The Basics of Tire Plugging

If you’ve ever driven over a nail or had a slow leak, you probably have had a plug put in your tire at one point. Of the three main ways to patch a tire, plugging is the most common, the most cost efficient, and the most timely method. A tire plug is a thin piece of rubber that can usually vulcanize itself, meaning it can somewhat harden so it can last for long periods of time. Tires themselves are also vulcanized, so having a plug that does the same helps.

The first step in any tire repair is to remove the foreign object. Depending on where it is, it may not be removable. Generally, if the object is outside the tread, a plug won’t work.

After the foreign object is removed, the hole is usually made bigger. Yes, you read that right! The hole is widened most times with a special handheld boring tool. This is done so the plug can fit into the tire.

The plug itself is put into a special tool for insertion. Once placed in the t-shaped tool and lubed, the plug is pushed into the hole. If the tool is pulled quickly, the plug will stay in the tire and the tool will not. Afterwards, the plug is tested for leaks, and trimmed to not poke out too far from the wheel. Regular driving does the rest of the trimming for you.

Questions? Call Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill, LLC at 704-545-4597.