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#231791 - 09/10/11 12:51 AM Re: Interstate 5: It's a chute! [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Eric Offline

Registered: 09/09/06
Posts: 323
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: JeanetteIsabelle
Originally Posted By: Eric
A patch or plug won't help on sidewall (or near sidewall) punctures due to the lateral stresses involved. The plug cannot transfer the stresses and all glues used for patching will eventually fail due to the lateral stresses. This sets up a situation that can easily lead to a catastrophic tire failure.

I can't find anything I have said that could have alluded to a patch working on a sidewall.

Jeanette Isabelle

I did not mean to imply that you had and in re-reading my comments I can't find anything I wrote that implied or alluded anything along those lines.

There are multiple documented instances of failed sidewall repairs leading to fatal car wrecks so I wanted to include the information for completeness, and place it first to make sure anyone stumbling across this discussion understood both the risks and the reasons why it is not a good idea.

My apologies for the misunderstanding,

- Eric
You are never beaten until you admit it. - - General George S. Patton

#231794 - 09/10/11 01:21 AM Re: Interstate 5: It's a chute! [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3424
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: JeanetteIsabelle
Instead of a tire plug kit, I recommend a can of Fix-A-Flat. It is easy to use and it will get you to a garage that will patch a flat tire rather than plug it. Of course, when you get to the garage, inform them that you used Fix-A-Flat. Fix-A-Flat does not harm your tire but you need to inform them for their safety.

Four times I've gotten a flat tire, and tried to use Fix-A-Flat. In every case, it did not work. If it works for you, great, but I've stopped buying it.

Also, I'm told that if your wheel has a tire pressure sensor, Fix-A-Flat isn't good for them.

#231802 - 09/10/11 03:48 AM Re: Interstate 5: It's a chute! [Re: Susan]
Mark_M Offline

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 295
Loc: New Jersey
Fortunately, we only have to worry about weather here in the northeast. Or terrorist attack, as we are currently under a semi-secret alert in our area.

Getting stuck in traffic for hours is no fun. I know, I just went through this today as several highways and major boulevards are closed due to flooding. But at least you have movement, even if it is measured in meters per hour instead of miles. You come to realize the wisdom of packing quart-size bottles of Gatorade, as the empty bottles are a convenient option -- at least for guys -- when the nearest rest room is too far off to contemplate. For the females in my company, though there were none today, I pack a "Freshette" female urination director, which with some care, extends the convenience of the Gatorade bottle option to those lacking exterior plumbing. A good supply of napkins and pre-moistoned wipes is a recommended accessory.

The Gatorade rests in one of my favorite Jeep accessories, a 12V/DC Engel refrigerator in the cargo area, along with bottles of spring water. 4 quarts of Gatorade and 4 half-liter bottles of water fill the 14-quart cooler nicely (how do that measure that?). Unfortunately, the fridge does not prevent things from freezing in the winter, but the bottles are tough enough to withstand multiple freeze/thaw cycles without bursting or leaking. Since I normally drink one bottle every day or two, rotating fresh stock is not a problem.

Two years ago Costco was selling First Aid Only brand survival kits. These included a 2400-calorie lifeboat ration, six 0.25L packets of water, hand warmers, mylar blanket, disposable poncho and some other baubles for $16 each. I bought two for each vehicle, added some extras and mounted them under the front driver's and passenger's seat. There's also a good FAK, LED flashlight, jumper cables, multi-tool, wrecking bar, folding snow shovel, tow strap, signal flares and triangles, and a dry bag containing a micro-fleece blanket and two sets each of insulated leather gloves, micro-fleece toques, and wool socks stowed either under the rear seat or in the trunk. These things are considered part of the vehicle, just like the jack and spare tire, so even if one of the kids goes out with no other preparation, they have some minimal survival items.

Then I have my GHB. I'd like each of the kids to have a GHB in their vehicle, but they have resisted the idea. I tried just putting GHB's together for them and putting them in their vehicles, and they shortly found their way into the garage or storage shed to make room for one thing or another. After a few cycles I gave up.

My GHB includes 2 changes of underwear/socks/liners, one complete change of clothing, a mid-weight base layer, mylar sleeping bag, thermal sleeping bag liner, inflatable mattress, tarp/poncho, non-perishable food, alcohol stove w/8oz fuel, FAK, multi-tool, flashlight, cash and other essentials to either survive in my car or on foot for 3 days.
2010 Jeep JKU Rubicon | 35" KM2 & 4" Lift | Skids | Winch | Recovery Gear | More ...
'13 Wheeling: 8 Camping: 6 | "The trail was rated 5+ and our rigs were -1" -Evan@LIORClub

#231804 - 09/10/11 04:21 AM Re: Interstate 5: It's a chute! [Re: Susan]
Tarzan Offline

Registered: 02/02/08
Posts: 146
Loc: Washington

I commute daily from Lakewood to Olympia, what many here don't realize is there really is not an alternative route except to have a plan to head out to the penninsula and take a ferry from Bremerton.
In the event of a catastrophic earthquake, I doubt many of the bridges and overpasses would survive. Counting the rivers between Everett and Centralia quickly adds up to over a dozen bridges, depending upon the time of year crossing some of them could be quite perilous.
Honestly, a good contingency plan problem should include networking friends and relatives along the way that could offer you a place to stay. In that kind of event you very well could be several weeks until you get home.
We are very vulnerable and I don't have to tell you that we are already too congested. Any disaster would make the situation quite untenable.
Do you know anyone with a boat? The only way you could be sure to get from one end of Puget Sound to the other after infrastructure failure would probably have to include water or airlift...

