Tire repair(repairing a flat tire) is a bit of a tricky subject. Flat tires can not always be repaired. Tire repair isn’t as simple as plugging a tire while it’s still on the car, airing it up and driving on your way. Far from it. There are several guidelines when it comes to tire repair such as:
- The tire is ONLY repairable if the puncture is located in the tread area.(See the picture below)
- The puncture can not be more than 1/4 in diameter .
- Repairs must be performed by removing the tire from the rim/wheel assembly and a complete inspection must be made to assess all damage that may be present.
- You can not have repairs overlap.
- Plugging a tire is not acceptable method of tire repair. The only acceptable method of tire repair is to fill the hole and apply a patch on the inside of the tire.
- A tire that has been driven on “Flat” or under-inflated is not repairable due to the sidewall of the tire being compromised and/or damaged
So basically if the hole is too big or you continued to drive on it while it was loosing air or had no air in it you are going to need a new tire. Even if the hole is in the perfect location but you drove on it while it was flat the tire is done for. Sure the hole can be fixed and you could put air in it but when you do that 1 of 2 things can, and most likely will, happen:
- The tire will explode causing serious injury or even death to the person airing it up
- It will hold air but the sidewall will blow out as you are driving on it
If there is any damage to the sidewall AT ALL(be it from puncture or impact) the tire is extremely dangerous and unsafe to repair. Blow outs(a blow out is when a sidewall is damaged, most likely due to impact, and the air blows out and it explodes) and bubbles in the sidewall are IN NO WAY repairable.
Safety is a HUGE CONCERN when it comes to tire repair and should not be taken lightly.