If you enjoy reading about cars and other related topics, we’d love to share our Auto Care Blog with you. At CARS of America, Inc., our highly trained auto mechanics deliver the very best in auto repair services through our two locations in Glenview and Evanston. One way we accomplish that is in the time we take to help educate our customers so they feel confident making auto repair decisions. Our Auto Care Blog is just one way we meet that goal. Let us know if there’s a topic you’d like to hear more about!

 

Why does a tire repair cost so much money?

Question: I got a flat tire last weekend in Chicago and had to use a shop there to repair it. The cost was $40! Why was the repair so much? I remember paying $10 for a tire patch. All Out of Air, Evanston

Here's why it costs more to have a tire repaired than it used toHere’s why it costs more to have a tire repaired than it used to

Answer: In the Good ‘Ole Days, patching a tire was a 10-minute task. We plugged it from the outside, and it was a quick and easy repair.

But for safety reasons on today’s tires, the Rubber Manufacturers Association and tire manufacturers require a plug-patch repair. First, a rubber stem (a.k.a. a plug) must be applied to fill the puncture, and second, a patch must be applied to seal the inner liner. A plug by itself is not an acceptable nor safe repair.

Repairing tires this way properly and safely seals the puncture on both the inside and outside. But it also means we have to remove the tire from the rim to access the damaged area. As you can imagine, this involves a lot more steps—and time—than it used to. (If you like a good technical read before bedtime, you can check out the Rubber Manufacturers Association Puncture Repair Procedures here.)

To repair a tire today, we need to:

CARS of America has the tire mounting equipment required to mount tires on alloy wheels without scratching them.CARS of America has the tire mounting equipment required to mount tires on alloy wheels without scratching them.
  1. Use a tire machine to remove the tire from the wheel.
  2. Clean and prep the area around the puncture.
  3. Apply the tire plug from the inside.
  4. Remount the tire on the wheel—just like you have done when you buy a new tire.
  5. Rebalance the tire & wheel—also, what you have done when you buy a new tire.

So what used to be a 10-minute tire patching job is now a multi-step process that takes at least 30 minutes. And if you have alloy wheels, the auto repair or tire shop needs to have special tire mounting and balancing equipment that doesn’t damage the wheels. These two pieces of equipment cost about $25,000.

While $40 may seem like a lot for a tire repair, it’s the result of all the above. I hope this helps you understand why it costs more than it used to. The good news is that you were able to salvage your tire. A client of ours recently had a nail in a tire and had to replace all four tires because she has an all-wheel drive vehicle. But that is a blog post for another day.

Have questions about tires or tire repairs? Contact us today.

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