NEW D.O.T. REGULATIONS ON TIRE REPAIR!

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NEW D.O.T. REGULATIONS ON TIRE REPAIR!

Postby 88SuperTrooper » Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:43 pm

Heads up for those of you who OffRoad and or Have tires repaired.

DOT has set a new tire repair guidelines that, by LAW, tire shops have to follow. This means any Puncture that is in the side wall or shoulder, or shoulder to side wall area of the tire is a NONE REPAIRABLE PUNCTURE. So before you throw a fit at a tire shop when they try to pitch you this and sell you a new tire or a used one, PLEASE understand that all they are doing is protecting YOU, and THEM from any Liability.

If the hole Exceeds A diameter of about a 1/4 inch, Kiss that tire good bye, even if it is in the Center Tread.

ALL Tire repairs are at the descretion of the shop. If they feel the tire is too old to Repair, they have the choice not to repair it even if the tire is 8 years old and BRAND NEW TREAD. Tires do have an Experation Date per say, Or if The tire is not repairable period.

Dont think that they are BS-ing you, talk to them as to why its not repairable. Even if the tire has 10 miles on it and you run something over causing it to be Ruined.

Please Stay away from "Fixing it Yourself" unless you have to, This is why we have Spare Tires ( I know for a fact that 99% of people out there are just too Friggin Lazy to bolt on a spare tire, or do not know how.... ). If you attempt to put a Plug in a Tire, you run the chance of not getting it repaired because of the Plug you put in. You can actually make the hole bigger or start tearing up Cords under the tread.

Sorry to break the news, but the DOT is cracking down EXTREAMLY hard on tire shops, and Tire shops that do not follow this Guideline run a risk of being shut down.

Heads up for those of you who dont trust Tire shops or think you know what is repairable and whats not. It is soley the tire shops descretion to repair or not, so dont get upset if your tire that has 10 or 30,000 miles is rendered non repairable. its not the tire shops fault, its yours.

I had to deal with a Guy who had his tires slashed right where the tread meets sidewall and was REALLLLLY upset that we couldnt fix them. Like we had to ask him to leave the shop he was so upset. its not our fault and some people just DO NOT understand that at all.
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Postby btw1549 » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:02 pm

I honestly thought that was already the law. I worked at a tire shop that wouldn't allow you to fix sidewalls or the side tread 5 years ago. I would have never done it anyway. That's scary to see someone even do that.

This was a good one though. I dismounted a tire the other day on a minivan that a guy hauls kids around in that had a hole in the sidewall someone tried to fix. When I got the first bead off the rim there was a tube inside!!! Couldn't fix the hole so they installed a tube.
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Postby Gizmo42 » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:22 pm

Couldn't fix the hole so they installed a tube.


Havent seen it done on a street tire, but pretty common for offroaders. Can alteast get off the trail that way if you slice the side wall. I know of one guy that sliced 3 sidewalls on the same trail run, they ran out of spares to fit LOL.
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Postby jwood1016 » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:33 pm

LOLOLOL you post this the DAY i find a crack in my sidewall!!!!! :D
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Postby Jaybird » Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:43 am

good to know. this has always been the policy at my shop but now its the law people will be less likely to argue with us.
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Postby COYOTE102076 » Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:26 pm

Some 10 years ago, I was employeed at our local farmers CO-OP in the tire shop. Granted, I mostly repaired farm tractor tires, but we did sell about 20 - 30 sets of truck tires a month, and did on avreage about 6 to 8 automotive flat tire repairs per day. 10 years ago I was told that I could NEVER repair a sidewall puncture.

As to the "do it yourself" plugs, I have to defend them.
They call them "temporary" repairs. My mothers car has one now that I done last week. And on the last set of tires she had on the car, she had 3 of the "temporary" plugs that I had done at different times on one tire that lasted for over 3 years.

Between the 7 farm tractors, 3 pickup trucks, 4 cars, 2 lawn mowers, 1 commercial zero turn mower, and up-teen farm implements, I have probabally installed 40 "temparary" plugs in the tires over the course of the last 10 years. Not ONE has ever failed! :lol:

Having that been said, I DO recomend anytime you use a temprorary plug, to go and have it properly fixed asap. Hey,,,,it helps the tire shop guys make their living! :lol:
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Postby JeffS » Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:45 pm

I'm going to get a tiny bit argumentative, but don't want to leave anyone with the impression that I disagree with anything that's posted here. I agree with the idea that patching a sidewall is stupid, and no reputable tire shop should do it. And I agree that big holes and slashes should not be plugged and tire shops should not do it.

