Tire Safety

Recently, I had a flat on the right front tire. Now I want to take a 1,000 mile road trip and I’m wondering about the safety of this “plugged” tire.

Question 1 is who did the repair. A plug is fine for many situations. some situations require a patch and others such as sidewall puncture may require replacement. If it was a reputable tire repair center I would be confident the repair will not cause any problems. The other question would be how long did you drive on it after it went flat.

Cheapest option- make sure you have your AAA card with you and up to date. Least safe. A flat while moving on a steering tire can cause you to lose control of the car.

Next cheapest- rotate the front tire to the back on the same side of the car. A flat while moving on a rear tire is easier to control the car and pull off the road. Safer, but not really safe.

More expensive- have the tire taken off the wheel, patched properly, re-mounted, balanced and put back on the car. If the tire went flat in a parking lot while standing still it should be not be anymore likely to have a flat than the other 3 tires. You are safe.

If the tire went flat while the car was moving, even slowly, there is some chance the sidewall is not sound and the tire is still suspect. Have it placed on the rear. Pretty safe, but not the best.

Most Expensive- replace the tire, which may mean replacing two tires on the same axel. If you have a Subaru or another AWD car you may need to replace all 4 tires. Consult your owner’s manual. Best option for safety.

Safer than mine after I drove it for half a mile back to the house. It hasn’t leaked since then which was July.

I’ve NEVER had a problem with a plug.

If the tire was “plugged”, get it properly repaired using a “patch and plug”. Plugs by themselves have been known to leak - and sometimes a plug that didn’t leak at first, leaks later.

Same here. I have never had a problem with a plug or a patch.

Same here. I have plugged several tires myself. It doesn’t create any hazard if it was done right.