Minnesota + Wisconsin Drivers – Have You Found These In Your Tires? Should You Worry?
I was hooking up my pontoon trailer in Northern Minnesota, ready to put away the boat for the season when I noticed something on my tire. What the heck is that? Did I run over something?
I got closer to look, and at first, I thought that it was a screw head or something in my tire. I thought, "Oh great I'm going to lose air on this tire in the middle of nowhere."
I've plugged tires myself before, but they've never looked like this. Plus, I didn't think any shop used plugs anymore because they are supposedly not as safe as patches. (That's a bunch of B.S. if you do it right, I've had plugs outlast a tire.)
I moved it around and inspected it with my finger and sure enough, it was rubber. It has to be a plug. The weird thing is that I got this truck new and I don't remember ever having a flat tire that needed fixing.
I did some looking on the web and tried to find a similar image. Most tire plugs look like two strips sticking out of the tire, covered in adhesive. It's a really easy thing to do yourself if you follow the right steps.
After looking through multiple sources, I found what kind of plug was in my tire. It's called a mushroom plug. They require a special tool to put them in, but do a better seal.
When To Worry About A Plug
If you find one of these on the sidewall of your tire, you should get that tire replaced immediately. Plugs and patches are only meant to repair in the tread. That's the strongest part of the tire. Tire repair places won't patch or plug a sidewall of a tire, or even if it's too close to the edge.
Now the question is, when and where did this tire get a plug put in? Like I said, I don't remember ever having a flat. My only guess is that it happened at the factory or in transit. It's not a big deal, these tires are close to the end of their life reaching 40,000 miles and it's not leaked at all.
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Gallery Credit: Sophia Crisafulli