What I'm a bit curious about, and would love to see the DOT link (I can't find it...and I looked) that somehow governs what repair shops do. There's no licensing that a repair shop has to go through to fix or mount tires, and without a licensing process, I can't imagine the DOT being able to "shut down" any shop.

OTR trucks - those have tremendous DOT guidelines, and each truck has a DOT issued registration number, and performing safety repairs on a DOT registered truck comes only with certain credentials.

But with that said - I am pretty sure that passenger tires are pretty much unregulated once they are put on a car and driven off the tire dealer's lot. Aren't they?

Shops should still say no to customers that ask them to do something stupid - protecting themselves from liability that would go along with a sidewall blowout or whatever. But illegal - I haven't found anything at all anywhere to support that statement. Is there a link anywhere?
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Postby 88SuperTrooper » Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:49 pm

This is Passed down From Corporate, and DOT has yet to post it, We all know how the DOT can take a long while to do really anything.

I know that some of you have been in the tire business beofre and longer than me, But I didnt know there was a LAW, I knew there was guidlines.

This is more of a Direct relsult from Bridgestone/Firestone and FORD and the NEW mandatory TPMS BS..... Now they have made it so you pretty much have to buy a tire or have it replaced under warranty ( Our shop uses warranty on Big O brands ).

I will see if my work can get me a copy and I can scan it and post it.

I have fixed sidewalls before, and they have held long enough to get the customer back to us and get new ones.

AND DOT has Cracked down REALLLLY hard with Passenger tires like you wouldnt belive. They will soon be getting an age limit on tires too. Ive heard that it might be 6 years or 10 years before that tire is rendered too old to be in service.

All of this is the Govt and the TPMS stuff......Pretty much hand in hand with all of the Guidelines and laws.
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Postby Airhead rider » Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:36 pm

I had always believed fixing a side wall wasn't allowed and don't like the idea of a repaired sidewall anyway so it's not been an issue.
As for finding a tube in a tire it doesn't surprise me. On old farm stuff you are likely to find a boot in there too! Boot being a chunk of rubber covering the cut / slice to keep the tube from poking out...like a hernia repair. :)
On several models of BMW motorcycle you will find tubeless tires....with a tube in it. When new they get a tube because the rims aren't built for tubeless. They are cast wheels and some will run them tubeless, but the rims don't have the proper bead for that and if you do have a flat the tire can easily depart the rim.
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Postby Ramblin Fever » Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:24 am

88SuperTrooper - Do you feel Bridgestone has improved 10-fold since the incident years ago with the ford issues.

Course, I don't blame that all on Bridgestone either; I blame it on matching tires too light for the call of duty.
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Postby JeffS » Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:19 am

I would be interested to see the DOT letter. The DOT doesn't make any laws - but they do have the responsibility to collect data on some of them - mostly trucking. Remove OTR trucks from the conversation - and just talk passenger cars - and the regs that they control and pretty few. DOT doesn't enforce anything. They have the FAA and the NHSA - so they investigate plane crashes, pipelines, write construction standards on highways, and store compliance information on tire mfr's for recall use if necessary. The NHSA ordered the recall on Firestone if I'm not mistaken.

They can't walk in to a tire shop and say "you guys are shut down...". They have no teeth. They could write you a very strongly worded, terse letter I guess - but that's about it.

Now if there's a new federal law coming down the pipe that makes it illegal to do what the tire shops shouldn't be doing in the first place...that's another issue. If that's what is coming - it's because tire shops somewhere were repairing sidewalls with patches or whatever.

If a customer gets in the face of a tire guy - and demands to have a sidewall repaired - that could be diffused quickly with something like this "You know, no matter how irate you get - I'm not going to fix that. It's not safe. And if it blows (which it very well may), you'll sue me for doing a fix that I shouldn't have done, even though I told you I shouldn't do it. And I don't think that much of you in the first place, so why would I set myself up to send you settlement checks for the rest of my life? If it's safe like you say it is - fix it yourself and blame only yourself if you're wrong. Don't tell me my job, and demand that I get involved in your stupidity."

