Author Topic: Tire Replacement?  (Read 6396 times)

mlipps

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Tire Replacement?
« on: January 23, 2013, 09:33:06 AM »
Hey all! You all seem like a highly capable group of DIY'ers, so maybe you can give me some guidance.

A few weeks ago, we got a nail through the front driver's side tire of our Toyota Matrix. I did some yelping and discovered a little neighborhood shop around the corner that would plug the tire for $10 and we did that. The car has about 27,000 miles and I'm fairly sure they're original to the car, so they're far from brand new, but still have a least a bit of wear left to them.

We semi-regularly make 9 hour trips to our parent's in Ohio. My dad, who has worked at a trucking company his whole life and has a pretty good understanding of car mechanics, advised me that it's very dangerous to a have a tire with just a plug in it on my "steer tire" (Trucking lingo right there...). So as I see the options are thus:

-Rotate the tire to the back of the car for now, so we can at least get a bit more wear out of it before we buy new ones
-Replace the front two tires so as to have a matching set
-Replace all four tires so they're identical
-Leave it be and hope for the best



tooqk4u22

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Re: Tire Replacement?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2013, 09:36:57 AM »
Plugs are not good and most places won't do them....what you need is a patch and that will be fine.

mlipps

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Re: Tire Replacement?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2013, 09:38:04 AM »
Can you explain the difference? Potentially they did patch it and not plug, my fiance went to the shop, not me. Could we see the difference on the tire?

tooqk4u22

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Re: Tire Replacement?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2013, 09:42:37 AM »
You would not see the patch as it is in the inside of the tire, which means they would have had to take the tire off of the rim - so if your fiance saw them do this then it is a patch.

A plug is done with the tire still on the rim and most of the time you can see the plug (thin rubber strips) sticking slightly out of the tread.  If you know where the hole is just look at it - I guess it is always possibel that you won't see it but I have never experiecnced that to be the case.

BlueMR2

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Re: Tire Replacement?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2013, 10:00:56 AM »
All the tire repairs I've seen lately done by shops have been patches.  Unfortunately, you can't tell them apart from a plug externally as the current style patch commonly in use has a "plug" attached to it as well.  So, you still end up with the plug looking part visible from the outside and the patch part sitting invisible on the inside...

meadow lark

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Re: Tire Replacement?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2013, 10:35:05 AM »
Just call the tire place and asked what they did.

Forcus

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Re: Tire Replacement?
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2013, 12:10:22 PM »
*Don't take this as safety advice*

I have plugged numerous tires, even after tire places wouldn't even look at them, with no problem. As long as cords aren't broken, tread isn't bulged, it has been a non-issue for me. I believe the tire places are either A) trying to sell you tire(s) or (B) are so conscious of liability they won't do a repair.

That being said, if you are the type to wonder every time you drive the car, whether the tire will explode in a burst of glory, I'd replace it and move on. I generally will do 2 at a time, if between 50-90% tread. Over that, i'd do one. Under that, all 4. That's just the way I do it... your mileage will vary.

Posthumane

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Re: Tire Replacement?
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2013, 12:39:42 PM »
Agree with Forcus. As much as plugs get a bad rap, modern tire plugs are not a safety issue IMO. A tire patch has the potential to seal better but it's on the inside of the tire so it still doesn't seal the chords/belts. The issue with both plugged and patched tires is that some moisture can get into the belt area through the hole and cause them to start to rust. This is not an acute issue but rather something that may cause a problem several years down the road, at which point your tires will probably be worn and ready for replacement anyway. A faired tire patch or plug will not cause your tire to explode since the rubber carcass is not what provides the structural strength, but rather the belts and cording. I think the most common type of plug failure is just a poor seal between the plug and the carcass due to improper cleaning which causes a slow leak which is easily detected.

mlipps

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Re: Tire Replacement?
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2013, 07:14:24 PM »
Thanks all for the input. I'm going to assume based on the $10 charge that the tire was probably just plugged. The tires don't have an enormous amount of life left in them anyway so it sounds like we should be fine to leave it as is and then replace them in 6 months to a year. I really appreciate all the help, I love this forum so much!

reverend

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Re: Tire Replacement?
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2013, 06:09:03 AM »
I've successfully had plugged tires in both motorcycles and cars for 10s of thousands of miles.  The worst that could happen is that the plug leaks and you have a flat tire - something that you already experienced with the nail. I've never had a plug leak.

