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How Long Does a Patch Last in a Tire?

Released on Jan. 12, 2022

Some of us can remember the days before tire plugs and a patch was the most common repair for a punctured tire.  But times have changed and patches are not the only fix for flat tires. For those lucky few whose tire repairs required a patch or plug rather than a complete tire replacement, you might be wondering "How long does a patch last in a tire?"

First, it's important to understand whether your tire needs a patch, plug, or to be replaced completely.

A tire plug is a sticky, expandable substance that gets stuffed in a hole in the tire from the outside and is wedged in until the air stops leaking out. The plug should easily stay intact well enough to re-inflate the tire and get safely to a repair shop. 

Most tire repair specialists feel there is a better option for plugging tires. It's called a radial patch. Radial patches are specifically designed to repair radial tires which are used on most of the vehicles on the road today. Patching a tire with a radial patch can take about 20 to 30 minutes while installing a plug takes only a few minutes and usually can be done while the tire is still on the car.  Often, it is necessary to vulcanize the tire patch, a process which uses heat and curing agents to reinforce the rubber of your tire.

Secondly, how long does a patch last in a tire? 

On average, tire experts predict that a proper plug and patch can last from seven to ten years. Although tire patches can last a long time, a tire should never be patched more than once.  It can negatively affect the speed rating and potentially cause blowouts.

Whenever your tire becomes punctured and requires a repair, consult your tire service center and let them determine what type of repair is needed and what is best for the life of your tires.

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