Tire Inflation and Repairs
Properly inflated tires are essential for safe driving and fuel efficiency. Inflation is key to your tire's load capaciy, durability, traction and handling. By maintaining the correct pressure levels, you will have improved tread wear, performance and a more comfortable ride.
Slight inspection is not an accurate way to measure tire pressure. It's possible for a tire to be significantly under or over-inflated without being visibly noticeable. The most effective and accurate way to measure tire pressure is with a tire guage.
Proper Tire Inflation
Proper inflation depends on your tires and vehicle. The recommended pressure for a passenger automobile is between 20 and 50 psi. The correct inflation information is located on the placard, which can be found on the edge of one of the doors, the glove compartment, the fuel door or trunk. The information is also normally available in the owner's manual. A tire's sidewall also lists its maximum pressure or the pressure needed to carry the tire's maximum load.
If your tires are only wearing out on the outside edges, they're probably under inflated. Under-inflation is one of the leading causes of tire failure. When a tire is under-inflated, it can't maintain its shape and becomes flatter when in contact with the road. Under-inflated tires have shorter treadlife, deliver poorer handling and steering capabilities, and lower fuel efficiency.
If your tires are wearing primarily in the center, they're probably over inflated. Over-inflation causes a tire to become stiff. When over-inflated, a tire will ride only on it's tread's center portion. As a result, over-inflated tires deliver a smaller contact area with the road, leading to reduced grip and a less comfortable ride. Over-inflated tires are also more likely to be damaged by bumps, curbs or potholes.
Approved Tire Repairs
A plug by itself is not an acceptable repair. The proper way to repair a punctured tire requires plugging the hole and patching the area inside the tire surrounding the puncture. For the repair to be a permanent fix, it must seal the inner liner and completely fill the damaged section.
Tread punctures can be repaired if they aren't too large. Punctures to the sidewall and shoulder should not be repaired because both the shoulder and sidewall are under different pressures and strains than the tread. If you choose to repair a tire sidewall or shoulder injury, you increase the risk of blowout.
A tire needs to be removed from the rim to be properly inspected before being patched and plugged.