Tire repair methods

Are there different methods used by different tire dealers to repair tire punctures ? I had a nail puncture last year in a tire Tire dealer “A” was able to repair it. I’ve been driving on this tire with no problems. This year I picked up a nail in another tire which could not be repaired.

I replaced that tire with a new tire bought from dealer “B”. When I asked dealer “B” to mount the tire repaired by dealer “A” onto my spare wheel they refused saying that dealer “A” did not repair the tire to their standards and due to company policy would not mount it. I had to return to dealer “A” to have it mounted. Is there a difference in how different tire dealers repair nail punctures ? I am concerned that dealer “A” did not repiar it correctly but the tire functions okay and I hate to ask dealer “A” how they fixed it.

I wouldn’t be too concerned about Tire Dealer A’s work based on what Tire Dealer B said. They all try to bash the other companies work.

There are different techniques. And I can’t say if one is better then the other. I’ve had 2 different kinds of repairs on my tires in the past 20 years and never had a problem with any of them.

Yes, there is a difference. Some shops will install a plug, which is fine in most cases. Other shops, like Pep Boys and Goodyear, will install a patch on the inside of the tire and charge you more money. Which is better? That really depends. If you buy used tires, a patch might cost more than the tire is worth. If you buy new long-life tires, you might want to get them patched. It is easy to install a plug incorrectly. I paid for road hazard protection when I bought my tires, which I think is the best plan for new long-life tires. I don’t have to pay for tire repairs. The road hazard protection has already paid for itself.

I will add that you can buy a plug kit and install plugs yourself. It ain’t easy though, especially if the object causing the leak is at an angle.

It was always my understanding that the patch was superior. Most tire stores won’t plug a leak. Service stations do it all the time. Some tire stores won’t patch a hole that isn’t fairly small. Liability is a driver here.

There are fast and easy ways to repair a flat. It can be done without removing the tire from the wheel. This method, plugging, always worked for me. Many tire ‘experts’ advise an internal patch, which clearly requires tire removal.

I suspect “A” made the simple repair. And it is quite possible that “B” is required to follow company policy regarding their handling of such repaired tires. So neither company did you wrong. They just have different standards. Nothing for you to be concerned about.

A patch is considered better, but I’ve personally never had a problem with a plug. However, a puncture too close to the sidewall will be unrepairable due to too much flex.

The explanation to me was that patches hold pressure better, but let water into the steel belts. Plugs hold out water better, but can leak air. There are things called patch plugs that are supposed to be the best of both, but you do need to dismount the tire like using a patch. It sounds logical, but it would be nice to see some real data.

I always liked the Multiplast cord material made and sole by the Bowes Seal Fast dealers for outside in repair. It puts 4 cords inside the hole and conforms and seals to the rubber and interliner. Problem is
Bowes is out of business now. For problem holes I used the Kex or camel patch with a metal covered plug that went inside to out. That sealed both cord and rubber. Never saw a leaker with it. LEE

The best way to patch a tire with a tread puncture that I know of is to use, not a patch or a string plug, but a mushroom plug that must be installed from the inside of the tire. That should seal the belts from water entry although I have not encountered a problem with belt corrosion after using string plugs. I have installed string plugs at home with mostly good results. If one leaks, then remove the old string plug and do it again. String plugs that have failed for me leaked slowly.

Yes, a puncture repair too close to the sidewall (3/4"?) is reportedly unreliable.

The tire repair business is being affected by fear of peoples’ tendency to sue so you will see varying advice. If you repair your own tire punctures, then you might be able to save an occasional tire that otherwise might be scrapped.

A driver runs over a nail, gets a slow leak. Doesn’t know it. As tire pressure decreases it runs hotter. Inside of tire can start to shred. Tire gets plugged and holds air, but is disintegrating inside and can later fail catastophically. To patch, technician has to take tire off wheel. He can now inspect for inside damage.