Q: Can you plug a tire?
A: The only tire repair endorsed by tire manufacturers is a mushroom plug patch that is installed from inside the tire. This type of repair involves dismounting the tire from the rim. It plugs the puncture as well as provides a patch on the inside of the tire. This type of repair preserves the load and speed ratings of the tire. An older repair method of inserting a rubberized plug from outside the tire is no longer recommended for highway applications.
Q: Why can't a tire that is punctured near the sidewall be repaired?
A: Normal flexing of the tire tread in and near the sidewall will damage the repair site and cause the plug patch to fail. The risk of rapid deflation is considered an unacceptable safety hazard, and the tire should be replaced.
Q: Why are routine tire repairs and wheel services costing more?
A: Vehicles sold in the US for model year 2007 and newer are required to have a tire pressure monitoring system. This system includes a panel display that can indicate the location of a tire with low inflation pressure. These systems now involve expensive components including wireless pressure transmitters in each wheel assembly. Any time tire and wheel services are performed, these devices need to be inspected and tested, and if the wheel is repositioned on the car, steps must be performed to allow the car's computer to relearn the new wheel location.