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Plugging tires vs. Patching

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#1 Highlander1

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Posted July 09 2006 - 7:04 AM

Took a sheetrock screw out of my tire today, I had a plugging kit so I plugged it. Been years since I have fixed a tire but I bought the kit in case I got it on the beach. Anyway, the tire was much tougher to ream than tires of years past, and I'm not real comfortbale with the fix although it holds air and appears ok. Anyone have any experience with plugs as opposed to patching, I'm inclined to take it this week and have it patched. Sometimes I think travelling at 75 with a combination tar and leather tireplug as my weakest link ain't a good idea. Truthfully I plugged tires for years, never had a problem, of course when your 25 nothings a problem.

For a lousy 15 bucks I'll feel better with a patch, peace of mind in this case is cheap.

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#2 Ben Lippen

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Posted July 09 2006 - 8:13 AM

Whatever gives ya peace of mind, bud

#3 Sudsy

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Posted July 09 2006 - 8:14 AM

At some repair station they still patch tires??

Last time I had a tire patched not plugged had to be 25 years ago.

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#4 choppersdad

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Posted July 09 2006 - 9:23 AM

Due to the nature of Radial tires, moving in all directions fron the sidewall down, the plug/patch from the inside is by far the best alternative.

#5 Kings over Queens

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Posted July 09 2006 - 10:04 AM


Originally Posted by Sudsy

At some repair station they still patch tires??

Last time I had a tire patched not plugged had to be 25 years ago.

Place by me on the southbound side of 35, across from Slaters or so. Had two done a month ago.

I too prefer the inside patch, but it is hard to find places. My regular mechanic in Staten Island only does the plug.

#6 Retired Fisherman

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Posted July 09 2006 - 8:19 PM

Howdy Highlander1:

Looks like you answered your own question, about your tire problem, Thats what I love about this place, go with question #2.


Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is a mystery.All we have is todayand it is called the PRESENTbecause it is a SPECIAL GIFT!

#7 SeaOtter

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Posted July 10 2006 - 8:23 AM

Worked at a garage for 8 years through high school/college. Must have plugged/patched about 2 trillion tires! I can tell you the best plugs to go with are the thicker vulcanized leather strips, the ones that look like little Slim-Jims. They adhere the best to the tire and will melt after driving a while to fill in and make a permanent seal. They make thinner versions of them, but don't use them. They suck. They also make tose little rubber plugs they sell at hardware stores, but they blow out a lot. Don't use them either!

I agree though, the best you can possibly get without buying a new tire is and inside/outside patch. Take the tire off, glue the patch to the interior, pull the handle thingy through the hole to the outside and clip it off flush with the tread. I never saw one of them fail.

As of 2001, when I got another job, we still had patches. Most people use plugs, though, because they're 10 times easier to use.

ARGH!!! You've given up yet another secret spot!!!!!!!

#8 BassNuts

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Posted July 10 2006 - 11:47 AM

Nobody around me plugs tires any more...it's a patch from the inside or nothing. One guy said they were not allowed to plug tires any more .


#9 bassackward

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Posted July 10 2006 - 2:04 PM

Had a tire plugged 15 years ago, in the middle of a road trip. The thing lasted only 3 days before blowing out on a back country road, in the midle of the curve. Came about an inch and a half from falling into one of those realy deep ditches on the side of the rosd. Haven't had a flat that could be repaired since, but I'd rather buy a new tire than get one plugged again.

#10 tonymo

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Posted July 11 2006 - 9:38 AM

I have always used plugs without a problem.recently i got a nail in my tire and wanted to patch it( brand new truck).Two mechanics I talked with both with 35 yrs of exp. ,one only plugs , the other said he would patch but the plugs (thick leather ones) are just as good.I settled on the plug because I had em anyway .

#11 Cool Hand Fluke

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Posted July 11 2006 - 9:50 AM

Sudsy save my ample arse with a plug on LI one early morning..when I had to be somewhere in less than 2 hours.

#12 J

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Posted July 11 2006 - 1:19 PM

The text below was copied from an auto site....
Personally, I prefer a plug and a patch. That's the way my local guy has been doing it forever....


