Knowing the difference between a proper tire repair and an improper tire repair could be critical to your safety. When an object breaks through the inner-liner of a tire, the most immediate concern is the loss of air pressure. But the long-term risk is that the instability around the penetrating object can lead to a tread separation. A tire repair should be performed by a tire service technician who has been trained to do a complete, proper repair. It is important that the tire technician remove the tire from the rim so that the inside can be thoroughly inspected. Many times, a simple object can cause severe damage to the sidewall that cannot be seen on the outside of the tire. Therefore, on-the-wheel wheel repairs like rope plugs or emergency inflators that contain a sealant are not recommended as long-term solutions and must be considered temporary. The only way to properly repair a tire is to demount it from the rim so it can be inspected on the inside, remove the damaged material, fill the void with rubber, and seal the inner liner with a repair unit.
A plug by itself or a patch by itself is not an acceptable repair because the plug does not permanently seal the inner-liner and the patch does not fill the void left by the penetrating object, which allows water to enter the body of the tire and start corroding the steel belts. Puncture repairs are limited to the center of the tread area. If there are punctures or damage in the shoulder or sidewall of the tire, it is not repairable. If the injuries are close enough so that the repairs overlap or the injuries are directly across from each other, the tire cannot be repaired. A tire that is worn to the tire’s tread-wear indicators or that has a tread puncture larger than ¼-inch (6mm) should not be repaired. Not all tires can be repaired. Specific repair limits should be based on recommendations or repair policy of the tire manufacturer and/or type of tire service. When tires are repaired improperly, the results can be deadly. When a puncture is within the limits established by the industry and properly repaired, you can expect the tire to continue to deliver thousands of miles of safe and reliable performance.
Tire rotations are a necessary process when you want to get the most life possible from your tires. There are several benefits to having this service performed regularly. Not only can you get extended tire tread life, but you will also experience better vehicle handling. Tires have a tendency to wear unevenly due to many different factors. Performing a periodic tire rotation will help to balance out the wear on your tires, which may prevent many possible unwanted problems including pattern wear. Pattern wear can develop from the tire turning in the same direction for thousands of miles.
Occasionally after a tire rotation you may notice a vibration in the steering wheel. This may be caused from the rear tires being out of balance. You may not notice the vibration originally due to the tires being on the rear of the vehicle but now that the tires are on the front of your vehicle the steering wheel shakes. It is not necessary to have your tires balanced with each tire rotation but it is good practice to have the tires re-balanced from time to time for maintenance.
Tire balancing makes sure that weight is evenly distributed around the entire circumference of the tire and wheel unit. The common symptoms of an out-of-balance tire is uneven tread wear, poor fuel economy, and vibration in the steering wheel, the floorboard or the seat that gets worse at faster speeds. Everyday wear on tires will contribute to imbalance. Normal manufacturing imperfections are also a cause: Tires and wheels don’t have precisely equal weight distribution. They’ll be slightly heavier in some spots. Imbalanced tires are easily corrected by a tire balancing machine, but the work is precise. It’s done by attaching small weights, just fractions of ounces, to the wheel.