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Old 04-19-2014, 09:58 PM   #11
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Wmtire ...

Wmtire- let me get your opinion on an item. Radial patch/ plug combo from the inside. Good thing or waste of time?

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Old 04-19-2014, 10:41 PM   #12
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Plug patches are great for larger holes, but aren't a cure all as a large projectile will damage the belts and open the door for a possible belt failure. My rule of thumb, if when the object was removed if the hole closed on it's own then it got a regular flat patch but if it was open at all I'd plug patch it to seal off moisture from the belt area. If I could see through the hole I wouldn't fix it.

So they're very good things, problem is you need a trained repair tech to recognize when to stop. I've seen a couple of plugs in a hole, trimmed off flush inside and then patched. Not a quality repair at all.

As for the OP, people looking to get something fixed won't take liability or unsafe as an answer. But illegal? They'll swallow that usually. Even if it's incorrect terminology it removes the situation and washes your hands. What the shop down the street does you can't help, but at least you tried to do the right thing and at least protected yourself and your shop.

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Old 04-20-2014, 03:41 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by HONDAMAN174 View Post
Wmtire- let me get your opinion on an item. Radial patch/ plug combo from the inside. Good thing or waste of time?
That is the RMA recommended way to repair a tire:

I know that some manufacturers of these combo repair units do indeed call them patch/plug combination units...........I always try to refer to them (especially in talking to customers) as a patch/insert unit. I avoid the word "plug" in all my conversations, as that word brings up a different connotation in customers mind and can confuse them to what it is you are doing.

I know this is really taking the subject matter deeper than the OP intended. but this is something that our members may need to educate themselves on. If you have a warranty claim on a tire, the absolute FIRST thing the manufacturer looks for, is an improperly repaired tire (Not fixed to RMA standards). If they find a "plug" only in the tire, that's usually where they will stop and then deny a warranty claim. So in essence, if you repair a tire with a "plug" just voided your manufacturer warranty on that tire.

You wouldn't believe how many customers come in, asking for a plug. They are under the false illusion, that this is how you properly repair a tire. You basically have to hold their hand, and explain the PROPER repair sequence to them.................or give them a tire education 101. This can be time consuming on a repair that doesn't make a tire shop money, but you do as a profit-loss service.

Besides showing the customer, the RMA chart for tire repair procedures (we have one in the front customer area), I use the following visual:

1. I take a newspaper or a magazine that may be handy on the counter. I then take an ink pen, and then jab it thru several pages (that I'm holding the pages tight together and the pages are the belts of the tire) to represent a plug going thru the belts of the tire.

2. I then show the customer, where the plug is sticking thru the inside of the represented tire, and how the paper has places for air to try and go back up the plug and escape. The paper will be all jagged around the pen(plug).

3. Now I show the customer, that if the air cannot escape back straight thru the pen/plug hole, it will start trying to go horizontal, and actually separate the belts (as I pull the pages apart a little on the pen). I show them how air will go between the belts, separating them from the encased rubber. This is what is called a "separated" tire. A separated tire is junk and must be thrown away.

4. I then push the paper pages back together, and remove the pen/plug. I show the customer how the paper lays back smooth, and then you place a patch on the inside, thus blocking the air from being able to try and separate the pages/belts.

5. I tell them the insert is used to keep dirt and water from working on the patch.

This visual representation is usually enough to educate them, and we repair the tire correctly.

However, we encounter several customers each week, who can't be educated.......nor care for the cost of properly repairing a tire ($15 is our standard rate). They will neither believe us, nor want to pay that....and leave in search of a tire shop that will do a non RMA approved repair. Unfortunately, there are tire places that will do just that, which is possibly helping the customer commit suicide or hurt others in my eyes.

It's just like that woman, we had this morning. Whomever plugged her tire without dismounting it to see the tire was destroyed internally, could have been responsible for her tire blowing apart and hurting her, her small child...or an innocent person who this woman may have crashed into when the tire exploded.

Those kind of people have no business being in the tire industry, and should be shunned. It is exactly this kind of person, that some states may have laws to try and regulate.........or not.
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:12 AM   #14
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There is one more reason for a car repair garage/dealership (not so much a high volume tire shop) not to repair a flat.

They happen to have a set of near overage tires that will fit and need to move them. ALWAYS ask to see the date code when you buy tires and (IMO) never accept a tire with a manufacture date over a year old.

While those tires may have been stored properly (and not up in the attic of "Joe's Car Repair" who got them during a warehouse overage flush), why spend good money buying a tire with reduced service life for new?

Buying a "new" tire that is 3 or 4 years old is a total waste of money and you can BET that "Good Ole' Joe" won't tell you.

If you care, many manufacturers have plants that make similar size/models in different countries. If you prefer one over another, you can ask about the plant codes too. Goodyear Marathons for example are made overseas but are also made in the Gadsden, Alabama plant (code MD).

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