In the old days plugs were used because they were quick and reliable. If the injury was a simple nail, a tire could be repaired in no time. If the tire was cut, then patching was preferred to completely seal the odd shaped hole. Then when radial tires came out it was found that plugs would warp the tire and make them ride differently. That's when patches became the preferred method of repairing a tire. There were two kinds of patches, cold and hot. The cold patch required buffing the inside of the tire and applying a cement. Then the correct sized patch was placed over the injury and a special tool was used to "stitch" the patch to the tire. I don't mean stitching in the sense it was sewn on, but that this special tool was rolled over the patch until it was sealed against the tire. The drawback to this method was if you didn't do everything perfectly, the patch would leak.
Hot patching involved essentially the same procedure except the patch was heated and melted to the inside of the tire. There was a special heating clamp that went on the tire to do this. It usually took about 15 minutes to heat the patch to the tire. The advantage of this method was that the tire and patch become one piece.
Now we have plugs that are designed to repair radial tires and are self-vulcanizing. That is to say after they heat up from driving, they "melt" into the tire and become one piece. This is again the preferred method because it is much faster to do. If, as in the old days, a tire was cut then patching is the best way to go.
Patching a tire can take about 30 minutes and installing a plug takes a few minutes and usually can be done while the tire is still on the car. Patching a tire can cost $10.00 to $15.00 and plugging can cost as little as $2.00 but usually $5.00.

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#13 thill

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Posted July 14 2006 - 6:09 PM

As a contractor, I get lots and lots and lots of nails and screws in my tires.

I easily have 10-20 plugs in my tires, not to mention the ones in my trailer's tires. I have been doing this for 20 years now, and I have NEVER EVER seen a plug fail or leak!

I used the black twisty looking stuff. They are self-vulcanizing, and they really fuse the rubber together. Never rasp the hole or anything, just shove 'em in, twist, pull and cut off the excess.

But if you are freaking at the thought of a plug, go get it patched.


#14 Owls

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Posted March 29 2012 - 5:33 AM

Hey Everyone, just thought I would give my words of wisdom an advice.

If you have a nail or a screw in your tire and your wondering should i just replace the tire and be done with it stop and think because you just cant replace one tire you gotta replace both tires. So your vehicle does not become unbalanced.


I have always plugged my tires and I use the plugs that look like a slim jim. they Never have failed me and I have one tire with three plugs in it that has not leaked air out yet. The only concern your going to be having is your feeling the obligation to always check the Air Pressure in that tire and who says thats a bad thing because your suppose to be doing that almost everyday anyway. Or atleast every once a weak.


If your considering Patching your tire yes and no it can be good and it can be bad, you have to take it to a mechanics shop in order for them to patch it. There is a lot done to patching a tire, they have to grind and smooth down the inner part of the tire were the hole is. Then they have to clean the area down and then apply Quick Drying Rubber Cement, then it sits for like 2 to 3 minutes. After that they put a patch on it rub it in then apply a special sealant to it.


I also read on this forum and notice that someone had a side wall hole if you get that your better off plugging the hole.


I started noticing this and were people reply that plugging your tire or patching your tire in some states is illegal. I just want to point out if you see Tire Plugs or Patches being sold in your local Auto Shop then its not. Because if it was they would be getting nailed to the wall for selling something illegal. Just wanna point that out.


I would like to add as well I have that one tire that has three plugs in it and its been like that for 2 years now and still going strong. I recently had to replace all my tires but still it was going strong with three plugs in it.


I find that most people struggle what is the best choice and what is the fastest and cheapest way to fix the problem and yet which way is the safest way. The answer is plug it and be done with it. The plug will not interfere with your driving ability nor will it harm anything if it did there would not be a plug to use if it did. If the plug doesn't help then take it to the mechanic shop and have them patch it your only going to be out 5 or 8 bucks and you have gained some more tools for you so if it happens another time you might get lucky and try plugging and it will work that time. Never know till you try.


But if the plug does work and it only works out for you a couple of weaks and you notice it leaking air then you will have to get it patched or replace the tire.


I really hope that my thoughts made you think and helped you consider your choices. You need to do what you feel is right and always trust your first gut reaction.



#15 Charleston

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Posted March 29 2012 - 11:53 AM

Just so you know. This thread is almost 6 years old. Look at polite everyone is being.

Went to see the whatfixer.