I hit a nasty bolt dead center of the tire on my Ford Ranger truck. Sam's Club said they couldn't patch it because of the broken wires, but that someone else could probably plug it. Went to Discount Tire and they told me it was too big to repair. Went to Wal-Mart (expecting to just order a new tire) and they "fixed" it with a patch leaving the broken wires exposed. Should I be concerned about the pictured repair?

Repair job.

  • Thanks, I ordered a replacement tire (and got a refund on this repair).
    – Tim
    Jun 27, 2016 at 16:51

4 Answers 4


This damage is not acceptable. Water could get into the inner layers of the tire that contain the steel belts and corrode them which can lead to tread separation. Tread separation would result in tire failure that could lead to loss of control of the vehicle. Proper tire repair standards require that the hole be plugged to seal against water intrusion into the inner layers and belt area and that a surface patch be placed in the inner liner to seal the air leak. This is usually done with a "patch plug".

See industry tire repair standards here. Tire repair standards

Tire patch plug


The broken cord wires alone would disqualify this tire from further use. The further fact that the wire sticking out would cause a patch plug unit to not completely seal the hole, even if one had been used, seals the tires fate. This is the reason that the repair techs that rejected the repair did so. They have been properly trained. As you found there are still lots of techs who have not been properly trained or choose to perform inappropriate repairs.


With the wires snapped like that I would not trust its structural integrity any more. I feel similarly to tlhingan - tyres are one of your most important safety features. You should never compromise on them!

Replace now. Don't wait until something catastrophic happens.


Tires are really important to me as they are the only part of the car touching the ground. So with tire damage this extensive, I would replace the tire, even a pair of tires if I can't find the same make and model.


I don't see it as a massive hole. I'd keep driving, but still make sure my spare tire is ready for a job.

  • 1
    I would think that what looks to be a 5/16" hole with broken wires is massive in tire safety terms. While I doubt it will fail catostrphically, I double doubt Wal-Mart's plug will hold.
    – SteveRacer
    Jun 25, 2016 at 22:59

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