Why Is This Tire Repairable? Understanding Tire Patches vs. Tire Plugs

This vehicle has a screw embedded in its tire in a repairable location since it is on a flat plane, not too close to the edges of the tire which are considered a “flex zone.” Some leaks are able to be patched, but only if they are located outside of this zone, in the center half of the tire–away from both sides. If a puncture occurs in this zone, which is to the left or the right of the outside-most grooves on a tire, it is non-patchable since flexing of the tire would compromise an internal plug patch, making a new tire purchase necessary. An inner tire patch can successfully be applied to a leaking tire if it is not in the flex zone and if  there is no internal structural damage to any of the cords or belts upon visual inspection. This type of tire patch takes 30 to 45 minutes and runs approximately $30.

We, like the vast majority of today’s shops, are unable to do simple, “old-timey” exterior plugging due to major liability risks. Plugging tires is an unsafe method of repair and not advisable. 

Video provided by Forest Automotive: Complete Auto Service and Repair for Forest, Goode, Bedford, and Lynchburg, VA

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