Okay, that may be an overstatement, but if you picked up a nail or otherwise have a leak, plugging can be a bad idea. There is always the issue of lazy mechanics, but also the fact that plugging a leak can cause a number of other problems. The best bet is usually to replace a damaged tire with new ones, but for certain things you can get away with fixing the tire.
The first issue with plugging a tire is that the safety and effectiveness of the plug is almost entirely dependent on the skill of the mechanic. It’s an art. Plugs need to be installed from the inside out, and lazy tire guys and gals will do it from the outside, which is downright unsafe. Even with a skilled mechanic, the plug represents a structural flaw in the tire, so it can’t handle the same stress as an unplugged tire. So, if you get it done right, you still can’t rely on the tire to perform at the same speeds, handle as well, or carry as much weight. If it’s your commuter car needs a tire repair then it might work out well, but if you’re carrying around a lot of weight or driving a sporty little number, then a plug means all bets are off.
Another issue is that tires can start to separate where they are plugged. Basically, the hole with the plug will slowly rip open further, making you lose more air and making the tire unsafe to drive with. A plug can also dry out and shrink, leaking more, or even fall out, depending on how well it was installed.
So, plugs are a bad idea, but you don’t want to spring for new tires. Well, there is an answer—at Performance Plus Tires we understand that new tires aren’t always in the budget, so we can patch damaged rubber. Patches are easier to install correctly, last longer, and don’t have any of the same issues as a plug. We always patch from the inside of the tire and use the best adhesives and materials to make sure that your tires are safe, work properly, and last.
In short, skip the plugs if you have a leaky tire. At best they make a tire perform poorly and at worst they can be downright dangerous. Patches last longer and don’t cause the same problems, which is exactly why we use them.
Do you pick up a lot of nails? Have horror stories about bad tire repairs? How about good stories? We want to hear about them!