A tire plug is a simple way to fix a flat tire, as is a tire patch. Between patches and plugs, the controversy between expert mechanics is which would be more reliable. Essentially, both are meant to be only a temporary fix, to last a little longer than your spare tire.
The safer solution is to replace the flat tire, altogether with a new and more reliable one. As a part of your car care routine, you should inspect your tires regularly for any damages also look for nails and screws and be prepared to plug them right away, to avoid some serious issues in the future.
What do you need to plug a tire?
To plug a tire you could buy a simple tire plug kit, which comes with the necessary tools and even a few extra plugs. These kits can be also purchased at a local car parts store.
How to - Plug a Flat Tire - Step by Step
# The first step to plugging a flat tire is to remove the tire, which you may have already done if you are driving around on your spare “doughnut” tire.
In the case of a screw or a nail, you will first need to pull them out of the flat tire, using pliers.
# Fill the tire with air prior to plugging it. Then insert the tire plug tool (called the probe). The probe is like a screwdriver but the outside is more rough and jagged. The probe tool will make the hole slightly bigger and clean the hole at the same time.
# After the hole is cleaned you can leave the probe inside of it to prevent the air from leaking out.
# Now you have to use another tool which you will insert the tire repair plug through the hole at the end of the tool, kind of like threading a needle. Remove the probe and put the plug in place. Be sure to place the plug all the way into the hole. Then, the tool will come out but the plugs will stay.
# Trim off any excess plug that may be outside of the tire. If available, use some soapy water on the hole: if you see any bubbles that mean there is still a leak. If you see no bubbles and feel confident that the tire is plugged properly, you can then fill the tire with the right amount of air.
After plugging your tire, it is highly recommended that you bring your car or tire to a local car repair center and have the tire replaced with a more appropriate and safe tire, as plugs are only meant for use in temporary situations and are not reliable for long periods of time.
Remember that as part of your car care, you should keep a tire plugging kit stored securely in the trunk of your car. You can check out my recommendation on the things you need to keep in your car.
I have found a quick time-lapse video of repairing a tire. Hopefully, this will help you to understand the repairing process better.
Check more of my car and tire maintenance tips & stay tuned.