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Proper tire repair guidelines are free

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Longstanding industry guidelines for passenger and light truck tire repair are now more easily accessible to tire professionals through the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) Web site.

In addition to a wall chart of step-by-step, industry-recommended tire repair practices, RMA offers the information in a free, downloadable format. A tire repair video news release and a consumer-friendly information sheet also are available.

“Faulty or improper repairs may result in tires placed back into service that are at greater risk of failure," says Charles Cannon, RMA CEO and president.

A 2006 RMA study of more than 14,000 scrap tires found that 17% of tires had a tire repair. Of that subset, 88% of the repairs were improper.

Among several criteria to perform a proper repair are:

* Repairs are limited to the tread area only (no sidewall repairs).

* A puncture injury cannot be greater than 1/4-inch (6mm) in diameter.

* Repairs must be performed by removing the tire from the rim/wheel assembly to perform a complete inspection.

* Repairs cannot overlap.

* A rubber stem, or plug, must be applied to fill the puncture injury and a patch must be applied to seal the inner liner.

Earlier this year, a California jury awarded a $14 million judgment against an auto dealer for improperly repairing a tire that eventually failed and contributed to a fatal van crash.

“Consumers need to know that to ensure their safety; a proper tire repair takes more than ten minutes and $10,“ says Cannon. “If someone tells you that, you should take it somewhere else and have it done right.”

RMA’s wall chart is available for purchase at www.rma.org. A free version of the chart can be download here. A one-page, consumer-friendly tire repair fact sheet also is available.

For information about training programs, visit the Tire Industry Association Web page at www.tireindustry.org.

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