Patch vs Plug

To Plug or Patch a Tire

When to Buy New Tires

Since 1986, Spiteri’s Auto Service in Belmont, CA, has been servicing vehicles for clients with complete professionalism in auto services. Spiteri’s is a State of California Star Certified smog check and auto service facility with expertise in German, Japanese, hybrid, and domestic vehicles with ASE-certified technicians. We’re also a top-rated tire dealer and repair specialist and carry a variety of tire brands for any budget and vehicle.

I noticed an object in my tire and was wondering what to do. I currently live in a construction zone. Many neighbors, construction workers, and new home buyers have experienced construction debris lodged into their tires. Some of these perpetrators were nails, screws, glass, or unknown foreign objects that damaged new and used tires without discrimination.

What’s a plug? A plug is a small piece of rubber with an adhesive backing placed into a tire. Plugs are durable solutions and stronger than patches but require more effort to install into the tire. You should not plug a tire if it’s near the side of the tire and has an irregular shape, large hole, or thick object. Suppose the tire was abused after the perpetrator arrived. In that case, I’m talking about driving a distance with the known object in the tire. If a bubble is found, we may consider purchasing new tires.

What is a patch, and when do we patch a tire? We patch a tire when the puncture is less than a quarter of an inch in diameter, some shops may have slightly different variances, but this is close to a patch rule. If the hole is considered large, we patch the hole. If the foreign object is on the side of the tire, called the sidewall, you do not want to use a patch for this location. It is recommended a new tire be installed. If a new tire is recommended, a set of two is usually recommended to keep even wear so tires can be rotated.

Plugs and patches have a shelf life of many years. After your tire is plugged or patched, I recommend buying at least two new tires. This will alleviate any doubts about plugs and patches and will provide you with the satisfaction of knowing all four tires are in good operating condition. If you have any questions about tire plugs and tire patches, please stop into Spiteri’s Auto Service for a consultation to plug or patch your damaged tire.

You can also refer to the US Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) and the Tire Industry Association (TIA). They have their standards for tire safety. If you have any concerns, contact Spiteri’s Auto Service professionals. They will analyze the tire situation and make recommendations for safety when operating a vehicle with a foreign object in the tire.

Written by Spiteri's Auto Service

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