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  #1  
Old 09-11-2014, 11:47 PM
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Casting defect in tire?

So I'm traveling this week. Rented a car, and this morning, I found one of the tires flat. The rental firm said to take it to a shop, and they'd pay if it was a defective tire or valve, but not if it was damage to the tire from a nail or accident.

The guy at the shop dunked the tire and saw bubbles coming from the inner sidewall where there was a tiny pinhole. He said that the tire probably delaminated or has a defect from the factory, and since the leak was in the sidewall, it couldn't be plugged -- rental agency paid for a new tire with a credit card over the phone, no problem.

Has this happened to anyone? How common is this? I've never encountered something like this in any of my own cars. I wonder if dumping a bunch of "Slime" into the tire would have fixed it.
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  #2  
Old 09-12-2014, 12:05 AM
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Tires are actually pretty complicated to make and might be the most tortured part on the Car.
Like anything manufactured you can end up with a Deffect and somtimes the Defect is not going to show up until it is used.

In the Old days they used and inside patch on the Side Walls but the Federal Government changed the Law on that.

In My case I have patched tiny sidewall holes with a tiny blob of Silicone Sealant that I let cure before mounting the Tire (I have a Harbor Freight manual Tire Mounter dis-mounter since the 1980s).

I have also used and inside patch on the sidewall on one occasion. However, the Patch is like $3-$5 each and you need to decide if that Money is not better spent on a new Tire.

I also use Tire Plugs when I have a leak in the Tread Area. In the Old Days Gas Stations and Tire Places would Plug your Tire while it is still on the Car (when they could find the leak with it on the Car); but that is also lillegal for them to do.

I have had Plugs leak later but they have never caused anything catastrophic. The Plugs are useful if you got a Flat on the Road and you can locate the Leak and pull it out and plug it with the Tire still on the Car or off if needed.

I have 12 Volt Electric Inflation Pumps In all of My Cars and before they were cheap to buy I had Manual Pumps in each of My Cars or those Tire Inflation Canister with pressurized gass in them.
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  #3  
Old 09-12-2014, 12:11 AM
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They still plug (tubeless) tires on the car. Pull out the nail with pliers, ream out the hole, use another tool to stick a sort of sticky rope into the hole and cut the rope flush with the tread with a razorblade.

Or at least that's what they did when I picked up a nail last month. I would have rather they used a mushroom-type plug that also had a patch on the inside, but I didn't have time to argue.

As far as patching the sidewalls, there may be individual state laws and liability concerns, but Federal laws typically govern new car manufacture, not repair post-manufacture. There might be something that regulated commercial trucks.
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  #4  
Old 09-12-2014, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spdrun View Post
So I'm traveling this week. Rented a car, and this morning, I found one of the tires flat. The rental firm said to take it to a shop, and they'd pay if it was a defective tire or valve, but not if it was damage to the tire from a nail or accident.

The guy at the shop dunked the tire and saw bubbles coming from the inner sidewall where there was a tiny pinhole. He said that the tire probably delaminated or has a defect from the factory, and since the leak was in the sidewall, it couldn't be plugged -- rental agency paid for a new tire with a credit card over the phone, no problem.

Has this happened to anyone? How common is this? I've never encountered something like this in any of my own cars. I wonder if dumping a bunch of "Slime" into the tire would have fixed it.
Now that I rememberd it in My post the Tire Inflation Canisters with the pressurized Gass in the usually have a thin Sealant in them. If the Sealant reaches the site of the leak it would certanly seal a Pin Hole and the Sealant is thin enough it does not disturbe the balance.

I used to carry them but after several Years in the Trunk they may or may not work and there is a warning on them about the heat in the Trunk.
Even when I had the Inflation Canisters I kept a Manual Air Pump or an Electric one in the Trunk.

Story time: When I was a Kid a lot of Cars still had Tires with Tubes in them. I can remember at least 4 Times when My Dad got a Flat and patched the Tube on the side of the Road and I was the one that had fill the Tire with Air from a Manual Hand pump.
It takes a lot of pumping to fill up the big 15 or 16 inch Tires on the Cars used in the 1950s and early 60s
When He had a Car with Tubless Tires My Dad plugged the Tires and I got to pump again but by that time I was older and bigger.
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  #5  
Old 09-12-2014, 12:29 AM
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The other freaky thing is that I started the car and drove it for a few hundred feet, and never got a tire-pressure light. I thought tire-pressure monitoring was mandatory on all new cars. This is a 2014 Versa.
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  #6  
Old 09-12-2014, 10:58 AM
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Angry

YES!! I had 2 out of 4 "80k mile" Michelin Defenders peel layers on the inside resulting in a flat more than I care to remember. Tire Rack and a Michelin rep wanted to keep one. No word on what happened or why. There was still enough tread left they warrantied I think like 60 percent off the damaged 2 but had to pay full price the non damaged 2. Probably could have continued to use them, but I've always bought 4 tires at a time. If I can digup the pics I'll post them.
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  #7  
Old 09-12-2014, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spdrun View Post
The other freaky thing is that I started the car and drove it for a few hundred feet, and never got a tire-pressure light. I thought tire-pressure monitoring was mandatory on all new cars. This is a 2014 Versa.
I takes a little more driving than that for most systems to recognize/categorize/identify each wheel/sensor. It'll catch it in a short drive though.


