Whether you’re driving for work, play or a long road trip, your tires keep you safe on the road. When they’re punctured, you need to know how to get them repaired quickly and safely, so you can continue your journey.
Several different types of tire puncture can occur, and some cannot be fixed. Nails, screw and other sharp objects are common causes of punctured tires. In addition, mechanical issues can affect your tire’s condition, such as uneven wear in the tread or sidewalls and a condition known as feathering, where the inner or outer shoulder of the tire gets much more wear than the center section.
When it comes to repairing punctured tires, the most accepted industry standard is a patch-plug repair. This involves removing the punctured tire from its rim, cleaning it and then using a patch-plug material that incorporates both a mushroom plug and a patch and seals it to the inner liner through the injury channel with a cold chemical vulcanizing process. This method is also the recommended method by most tire manufacturers for repairing punctures. However, it’s not recommended for use in the tire’s crown area, near other repairs or punctures that are more than 1/4 inch wide.
If the hole in your tire is in an area that doesn’t flex as the tire moves or is too large to repair, it’s time for a replacement. The same goes for tires that are already worn down to less than ideal standards – 2/32nds of an inch or below, as per DOT regulations – and whose sidewalls are compromised.
It’s possible to assess your tires on a regular basis and ensure they are in good working condition. A quick visual inspection should include checking for signs of damage or excessive wear in the tread and sidewalls as well as ensuring the wheel rim is not bent, damaged or unbalanced.
Getting your tires professionally repaired is the best way to ensure you’ll be able to drive for as many miles as possible. When your tire is in the right working condition, you’ll enjoy better fuel efficiency and a safer ride for everyone on board.
This article focuses on the repair of passenger car and light truck tires with puncture holes that are less than 1/4 inch in diameter, although some of the procedures can be used to repair medium truck tires as well. The sequential photos in this article are based on the standard two-piece Tire Repair procedure but can be adapted for the one-piece method that is sometimes used in special circumstances. It’s important to note that while these steps are fairly straightforward, they must be done in a clean and secure environment with proper eye protection to prevent serious injuries. Also, it is recommended that an experienced tire repair technician perform these repairs. If not, the resulting tire may not perform properly and could fail in service. It’s not worth the risk!