OT-Plugging a Tire on a Modern Car

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: OT-Plugging a Tire on a Modern Car
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 12:29 pm:

As much as I drive (160 miles roundtrip to work 5 days a week), it's a wonder I don't have more flats than I do. It's been years, I mean YEARS, since I had to plug a tire, and it's been decades since I actually had a flat I had to change on the side of the road. The last several times I've had a nail or something in a tire, I've just plugged it myself. I'd heard that few, if any, places actually 'plug' a tire anymore, but I had forgotten it.

So fast forward to 3-4 weeks ago. Low tire pressure light came on on two of my vehicles within days of each other. I chalked it up to cold weather and just topped them off. A few days later, the light comes on again in my car. This time, only the right front was low. Figured I had a slow leak, but didn't have time to fix it. Just brought it up to pressure and went about my business. Couple of weeks later, same thing. Topped it off again, never remembering to actually FIX it when I had time. So yesterday, it came on again on my way to work. Knowing it would be good and dark when I got home, I went to a tire shop after work and asked about having it plugged. "Oh we don't plug them. We take them off the rim and..." Supposedly, plugging a tire is BAD for it, nowadays. Yeah, whatever. I wait 45 minutes and pay $25 to do what I should have took 10 minutes to do this weekend, but just didn't think about it.

You know? They have been plugging tires since tubeless tires came on the market, whenever that was and they have been plugging steel belted tires since the 70's and NOW it's BAD for them? I'm thinking that fixing a leak from the inside has a lot more to do with the $25 than it does with it being BAD for the tire.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Willis Jenkins on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 12:41 pm:

I still plug my own tires as well as tires at the municipality I work for.

Cheers,
Willis


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By FreighTer Jim on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 12:42 pm:

What they actually do use can be a combination of both.

A patch that has a plug in it that they apply from the inside.

Personally I would never run a vehicle with a repaired tire due to the probability of a blowout.

You also have tire pressure sensors that need periodic maintenance.

Those are serviced when the tires are dismounted and usually most tire shops will rebuild the sensor at no cost to you.

FJ


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan B on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 12:46 pm:

Tires can still be plugged. I recommend Safety Seal.

www.safetyseal.com

Made in USA.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Lay,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Lancaster Ca. on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 12:55 pm:

We use a plug/patch that goes in from the inside out.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steven Sebaugh in Jackson, Missouri on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 01:34 pm:

I have been plugging my tires for over 40 years. I also use something like Dan B. is using. The trick is making sure the hole is cleaned out and fresh rubber is exposed for the plug to seal. A dirty hole will never seal. Also use a liquid sealer to make the plug slide in easier and seal better. Where I drive my truck tires may have six or seven plugs over their life time. So far I have never had a blow out.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Hatch on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 02:33 pm:

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

If you read my other post, you will see that I have thing about tires. Dan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Strickling on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 02:37 pm:

I temporarily plugged a tire on the wife's car so we could get to a wedding on time and 9,000 miles later I bought a new tire.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George Mills_Cherry Hill NJ on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 03:06 pm:

Hal,

There is a whole host of mumbo jumbo about why tires all of a sudden seem to no longer be plug-able from the outside...so, I ask my son who buys tires multi-trailer loads at a time and often weekly at each of his dealerships...

Some states have legislation against a plug...

The tire people feel that a plug not done right can lead to corrosion of a ripped belt...

Most important ( and here we go ) it's a liability thing! Service shop patches a tire with string and glue method...car goes out and gets totaled on the inter-state due to blow-out...repair shop gets the pants sued off them.

They seem to get sued anyway on the inner patches and plug patch combinations, but at least they have the tire makers on their side as 'support' that this sort of fix is the best current technology can offer short of actually replacing the tire.