MV
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  #8  
Old 09-12-2014, 12:35 PM
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Concerning tire plugging.....

This was popular on tubeless tires back in the 60's and 70's. Tires then were bias ply with nylon cord. The plugs were usually made of rubber that had been dipped in a sealing goo that both lubed up the plug and glued it into the tire.

Then radials became popular and rubber plugs would not flex enough to keep from leaking. So cord plugs were introduced and they worked very well.

Then bias tires all went away and steel belted radials took over from nylon belted radials. After that no plug was a sure thing since the steel belts would eat away at the sides of the plug and maybe, or maybe not, cause them to fail.

Tire shops got tired of repairing the same hole over and over so the inside patch became the gold standard of tire patching. More expensive up front but you never came back to find your tire flat from a slow leak after a tire 'repair'.

I carry a plugging kit in my production truck since time is money. A plug will get you back to the real world where a tire can be repaired or replaced, but with todays tires I don't think there is any plug, at least none that I know of, that can be trusted over the long haul.
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  #9  
Old 09-12-2014, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idle View Post
Concerning tire plugging.....

This was popular on tubeless tires back in the 60's and 70's. Tires then were bias ply with nylon cord. The plugs were usually made of rubber that had been dipped in a sealing goo that both lubed up the plug and glued it into the tire.

Then radials became popular and rubber plugs would not flex enough to keep from leaking. So cord plugs were introduced and they worked very well.

Then bias tires all went away and steel belted radials took over from nylon belted radials. After that no plug was a sure thing since the steel belts would eat away at the sides of the plug and maybe, or maybe not, cause them to fail.

Tire shops got tired of repairing the same hole over and over so the inside patch became the gold standard of tire patching. More expensive up front but you never came back to find your tire flat from a slow leak after a tire 'repair'.

I carry a plugging kit in my production truck since time is money. A plug will get you back to the real world where a tire can be repaired or replaced, but with todays tires I don't think there is any plug, at least none that I know of, that can be trusted over the long haul.
And then, after then inside patch, it was discovered that while the inside patch kept the air in, it did nothing to plug the hole in the tire itself. This led to water getting into the tire carcass and both rusting the steel belts and causing delamination, leading to tread separation. So the mushroom shaped plug patch was developed and quickly took its place as the king of tire repair...

And then people started riding motorcycles with spoke wheels and tubes again...

MV
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  #10  
Old 09-12-2014, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BAVBMW View Post
And then, after then inside patch, it was discovered that while the inside patch kept the air in, it did nothing to plug the hole in the tire itself. This led to water getting into the tire carcass and both rusting the steel belts and causing delamination, leading to tread separation. So the mushroom shaped plug patch was developed and quickly took its place as the king of tire repair...

And then people started riding motorcycles with spoke wheels and tubes again...

MV
I agree with you 100%. It is foolish to try and understand how and why a product came about. It is best to just trust marketers to lead you around by the nose and for customers to buy whatever is in front of them without question.

I can say that my solution to a flat tire is to buy a new tire. But that's just me.

So please try to forgive me for wanting to bring some clarity to the subject. I will not make this mistake again.
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  #11  
Old 09-12-2014, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idle View Post
I agree with you 100%. It is foolish to try and understand how and why a product came about. It is best to just trust marketers to lead you around by the nose and for customers to buy whatever is in front of them without question.

I can say that my solution to a flat tire is to buy a new tire. But that's just me.

So please try to forgive me for wanting to bring some clarity to the subject. I will not make this mistake again.
Oh, no, please don't misunderstand, I appreciate your timeline and description, I was just adding the most recent(?) evolution to the end. Thank you for your post, as it is indeed a good one. I thought you did a great job bringing clarity and order to the subject.

I also tend to replace tires, but there are times when a "patch" will have to do until I can get to where I need to be to have the tire(s) replaced. And yeah, now I have to relearn how to spoon a tire off of the rim, and replace a tube. Watching someone else do it was entertainment for the whole camp on a recent dual sport trip. Personally, I can think of better ways to entertain myself.

MV
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  #12  
Old 09-12-2014, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idle View Post
I can say that my solution to a flat tire is to buy a new tire. But that's just me.
On a motorcycle, for sure, since a flat is much more likely to be fatal than in a car. On a car, I'll spend the $10-15 to get it plugged, if it can be.
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  #13  
Old 09-12-2014, 10:16 PM
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I've plugged lots of tires over the years, mostly radials, many while still on the car and I can't remember any of them leaking. I put tens of thousands of miles on many of those plugs.
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  #14  
Old 09-13-2014, 06:33 AM
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It depends on the situation. I've worked in tire shops before and I've installed many patches, plugs, and patch-plugs (the mushroom sort). Most of them didn't come back for rework. I've even seen tires on low speed construction equipment get sewn up and last decently long when new tires weren't available. However, my own driving is such that I wear tires out fast, and I tend to view them as a consumable item. A flat on anything that isn't my bicycle just gets replaced.
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  #15  
Old 09-19-2014, 09:34 PM
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Had a Michelin go flat on a 240D a few weeks before I sold the car. Would go flat after 3-4 days. So I found the hole & plugged it. After that it would go flat overnight! A can of Fix-a-Flat solved the problem.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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