Lately, we have been getting questions related to tire repair, specifically plugging and/ or patching. DOT and Automotive Training Institutes usually train tire repairs only using an approved tire patch. Repairs can only be made to the tread area and can not be on edge of tread area towards the sidewall or sidewall of tire. Plugs may be used, which we prefer the fatter plugs. Again, use of plugs must be within the same location as the tire patch. So, plugging versus patching? This option first will be based on what the Business will offer as a service. Not many Chain Auto Businesses will use tire plugs and may not even do patches. Customers frequently explain they are encouraged to buy a new tire. Again, this will depend or where you are taking your vehicle. If you are searching for a quick and inexpensive way to repair your tire, if appropriate, then taking your vehicle to an Independent Automotive Business is the Best way to go. Again, DOT is a guideline/ recommendation for tires based on product composition and mileage tread wear, which DOT recommends no longer than 5 years from the MADE Date. This is stamped on the side of the tire by week and year (Ex: 0415; week 4 of year 2015).
So, what should I do if I have a nail in my tire, center mass in the tread, and my tires are relatively new. I would take it some where they do tire repairs. If the TRUTH is you need NEW TIRES, then shop for the best bang for your buck and get a used, if needed. You have options. Meaning do not feel pressured to purchase a new tire if you are not feeling solid about that decision.