So...call it yourself, but I think you can still string plug a modern tire as a 'temporary' get by in most states and since you do it yourself...who's to sue? Your own opinion may vary


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Vern (Vieux Carre) on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 03:06 pm:

I started getting tires patched instead of plugged, but when homes here were getting gutted after 2005, there were too many flats due to roof and drywall nails on the roads. So, I removed the tire, then core to get the air pressure out, and injected superglue gel into the nail hole, allowing it to cure in the sun for twenty minutes. Fixed half a dozen flats this way. I looked on the S.G. label and the first bond-able material listed was rubber.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By gary hammond-Forest, Va on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 03:29 pm:

I've plugged my own tires for 50 years. I had patches put in two tires, and BOTH failed, ruining the radial tires both times as they deflated. I will plug my tires from that point forward.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Bishop, San Diego on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 03:36 pm:

I don't know if they have shops out of state, but in Calif we have a chain called Evan's Tire Shops. They will demount and patch tires from the inside, and remount them, for FREE in about 10 minutes.
Might be in your state?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 03:40 pm:

Steel belt cuts thru the plug. Period. That's the reason they don't plug anymore. It doesn't last. Inside patch is better anyway. If you're plugging steel belted tires on your own carry a kit and a compressor with you 'cause when you least expect it you'll be on the side of the road doing the job again.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 03:43 pm:

A good tire shop will not plug a tire but they will corectly install a inside patch that has a plug connected to it. Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Bourgeois on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 03:57 pm:

I plug my tires.
I first use the reamer that make the hole big enough to take the plug.
The soak the plug in rubber cement.
It is all part of the kit.
These plugs last the rest of the life of the tires.

The biggest issue I had is on the lawn mower as the hole was the size of a needle, but then the second try it was fine.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 04:40 pm:

I've plugged steel belted radials on multiple occasions and don't remember ever having one fail. What they did to this one last night was a plug/patch combination. Essentially, a patch with a rubber 'tit' made onto it that goes through the hole from the inside to out and cut off flush. At least that is how the guy described it to me. Of course I wasn't allowed in the shop to see it with my own eyes. I assume it is 'glued' to the inside of the tire. I seriously doubt they are actually vulcanized in there like the old Camel patches my Daddy and Granddaddy used to use on tubes.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 05:23 pm:

Hal,After removal the tire is spread the puncture hole reamed the inside cleaned and glued.glue is put on the plug/stem and pulled through from the inside out then the inside patch is rolled to make good contact and remove any air.Clip off the end of the plug.Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 05:30 pm:

Kennneth is 100% correct and tire shops will not plug tires FOR A REASON!!! That reason is they will fail. This is right up there with some guys posting about 4 year old gas working beautifully. You're either handing out bunk or you really don't know what you're talking about. It's bad advice. Why? Simply as stated above: tire shops won't do it. Why? It doesn't work.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 05:37 pm:

Hal... Glad I'm not the only one with a long commute. I travel from West Virginia, to near Bowie, Maryland which is east of Washington DC... and I do it every day. It's 103 miles one-way. It takes me 2 hours. And yes, I carry a plug kit and a compressor with me. In the last 8 years, I've had 3 flats and plugged each one along the road. The plugs held up for the duration of the tires.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mack Cole ---- Earth on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 06:41 pm:

wow,I thought I had a commute at 60 miles a day to work!
I know the DOT didn't ever just plug from the outside of the tire,they went in the inside with a "SpeedyPlug" Never had any issues with plugs failing on the trucks I operated but now the Good Year Blems they put on the truck,you could about see the rubber left in the road in your rear view mirror as they would not give but about 12,000 miles service in my trucks application.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Corey Walker, Brownsboro TX on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 06:59 pm:

A lot of tire shops nowadays don't dunk tires in a bathtub of water to check for leaks, they just spray them with water. I know one tire shop in town will sell you a used tire, dunk it in water and if it leaks he will plug it. i think it's $5 if you come in for a plug.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Smith on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 07:14 pm:

Good spirited thread. It reminds me of the responsibility/risk I will take when I answer to myself versus what I will offer professionally to others. Many times people will hold me responsible or to such higher standards than they hold themselves, so I am unwilling to offer certain solutions. That causes a disconnect in services in my view. There are consequences I suppose I can evaluate for myself that I will not offer to someone else that may put themselves at a different risk they didn't see coming. To the thread, I plug tires often and I pay for patches in certain situations where others are more involved. And then there is slime.........


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R. S. Cruickshank on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 07:15 pm:

It is my understanding that several years ago a tire manufacturer (or maybe tire distributor)sent a trade magazine to tire shops telling them of several major court decisions involving a blown tire and bad accident. They advised shops to stop doing it and sell new tires to avoid potential law suits. Maybe that was the beginning of the end for tire plugging!! Dick C.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chad Marchees _____Tax Capital, NY on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 08:02 pm:

Obviously ALOT of opinions on this.

