The tires on your car must be in good condition and have the proper inflation to perform safely on the road. Tire repair is essential if there is a problem, but it must be done correctly, and the method may vary depending on the damage to the tire.
The first step in making a tire repair is damage assessment and inspection. Before any tire repair is possible, the tech needs to know where the hole, puncture, or cut is on the tire.
A puncture in the tread is easy to fix, but a cut in the sidewall will compromise the tire's structural integrity, making it unsafe to use even if you could repair it. Small punctures are often hard to find and may require the tech to take the tire off the rim to inspect it and make the necessary repair.
A tire with a puncture in the tread often just needs a plug to stop the air leak. The tire plug is a small piece of self-volcanizing rubber inserted using a unique tool through the puncture and then trimmed to length so it is even with the tread on the tire. Once the tire plug is in place, the air leak should stop. However, if the air is still leaking from the tire after the repair, the tire repair tech may need to add a patch inside the tire to seal the hole.
To install a tire patch inside the tire, the tire tech will need to remove the tire from the wheel to access the interior portion. The tire patch only works on the inside and is made of rubber with a strong glue that reacts with the rubber tire to create a bond between the two pieces. The area where the puncture is will need dressing or scuffing, and the plug in the hole needs trimming so the patch can go over it. Once the patch is in place, the glue must cure for it to become permanent and seal the tire.
Balancing The Tire
After a tire repair is complete, the tire weight can change slightly, and it is a good idea to balance the tire and wheel to ensure the car will still ride smoothly and handle correctly. Typically single tire plugs alone will not affect the tire balance, but multiple tire plugs and a patch may throw things off a bit. It is also important to note that any time a tech removes the tire from the rim, it is essential to rebalance the combination of the tire and rim to each other.
Contact a local tire repair service to learn more.