Questioning when and if you should patch a tire or just replace it is one of the stresses of owning a car. While you may take impeccable care of your tires and car, you can still hit something, causing damage. It is more of a question of when it happens, not so much if it will happen.
When it does, and you find yourself with a leaking or flat tire, what are your options? Is a tire plug or tire patch effective, and how easy is it to find a reputable repair service?
Patch A Tire or Plug?
Fortunately, you do not necessarily have to replace a damaged tire, but there are repair options. The two primary repair types are the tire plug and tire patch.
A tire plug is a piece of malleable rubber pushed into a hole from the outside of the tire. This expands once inserted, and seals the hole. This is the easiest tire repair option available, usually installed in minutes, and most of the time without removing the tire from the wheel. In some cases, it can be installed without ever taking the wheel off the car.
The other common repair option is the radial tire patch, which is installed on the inside of the tire to seal the hole. Because this is installed on the inside, the tire must be removed from the wheel, then remounted.
Once you decide to patch a tire, the tire is mounted, and filled. The pressure from inside the tire expands the patch and helps it meld to the tire. These allow techs to repair some damage beyond a simple puncture hole.
When To Replace Your Tire
Before rushing to a patch or plug for your tire, there are several variables to evaluate whether repairing is a good option. First, consider the wear of the tire itself. If your tire’s tread is already low, now may be a great time to get ahead of replacing them.
Next, consider the location of the damage on the tire. Any damage to the sidewall or shoulder of the tire should be replaced rather than repaired.
How large is the damage to the tire? Any hole larger than 1/4” in diameter is too large to attempt to plug or patch.
How extensive is the damage to your tire? If there are large gashes, or the tread is separating from the tire, these need a replacement.
Finally, has this particular hole been repaired previously? You should only attempt the same repair once. If the patch or plug fails, you should opt for a replacement.
Mobile Tire Service Options
You know the pain of trying to get a car with a flat tire to a repair shop. Either you have to keep stopping every few miles to add more air, which is strongly discouraged, put on the spare, or call for a tow.
Fortunately, there are mobile tire repair services that come to you as long as you’re in a safe space. Yes, that means you’ll still have to deal with a roadside blow out with the spare or a wrecker. However, it means you don’t have to worry about trying to miss work or time with your family to fix your flat.
Mobile tire repair services come right to your home or office with a fully-equipped mobile shop. The technician has everything they need to plug, patch, or replace your tire, depending on your situation. They can remove the tire, remount it, and even balance it right there in your driveway.
MTS Express of Springfield Missouri offers comprehensive mobile tire services for the Springfield area, from repair to replacement. If you’re dealing with a flat, call us to schedule a visit with one of our expert technicians.