Location of Repairs
Repairs must be performed by removing the tire from the rim/wheel assembly for a thorough inspection of the inside and outside of the tire. Repairs are limited to the tread area of the tire. Punctures greater than 1/4" in the tire tread and punctures outside of the first tread groove closest to the sidewall cannot be repaired safely.
The integrity and safety of the tire is impaired if repairs are attempted in the shoulder/belt edge area or where the injury extends at an angle into the shoulder area.
If there is ANY question on whether the repair extends into these areas, the tire must be taken out of service.
Finding the Leak
For a hard to locate leak, the tire is immersed in a mixture of soapy water so that any bubbles that form will indicate the location of the damage.
This puncture is in the sidewall and can’t be repaired
This puncture is within the allowable repair area.
How it’s done
A patch & plug (rubber stem) combination repair or patch plug assembly are the only proper procedures for repairing a punctured tire.
A plug (rubber stem) is applied to fill the puncture and a patch is applied to seal the innerliner.
It’s more common to use a one piece combo unit that incorporates both the rubber stem and the patch.
Patch Plug Assembly
A plug by itself or a patch by itself is not an acceptable repair, as well as any repairs that overlap.
A plug inserted from the outside of the tire is not recommended and is considered to be a dangerous repair since the inside of the tire is usually not thoroughly inspected.
Proper repairs can take 1- 1.5 hours. It depends on the size of the wheel and the type of tire. Bigger tires are just more cumbersome and take more time. Consider this and the labor hours needed to get the job done correctly.
Not all tires can be repaired! Tire manufacturer recommendations, as well as USTire Manufacturers association and DOT guidelines must be adhered to ensure the safety of your tires. Never perform an outside-in tire repair or on-the-wheel repairs!
Knowing these tire repair basics, along with the type of tires that are on your vehicles will allow you to make the most knowledgeable and safe decsions about your tires.