Until 1975, the majority of tire repair operations were done with plugs; however, tire repair has gotten more advanced as technology has evolved.
Today, plugs can be used as an economical and temporary repair if the hole is small enough and in a location on the tire that is safe to plug. The preferred and better repair is the patch (and more expensive), which is more permanent and more secure.
Owing to the possibility of separation from the tire due to thermal expansion and centrifugal force, any experienced and skilled repair shop will not use a plug. The rotational speed of the tire is responsible for heat expansion within the tire.
The higher the speed at which you travel, the hotter the rubber will become, and the plug may detach at this higher rate of acceleration.
Plugs and Patches are Different
At AutoWorks, before any tire repair is performed, our expert and skilled technicians will inspect the puncturing object to determine the position of the object and whether once removed the tire can be plugged or patched.
The tire can be plugged if the puncture is relatively small and in the center of the tire. The foreign object is removed and the puncture is inspected to determine size and direction. The material AutoWorks used to plug tires is of high quality, comprising rubber and fiber – multiple strands of high-grade synthetic yarn completely embedded in the vulcanized rubber composition. Once the repair is performed, the plug will conform to the shape of the puncture.
A plug can usually be installed while the tire is on the vehicle and takes 5 to 10 minutes.
If the puncture is in the tread area and within the size parameters (maximum ¼”) the tire can be patched. This is a more complicated procedure and takes longer to perform – about 45 minutes.
The tire has to be removed from the vehicle and removed from the wheel. The tire is placed on a spreader. The tire is probed to determine the size and direction of the puncture and all foreign materials are removed. The puncture area is marked, cleaned, and buffed. Vulcanizing cement is applied to the prepared repair area.
The preferred product used to patch tires is a patch-plug combination. These combination repair units fill the injury and patch the inner liner of the tire. The patch portion has gray vulcanizing gum with blue poly backing and the stem portion is dip-coated with premium vulcanizing gum.
The tire is remounted and inflated and put back on the vehicle.
Occasionally, the injury on the tire is outside the puncture repair limits – too close to the edge, for instance – and the tire cannot be plugged or patched. In these instances, a new tire is recommended.
Although tire repair kits are available, there are issues with this approach. The expert technicians employed by AutoWorks do not recommend any of them. What we do recommend is that you drive, if possible, or have the vehicle towed to your nearest auto repair shop and allow an expert technician to repair the tire.
You may be tempted to repair the tire with Fix-A-Flat, Slime, or other tire sealants, but these stop-leak solutions are not good for the tire. These are intended for emergency and temporary use only. If you use them, you must drive to the nearest auto repair shop immediately to get the tire taken care of properly. If the sealant is left in the tire too long, it may harden and corrode or deform the tire.
These products inject a sealant into the tire to seal the leak, and a gas to fill the rest of the tire. They leave a thick and sticky substance inside the tire, which is difficult to remove and sometimes not possible to remove so that the technician can repair the tire. In this case, you may have to replace the tire.
They also do not work in all situations, especially if the hole created by the object is too big. In addition, they may cause the tire pressure monitoring system sensor to clog.
If you decide to use a quick solution to repair your tire, be sure to make immediate plans to see a mechanic or technician so they can double-check the tire to see the extent of the damage. This will ensure your safety, the safety of others, and give you an added layer of peace of mind.
Tire Repair Prevention Tips
Tires are usually damaged because of two main causes: tread wear and improper inflation.
As a result of tire tread wear and tire pressure, you have to be more cautious on the road. Check the condition of your tires every time you get behind the wheel to make sure they are safe for driving.
Change your speed in accordance with the known tread depth of the tires and the current road conditions. When it’s raining, slow down your speed or pull over.
Don’t be afraid to reduce your speed significantly when the road is slick with water, especially if you know that the tire tread depth is not optimal or is beginning to wear out.
This could save your life and someone else’s life.
Visual Pressure Checks
Every time you get into your car, it is recommended to take a brief check at the profile of the tires.
What you’re trying to detect is a tire that has low air pressure or may be deflating.
Whenever you discover that a tire is underinflated, take steps to correct the situation. Depending on the amount of air, you can either inflate it yourself or take it to your trusted auto repair shop in Delray Beach.
Our experienced and friendly technicians at AutoWorks will be happy to properly inflate your vehicle’s tires at no charge. So stop by any time.
Riding around on low-pressure tires will cause the sidewalls to heat up and eventually damage the tire, putting you at risk.
With these simple tips, it’s possible to avoid accidents and injuries, while also saving money on tire repair and replacement costs in the future.
It is beneficial to be aware of the condition of your vehicle’s tires because there is a great deal riding on their performance.
Being aware of road and vehicle conditions is important for safe driving because it allows you to respond appropriately and keep yourself and others safe.
In the end, it is always preferable to have your vehicle’s tire repair performed by a Delray Beach auto repair professional who will take the necessary time to ensure that the repair is completed correctly.
Call AutoWorks 561-272-7451, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by 1501 SW 10th Street, Delray Beach, FL 33444.