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Discussion Starter #1
Can you plug / patch a run flat tire with a nail in it?

If so, does this look like it can be done?

Dealer said that it is not recommended to repair a run flat tire, so I just had it replaced today.

Just curious though.

Thanks
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Manufacturers and dealers have their own recommendations, and they tend to be very conservative to avoid potential liability. I mean, it's not their money if you buy a new tire, but it's their butt if they patch it and something goes wrong.

If that were my tire (and assuming I hadn't driven on it when low) I would be perfectly comfortable having that patched. It's a small hole and center of tread: nothing about a run-flat would make that unpatchable.

1620774
 

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I agree with Gubi. If it were my tire and it hadn't been run under about 15psi for any great distance I'd repair it. For street use there shouldn't be any problem because the nail is not near the shoulder so shouldn't be subject to flexing of the tire. Some people are dead set against patching a run flat, but in 14 years in the tire business I've never seen a problem with a proper repair.
 

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I agree with Gubi and John. I would have no problem repairing that tire as long as it was not driven on when it was extremely low on air. I would plug it. That's right, use a plug. For typical - normal - even spirited street driving, a properly installed quality plug will outlast the tire.
 

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Never plug repair a runflat. Indeed, any high performance tire must be patch repaired or the speed rating is lost. Plug repair only works in North America because we don't drive very fast. Do we.

The problem with repairing runflats is not the repair. That works just fine of course. In fact, you don't need to repair a runflat at all by definition. Flat runflats work just fine, for 50 miles. The problem with repairing a runflat is you cannot know for sure how much of the repaired runflat's service life remains for running flat again.

By not replacing the damaged runflat you now have a car with only three runflat tires.

How smart is that?
 

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I thought that the "run flat" feature of this type of tire relied on the large number and thickness of the
of the side wall. I would not have thought that a nail in the middle of the tread would have any effect on the life expectancy of the run flat properties of the tire. (assuming the tire was not run flat for a long distance) I had one experience with a run flat tires when I bought a new Mini. I tried to get the dealer to switch them out for a normal tires with no luck. Really rough ride. After about a couple thousand miles I got rid of them. Big improvement in the ride.
 

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Michael, you're correct in that a plug repair should not be done on any tire. But if a competent tire dealer uses a patch plug repair applied from inside the tire, that tire is still usable. While the tire is dismounted the dealer would be able to see any internal damage which would then render the tire unusable. Although many owners use the external plugs and are perfectly fine in doing so, there is no way to ascertain if the tire is really safe. In any case, it would pay to closely monitor the TPMS.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Never plug repair a runflat. Indeed, any high performance tire must be patch repaired or the speed rating is lost.
That is incorrect. Here are the major tire manufacturer recommendations on run flat repair & post repair speed. Most of them are fine with it, and the ones who aren't are almost certainly stating so for liability rather than technical reasons.

https://m.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=226
https://m.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=225

Tire I haven't driven on while flat? I'm perfectly comfortable patching it regardless of manufacturer. But then again I do live dangerously :LOL:

C'mon man. Porsche officially says that if you scuff an alloy wheel down to metal, the wheel should be completely replaced. You gonna do everything manufacturers tell you?
 

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Michael, you're correct in that a plug repair should not be done on any tire. But if a competent tire dealer uses a patch plug repair applied from inside the tire, that tire is still usable. While the tire is dismounted the dealer would be able to see any internal damage which would then render the tire unusable. Although many owners use the external plugs and are perfectly fine in doing so, there is no way to ascertain if the tire is really safe. In any case, it would pay to closely monitor the TPMS.
I'm not suggesting it isn't usable. Clearly even a totally flat runflat unrepaired is usable for the manufacturers stated runflat mileage. I don't doubt the tire would be safe. The problem is as I have described, unless you know how far the runflat has been driven while flat you cannot rely on its future remaining runflat capability. The biggest risk is to a subsequent purchaser not knowing the runflat has been repaired. However, I also challenge anyone to recall which of their four tires was repaired let alone recall how far it was run while flat.

Bottom line? Failing to replace a runflat rather than repair it is unsafe. For several reasons.

I refuse to use them in part because they are practically useless for the purpose they claim to have been made. There are many places in my country where the nearest facility for repair or replacement of a tire is beyond the service range of a runflat running without air. They ride hard, are noisy and very expensive. Nobody needs this technology. Like SUVs they are a marketing gimmick without real utility.
 

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@Michael Smith , Say what you will about tire plugs, I've installed many hundreds, probably over a thousand, for loyal customers that I have serviced for 30 plus years that I continue to see. I can count on one hand (with fingers remaining) the number that have returned because the plug has failed to repair the leak. Usually removing the single plug and installing two plugs together will work! With modern TPMS it is now much easier to monitor pressure. To my knowledge, I have never had a plug depart the tire. I have seen bald tires, down to the cords, with the plug(s) still intact and not leaking. Would I recommend pluging a tire knowing that tire is going to be used at a track event or race, no. But for typical street use, no problem, is my experience. I routinely plug my own tires and drive triple digit speeds daily. Never a problem yet. Just my $0.02
 

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@Michael Smith , Say what you will about tire plugs, I've installed many hundreds, probably over a thousand, for loyal customers that I have serviced for 30 plus years that I continue to see. I can count on one hand (with fingers remaining) the number that have returned because the plug has failed to repair the leak. Usually removing the single plug and installing two plugs together will work! With modern TPMS it is now much easier to monitor pressure. To my knowledge, I have never had a plug depart the tire. I have seen bald tires, down to the cords, with the plug(s) still intact and not leaking. Would I recommend pluging a tire knowing that tire is going to be used at a track event or race, no. But for typical street use, no problem, is my experience. I routinely plug my own tires and drive triple digit speeds daily. Never a problem yet. Just my $0.02
Well, triple digit with two zeros, maybe. Put a few 1's or 2 's or more in the number and not on your life thanks v much.