That ought'a do it. Don't you think? If we had more of that - across the board in all parts of life - we'd have fewer laws. For the most part - a lot of our laws are there to help the less smart not hurt themselves in daily living.
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Postby firstamigo » Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:17 am

Used to run boots on the old bias ply tires years ago with no problems, but not with radials. I can't think of a shop that has done sidewall fixes on radials. We ran tubes in a lot of our pickup tires on the farm when I was growing up, as did most farmers. We were constantly getting small punctures in our tires and the tubes allowed us to greatly extend tire life. If you couldn't patch it, you replaced an $8 tube as compared to a $60 tire.
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Postby btw1549 » Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:27 am

I'm OK with using A tube off road but putting a tube in a vehicle that will be doing 60 70 80 mph hour on the freeway is dangerous. If that tube gets even the smallest puncture it's just like having a blow out. The air is almost instantaneously gone. I'm sure you don't reach those speeds on the farm or off roading. And then to do it to a vehicle you haul your kids around in is even worse.
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Postby vindemiate » Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:17 am

Would it be too much to ask for a tire company to build a tire with repairable sidewalls?
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Postby 88SuperTrooper » Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:03 pm

Ramblin: Yes I have seen a really good improvement with Bridgestone. It wasnt really 1 company that caused the whole Ford issue, The tire was rated good enough, but Ford wanted a Passenger Car ride out of an SUV so they allowed a stupid move of running the tire Pressure lower, and the tire heated up and blew, usually it was a front tire, engine being all of the weight the front tires. Poor tire construction was another big leading factor in the whole mess to.

And NO Passenger tires are not 100% Unregulated once they leave the shop, Another guideline ( but no "law" ) we have to get every DOT # off each and every tire we sell or even mount. We have to register that tire, as well as the customer. Its a process that takes time, but we have cought Recalled tires just days after leaving the shop. Pending the Shop it will vary. But with NTB, Big O, Tire Kingdom, and some others Like Tire Rama and Discount should be doing the same since they both run a Cooper/Goodyear Tire anyway.
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Postby 88SuperTrooper » Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:10 pm

vindemiate wrote:Would it be too much to ask for a tire company to build a tire with repairable sidewalls?


I wish, but then who will not be making Money???? lol.
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Postby vindemiate » Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:53 am

I was on a trip in Washington and headed back to Idaho and found that I had a slow leak in one of my tires. I stopped by Les Schwabb to have them do a quick patch for the ride home. Short story long... after 40 min or so the tech calls me in to say:
-He cant patch my tire because it is worn to the "ware bars". He proceeds to show me the tire and the bars.

-I say fine them put it back together and I'll drive it the way it is.

-He says he can't put the the tire back on because it would be a liability on them because my tire is worn to the ware bar.

-I said you didn't think to look at the tire prior to removing it from the vehicle? Better yet you didn't think to look at the tire prior to taking it off the rim? :x

-This went back and forth for a few.

-(Paraphrased) Put the @#$^# tire back on the rim then on the truck. Then go remove my name from your computer and shred the work order and remove all evidence of me ever being here. Pull the truck out and you will never see me again. I promise.

He finally did what I asked and I drove across two states with a slow leak that I fixed myself a week later.
I've had some bad experiences with Schwabb and won't be taking my business to them.
I used the plugs stuff on my tire on two occasions and have had no problems with it.
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Postby 88SuperTrooper » Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:49 pm

Yeah, there are shops here that will bulldog you into a tire... most are just really sneaky about it.
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Postby squatch » Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:34 pm

btw1549 wrote:I'm OK with using A tube off road but putting a tube in a vehicle that will be doing 60 70 80 mph hour on the freeway is dangerous. If that tube gets even the smallest puncture it's just like having a blow out. The air is almost instantaneously gone. I'm sure you don't reach those speeds on the farm or off roading. And then to do it to a vehicle you haul your kids around in is even worse.


BS! All car tires used tubes for years at those speeds. Some still do. Back before the 55mph speed limit most cars ran bias ply tires as radials were still new in the '70s. Many of those bias plys had tubes. The speed limit in those days was 65-75mph. Geeze I don't know how we ever survived a flat. I have a 60's vintage military trailer with 7x16 bias ply tires that REQUIRE tubes and rim liners. I'll be ordering new tires and tubes in the next day or so. A lot of 16.5 inch rims need tubes and liners as well. Granted these aren't the most up to date wheels but there are still lot's of them out there. To the best of my knowlege they still make radial tubes as well. Tubes are not balloons they don't explode because they got a thorn or nail in them. They are quite safe maybe even safer than tires without because you have 2 bladders to hold air not just the tire. I've had flats with tubes and they act just like any other flat tire.
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Postby btw1549 » Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:42 am

I guess I do have to eat my own words since I ride motorcycles on the road with tubes but as you mentioned squatch the tire holds the air when the tube losses air. The tire I took the tube out of had a big split right through the sidewall that would not hold air if the tube popped.
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