Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

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URSnshn
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Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by URSnshn » Thu May 18, 2017 10:34 am

My automobile tire has a puncture between the tread probably 1/4" or less (screw).

My research tells me that it is better to patch and plug from the inside of the tire and that if done this way - the tire should live out its lifespan. No need for new tires.

What are your thoughts?

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu May 18, 2017 10:39 am

I've plugged well over a dozen tires. None of the plugs have ever had problems and the tires lived until they were well below legal tread depth or until the car was sold off. I've done my own and I've paid a repair shop when I don't have the time. Pulling a tire and patching is far more time consuming and way more expensive.

Years ago, in a BMW CCA meeting, we had Yokohama give us a talk and this very question came up. They told us to plug the tire but for high speed rated tires, the speed rating is no longer valid. So I guess if you're going 130 mph all day long, replace the tire. When I'm going 130 mph, it's because I'm earning frequent flier miles and looking down on people in cars.
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Cosmo
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by Cosmo » Thu May 18, 2017 10:40 am

Just take to Goodyear Tire and they will plug for free.

btenny
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by btenny » Thu May 18, 2017 10:42 am

A patch from the inside should be fine. But after patching and remounting the tire it needs to be rebalanced. So the process is not cheap. If you just plug the hole from the outside there are good odds that a piece of the thing that punctured the tire is still inside the tire and will roll around and cause other problems.

Good Luck

Boglegrappler
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by Boglegrappler » Thu May 18, 2017 11:22 am

I've plugged more than six or seven tire punctures over the years. Most of them were in Michelin tires (which I favor) and all were in the tread rather than on the edge or sidewall.

I never had an issue with any of them leaking, nor with performance of the tire in any way.

You can do it yourself with one of the kits from Autozone. Just be aware that it requires a little power from your hands, and you can't be timid in jamming the reamer into the puncture hole. I've fixed flats with the tire still on the vehicle. Of course you need an air source to inflate it afterwards.

More recently, I've taken to just pulling the tire and taking it to Costco, which is usually where I've purchased it. I think they remove the tire from the rim and patch it internally. But if the puncture is too close to the edge of the tread, they won't do it, and you need to get a new tire. Usually they'll prorate your price for the remaining tread life on the warranteed tire.

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jharkin
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by jharkin » Thu May 18, 2017 11:55 am

Ive also had many a tire plugged and never once had a problem afterward. Few tire shops patch from the inside anymore unless you specifically ask for it.

Plugging is literally a 3 minute job that any halfway competent mechanic can do without even taking the wheel off the vehicle. If you get charged more than $20 for it you overpaid.

Chuck
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by Chuck » Thu May 18, 2017 12:03 pm

I have used the plugs where you jam the gummy worm into the hole with a stick. I believe that is the one Boglegrappler is talking about.

It says on the package "only for temporary repair" but they always last the remaining life of the tire. Sometimes I've had to add air occasionally, but lately I've been putting rubber cement on the worm first, and I've never had any leakage since I started doing that.

If you don't have TPMS, check the pressure frequently, just to be sure. After plugging, I check every day for a week or two, then every week.

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David Jay
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by David Jay » Thu May 18, 2017 12:10 pm

For small punctures (like the OP), a plug from the outside is just fine and will last for the life of the tire.

Plug plus patch is like belt-and-suspenders.
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MathWizard
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by MathWizard » Thu May 18, 2017 12:10 pm

I don't use plugs or patches on tubeless tires.
I just buy a new one.
I have patched on the inside and installed a tube, but
that was 40 years ago.

I've worked on cars a lot, and plugs are one of the few things that I do not
do. Replacing tires is a fairly low expense for me, so it is not worth the potential problems.

Luke Duke
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by Luke Duke » Thu May 18, 2017 12:22 pm

MathWizard wrote:I don't use plugs or patches on tubeless tires.
I just buy a new one.
I have patched on the inside and installed a tube, but
that was 40 years ago.

I've worked on cars a lot, and plugs are one of the few things that I do not
do. Replacing tires is a fairly low expense for me, so it is not worth the potential problems.


It sounds like you may be throwing away some perfectly good tires.

hectorochoa
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by hectorochoa » Thu May 18, 2017 12:42 pm

Almost no repair shop will plug a tire anymore. They will only patch from the inside for safety reasons, as a plug has the potential to work its way out. A patch job will probably cost you $15 to 20. That being said, I have plugged many tires over the years and not had a problem with any of them. I carry a plug kit in my car in case I ever need it, as you can do it yourself very easily and the kits cost about $3 from WalMart or any auto parts store. However, I would only use a plug as a temporary fix until I could get it patched.

saladdin
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by saladdin » Thu May 18, 2017 12:51 pm

Finally, something in my wheel house.