My two cents: Plug-Patch is the new industry standard.

My personal garage has sting plugs that have been used forever. I can not recall a time within the last 25 years I have had a string patch fail or tire fail because of a string patch. The whole steel belt cutting the plugs IN MY OPINION is horse hockey.

FACT: People who continually drive a tire on low pressure are definitely at more risk of a future failure when they want to plug a tire. A tire will break down very quick from the inside out due to running on low pressure.

I suspect the above is why it is considered a liability nowadays.

If you ever have dismounted a tire that was run low on pressure, you will find a fine rubber powder inside from the break down of the tire.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan B on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 08:26 pm:

My local radiator shop will not repair my T radiator, but that has nothing to with whether or not it can be repaired. As we know, T radiators are repaired successfully all the time with many original radiators still in service.

The company I posted a link to above makes the plug kits that are used by the US military in severe duty situations that most consumer tires will never see. Tire shop policies arenít even part of the equation in these situations.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Willis Jenkins on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 11:22 pm:

If done correctly, a plug will last and not leak. Likewise for a patch. About 15 years ago, when things were tight for us, I would search through the discarded tires that were dropped of by citizens that were deemed junk. Our car needed 4 tires and I found 4 our size that had a hole right at the edge of the tread & sidewall. In the commercial tire world you would throw them away. Well, I would patch them for my own use with a rectangle patch that pointed towards the bead. The tires lasted the life of the car. I never had a fear of doing 70 mph on the highway! If done correctly, it will last! Ah, those were the times...

Cheers,
Willis


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Aaron Griffey, Hayward Ca. on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 11:30 pm:

If a tubeless tire is patched on the inside the tire should not be used for an hour or more.
The match will very likely come off in a few minutes after putting it on and driving away.
Better to use a hot patch, I have never seen a hot patch come off.
Personally I like to use the string plugs. I have never had one come out and I have plugged a lot of tires.
We have at least three tires plugged in our family that were done more than a year ago.
The shop I work at will only use a glued on inside cold patch. No problems yet but I would still prefer a plug.
In California it is not against the law to plug or patch a tire.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By marvin turner on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 11:43 pm:

My skid loader has probably 50 string plugs in the 4 tires. Never had a problem.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Aaron Griffey, Hayward Ca. on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 11:44 pm:

If a tubeless tire is patched on the inside the tire should not be used for an hour or more.
The match will very likely come off in a few minutes after putting it on and driving away.
Better to use a hot patch, I have never seen a hot patch come off.
Personally I like to use the string plugs. I have never had one come out and I have plugged a lot of tires.
We have at least three tires plugged in our family that were done more than a year ago.
The shop I work at will only use a glued on inside cold patch. No problems yet but I would still prefer a plug.
In California it is not against the law to plug or patch a tire.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Joe Voller (Aitkin MN) on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 11:45 pm:

the only time i had a plug fail was when I had to put three plugs in the same large hole, they blew out shortly, but four plugs in that hole lasted almost a year


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eckensviller - Thunder Bay, ON on Friday, December 15, 2017 - 12:13 am:

Just a data point, but about eight years ago I got a nail in a tire on my VW Golf that I had installed new about a week prior. One of those gooey plugs from the kit was installed and I figured I'd keep an eye on the pressure and replace the tire if it started to leak. About 50,000 miles later when I was paying for my next set of tires that plug was still holding up fine. That's good enough for me.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Friday, December 15, 2017 - 03:18 pm:

"You're either handing out bunk or you really don't know what you're talking about."

Well, my experience has been that plugs hold up just fine. And reading the experience of others on here, I don't seem to be alone. Now, I have never plugged tires for living, but I have plugged a couple of dozen over the years for myself, friends and family. To my knowledge, none ever leaked. Have there been some plugs installed in the course of history that have failed? Yeah, I'm sure there have been, but I think it is "Bunk" to say they WILL fail. Sure ain't been my experience.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Stroud on Saturday, December 16, 2017 - 02:50 am:

I have to agree with Hal. I've been plugging tires for 30 years or so, never had a problem. Wore out many tires with plugs still in them. JMHO Dave


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