Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Tire repair guidelines

Tire repair guidelines from the tire industry

tire repair guidelines
tire repair guidelines 2
tire repair guidelines

Common tire repair questions

Can you repair a puncture in the tire shoulder area?

No. The U.S. Tire Manufacturer’s Association, the Tire Industry Association, and most tire manufacturers state that punctures can only be repaired in the tread/crown area. That excludes punctures in the tire shoulder, sidewall and bead areas.

Can you repair a puncture using a string plug?

No. A plug is considered a temporary repair. It is unsafe to drive for long periods on a plugged tire. A proper repair requires removing the tire from the wheel to inspect for internal damage. Then it requires buffing the punctured liner so it can accept and adhere to a combination patch plug.

Everybody plugs tires and they work fine. Isn’t the industry just trying to sell repair services and new tires?

You don’t know the internal condition of the tire

No. Think about the stresses on a plug-only repair. Because you haven’t removed the tire from the wheel, you have no idea what kind of internal damage exists inside the tire. If the liner puncture has a ragged edge. that will make it much harder for the plug and adhesive to bond. The same applies if there’s debris surrounding the puncture.

Plug-only repairs aren’t designed to handle the stress

If you skip the patch, you’re subjecting the plug to constant pressure; the 35-ish inflation pressure plus the added pressure when you hit an object or pothole. In simple terms, the air pressure inside the tire is constantly trying to “spit” the plug out.

When you perform a proper tire repair with a patch plug, the patch prevents tire pressure from exerting any outward force on the plug portion.


Posted on by Rick Muscoplat


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