When I'm seeing 230 km/hr on the speedo I'm not wanting to recall which tire may have a plug in it. Not saying I ever drive that fast you know, but I might.

I do recall driving fast on winter tires and having to reduce speed because I remembered they were only Q rated. Fantastic grip on ice but I've not ever bought Q rated tires again. My winters have to be H rated at least. No plug repairs either.
 

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Run flat tires are the biggest scam ever perpetrated on the driving public. They are inferior to regular tires, but they allow the car manufacturers to screw you by not spending the money to give you a proper spare. If my 77 Alfetta sedan, with a transaxle, had room for a full sized spare tire, there is no excuse for the new Giulia or another new car not to have one. The original Giulietta had one, but the 4C, which is physically larger, does not. This is all BS. If I keep my Giulia long enough to replace the tires, it will be with normal high performance tires, and I won't worry about a flat because I bought a spare wheel and had a tire mounted on, and got a $20 jack and threw them both in the trunk and I can drive back and forth to NYC from LA on that tire 10 times at 80+ mph and it still will be a solid performance tire good enough for a weekend at Willow Springs. But don't try that on your plugged spare. And don't be surprised if putting a new run flat on the car with three other 10k miles plus original tires doesn't play with the abs and other sensors.
 

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So are space saver spares because the space isn't saved and neither is any money. You still need space for the flat tire which usually there isn't in that crafty way of "proving" you have more useable space. Kind of like the seat belts in the back of my Subaru BRZ which create the illusion of a four seater car favoured by insurers over 2 seaters. You can't rotate the space saver with the four other tires so you save no money either. There are two viable solutions: no spare, jack or wheel brace and you play the odds or a full sized matching tire on a proper matching alloy rim you can actually use with jack and wheel wrench. No car should be sold without a jack specific to the car. So, really, you need a full sized spare wheel well which then means why would you not put a full sized spare tire in there? In places with winter we store one of the extra four tire/wheel units in the spare tire well at all times. I finally ripped out the goofy plastic spacer in the spare wheel well of my 164 in order to fit a full sized tire/wheel. The prompting was a thread on this board about a space saver spare exploding from extreme age. I realized the space saver in our 164 (totally unused, btw) was 20 years old!!!

Finally, if you carry a proper road tire mounted and pressured up you are good to keep travelling at nornal speeds and for normal range. Those speed limited space saver spares are dangerous because of the speed differential you are forced to travel at. And why the speed limitation? Because the tire is less than half the mass of a proper road tire and gets way too hot way too fast at high speeds.

Finally, finally, those tires are no better than road tires for maximum longevity of 7-10 years. At least a road tire can be worn out along with the other road tires, at about 5 years on average. This is particularly true for winter climates where you are running two sets of four tires over five or six years instead of one set for three years. That works out cheaper over the very long run than trying to rotate one set of five tires, especially on an awd car.

Don't get me started on those super fashionable and technically incorrect staggered wheel and tire setups you see on so many modern cars. Unless you drive a mid or rear engined car you do not need nor want a staggered wheel/tire setup. They do not work as advertised. They are for looks only. Faux race tires.
 

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Actually the 308 Ferraris had all four wheels and tires the same size...plus the spare was a full alloy wheel mounted with a matching tire. The Mondials as well.
 

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Actually the 308 Ferraris had all four wheels and tires the same size...plus the spare was a full alloy wheel mounted with a matching tire. The Mondials as well.
The mid and rear engined cars do not require staggered wheels but at least they have a sound engineering reason for fitting them. No front engined car needs staggered wheels.
 

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I had a nail well in the tread (not near the side wall) of one of the OEM run flats. Mr. Tire wouldn't repair it, for liability reasons: they've no way of knowing if or how long someone drove on it with little to no tire pressure. I knew that I never let the tire get below about 28 psi so I bought a $10 plug kit and plugged it myself. That was two years and about 14k miles ago; the plugged tire has never lost 1 psi more than any of the other tires. For what it's worth.
 

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That' about what I would have expected. Too many doomsayers on here.
 

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That' about what I would have expected. Too many doomsayers on here.
Stating the facts is not doomsaying, conventionally defined. If you choose to repair a runflat tire then, in essence, you are driving a car with three runflat tires and one which no longer has that capability. At least you will know that if you read up on the facts. An innocent buyer of that used car will not know that.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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If you choose to repair a runflat tire then, in essence, you are driving a car with three runflat tires and one which no longer has that capability. At least you will know that if you read up on the facts.
That is not correct. The majority of tire manufacturers allow run flat tire repairs after examination.


Rutlefan's tire was never below 28 PSI, I would be perfectly comfortable putting a plug in that, but decide on your own level of risk acceptance.
 
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