I am cursed with flat tires. I have patched dozens...dozens.... in my life. I can plug a tire without removing the tire from the car. I buy patches by the dozen and have kits in every car with a real jack.

Do what you want but I plug and go on. I've had multiple plugs in the same tire. As long as it's not a huge hole or in the side wall I plug and get ready for the next flat.

new2bogle
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by new2bogle » Thu May 18, 2017 1:01 pm

Sears did a patch and plug for me once, which was covered under their tire warranty. The tire had no issues whatsoever for 10's of thousands of miles.

onmyway33
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by onmyway33 » Thu May 18, 2017 1:44 pm

OP,
I think that your research is correct in that patch and plug from the inside is best:

Here is a recommendation and link from a fairly reputable source (Tire Rack):

There are three primary considerations when repairing a punctured tire. You need to evaluate the damage the object caused as it punctured the tire, reestablish an airtight seal of the tire's innerliner, and completely fill the path the object took through the tire. Typically a mushroom-shaped patch and plug combination repair is considered to be the best method of repairing a punctured steel belted radial.

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech ... ?techid=77

hicabob
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by hicabob » Thu May 18, 2017 1:59 pm

Costco always removes the tire, patches from inside then rebalances. They also check to see if the flat tire has been driven on too much evidenced by loose particles of the stuff they put on the inside of the tire to help air retention, which ruins the tire although it might look ok.

MathWizard
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by MathWizard » Thu May 18, 2017 3:52 pm

Luke Duke wrote:
MathWizard wrote:I don't use plugs or patches on tubeless tires.
I just buy a new one.
I have patched on the inside and installed a tube, but
that was 40 years ago.

I've worked on cars a lot, and plugs are one of the few things that I do not
do. Replacing tires is a fairly low expense for me, so it is not worth the potential problems.


It sounds like you may be throwing away some perfectly good tires.


Perhaps so, but I have had three flat tires in the last 20 years. Those were had very little wear or
life left in them (Tires are not supposed to be used if they are too old due to rubber degradation.)

mmarreco
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by mmarreco » Thu May 18, 2017 4:18 pm

URSnshn wrote:My automobile tire has a puncture between the tread probably 1/4" or less (screw).

My research tells me that it is better to patch and plug from the inside of the tire and that if done this way - the tire should live out its lifespan. No need for new tires.

What are your thoughts?


Yes, a plug from the inside is the correct way to fix it. That said, I have been plugging my tires myself from the outside for many years using the cheap worm plugs + contact cement, and my plugs have lasted for the life of the tire as well. YMMV.

bigdav160
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by bigdav160 » Thu May 18, 2017 5:00 pm

I've seen too many of the rope plugs fail. There is a reason they are considered a temporary repair.
This repair method is the only true repair.

Of course if you're in Patagonia or some place similar you might get this repair

Nate79
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by Nate79 » Thu May 18, 2017 5:33 pm

Cosmo wrote:Just take to Goodyear Tire and they will plug for free.


Discount Tire/America's Tire will also fix for free.

squirm
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by squirm » Thu May 18, 2017 5:34 pm

I've always plugged from the outside, many times over the years including working at gas stations. I've also patched when working at gas stations. Never had a problem with either when done correct. Although the patch people will say to never plug.

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jesscj
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by jesscj » Thu May 18, 2017 5:41 pm

I'm automotive technician we are not allowed to use the plug from the outside the tire kits. All tires must be prepped, plugged, and patched from the inside per tire manufacturers and the Rubber Manufacturer Association. These are the standard guidelines any shop should be using. These rules have come about and are strict for tires repaired in a shop due to liability. As a car owner you may repair how ever you see fit but this is why shops break down and repair from the inside. The shop I work at charges about 12.00 to do one tire repair.

https://rma.org/tire-safety/tire-repair
Last edited by jesscj on Thu May 18, 2017 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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steve88
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by steve88 » Thu May 18, 2017 5:45 pm

discount tire plugs from the outside

takeshi
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by takeshi » Fri May 19, 2017 7:59 am

URSnshn wrote:What are your thoughts?

