Tire Leak – Fix it or Forget it?

Dear Tracy,
I recently noticed that one of my tires is continually losing air, so I need to either repair the tire or replace it. I know that some places repair tires, but I have heard that the only safe option is to replace a damaged tire. I like the idea of repair because my tires are fairly new, however safety is my primary concern, so I am ready to buy a new tire if necessary. Is it okay to repair a leaking tire or should I just get a new one?
–Collin A.

Dear Collin,
If your tire is in good condition, with plenty of tread left, repairing the tire could be a wise option. Whether or not the tire can be repaired, however, will depend on the nature of the damage or puncture. Tire repairs are typically limited to the tread area, and can be prohibited by the diameter and angle of the puncture.

The safest and most thorough way to repair a tire is with a patch and  a plug. The plug, which is a rubber stem, is used to fill the punctured area and the patch is applied to seal the inner lining.

Tire repair is a great alternative to the expense of replacement. Just make sure you have your tire repaired by a tire expert you can trust. It is important that tire repair be done properly to make sure you are safe on the road. Also, don’t put off that repair too much longer. Tire damage that is unaddressed will only worsen, and eventually ruin the tire.