While everyone has a different aversion to risk, this is something I've done several times and don't worry about.

mlipps

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Re: Tire Replacement?
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2013, 07:43:48 AM »
I've successfully had plugged tires in both motorcycles and cars for 10s of thousands of miles.  The worst that could happen is that the plug leaks and you have a flat tire - something that you already experienced with the nail. I've never had a plug leak.

While everyone has a different aversion to risk, this is something I've done several times and don't worry about.

A flat doesn't worry me, but my dad described this hypothetical scenario where we're going 70 down the interstate and the tire blows. Doesn't sound too likely though.

Forcus

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Re: Tire Replacement?
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2013, 02:21:58 PM »
A flat doesn't worry me, but my dad described this hypothetical scenario where we're going 70 down the interstate and the tire blows. Doesn't sound too likely though.

Even if that happens it's a non-event*. I have had a few memorable incidents, a lock-ring type wheel exploding, two tires on one car (different times) losing the tread (carcass still inflated) and beating the hell out of the quarter panel, etc. Non-issues. During the whole Explorer / Firestone debacle, I think it was Car & Driver did a test where they "blew out" a tire. No problems with stability (though, they did it in a straight line and the driver had full knowledge it was going to happen).

*If you don't freak out and just stomp on the brakes, close your eyes, and saw at the wheel.

Spork

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Re: Tire Replacement?
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2013, 02:25:08 PM »
Thanks all for the input. I'm going to assume based on the $10 charge that the tire was probably just plugged. The tires don't have an enormous amount of life left in them anyway so it sounds like we should be fine to leave it as is and then replace them in 6 months to a year. I really appreciate all the help, I love this forum so much!

I wouldn't assume that.  Most tire shops in my town will patch it for $0.  Tire shops are extremely competitive and will really bend over backwards just to get your return business.

BlueMR2

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Re: Tire Replacement?
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2013, 04:07:12 PM »
A flat doesn't worry me, but my dad described this hypothetical scenario where we're going 70 down the interstate and the tire blows. Doesn't sound too likely though.

Even if that happens it's a non-event*. I have had a few memorable incidents, a lock-ring type wheel exploding, two tires on one car (different times) losing the tread (carcass still inflated) and beating the hell out of the quarter panel, etc. Non-issues. During the whole Explorer / Firestone debacle, I think it was Car & Driver did a test where they "blew out" a tire. No problems with stability (though, they did it in a straight line and the driver had full knowledge it was going to happen).

*If you don't freak out and just stomp on the brakes, close your eyes, and saw at the wheel.

I had a tire blow out (an entire tread block departed from it) on the right rear in a corner at 35mph in a mid-engine rwd car and that was "eventful", but I didn't leave the road.  :-)  Several month old tire, no unusual wear, no patches.

I was a witness to a crash where a guy in a 3000GT AWD had a right front blow out under braking.  He was still probably doing 55mph when it happened.  He shot across 4 lanes of the express way, hit a curb, spun, and then wiped out a construction sign...  He claimed they were all less than 2 month old tires, no patches.

Life's dangerous, sometimes you do everything right and lose.  Sometimes you do everything wrong and win.  :-)

Forcus

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Re: Tire Replacement?
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2013, 09:16:30 AM »

Life's dangerous, sometimes you do everything right and lose.  Sometimes you do everything wrong and win.  :-)

Well I'm just going to attribute my success to my superior driving ability... lol!

dragoncar

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Re: Tire Replacement?
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2013, 10:56:37 AM »
Seems like a high-speed blow-out could damage the rims, but I know very little about cars.  I'd stick with the patch, and put it on the back if you are worried.