Got a flat? Make sure it's repaired correctly.

Is there anything more annoying than a flat tire? We drive carefully to avoid getting them, but they're almost inevitable...a surefire guaranteed experience that you'll have at least once in your driving career. But, thankfully, a flat tire doesn't necessarily mean a dead tire.

Provided it gets repaired correctly (and quickly, if you drive a steel belted radial). In the picture below, you can see that the puncture wound is completely filled to close the inner liner. This reestablishes an airtight seal and allows the tire to hold correct inflation. Essentially, it's a patch-and-plug system that inevitably looks like a mushroom.
If the tire is repaired incorrectly, you're doomed. On the left, the puncture is patched up on the inside but the wound itself is never fixed. As a result, moisture can get into the inner liner, which can then affect the steel belts. Possibly even causing them to rust. On the right, you can see that the inner liner isn't patched and that a simple string plug was applied to the wound. Odds are, the tire was never inspected for interior damage. And consequently, the tire isn't sealed tightly which means the risk of losing air once again is fairly great.

You can read more about flat tire repairs in our library of tire tech articles. And if you need to replace one of your own, click here to search Tire Rack's entire inventory according to your vehicle.

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