#231809 - 09/10/11 05:51 AM Re: Interstate 5: It's a chute! [Re: Teslinhiker]
Mark_M Offline

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 295
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Teslinhiker
Originally Posted By: JeanetteIsabelle
Originally Posted By: paramedicpete

Plugging a tire will damage it because air will get between the inner and outer layer and cause a rupture.

As long as the leak is not in the side wall, plugging a tire works quite well for small leaks such as those caused by a nail. I have had many a tire plugged with no problems.

According to an independent tire place I have been going to for years (a business so honest they even turned down a job because the customer did not need the service) only patch tires, not plug them, for the reason I stated.

Jeanette Isabelle

I agree with Paramedic Pete. I have previous professional tire repair experience and most nail type punctures are easily and safely repaired with plugs as long as the puncture is not in the sidewall. Any reputable shop will not plug nor patch sidewall punctures of any type and if a shop tells you it is ok, find another shop.

Punctures less that 1/4" in the tread area can usually be safely repaired. Proper repair consists of both plugging and patching the puncture, or using a mushroom patch (combination patch+plug). The patch reseals the inner liner to prevent air from leaking, while the plug seals the outer layers to prevent moisture from getting into the belts/cords. The puncture must be plugged, the plug trimmed flush, then innerliner must be cleaned, buffed, cemented, patched and coated. Neither one by itself is considered ideal. This is official tire industry (Rubber Manufacturer's Association) "best practice." Most tire shops will follow this procedure, not only because it promises the best results, but because by following "best practice" it limits their liability should the repair fail resulting in an accident. But this is not a roadside repair, so from a survival perspective it is impractical. (Also note that many manufacturers consider the tire's speed rating void if it has been repaired, even following best practices.)

Plugs are coated with vulcanizing glue to provide an air-tight, water-tight seal. If applied correctly they can and do adequately fix most small punctures. I have driven on tires I've plugged myself, occasionally more than once, for months and years, until the tread was used up, without issues. Granted, I'm not driving a sports car at high speeds and G-forces, so your mileage may vary, but I do put on over 30k miles a year, mostly highway.

Going further, as I mentioned in past posts, I do a lot of off-roading. It is not uncommon to experience major cuts or punctures on the trail. I can tell you from practical experience that it is indeed possible to plug both larger tread punctures and even sidewall cuts. It will take lots of plugs. I think our club's current record is 30 plugs in one sidewall cut. The most I've personally seen is 12. No, it is not safe to drive at highways speeds. But it can be done in an emergency to get out of a hazardous situation and make it to someplace where the tire can be replaced while you wait in safety. I have seen fellow club members continue to use tires repaired with multiple plugs for months on the trail and for around-town driving. Not recommended, but it is an indication that even a horrible plug job can be used to get you to safety.

Finally, doing a roadside plug repair does not mean you can't then have the tire properly repaired. A single plug is one part of the ideal repair procedure. Once you can get a to a tire shop they can finish the job by trimming the plug and applying a patch. This means there is no downside to using a plug. Worst case is you have to use more than one plug to seal the hole, but that tire would require replacement anyway, so there's really no downside and the upside is you are mobile again, albeit at a slower rate with possibly limited range.

So in an ideal situation, where you have a spare and can safely change your tire then drive to a shop for repair, having the repair done properly with a plug and patch is the way to go. But if the situation is hazardous, a quick plug and air-up can get you going in minutes, then deal with the final repair later.

As for fix-a-flat, slime and other tire sealants, I have never seen them work, either. But I have seen them make a big mess that is time consuming to clean when the attempting to repair or change the tire.
2010 Jeep JKU Rubicon | 35" KM2 & 4" Lift | Skids | Winch | Recovery Gear | More ...
'13 Wheeling: 8 Camping: 6 | "The trail was rated 5+ and our rigs were -1" -Evan@LIORClub

#231830 - 09/10/11 05:03 PM Re: Interstate 5: It's a chute! [Re: Tarzan]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
It certainly would be an interesting challenge, wouldn't it?

I read somewhere that the metal bridges (such as over the Nisqually) are more likely to hold together than the concrete ones. They probably have more give to them.

I wonder how well JBLM would fit into the equation, esp in the area of your commute?

As long as I'm hoping that I'm home when it happes, I'll hope you're home, too.


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