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Tire Tech

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Proper Tire Repair


Flats happen.  It's part of driving.  Regardless of brand or type of tire, eventually some foreign object left in the road will find its way through the tread.  What is important is to have the puncture repaired properly.


Step 1

If you notice your tire is low, try and fill the tire as soon as possible before continuinf to drive. Most fixable punctures become unfixable because the tire rolled with not enough air and damaged the inner liner.

Step 2

Do NOT use a 'string' or 'plug' type repair for your tires.  These are temporary, low speed solutions and should only be used if you do not have a spare tire or are in a special situation.  If you used this type of repair, you should have the tire properly fixed as soon as possible.

A proper repair always should always involve dismounting the tire and examining the inside.  The inner liner may have started disintegrating, the object that caused the puncture may have torn the inner sidewall or the puncture may be much bigger on the inside.  If any of these conditions have occurred the tire is no longer repairable.  If someone is driving with a 'rope' or 'plug' type repair and any of these conditions have occurred (unknowingly, since the tire wan not dismounted before the repair) a blowout could ensue.

Step 3

Once the puncture has been deemed repairable (usually smaller than ¼ inch or 3mm) the technician should ream the puncture, buff the inner liner, install both a soft plug (to prevent water from seeping into the steel plies) and a radial patch inside the tire.  The inner portion section must then be covered with a sealant.

Step 4

The last step is to mount and balance the tire. 


A properly repaired tire will perform at an optimal level for the remainder of its useful life.*


* Since they are unable to verify the quality of a repair, most tire manufacturers will downgrade the speed rating of a tire once its been repaired.

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