Patched tire or new tire?

tires

#1

I bought a set of four tires about two years / 16,000 miles ago, and they were all fine until today, when my left front tire picked up a nail that someone generously left on a public street. My reputable tire store fixed the hole in the tire for free, but my wife wonders if the patch repair is safe, and she thinks we need a new tire. Is a patched tire substantially as safe as the other three tires with the same age and wear, or should I buy a new tire to replace the patched tire? Thanks.


#2

Check with the shop that did the repair and if they installed a plug in the hole AND a patch on the inside of the tire it will be fine.

Puncture wounds in the sidewalls are a different matter.


#3

I’ve NEVER had a patch fail, and I know of couple I had that lasted well over 30k miles. As for sidewalls…A reputable shop wouldn’t even attempt to patch a sidewall.


#4

Can be a complicated issue because there is controversy about whether to repair tires and how to repair them. Depends who you ask. The three common repair methods in use are patch, plug and combination patch-plug. Plugs have been around for awhile, were dropped when radials became the norm, and now they’re back. Patches have been around forever; the plug was developed as an easy way to repair a puncture without removing the tire from the rim. IMHO, a plug for simple nail puncture in the main area of the tread should be just fine, but if your tire store actually removed the tire from the rim and patched it, then I think you are better off. By removing the tire it would have been inspected for evidence of structural damage, something that does not happen with an on-the-rim plug repair I think you have little to worry about.


#5

A patch will not come loose and will be fine over the life of the tire. As mentioned, a sidewall repair is a different thing altogether but one assumes here the hole was in the tread area. If so, don’t worry a bit about it.


#6

There is a risk associated with repairing anything - including tires. Replacement always is a lower risk.

The real problem with repaired tires is not so much the repair method, but the amount of time the tire was run underinflated AND the amount underinflated it was. Don’t get me wrong, the method is important, but the biggest issue is the underinflation.

However, the failure rate of tires is fairly low - and the failure rate of repaired tires, while much higher, is still fairly low. The only hiccup is that when a tire fails, sometimes tragic things result.

So are you willing to take a risk with your wife’s life? And if you are, don’t forget how much you are going to hear about the decision you made.


#7

The real problem with repaired tires is not so much the repair method, but the amount of time the tire was run underinflated AND the amount underinflated it was. Don’t get me wrong, the method is important, but the biggest issue is the underinflation.

Good point. Happened to me last year (almost to the day). Driving on 495…picked up a hugh nail. Tire went flat…I was in the left lane passing a semi. I had to slow down and pull over. Right where I pulled over there was an exit so I took the exit to get off the highway (people get killed on that road changing a flat). When I pulled the tire it was completely ruined…total distance I traveled was about 1/2 mile.


#8

I have plugged my own tires in the past, and I have never had a problem. If the tire is patched and plugged, it is perfectly safe.


#9

New tires may have patches from the factory.


#10

I’ve had many plugs and some patches, and never had a single one fail. They’re perfectly safe.

As Mike said, no shop in their right mind woul try to plug or patch a sidewall. You need not worry.