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Plugging Tires:

> I recently got a sheetrock screw in one of my rear tires -- just up from the
> sidewall, inside the tread. i just replaced all 4 about a year or so ago, so
> there's plenty of tread left. the mechanic I use (who just came back from
> Kuwait) told me he plugs them all the time in the military, but his dealership
> "doesn't plug tires" as a rule so I had it plugged at another shop. but I'm wary
> if this was a good idea or not. on one hand, I do have the runflats and ctis,
> but I don't want to get into a bad situation either. Anyone have any
> experience, advice?
> hs
> '95 gas softtop 

Plugging a tire can be safe and permanent, depending on where the hole is located, how large the hole is, what type material the tire is constructred from, and what type and quality of patch/plug you use.

I assume you are talking about a Goodyear original equipment type, and if the hole is in the tread area, you can effectively plug the tire and use it for quite some time, but if used continuously on the vehicle, it must be monitored to make sure that you are not getting any "wicking" occuring from the elements.

"Wicking" is a simple term which is used to say that water, air, or other substance is being drawn into to and through the cord or cords of the tire, to include fabric and steel.

If you have a steel belted tire, it is possible for those elements to creep up the cord line, create some oxidation, such as rust, and thereby delaminate the belting material from the rubber, and cause a separation of the two dissimilar materials.

The same holds true for cord, such as nylon, rayon, kevlar, etc.

I've seen plugged tires run for their normal calendar, or mileage expected duration, and i've seen those that have failed within a short time.

It's just a matter of preperation, and of course luck.

There is available, and I suggest used, a plug that looks as though it has a tire patch on one end of the plug, but it must be installed from the inside of the tire.

You prepare the tire by cleaning the hole, buffing the point inside the tire where the hole is located as if you were going to patch the tire, pull the plug end through the tire, stitch the patch in place, and cut the excess plug off, down to the tread depth and you're done.

Once that has been accomplished, you should have a perfectly good tire, but you must monitor that spot on the tire to make sure that you don't have any additional problems.

You can even patch, but not plug the sidewall of a radial tire, as there are radial patches made for that purpose.

Of course, it depends on the type and size of damage to the sidewall, but if it's small, even those can be patched.


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