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Plug vs. Patch

We've all been there, we have a nail in the tire and we need to get it fixed.  What’s the right way to get it fixed?  In the days before radial tires, the plugs was a great fix, however, with the advent of radial tires, the plug was known to give the radial a undesirable ride and in come cases warp the tire.  Patching became the standard in tire flat repair.

For this example we’ll use a nail.  When plugging a tire, the nail is removed and a sting of rubber with almost a tar substance is plugged in with a special tool called a needle. There was no imagination when coming up with the name of the tool.  When the plug is worked in the tire and once it’s in place the needle is pulled out and it’s fixed for the time being. 

The patch is the preferred method of fixing a flat tire.  If the tire has a cut or gash, this is the only way the tire can be repaired.  When the technician repairs the tire this way, the wheel is dismounted, and taken off the wheel.  Once the hole is located, the technician buffs the area to prepare it for the cement and rubber patch.  Once the area is ready the patch is applied to the tire and sealed on with a roller insuring a complete seal.  This method is preferred because the air pressure is actually working with the patch to seal the tire. Since the patch has no contact with the road, it’s not going to have any impact on the driving performance.

Many state’s transportation law require the tire to be replaced if the hole or cut is a certain distance from the sidewall.  You have to take into consideration that the patch has to be bigger that the puncture itself, and if that patch comes near the sidewall, it could put the patch itself in the jeopardy. 

Submit your questions here and if we choose your question to answer in our blog, you’ll receive a free oil change!

Free oil change will be given once monthly to the person that submitted the question that’s answered in the blog.  No purchase necessary.  Must be 18 years or older and a licensed driver. Not valid with any other offer. 


Written on Monday, June 9, 2014 by
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Bowen Tire is a pillar of the Owensboro, KY community. Bowen Tire is a leader in offering name brand tires, wheels, auto repair and brake services for customers located in and around the Owensboro, Kentucky area. Our goal is to focus on customer service. It is the foundation of our business. Bowen Tire employs a well-trained staff specializing in the sale and installation of passenger car, performance and light truck or SUV tires. Custom wheels are available at Bowen Tire. Special wheels and rims compliment any tire or customer vehicle. Complete under-car services, such as oil changes, brakes, shocks, struts, alignment, and transmission fluid flush for both foreign and domestic vehicles are readily available at competitive prices. Take this opportunity to browse Bowen Tire website or call us for personalized service.

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