Improper Tire Repair Poses Safety Concern

Know What to Ask When A Flat Needs Fixed

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.February 28, 2008 - Knowing the difference between a proper tire repair and an improper repair could be critical to vehicle safety. A tire industry study showed that nearly 88 percent of tire repairs are performed improperly. An improper tire repair could pose a safety hazard to you and your family and could also affect a tire manufacturer’s warranty.

“Consumers need to know some essential information about tire industry recommended puncture repair procedures,” said Daniel Zielinski, RMA senior vice president, public affairs. “An improperly repaired tire is a safety risk you shouldn’t take.”

One key process in a proper repair is removing a tire from the wheel to inspect any damage that may occur to the inner liner of the tire.

Zielinski said, “Don’t let anyone tell you that a repair can be completed without removing the tire from the wheel. If you’re told by an automotive repair shop that a flat repair will take only five or ten minutes, you should walk out.”

RMA offers tire dealers and automotive repair outlets a detailed wall-chart for proper tire repairs. Among the criteria to perform a proper repair are:

• Repairs are limited to the tread area only;
• Puncture injury cannot be greater than ¼-inch (6mm) in diameter;
• Repairs must be performed by removing the tire from the rim/wheelassembly to perform a complete inspection to assess all damage that may be present ;
• 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. A common repair unit is a one-piece unit with a stem and patch portion. A plug by itself or a patch by itself is an unacceptable repair.

“Ask your tire service technician if he uses tire industry-approved repair procedures,” Zielinski said. “Also, some tire manufacturers may have repair limits or restrictions for some tires, such as run flats and others.”

A 2006 tire industry review of more than 14,000 scrap tires showed 17 percent had been repaired and of that number, 88 percent of repairs were done incorrectly.

Improperly repaired tires can fail while in service, such as by tread-belt separation, which may result in an accident causing serious personal injury or death.

Click here to order RMA’s Proper Repair Procedure Wall Chart.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.