I was reading a Popular Mechanics in a waiting room, and they had an article
on how to fix a flat.
They said that tire repairs involved putting a patch on the inside of the
tire. That is how mine were fixed in the past, but the last few have had
plugs put in. The plugs seemed to work fine. What is the proper method.
They also recommended a can of air and material to plug the hole for
temporary repairs, and then getting a real patch. I was told that those
cans ruin the inside surface so a patch can't be used. What is the story
Taking the tire off and patching without gunking up the inside
of the tire is the best, strongest patch, but it means taking
the tire off the rim, which is a pain in the ass, and may
damage the tire more.
Plugs work, and are easier, to do, but more likely to
fail, and if they do fail, it means a bigger hole to
try to patch next time.
Latex squirted into the tire to try to seal the hole
is good for a temporary fix if you're just trying to get
home, or are planning on replacing the tire soon anyway,
but if you want to patch afterward, you have to clean all
that crap off the area around the hole. Its also
possible that the liquid goop will screw up the valve-stem.
I've driven a fair number of beaters into the ground,
and I've never had a tire "fixed" with spray-goop stay
fixed for more than a couple weeks. OTOH, I have a 12V
air-compresser in my truck, so adding a few psi of air
twice a week isn't really that big a problem.
Depends on the tire's construction, as I recall. I'm pretty sure I
had a car with a Michelin tire on it that couldn't be plugged, but
instead had to be patched.
A quick google on "tire plug patch repair" and we have:
I've heard that too.
The best thing you can use is a Patch Plug. It looks like a regular
patch but has a tapered rubber plug protruding from the center. You
smooth the interior surface around the hole with an abrasive disc, coat
the area with adhesive, feed the rubber plug through the hole from the
inside, and smooth the patch in place as you pull on the plug from the
outside. Let dry and trim the remaining plug from the outside. I
wouldn't use anything else on a car tire.
If you have a shop do this, don't waste your money on a rebalance.
Tell them to mark the tire at the valve stem and put it back on the
same place they took it off. It's just profit otherwise.
Some people swear by plugs, but I've heard that if you don't get the
plug punched all the way through the hole that air pressure can work
it's way between the layers of the tire and cause tread separation.
With a plug or a patch-plug, be very careful with the probe to find the
exact hole left by the nail. It's super easy to miss and end up poking
a second hole on the inside. Work it around and let it follow the path
of the existing hole.
The aerosol can you're thinking of is Fix-A-Flat. Don't EVER use that
unless you absolutely have to. And if you do, make damn sure you tell
anyone who works on the tire that it's full of that crap. A co-worker
popped the bead on a tire full of that and got it in hit eyes. Damn
near blinded him (yeah, should have been wearing goggles).
Have you checked your spare tire pressure lately? People rarely check
tire pressures and almost never check the spare tire. Check all 5
monthly or when the weather changes.
You still get a good POOF of air when you break the bead. Fix-a-flat is
shit and contains ammonia. It works by softening the inner liner of the
tire. It will ruin a tire if left in there more than about a day.
"mm" < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
Speaking as a former mechanic and present supervisor (26 years total)
in a fleet maintenance shop, the tire manufacturers generally
say the correct way to repair a tire puncture is to use a patch
on the inside, and if the puncture diameter warrants, a plug
as well. In practice, though, a correctly installed plug will outlast
the tread life of the tire and the patch is not necessary. Do not use
the "fix-a-flat" type products from an aerosol can if the tire is
work keeping, they will make it almost impossible to permanently
repair with a plug or patch, and make a mess inside the rim & tire
that needs to be cleaned up when the next tire is mounted.
No dumb questions, just dumb answers.
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - email@example.com
I've got a plug in one of my tires, and it's been no problem. The only thing
I wonder about is how easy it would be for some asshole (car radio thief,
for instance) to rip the plug out with a pair of pliers.
This is what I was told, and first I want to say I've repaired my
tires many times with the plugs(NJ commuter for years).
1. Plugs work, but often damage the belts, causing a posible
2. Patches internal to the tire are the best. Tire pressure can help
seal them, and they do not damage the belts.
3. Fix-A-Flat Stuff, can coat the inside of the tire, but a good tire
dude, or dudet, can clean off the spot, and path properly. Also,
dont' keep a can forever, they rust, and every few years they come out
with better material.
Just passing on what I was told. I now let the professionals do the
work, and I keep my spare full of air.
tom @ www.YourMoneyMakingIdeas.com
Patching from the inside is best, but you can't do it yourself. You
can put in a plug yourself, once in a while while the wheel is still
on the car! If not, you can remove the wheel and do it by the side of
the road, if you carry and air pump or a can of fix-a-flat.
When I lived in an area with a lot of glass, I had a flat maybe every
year, so I carried a can of the stuff. Then I realized that if I used
the can, I wouldn't have a can, so I bought another can and carried
two. Then I realized that if I had a flat and used a can, I'd only
have one, and I'd have to rush to the store to buy another can, so if
I had a second flat, I'd still have one more can. So I carried three
cans for several years and occasionally used one, and then bought a
replacemnt third at my leisure. The logic that got me from one to two
to three didn't seem to apply to four. They weren't all fix-a-flat,
but whatever they were selling. (One brand said it worked as a fire
extinguisher too, but I can't find that brand anymore.)
When I moved to Baltimore, and the suburbs no less, I stopped having
flats. But a couple months ago a friend had a slow leak, had to add
air from his pump every 2 days or the tire was too flat to drive on.
One of my 3 remaining cans wouldn't work after maybe 23 years (maybe
less, if I got the can at a yard sale or somethiung, since I moved
here) but the other one, which had to be at least 10 years old, worked
well and stopped his leak.
I've never had the stuff gunk up a valve. I know the pros don't like
it. If I were in their shoes I wouldn't like it either.
I also bought a medium priced rasp and plug inserter, every since I
super-torqued one of those tools while using the ones that come in the
really cheap kits.
BTW, I think I like strings better than plugs. They still sell those,
don't they. They're cheaper, they don't make the hole bigger (at
least their diameter is not as big as plugs) and they're softer, it
seems. There is no space to be filled. No flat actually ilnvolves
cutting out some of the rubber. It's only necessary to stick the
sides of the hole to the opposite sides. A string seems better
(they're actually square in x-section, about an eighth inch on the
side and 3 or 4 inches long. You push one end in, twist some, and
pull out the tool, with more of the stink. Remove the tool, cut off
the part outside the tire and you're good to go.
I've had strings last for years.
Tire repair in NYC was about 6 dollars 23 years ago. 2 years ago,
here, they wanted 18! That's real money. And while he did it, he
complained about the police. Scarey. For some reason I couldn't fix
that one myself.
I think the surface can be cleaned in a couple minutes. They don't
want to do it and neither would I, but they'll do it if they have to.
What is the story
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