Wednesday, November 29, 2023


RV Tire Safety: Is “sealant” a good fix for a flat tire?

By Roger Marble
NHTSA (DOT) – Improper Repairs:
“A plug by itself is not an acceptable repair” to fix a flat tire.

“The proper repair of a punctured tire requires a plug for the hole and a patch for the area inside the tire that surrounds the puncture hole.”

“Punctures through the tread can be repaired if they are not too large. But punctures to the sidewall should not be repaired.”

“Tires must be removed from the rim to be properly inspected before being plugged and patched.”

NOTE: Michelin, Goodyear and Bridgestone say the same thing.

The use of sealant or Slime or “Fix-A-Flat” or something similar is in some cases worse than using a plug to fix a flat tire. Not only can’t the inside of the tire be inspected, but the use of such product may void any tire warranty and make it difficult or impossible to make a proper repair.

Here are some pictures from one of my seminars on RV tires. In the first picture you can see all the crack damage in the tire. These can lead to unexpected tire failure.

Improper tire repairtire sealant can dry outmajor tire underinflationimproper tire repairI hope that you can see how the use of an external plug only, or just a sealant, without an inspection of the inside of a tire, could give you a false sense of security when you need to fix a flat tire.


Read more from Roger Marble on his blog at or on


Roger Marble
Roger Marble
Retired Tire Design and Forensic Engineer w/50+ years of experience. Currently has Class-C RV. Previous Truck Camper, Winny Brave, Class-C & 23'TT. Also towed race car w/ 23' open trailer and in 26' Closed trailer. While racing he set lap records at 6 different tracks racing from Lime Rock CT to Riverside CA and Daytona to Mosport Canada. Gives RV and Genealogy Seminars for FMCA across the USA. Taught vehicle handling to local Police Depts



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Steve (@guest_159116)
1 year ago

I have to agree with Mr. Gardner. I have driven a lot of miles with a tire that has been plugged. While I don’t disagree with the author, it seems strange that many tire dealers will just plug a tire if it is still useable. I will add that on our MH, I would look very closely at a flat tire before plugging. I need to add – sealant is a big NO in my book. Usually just makes a mess!

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve
Michael Gardner (@guest_159106)
1 year ago

I don’t use sealant but in fifty years of driving I’ve plugged plenty of tire, on the car with no failures. And I’ve replaced a few tires not suitable for repair. I expect safety is about plugging right and knowing when to buy a new tire.

Crowman (@guest_120983)
2 years ago

And tire repair guy’s loves a tire to patch with Slime in it.

Bob (@guest_121008)
2 years ago
Reply to  Crowman

Most of the time they will not even attempt a patch on a tire with sealant in it. It’s time consuming to remove the sealant and there is no guarantee that the patch will stick.
Beacuse of the chemicals used in the sealant, it may also cause rust in a steel rim and corrosion in an aluminum rim, both destroying the bead surface.

Roger Marble (@guest_121287)
2 years ago
Reply to  Bob

Yes, and that is why some tire companies will refuse to honor parts of their tire warranty. BUT for me, the biggest concern is that you could end up driving on a tire with significant internal structural damage but not know it.

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