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June 10, 2012

Do you think plug-only repairs are safe?

New York is very close to ridding its state of plug-only repairs. The implication is that they are not safe. What do you think?

(For background material, read up on the story.)

Bill  S 7082, the Proper Tire Repair Act, and and its Assembly companion, A 9683, would impose a $500 penalty on a repair shop that attempts to repair tires without removing the tire from the rim, among other conditions.

It also sets standards for when a tire can be repaired, and  provides guidance to motor vehicle repair shops about how to properly repair tires.

1. Demount the tire from the rim/wheel assembly.

2. Inspect the tire to determine the extent of damage on the inside of the tire.

3. Clean the inner liner to remove any contaminants inside the tire.

4. Remove the damaged portions of the tire.

5. Buff the inner liner to create a smooth and even surface.

6. Fill the  injury with a cured rubber stem and properly install a tire patch or install a combination repair unit.

The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) has long-standing industry tire repair standards that, according to Senior Vice President Dan Zielinski, clearly outline the steps necessary to properly repair tires.

The Tire Industry Association includes nail hole repair procedures as part of its Automotive Tire Service training program.

"RMA supports these bills and urges New York legislators to enact this legislation,” says Zielinski.

What do you think about the issue of plug-only repairs? Should the government get involved in this issue, either on a state-by-state or federal basis? Let the industry know by leaving a comment, either following this item or the story on which it is based, "N.Y. is close to banning plug-only repairs."

Also,check out this link to read about consumer tire repair do's and don'ts:

"Knowing what not to repair."

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  1. JAMES | June 11, 2012 at 10:30AM
    If the gov't is willing to tell my customers how & what they must do to repair their tires and justify the cost and time, then go ahead. I see the point but the economy doesn't see the point!!

  2. Philip | June 11, 2012 at 10:50AM
    Your headline is incorrect. This is not exclusive to tire plugs but rather includes inside tire patches as well. The only accepted repair will be in the crown area using a patch/plug combination unit. If tire repair manufactures qualify their repair units to work in the shoulder and sidewall, the consumer wants their tire repaired, the repair facility is trained and equipped , then why not do it? Educate Not Legislate! Quality repair manufactures publish repair limitation charts for a reason. The difference is the RMA who is made up of only a handfull of new tire manufacturers only have determined to pass the liability on to the dealer and also drive new tire sales for their benefit. Self serving? You decide! What are we doing to many of the small independent businesses that sell and repair used tires as well. The RMA is proposing legislation with tire repair tied into the elimination of selling used tires. Watch out as they've made repairing and selling used tires as part of their agenda as well. The RMA has also excluded all tire repair manufactures from their membership. Again, ask your self who is really the benefactors of this legislation? If you think it is for the consumer safety, then show me the facts of the liability claims due to failed tire repairs. Yes, you will find some but they are related to improper installation. An improper installation of a patch/plug combination unit is subject to failure just the same. Laws do not resolve this issues. It's education that is required. We don't need the government telling us how to repair tires and levying fines upon the repair facilities who violate this law or even a proceedure of it.

    How is it going to be enforced? If the laws is not enforceable by most practicle standards, then why have a law? Education is what is required.

    The government is so capable of handling issues, maybe they should review thier handling of the post office before attempting to legislate tire repairs!

  3. Tim | June 11, 2012 at 11:08AM
    Safe only when used for sidewall with no cords damaged or broke.. puncture only, no cuts or slice.

  4. Pat | June 11, 2012 at 12:58PM
    If it were your 16 year old daughters car what would you want? Plug only repairs are not safe.! The proper repair procedure is a plug and patch within the flat portion of the innerliner where no flexing occurs. I agree with the article and we should be more concerned about consumer safety. It is a shame that our industry can't regulate itself. In all cases the tire should be broken down and inspected prior to attempting a plug/patch repair.

  5. Will | June 11, 2012 at 01:52PM
    I agree 100% with Philip. I think repairing is fine. We don't promote plugs but they do serve a purpose.

  6. ralph | June 11, 2012 at 02:53PM
    I have been plugging tires for years with very very very few problems.

    First it was the lead weights "problem" now this, pretty soon

    you are going to need a lawyer to help you "fix" a car the way the government wants it done.

