Plug or patch? Or Both?

Plug or patch? Or Both?

I wanted to give a heads up about a pleasant tire repair I just had done at Tire Kingdom, which is a franchise and part of the TBC Corporation. The TBC Corporation also owns the Big O Tires, National Tire & Battery, and Merchant Tire chains.

I new I had a slow leak and stopped by over the weekend to see if Tire Kingdom worked on Teslas. First off I was told no, but the manager stepped in and stated they had received training on acoustical tires, further stating his issue was lifting it. I told him I had a set of lift pads, so he agreed. He quoted me $60 for a "difficult" repair, balancing and TPMS rebuild (valve stem and new nut). I thought it was a bit high, but the closest SC to me is almost an hour's drive, so I felt it was worth it, and I would now know that Tire Kingdom can and will work on my M3.

I took it in this morning. They were intimidated by using the key card, so they asked me to pull it in for them. They had a difficult time getting the lift arms under the car using my lift pads, but their technician figured it out in just a few minutes. I started walking out of the shop and the tech told me I could stay around as long as I didn't get in the way. Since I was a mechanic for many years I understand why they don't want you in their shop. It IS a liability issue.

Everything went smoothly from there. He found the nail and pulled it out. He then ran a small pointed grinder up through the nail hole which also went through the foam inside the tire marking the foam at the location of the puncture. He cut out just enough foam to allow him to patch the tire from the inside. To my surprise he used a patch that's also a plug with a pointed metal outer shield on the plug portion. As the patch/plug is pulled through the hole in the tire from the outside the metal shield pulls off leaving a plug that's part of the inner patch...very clever. I don't know if it's true, but he stated the patch/plug is now required by Michelin. He then glued the part of the foam previously removed back into place.

When I went to pay the bill it was $31.00.

images of the patch/plug:

Magic 8 Ball | 16. heinäkuu 2019

All tire shops require an inside patch now.

gmr6415 | 16. heinäkuu 2019

@Magic 8 Ball, I was referring to the patch/plug combo not just an inside patch. They stated that Michelin requires the patch/plug combo on all Michelin tire repairs or the warranty is voided. As I said, I don't know if that is true.

Magic 8 Ball | 16. heinäkuu 2019

Yeah I should have clarified, they require an inside patch in addition to a plug. I was surprised last year when I went in they said they needed a couple hours because they had to take the tire off and remount and rebalance. This is on my Ford explorer without foam tires but they are Michelins but they said they are required to do it for all tires now.

np57 | 16. heinäkuu 2019

@gmr6415, I found a nail in one of the tires (a Michelin) on my Chevy Bolt. The Chevy Bolt facebook group I belong to had a bulletin from Michelin on how the tire is to be repaired with a plug-patch combo. Five tire repair places (including a Chevy dealer) either said they were not trained to use a plug-patch combo or that they dont carry the combo and were not willing to get it. Finally found a small local tire place that knew what was needed and said they would order it and fix it. My tire is with them currently and I am waiting for an update! Never thought it would be such a run-around :)