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Re: Plugged and patched tires

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As a HPDE Instructor would you ride in or drive a car with a plugged or patched tire?
... it’s about how the repair was done.
Both plugs and patches can be effective tire repair solutions.
Patches are generally considered better because they are done from the inside of the tire by a pro and are only done when the pro considers it safe.
But a plug can be just as good as long as it fixes a small puncture in the tread of the tire ( never when near or on the sidewall) and that had not compromised the structural integrity of the tire.
A small hole made by a nail or screw in the middle of the tread is generally able to be plugged without compromising safety.
The tire carcass is made up of layers of crisscrossed mesh and fibers which are then covered in rubber. A small nail will generally slide through the mesh without ripping it.
But even when using the provided reaming tool the amount of cut fibers do not adversely affect the tire.
The plug is inserted from the outside with the tire mounted on the rim and as soon as the tire starts rotating it forms a mushroom head air seal on the inside which can last for the remainder of the tire’s life.
I have plugged a few of my tires and have then taken them on the track without fear. I’ve never had an issue.
Nevertheless I would be uncomfortable putting a plugged tire on my car that I don’t know who fixed it and under what conditions.
I’m sure others will disagree.
Happy Boxstering

Pedro Bonilla 1998 Boxster 986 - 287,000+ miles: http://www.PedrosGarage.com
PCA National Club Racing Scrutineer - PCA National HPDE Instructor - PCA Technical Committee (Boxster/Cayman)

Racecar spelled backwards is Racecar
"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting" ... Steve McQueen as Michael Delaney in "LeMans"
"If you wait, all that happens is that you get older"... Mario Andretti
"Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose" ... Ayrton Senna
And here's a plug (pun intended) for Pedro's Garage DIY site, where Pedro shows how to plug a tire. I know this is pretty simple stuff, but many of us are not experienced in auto repair. It's DIY sites like this that really help.


I recently had a small screw puncture the tire dead center in the tread, and having never plugged a tire before, naturally referenced Pedro's excellent site to supplement the repair kit's instructions. What an inexpensive and easy job! My only comments are you need to use quite a bit of force to insert the "reaming" tool after you remove the screw/nail. Also, my kit came with rubber cement, but no instructions on how/where/when to use it. I chose not to use it, but I assume it would be liberally coated on the plug to insure it stays put. Although I can't imagine the plug working it's way loose in normal street driving.

Gary 2003 Boxster Base - Midnight Blue Metallic, Savanna Beige, Metropol Blue
Thanks Pedro.

Appreciate your wisdom on my Pzero thread below.
..its all abotu WHERE the puncture is.
There are also "mushroom style" plugs that work nearly as well as patches. Should they fail, you have no more than a slow leak.


Grant gee-lenahan-at-vee-eff-email-dot-net
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