How to Plug a Car Tire (The Easy Newbie Guide)
Have you merely noticed a slow leak in your vehicle tire but can’t repair it because there isn’t a spare in your trunk? Perhaps you noticed this issue while driving to an important business meeting and you can’t risk getting late by driving to a tire search for a replacement. However, knowing how exactly to plug a tire, you’ll arrive safely and on time.
Just how long does it decide to try plug a tire? It will get you approximately 10 minutes if that is your first time. So, sit tight and discover ways to plug car tires just like a pro!
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1. Three important questions about plugging tires
1. Is it safe to plug a car tire?
Yes, it is really because it prevents slow leaks from turning into flat tires. A slow leak is dangerous as it brings about instability. A car with uneven wheels features a high chance of tipping over when negotiating sharp corners because the bad tire causes uneven weight distribution.
A slow leaking tire forces your vehicle to use up more fuel when carrying weight in your trunk. Why? As the irregular shaped tire requires more energy to rotate compared to an excellent one. Adding weight puts more strain in your bad wheel.
When should you plug a tire? If the vehicle tire is new or covered significantly less than 50,000 miles. Avoid plugging car tires with holes larger when compared to a quarter inch in diameter. Furthermore, tires that curently have plugs need replacements.
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2. Is it better to plug or patch a car tire?
Tire plugs only provide temporary relief. You’ll still have to get a new tire once you get your paycheck. Plugging cannot address problems affecting the inner walls. Such as a higher rate of wear and tear on the inner part as a result of friction between the tire’s walls and rims.
It’s wrong to plug a hole that’s on or very near the tire’s side walls. The constant expansion during tire rotation will force out your tire plug. When it goes unchecked, this hole becomes splits. It is also unsafe to plug a bald car tire because wear and tear make the tire very thin. You will need a thick tire to secure your plug firmly.
What’s patching? It’s a process of repairing holes and slow leaks on car tires using bits of rubber smeared with special adhesives. Patching is preferable to plugging as it can help you to spot any internal damages to your vehicle tire. Unlike plugging that is external, patching a tire requires you to eliminate the rim to assess and fix damages.
3. How long can you drive on a plugged tire?
A plug is just a temporary fix to have one to the tire shop. This is exactly why a police would want to know when you’ll get a tire replacement. A great plug will allow you to cover at least 2,000 miles. However, this varies with age your tire. A brand new car tire will cover significantly more than 3,000 miles.
If you’re driving in a location that’s hot and dry, you ought to cover fewer miles because the high temperatures make the tire expand a lot. This gets hot the adhesive holding your plug together and leads to help expansion.
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2. 5 Steps to plugging a car tire
1. Remove the bad tire
- Find a safe area to park your car. If it’s on the way, pull over and activate your hazard lights
- Place your hazard signs in-front and behind your car. Especially during the night to enhance your visibility
- Brace the great wheels with rocks or wheel wedges
- Make use of a car jack and jack stands to boost and support your vehicle as you eliminate the tire.
2. Remove the foreign object
- Wear a pair of work gloves. You need protection against sharp objects or wires sticking from the tire.
- You may want a pal to hold your flashlight as you closely inspect the tire for piercing objects
- Gently rotate the tire while inspecting the threads and spaces in between. Use your fingers to feel for almost any protruding objects.
- Remove item with a pair of pincers or pliers.
3. Check whether the damage requires a plug
- Car tires which can be bald need replacements just because a plug won’t solve internal wearing.
- If the vehicle tire has trouble with the valve stem then you will need a new tire.
- If the vehicle has unusual swellings, plugging mightn’t work because the tube already has serious problems.
- A tire that’s a diagonal cut requires patching since the plug is only going to widen the puncture.
4. Get a tire plug kit
- This kit has a tire plug and tools used to match this plug into your punctured tire.
- It has a plug created from leather sandwiched between unvulcanized rubbers. You need scissors to cut it into strips.
- It features a corkscrew that helps one to push your plug inside the vehicle tire.
- You will discover tire plug kits at your nearest auto mechanic shops which range from $30-$50.
5. How to use a tire plug kit
Use the provided corkscrew to really make the hole more circular by inserting and turning it in a clockwise direction. Ensures your tire is wholly dry. Use moderate force to avoid tearing nearby treads. Remove the plug material in your kit and straighten it using a pair of pincers. Do this by pressing the plug at least three times. This makes it more straightforward to insert in to the puncture.
Apply the adhesive provided in your kit all around the tire plug. Before carrying this out, your tire plug should really be dry. It’s advisable to wear a pair of latex gloves to help you smear the adhesive evenly. Put the plug in your corkscrew’s tip then push it down the hole in your tire. Keep a strong hand in your tire to maintain stability while inserting your plug. A shaky grip could potentially cause one to accidentally tear the treads.
Once the plug is inside, pull out the corkscrew fast. This prevents your plug from sticking with the corkscrew.
3. How to plug a tire without a plug kit
1. What tools do I need?
- A classic tire
- A set of work gloves
- A sharp couple of heavy-duty scissors
- A set of pliers
- A couple of screwdrivers
- Air compressor
- Gorilla Glue
2. Spot the piercing object
Wear the protective gloves to feel for almost any nails or screws protruding from your tire. Do this in a well-lit area because the nail head might have snapped rendering it less visible. Use your fingers to feel the spaces between tire treads when you yourself have new tires. Check the region near your tire for almost any broken nail heads or scattered nails.
When you will find the object, rotate the tire so you can pull out the object easily. Use the couple of pliers to gently pull out the nail or screw. If it’s deep inside, work with a flathead screwdriver to pry it out. You may want a supplementary couple of hands to hold down the tire for extra support.
3. Improvise a tire plug
Take your couple of heavy-duty scissors and cut small strips of rubber from the old tire. The strips should really be thin enough to match in the tire puncture but have sufficient thickness to retain stability during motion.
Cut the strips from parts which can be still intact. Avoid cutting tire strips with exposed wires, bumps, or patches. Then, smear only a little glue on both sides to ensure it sticks firmly in the puncture.