Good Saturday to you! Today on Service Saturday we are going to start a multi-part series dedicated to tires.
Your vehicle’s tires are typically one of the last things you might think about but without them, that car, truck or SUV is not going anywhere. At Buckeye Honda we sell tires, fix tires, maintain tires, clean tires, and even do the other things to your car that will make them last longer.
For today we are going to talk about plugging versus patching a tire that has a hole in it. For the longest time if you got a small hole in your tire you could take it to a repair facility like ours and just get it “plugged”. Plugging a tire was relatively inexpensive and a quick fix to get you back on the road. Patching a tire was not really an option but not at Buckeye Honda. We believe that patching the tire is the best long-term approach to fixing your problem and here is why.
You see if a tire is patched, the hole is covered by a patch on the inside. A plug is a piece of rubber type compound that is lubricated by glue and inserted into the hole. The plug will vulcanize or fuse to the tire and is supposed to stop the flow of air.
At Buckeye we believe that plugging a tire is the wrong way to repair it. First, some tire manufacturers will void your warranty if there is a plug present in the area of a defect on the tire.
To properly patch a tire, the weights used to balance the tire are marked and the tire is deflated and removed from the wheel. The area around the hole in the inner liner of the tire is lightly buffed and a cleaner is applied. Next, a glue is brushed on and allowed to dry. A patch is laid over the hole and rolled on. The patch covers the hole from the inside.
This is far more labor intensive, yet a much better repair. The cost to patch a tire is $26, the same price we charge to take a tire off of the wheel, put it back on and balance it. The patch is simply included Plugging a tire will cost $15 or so until it fails…
A repair using a plug is far different. While the tire is on the car, the nail can be removed and a plug installed. The first problem we generally see while patching a plugged tire is the plug installer was able to hit the hole on the outside portion of the tread, yet they missed the hole on the inside portion of the tire.
We can’t tell you how many times we have seen a plug sticking through the inside of a tire and seen a hole right next to it. I know the plug installer was unable to insert the plug exactly in the path of the object that punctured the tire, so he made different hole as he rammed the plug through the tire tread.
Plugging a tire can trap air between the layers of tread. When the plug is dipped into the glue and inserted into the hole, the plug glues itself to every layer it passes through.
As the tire heats up, the air between the layers begins to heat up and expand. The air has no place to go, so as it expands, it causes the tread to separate from the rest of the tire.
If the tire was patched, the patch prevents any air from inside the tire from escaping, but allows any air trapped between the layers to escape out of the entrance hole in the outer tread area.
The same thing happens when the plug is not inserted exactly into the path the puncture occurred in. The air inside the tire tries to exit using the hole that was missed. As the air moves towards the outside of the tread, it becomes blocked by the plug that was inserted into the outer hole. Again, the air is between the layers of the tire, it gets hot, expands and causes a tread separation.
The choice you make, patch vs plug, may not make a big difference today, but it may be costly later if the tire becomes defective and the warranty claim is denied. Ask that your flat tires be patched and not plugged. Not sure if your service facility offers tire patching? Buckeye Honda does and really isn’t that enough to know?
Buckeye Honda is a full service Auto Dealer that services all makes and models. Buckeye Honda sells tires for all makes and models and has a 1-year warranty on all alignments with free alignment checks.
Come back next Saturday when we talk about other things you need to know about your tires.