Patch from the inside is better but I've never had problems with plugging I've done from the outside for punctures that could be plugged. That said, I wouldn't recommend relying on anecdotal evidence as YMMV -- figuratively and literally.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by jabberwockOG » Fri May 19, 2017 8:11 am

I carry plug kits in my cars but treat tire plug repairs as temporary repairs. If I have a flat caused by object in tread area of tire I'll plug it to get back on the road, but at first convenient time, or sometimes when I take it in for rotation if it is close enough in time, I ask the techs at Costco to repair with patch on the inside and then re-balance. It is belt and suspenders practice, but blowing out a tire due to a fatigued or failing plug at high speed on the interstate can do more than ruin your whole day.

URSnshn
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by URSnshn » Fri May 19, 2017 9:06 am

Thank you all. The discussion above helped me understand the different opinions I researched. I decided to go with an inside patch and plug and got the tire balanced. Cost $30 with tax. AND in the deal I found an swell independent shop I hadn't noticed before.

new2bogle
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by new2bogle » Fri May 19, 2017 9:14 am

Nate79 wrote:
Cosmo wrote:Just take to Goodyear Tire and they will plug for free.


Discount Tire/America's Tire will also fix for free.


This is also for tires not purchased from them?

Nate79
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by Nate79 » Fri May 19, 2017 9:41 am

new2bogle wrote:
Nate79 wrote:
Cosmo wrote:Just take to Goodyear Tire and they will plug for free.


Discount Tire/America's Tire will also fix for free.


This is also for tires not purchased from them?


Yes, they do free plug/patch from inside as recommended by RMA. They also do free tire rotations.

squirm
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by squirm » Fri May 19, 2017 10:24 am

It's more of a pain to take the car in then to just take the tire off and plug it. At least for me.

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Cosmo
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by Cosmo » Sun May 21, 2017 11:20 am

jesscj wrote:I'm automotive technician we are not allowed to use the plug from the outside the tire kits. All tires must be prepped, plugged, and patched from the inside per tire manufacturers and the Rubber Manufacturer Association. These are the standard guidelines any shop should be using. These rules have come about and are strict for tires repaired in a shop due to liability. As a car owner you may repair how ever you see fit but this is why shops break down and repair from the inside. The shop I work at charges about 12.00 to do one tire repair.

https://rma.org/tire-safety/tire-repair


Thanks. It's good to know Goodyear Tire follows RMA's rules and patches/plugs from inside.

https://www.goodyear.com/en-US/services/tire-repair

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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by lazydavid » Mon May 22, 2017 6:23 am

jabberwockOG wrote: It is belt and suspenders practice, but blowing out a tire due to a fatigued or failing plug at high speed on the interstate can do more than ruin your whole day.


If the plug fails, the result is a leak, not a blowout.

smackboy1
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by smackboy1 » Mon May 22, 2017 8:20 am

URSnshn wrote:My automobile tire has a puncture between the tread probably 1/4" or less (screw).

My research tells me that it is better to patch and plug from the inside of the tire and that if done this way - the tire should live out its lifespan. No need for new tires.


Take it to a reputable tire shop for evaluation. Impossible for anyone on the internet to give a recommendation because of the limited information presented because there are so many factors that could come into play e.g.

What is the location and nature of the damage from the outside and inside?
Is this a run flat tire?
What does the manufacturer recommend?
What is the usage of the tire?

For example Pirelli states that its RFT tires cannot be repaired at all. For other manufacturers it might depend on the location and nature of the damage which can only be determined by an external and internal inspection. Repaired tires will likely not meet their speed ratings anymore, so if the car is a grocery getter, a repair might be acceptable - for the autobahn, maybe not.

The greatest danger from an improper repair is not just loss of air. It's SUDDEN TREAD SEPARATION AT HIGH SPEED which could lead to an accident. It's difficult to accurately ascertain from a visual inspection if there is significant structural damage to the layers of rubber, steel, polymers etc. that give the tire it's strength. Damage could also allow a pathway for water and air into the layers leading to possible corrosion and weakness in the future.

Some tire sellers and manufacturers include a limited tire warranty with some tire purchases, so be sure to check e.g. TireRack or Pirelli RFT.
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Tire Puncture - plug from outside or patch and plug from inside

Post by jabberwockOG » Tue May 23, 2017 8:43 am

lazydavid wrote:
jabberwockOG wrote: It is belt and suspenders practice, but blowing out a tire due to a fatigued or failing plug at high speed on the interstate can do more than ruin your whole day.


If the plug fails, the result is a leak, not a blowout.



Agree not technically a blowout. Depending on the size of the reamed and then plugged hole, type of vehicle and load being carried, a plug "blowout" at 70+ mph could cause the tire to rapidly deflate which would feel to the driver at high speed like more than a leak.

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