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How to Erase Cracked Sidewalls on Tires

by Jeffrey Norman

Repairs to tires' sidewalls are not recommended. As the most sensitive component of a tire's construction, sidewalls typically demand a complete replacement of the tire. Attempts to mend damaged sidewalls can lead to an unexpected breakdown or accident in an automobile. Some situations do warrant temporary fixing, such as when a vehicle needs to be driven to a mechanic a great distance away. You cannot erase a sidewall's cracks, but you can seamlessly patch over them.

Step 1

Seek the opinion of an automobile expert on the tire. Most mechanics shy away from sidewall repair for fear of liability should an accident result. They may however offer you advice as to the feasibility of repair for your particular tire.

Step 2

Evaluate the extent of the sidewall damage. The sidewall's threads must be intact to justify a repair job. Holes wider than 1 inch or longer than 4 inches are irreparable. More than two large cracks on the sidewalls also rules out repair. Replace the tire in such cases.

Step 3

Remove the damaged tire from the vehicle.

Step 4

Locate the specific areas of damage in the sidewalls. Dust baby powder onto the sidewall. As the powder sticks, it will expose the exact cracks and gashes that require attention.

Step 5

Spray the damaged areas with carburetor cleaner. Allow it to dry.

Step 6

Fill the cracks with elastomeric cement. Gently scrape off any excess.

Step 7

Scratch at the area just around the filled crack. Apply rubber cement to the area, including the crack. Firmly press an adhesive patch onto the area.

Step 8

Cover the white lettering on the tire with masking tape. Spray black paint over the patch. Apply several coats in order to completely fill the area. Remove the tape from the lettering once the paint dries. Reinstall the tire onto the vehicle.

Test the patch by slowly driving the car. Adjust the patch if necessary.

Items you will need

  • Elastomeric cement
  • Rubber cement
  • Black spray paint
  • Baby powder
  • Carburetor cleaner
  • Adhesive tire patch
  • Masking tape

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