  7. Rick | June 11, 2012 at 03:09PM
    We have been using a vulcanizing rubber plug for 25+ years now. The cloth plugs are still sold but can easily be pulled out compared to the rubber chemical reacting plug. As for the observation of repairing the tire and also inspecting the inside of the tire, that is a no-brainer. But to enact laws as to how businesses should operate....I don't see the logic. Is this really a safety issue that the government needs to oversee?

  8. Sherry | June 11, 2012 at 03:45PM
    Since the long days past of being a Board Members of the Fla. Independent Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association as well as the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association and having a father who started in the tire business in 1957 --- we always supported proper tire repairs methods and discouraged anyone from accepting a "plug-only" tire repair!! Our father died at the age of 83 in 2008 and still held firmly to that belief.

    Sherry Clay Marcoe, Retired President of Jeff Clay & Sons Inc, Kissimmee, Florida

  9. Paul | June 12, 2012 at 10:39AM
    Are you all really kidding me or anyone who does this for a living! Everday I take tires off that have been plugged and are leaking again or the belt is separating. Countless flats have come in and been taken apart where there is crumb rubber inside,the tire has been driven on low or flat and aired up again,the inside of the tire is blasted apart,'fix-a-flat' has been put in or even better because the item causing a flat has been near the shoulder of the tire and driven with low air and a hole has been chewed into the sidewall. Everyone of these is unsafe for us working on them to even air up let alone put back into service on someone's vehicle. You want your wife and kids,mother or father riding on these. I think not. You want the big lawsuit that you can not afford because you were to lazy to fix it properly or the customer didn't want to spend another 10 bucks,if they don't want it done right then you do not want them.

    Use your heads you shouldn't need legislation to do it for you in the first place.

  10. Joe | June 14, 2012 at 02:15PM
    Never had a problem with safety-Seal plugs on tread area puncture repairs in 40 years!

  11. Bob | June 18, 2012 at 09:10AM
    EDUCATE NOT LEGISLATE! If tire stores are stoppped, when will the retail stores and several on-line marketers be stopped from selling plug only kits? I really enjoy using Griot car care products but will not buy anymore until they either rewrite their copy or stop selling plug kits!

  12. Spencer | June 27, 2012 at 11:44AM
    It seems most tire professionals are in agreement that the only good tire repair is a proper one by RMA methods. What do the manufacturers of the string or rawhide plugs have to say about this? Speak up!

  13. Dan | June 28, 2012 at 05:34AM
    Dang! Paul seams to be one of the few that hit this topic on the head. Now I hate the goverment being involved in my business as much as anyone else. But like anyone else it's the few that wreck it for the rest who care! This is a no brain use your head topic. I guess we need laws for no common sense.

  14. Paris | July 10, 2012 at 05:58AM
    The problem with the law is that if a registered repair shop plugs a tire then it's a $500.00 fine, however if a customer with no knowledge of tire repair goes to a parts store and buys a plug kit and repairs a tire then it's O.K., How does that make any sense? A qualified tech gets fined but an unqualified owner does not? Government is not the solution it's the problem

  15. Sherman | July 10, 2012 at 06:08AM
    I have been repairing tires since 1964, and I have seen many "outside in" plug failures - either re-leaking or ply separations. Any tire brought in for repair must be removed from the wheel to ensure that no internal damage has resulted from running low. I also believe that the use of fix-a-flat liquids will eventually go out of usage simply because of the resulting damage to tire pressure monitors. None of these issues require government intervention. Common sense should always take precedence and education is key.

  16. AL | July 12, 2012 at 08:15AM
    when is the RMA going to mention to inspect the wheel, isn't that what the tire gets mounted on & should also be inspected if safety is a concern.

    The tire law will only handle half of the problem, wheels are 50% of the problem also, we need laws stating safety on how a wheel can be repaired!!

  17. Bob | July 30, 2012 at 06:16AM
    The florida highway patrol will not repair any tires on their vehicles. A puncture supposedly reduces the speed rating of the tire. So if the vehicle tire has a "S" rating and is plug/patch repaired, then the speed rating is reduced to what? Seems to me it is reduced to non usable except for farm equipment.

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