Well, it depends. The industry standard dictates that holes or punctures greater than ¼” in diameter should not be repaired. It is possible, in some cases, to repair holes smaller than ¼” with a plug, patch or both.
Unfortunately, many auto shops do not abide by the industry standard. Repairs—such as patches and plugs—on holes larger than ¼” will not last for long. Sometimes, they’ll last as long as a week or month. But then you’re right back where you started.
At Telle, we will tell you exactly what your car needs without overcharging you because we value the health of your car and the future of our relationship with you as a client.
If the damage is small, a repair might be possible, but it still needs to be done right by qualified professionals. Here’s what you need to know about flat tire repairs:
- Your flat tire repair needs to be completely airtight
This seems obvious. But, again, not all mechanics follow this rule. Often, inexperienced mechanics will make ”repairs” while your tire is still on your car. This means they are not properly inspecting the inside valves of your tire, and are not completely sealing the puncture.Telle will completely seal your tire. Every time. If it can’t be sealed, we’ll replace it. But we’ll always fix your flat tire at its source.
- Use mushroom-shaped plugs, not string plugs
String plugs—or those that are shaped like a thick string—will fix your flat tire, at least for a while. Eventually, though, they will allow air through the barrier. A ”mushroom shape” allows a small, thicker part of your plug to completely seal air from the innerliner.
- A patch on the innerliner might be required
This is why it’s important to take your tires off—so you can inspect the inside of the tire. If the puncture has reached the innerliner, you will need to a small patch to seal the puncture. Often, patches are used in conjunction with plugs to create an airtight seal that lasts.
Telle Tire aims to be more than just another mechanic—we want to be the mechanic you trust for years to come. That’s why we offer the best warranties in the business when you buy new tires—3 years or 30,000 miles—and require each of our employees to be certified at the highest level. For four generations, we’ve been taking care of St. Louis & KC’s automotive needs. We’d love to help you, too.