Sometimes, if the damage isn't too severe, it's possible to perform a tire repair instead of a tire replacement. Here are a few things to keep in mind when weighing your options:
Can the tire be repaired?
Punctures can only be repaired if they fall within the center of the tread, and are not larger than 1/4 inch (6mm). Any punctures or damages that occur in the shoulder or sidewall of the tire are not repairable. Your tire also cannot be repaired if it's too worn, or if there are multiple punctures that either overlap or fall directly across from each other.
Your tire should always be repaired by a professional technician who has the proper training to remove the tire and perform a complete inspection. Many times, an object that is seemingly small can cause severe damage to the sidewall that can't be seen on the outside of the tire.
What is a "plug and patch" repair?
Plug and patch is the most common way of fixing a tire tread. The patch bonds to the inside of the tire and prevents air from escaping the tire, while the plug seals the puncture hole preventing air and moisture from entering from the outside.
If a plug or patch is a viable option, the tech will remove the damaged material, fill the hole with rubber, and seal the tire's lining with a repair unit. That inner sealant is critically important. A plug by itself or a patch by itself will not permanently seal the liner, which allows water to enter the body of the tire and cause corrosion
What about quick fixes?
Fix-a-Flat and similar products have become fairly popular alternatives to changing a flat tire. Using a puncture sealant
is not a great option, and is not a long-term solution to a flat tire-- in most cases, it will only work long enough to get you to a mechanic.
What is tread separation?
When a tire is damaged, the loss of tire pressure is typically the driver's most immediate concern. But the long-term risk is tread separation, or when the belts underneath a tire's tread come apart. When this happens, the tread itself begins to come off the rest of the tire which can be especially dangerous.
Not all tires can, or should, be repaired. At V&F, we follow specific repair limits based on manufacturer recommendations and the highest industry standards to make sure your tires are safe. If tires are repaired improperly, the results can be deadly.
At V&F we offer:
If your car needs maintenance, repair, or tire replacement before this winter season, call us today at (413)314-2280 or schedule an appointment online.
For more information on tire safety and maintenance, check out this blog article.
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