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Tech 101: Patching a Radial Tire

Posted July 16, 2015 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: patch radial tire repair Tech 101

Whether to use a tire plug or patch on a radial tire can be a controversial subject, especially depending on where the injury to the tire has occurred. Because of the flexibility of the sidewall on a radial tire, no original tire manufacturers recommend using any kind of repair system on a tire's sidewall. Virtually every tire manufacturer states that a radial tire with a sidewall leak should be replaced, without exception.

In the case of steel-belted radials, manufacturers such as Goodyear further state that the injury must be at least one-inch away from the outside of the tread to be deemed safe for a repair and that the hole size be less than 1/4-inch on passenger tires and less than 3/8-inch on commercial tires. They also state that the injury must be thoroughly checked to ensure that the steel belt has not been exposed by the hole because this can cause the steel to rust and deteriorate.

How to repair radial tires. When is a tire beyond repair?

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#1

Re: Tech 101: Patching a Radial Tire

07/16/2015 10:48 AM

My guess is the one in the picture is beyond repair.

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#2
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Re: Tech 101: Patching a Radial Tire

07/16/2015 12:32 PM

Around here we have two levels of spare tires for our pickups and trailers. The good spare we take with us when we go some place which is a near new to minimally worn tire that is more than capable of making the trip without issue.

Then there is the spare spare tire which is just above the condition of the pictured tire and that one is goes with anyone who borrows the vehicle or trailer. The intention behind that is to make it clear to the borrower that if they do anything that damages one of the good tires the spare they have will get them to the nearest tire shop and that's about it if they are lucky.

The only thing between that spare spare and the pictured tire is what a buddy gave me when I borrowed his 30' flatbed last weekend which is a good spare tire that has no rim.

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#3
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Re: Tech 101: Patching a Radial Tire

07/16/2015 1:05 PM

I've seen a number of travelers with a spare tire just above the belt.

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#4

Re: Tech 101: Patching a Radial Tire

07/16/2015 3:04 PM

Back in my desert/mountain running days, I carried a selection of sheet metal screws from small 1/8 inch up to 3/8 inch, all about 1 inch long.

At the first sign of a leak, audible many times through the open window, out came the box of screws and a short + screwdriver.

Then, with my 12V compressor, the tire would get me back to civilization without fail.

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#5
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Re: Tech 101: Patching a Radial Tire

07/17/2015 12:05 AM

So you drove a screw into the leaky hole, and drove the vehicle home, after topping the air off with your portable 12v air compressor? Those were the days.

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#6
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Re: Tech 101: Patching a Radial Tire

07/17/2015 1:14 AM

Shame we are not allowed to do that to some of the leaky wives around.......

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#9
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Re: Tech 101: Patching a Radial Tire

07/17/2015 10:28 AM

This attempt at "humor" is in very poor taste. Leave the sexism in the 20th century, please.

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#11
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Re: Tech 101: Patching a Radial Tire

07/17/2015 10:34 AM

Bad hair day?

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#12
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Re: Tech 101: Patching a Radial Tire

07/17/2015 11:21 AM

You'd need bigger screws.

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#7

Re: Tech 101: Patching a Radial Tire

07/17/2015 4:09 AM

Mythbusters had an episode where they used a slice of tree trunk as a wheel. It will never leak...

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#8

Re: Tech 101: Patching a Radial Tire

07/17/2015 8:47 AM

I have always used plugs to patch nail and screw holes to the tread of a bias ply or a radial. There are some who claim this is not effective due to the shifting of the belts during rotation. I have never had one leak in normal driving. As for enthusiast use, I would recommend a internal patch as those tend to last longer than plugs. Sidewalls can be patched from the inside depending on the size of the hole. straight punctures are usually no problem, slashes are impossible. In every case, if your life depends on your tire, buy a new one and get over it.

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#10
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Re: Tech 101: Patching a Radial Tire

07/17/2015 10:33 AM

Seemingly all totally banned in the west on radial tyres......as I recently found out! Simply buy a new tyre.....

Explosive decompression is possible when one of these repairs fail....

I was a bit sad as the hole was in the tread and I had hoped that a plug from the inside to out would be OK, it wasn't.

There are some tyres which still can be patched, but don't ask me which, but never from outside....

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#13
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Re: Tech 101: Patching a Radial Tire

07/17/2015 11:53 AM

I keep an emergency plug kit in our cars along with a small compressor.

That should get me home or to a tire shop that can do a professional job.

Florida tends to have a lot of nails due to re-roofing and if we ever need to bug out due to a hurricane, having a DIY solution is critical.

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