What Is A Tire Repair?
Tire repair refers to the process of replacing a faulty tire with a new one or simply repairing a tiny puncture. While it sounds like a job anyone with two hands can handle, it’s recommended to go to a shop that specializes in repairing tires to ensure that you get your problem solved completely.
How Much Will A Tire Repair Cost?
While a tire repair won’t cost you an arm and a leg, it will cost you a bit of your time. The size of the puncture makes a huge difference and will determine the amount you will spend on getting your tire repaired.
For many new tires the initial purchase comes with a roadside hazard warranty that includes coverage for common punctures, damage, or defects in the tire. We will gladly work with any warranty company to ensure that you receive the proper warranty coverage or reimbursement. Additionally any work performed at the shop is covered by a 3 year, 36,000miles nationwide warranty.
Important Facts You Should Know
- While you can purchase your own kit and repair the tire on your own, it is recommended that if possible, you go to a licensed repair shop.
- If your tire happens to endure sidewall damage, you should replace your tire. Failing to do so can result in damaging your tire even further. Sidewalls cannot be plugged
- Repairing your tire but not ensuring the TPMS system is in good working order can lead to abnormal wear due to over or under inflation.
- If the damaged tire shows signs of cupping—where the tread is worn abnormally on the edge of the tire, there typically is worn or bent suspension parts that will continue to damage either the repaired tire or a replacement tire until repaired.
What is a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and warning light?
For all vehicles weighing under 10,000lbs (which means your car, light truck, or SUV), Congress mandated tire pressure monitoring systems as part of the safety features starting in 2005 and fully in place by 2007. ALL vehicles model year 2007 or newer have some form of a tire pressure monitoring system—commonly the system had an indicator light/icon on the driver dashboard and may or may not have direct reporting through the vehicle information system to which tire and what pressure is reading abnormally.
Notice the tire shape with an exclamation point inside it. The TPMS system reads that the tire pressure is below the set amount the vehicle’s computer system has it set to and is notifying the driver of the problem. Common causes of a TPMS light being on include under inflated tires (tires with no problems but have been set to a different PSI than the sensor reads as normal), damaged tires (nails, screws, or some other form of puncture causing a slow air loss), defective tires (ones whose rubber structure has come undone and is no longer sealing), or a faulty TPMS sensor (either a damaged sensor or an instance where the tire and valve stem have been replaced but not the sensor and the computer is no longer able to read the data from it).
What Process is Used When Repairing a Tire?
A tire plug is exactly what it sounds like; a sticky expandable plug that is inserted into the puncture in hopes of keeping the injury secure long enough for the tire to re-inflate with air. A patch is also pretty self-explanatory when it comes to description. Better known as a radial patch, this piece of material is used to seal up the damaged tire. Due to the heat caused from driving, the patch eventually melts into the tire completely erasing all notices of repair.
When our mechanics examine a tire and its’ TPMS system for problems they will first take a pressure reading of each of the tires to determine what they are reading versus what the TPMS and vehicle computer is stating. This includes your spare tire as if it is a full size spare it too commonly has a TPMS sensor. Next they will remove the wheel in question and examine the tire tread for uneven wear or punctures.
Typically at this point they will also roll the tire in a mixture of soap and water which allows for small leaks either from punctures or improper tire mounting (around a valve stem or the rim of the tire) to create bubbles and point out the leak. In some cases a tire can be repaired with a combination of a patch and plug, but if the damage is as severe as the tire below replacing the tire is the only repair option.
When one of our mechanics is performing a diagnostic on the TPMS system in your vehicle (either due to the warning light being on or as a courtesy after we repair or replace a tire), they are looking for the computer system to read each sensor along with the tire pressure from each wheel. The readout that they have displays each wheel as a separate value and allows them to pinpoint communication errors between sensors and your vehicle’s computer.
When your vehicle’s tires are not balanced they interact with the road surface differently, and can create a noticeable bounce or vibration that you feel when driving at certain speeds. With every new tire that we install we utilize a specific computerized tool to measure the balance of the wheel and direct the technician to place wheel weights in appropriate places on the tire rim.
The Difference Between A Plug And A Patch
While the plug takes less time and can be down without removing the entire tire in comparison to the plug, it’s more likely for a car owner to come back in a shorter amount of time for yet another repair after getting a plug opposed to a patch.