Getting a flat tire is never fun, but there are ways to repair a flat tire without having to buy a new one. The patch approach seals the tire from the inside and differs from a plug, which is inserted into the puncture to seal it. The Rubber Manufacturers Association advises a plug and patch approach to fixing a punctured tire, but others believe a patch is enough. few advises a trained technician repair a flat tire with a patch, “Patch repairs are generally the province of trained technicians who have the equipment to dismount and remount the tire.”
This is an example of a tire patch.
Repair a Flat Tire with a Patch
To repair a flat tire with a patch you will need to make sure the puncture is on the tire’s tread and not on the tire’s sidewall, according to the RMA. The puncture should not be larger than a 1/4 inch in diameter. Repairs should not overlap and the tire should be removed from the wheel to inspect for other damage. However, if the puncture is too close to the tire’s sidewall or if the puncture is not straight, a patch will be advised over a plug. Here is how to repair a flat tire with a patch.
Remember, RMA always advises a plug and patch approach. The organization advises this approach because the patch reseals the innerliner of the tire “to restore air containment.” The plug “prevents moisture from reaching the steel belts and body cord in the tire.”