for a tire shop to repair a tire which has side wall damage. The reason for this is because the integrity of the tire itself is compromised with side wall damage. Now, I'm not saying it could not be fixed per se (a simple patch could probably do it), but would you want to risk your safety or that of your passengers by putting a repair on a compromised tire?

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Paulster2 gave the right answer. But in the case of an emergency where you don't have a spare tire, you could use a can of tyre-jack (or Tyre-Weld, etc) to reinflate the tire and seal the hole so that you can continue driving to a safe place or the nearest tire dealer.

It's a good idea to keep two of these cans in your car, especially if you're going on a roadtrip. They're the equivalent of two extra spare tires, without the extra weight and bulk.

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You cannot use tyre-weld on sidewall damage - it explicitly states this on the instructions (at least in Europe). The tyre MUST be replaced –  Nick Mar 24 at 17:03
    
Which is why I said if it's an emergency. –  Juann Strauss Mar 24 at 17:28
    
Are you sure your answer is addressing the question adequately? The question is not about an emergency, it's about (permanent) repair. A tyre with sidewall damage or where the fabric is exposed is not road legal (in USA, UK etc). So far as I know, Tyreweld isn't designed to seal sidewall damage, it is intended that centrifugal force spreads the liquid over the inside of the tread (not the sidewall). Could you please provide references to support the legal and effective use of Tyreweld as a temporary repair for sidewall damage. –  RedGrittyBrick Mar 29 at 18:30
    
Why would you bother with the legality of a temporary fix in an emergency? Would you rather die of hunger or thirst on a deserted road than attempt to repair a flat tyre in a slightly less-than-legal manner? What don't you understand about the use of the word "emergency"? –  Juann Strauss Mar 31 at 9:29
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