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Old 07-26-2014, 04:36 AM   #1
BenThere OP
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Tire Plugs Illegal?

I was in the car with a blowhard know it all yesterday who tried to say that there was a federal law prohibiting tire shops from plugging nail holes in tires due to it being a safety issue. I informed him that I could walk into a Walmart, Auto Zone... and buy one off the shelf. He shot back that I was splitting hairs, that he said "it's illegal for shops to do it, not your everyday citizen."
This makes no sense; if it's a safety issue then why would they prohibit trained technicians from doing it but allow any Tom, Dick and Harry to do it? I can see shops not wanting to assume the liability, but I just don't believe there's law against it (federal anyway).
Anybody have experiences with this?
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Old 07-26-2014, 04:55 AM   #2
Splendidtutional
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I was told by a garage that it was "against industry practice" for tire shops to plug the tires with the external plugs. They remove the tire, put a plug in from the inside (looks like a giant rubber nail with the "head" on the inside of the tire) and that is how a tire shop will plug it. I don't know if it is a liability thing, but I would be hard pressed to think Congress could come together and pass a federal law about this.

Your friend is right that tire shops wont do this, (maybe a mom& pop or two to keep customers happy) but I do not think there is a federal law.
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Old 07-26-2014, 05:05 AM   #3
BenThere OP
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Yeah, I can't believe it either. If there's a law against it because it's a safety issue, why would they still sell the kits to the general public?
Makes no sense.
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Old 07-26-2014, 05:27 AM   #4
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Tire plug = low cost repair
Tire patch= more labor, higher cost.
Tire business is getting viscous, margins are lower and everyone is doing it, they need to recoup $$$
Quick google brings up nothing proving that its illegal.
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Old 07-26-2014, 06:37 AM   #5
KeithinSC
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He may have been told by a shady shop that they were illegal ($$$), and is just parroting the bullshit he's been fed?
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Old 07-26-2014, 06:56 AM   #6
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Plugs are a better repair than an internal patch. Plugs seal the tire casing from the outside and don't allow moisture and debris into the punctured area where it can over time lead to a delaminated tire. Internal patches allow moisture and foreign material to get into the tire casing from the outside.

I'm sure I'll get some disagreement on this.
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Old 07-26-2014, 07:17 AM   #7
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They use this type patch that plugs the hole


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Old 07-26-2014, 07:34 AM   #8
flei
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As far as I can tell from my "extensive" Google research, there is no Federal law against plugging tires. There are or have been some State laws prohibiting plugs, so in those states tire shops likely do not use them (too much liability etc.). They seem to work fine for me at home on both car and bike tires so who gives a rat's ass what the law says... If you haven't noticed, there are quite a few STUPID laws.....
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Old 07-26-2014, 08:42 AM   #9
GreaseMonkey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithinSC View Post
He may have been told by a shady shop that they were illegal ($$$), and is just parroting the bullshit he's been fed?
Ether was told it by a shop, or read it on an internet forum somewhere LOL.
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Old 07-26-2014, 05:20 PM   #10
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Here in New Zealand a ''string'' repair is illegal, although they can be used as a temporary measure. We have a compulsory safety/compliance check with intervals ranging from 6 months to 3 years depending on age - if we (part of my job) see a string repair we fail the car.

The tyre needs to be removed to check for internal damage - run flat, nail damaging internals etc. Repair tyres for a living and you see a lot of internal damage, stuff you'd be unaware of just doing a quick repair. We still use strings on off road tyres.
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Old 07-26-2014, 07:14 PM   #11
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I think that shops are not willing to take your word that a tire has not been run flat for an excessive amount of miles and assume liability in case a tire fails after being plugged. People often do terrible things to tires and do not want to stop using them as long as they have tread.
Plugs should be perfectly safe as long as you know that the tire has not been run flat.
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Old 07-26-2014, 07:57 PM   #12
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It's not illegal on a fed level. State maybe. I've had many installed on CMVs. On cars, no body wants to due to the risk of a tire coming apart later and being sued, or selling you a new tire and making more profit.

For most shops, they wont touch anything in the sidewall at all. Don't bother asking for a patch, just get a new tire. For tread plugs, go to the next shop if the first wont patch it.
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Old 07-27-2014, 06:30 AM   #13
Wasser
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There is no federal law.

Could be a state law in some states. Not in mine though.

Most shops won't do it anymore because of liability. If a person is properly trained on how to inspect a tire for damage and where a proper plug can be utilized, a good shop will plug a tire. In the last 2 years, I've had 4 tires plugged because of a nail or screw.

I take it to a reputable tire store (Discount Tire) and each time they break the tire down off the rim and very carefully inspect the inside of the tire, outside location of where the screw is and tread depth. They also ask me information about the nail or screw in the tire and my driving habits such as "did I drive on the flat tire?"

The do have a store policy of only 2 plugs in the life of the tire. Might be a tire manuf. thing. One of the tires on my truck has two plugs from two separate dates. Screw one time, nail the second time.
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:39 AM   #14
Watercat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreaseMonkey View Post
Ether was told it by a shop, or read it on an internet forum somewhere LOL.
+ 1 . . . . . .

This >>>>>> Send him a #5 Butt plug via snail mail . . . . . .
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:51 AM   #15
patmo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Langanobob View Post
Plugs are a better repair than an internal patch. Plugs seal the tire casing from the outside and don't allow moisture and debris into the punctured area where it can over time lead to a delaminated tire. Internal patches allow moisture and foreign material to get into the tire casing from the outside.

I'm sure I'll get some disagreement on this.

Only because you are so wrong..........in your first statement that is.

Plug/patch combos do all that you want the plug to do, but ALSO seal the inner liner of the tire, which is what actually holds the air inside the carcaus, AND allow a full inspection of the tire from the inside. An external plug does not allow either of these things to happen. I liken plugging a tire to putting a cork in a bottle.

I've broken down thousands of tires over the years and have been consistently amazed by the items found inside of them, or the internally damaged sidewalls that are not visible from the outside.

As far as a federal law against plugging.....first I've ever heard of it, and I have received training from virtually all of the major national and international tire companies over my 30+ years in the tire/parts/repair industry.
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