tire repair - patch or plug?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by vshah, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. vshah

    vshah Lifer

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    I was swapping the all season tires back on for the winter when i saw that one of them had written on it, in giant chalk, "SCREW >>>". The shop that i used to swap them off last spring must have seen it, but never told me.

    anyway, i need get it repaired as i'm driving around on 3 all seasons and one summer tire for today. i could diy plug it, but some people say that isn't as good as a proper patch. what's ATG's recommendation?

    thanks
     
  2. jimmybgood9

    jimmybgood9 Member

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    Unless you don't mind pulling over in a freezing blizzard with traffic splashing salty slush on you to change a flat, definitely patch it. I used to carry a patch kit and a tire pump, so I could make emergency repairs, but now I'm old and lazy and call AAA.
     
  3. vshah

    vshah Lifer

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    if I plug it today, will that prevent me from taking it in to get patched later this week?
     
  4. wirednuts

    wirednuts Diamond Member

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    plug it to get by, and if the tire had a lot of life left then take the time when you can to patch it.

    plugs work just fine, but can leak over time. patches are permanent, and i have applied patches that hold together knife slits on the sidewalls
     
  5. Zenmervolt

    Zenmervolt Supermoderator<br>The Garage<br>Elite member

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    IIRC the accepted procedure is both. Plug the hole in the tread AND patch from inside.

    ZV
     
  6. wirednuts

    wirednuts Diamond Member

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    :/ a patch usually includes the plug. you cant really use a standard plug THEN put a patch over it.
     
  7. fstime

    fstime Diamond Member

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    This is the correct way of doing things.
     
  8. phucheneh

    phucheneh Diamond Member

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    You do that with a 'patch plug,' though. If there's a tar plug (or whatever the technical name would be) stuffed in it, you pull that out before installing the patch plug (which is just a patch with a little rubber cylinder coming out of the middle).

    FWIW, though, plugs can work okay. They often leak because people don't do a great job putting them in...which is expected; it's kind of a ghetto quick-fix.

    But if you remove the nail/screw/whatever without leaving any remnants, size the hole right (I use a drill rather than trying to wallow the hole out with a T-handled reamer...people look at you funny when you stab a drill in a tire), apply a little cement to the plug before stuffing it in, and push it in to the proper depth...I've had them last the life of a tire without leaking.

    It's a lot of little things to get right for such a simple fix. And it's still not the 'right' repair...but it can work. I definitely wouldn't ever recommend plugging when patching is an available option.

    I've seen a lot of botched patches, too, though. Usually someone grinds on the inside of the tire too much and exposes cord. Or they don't apply the proper compound to the tire before applying the patch...it's not cement, but rather something that is supposed to soften the rubber and allow the patch to stick properly.