Tires are prone to punctures when traversing the open road. It doesn’t mean you have to replace them every time. Repairs can prevent the further loss of air as you drive. This air loss can eventually cause damage, and you may start to drive on the rim of the wheel rather than on the air-filled rubber over time.
If you let leaks go for too long, they will decrease the PSI, putting the driver in danger of blowouts and crashes. So, it’s important to get it fixed quickly and prevent any potential road hazards.
We’ve got a few trustworthy techniques for how to fix a hole in a tire. You’ll never be out of luck if you have these basics in mind.
The Short Answer
You can repair light damage or a small puncture with two common methods: plug or patch a tire. In some cases, though, it may be time for a replacement instead.
Can My Tire Be Repaired?
In most cases, you can repair a tire after being gashed or punctured. However, a repair could be unsafe depending on the circumstance, and a new part is required. This is true if the cut is more than a quarter-inch across. If multiple holes are closer than 16 inches apart, this will also require replacement rather than repair.
Driving on tires that have been repaired twice can be dangerous. It can also affect your driving experience — it will likely cause a blowout or affect the speed rating of the vehicle.
Overall, keep in mind that gashes and long cuts indicate replacement is necessary. The tires are unlikely to function properly after several repairs.
How to Find the Leak
The first step to learning how to fix a hole in your tire is locating the problem area. The steps below outline methods to help you find the puncture or gash quickly and simply, without a trip to the dealership:
- Use the jack points around the area of the tire to jack your car up.
- Locate the spot where the leak is placed by searching first for any objects sticking out.
- If there is no object sticking out, create a mixture of soap and water and lightly brush it onto the surface. The area where the leak is will create bubbles when you brush over it.
- You can also find the leak by inflating the wheel to 30 PSI to listen for the hissing sound of air escaping.
- Once you find the leak, mark it with chalk. This way, you will easily find it again without doing this process a second time.
Patch vs Plug
Both the patch and the plug are quality options for repair, but which is best for your needs?
A plug may be best for a puncture by a nail or something else in the road. Patches are more suitable for larger gashes and punctures that a plug may not cover. They should each last approximately seven to ten years.
Here’s how to fix a hole in your tire with each method.
How to Patch a Tire
- The first step in installing a patch is removing the damaged part from the vehicle.
- After this, you must separate the rim. This may require the use of a mounting machine.
- Remove any puncturing object that was still present.
- Buff the area of the hole lightly.
- For a half-inch around the hole, paint on a coat of vulcanizing liquid and leave it to dry for a few seconds.
- Cut your patch to match the size of the hole.
- Take off the top sticker and the bottom sticker before placing the patch onto the hole. You can use a rolling tool to make sure that it sits flat.
- Press firmly otherwise to ensure that it stays. This will keep the patch sealed onto the part of your vehicle.
- Let the patch dry. After five minutes, you can remount the tire on the rim and re-correct to a 30-35 PSI.
- Before taking your brand new patched wheel on the road, be sure to recheck the leak to ensure that the patch has worked.
How to Plug a Tire
- Examine your plug kit. It should include T handles.
- Use the T handle to plug the hole, carefully pushing it in.
- Remove the handle.
- Check the leak to make sure your hard work paid off.
How Much Does it Cost To Fix a Hole in a Tire?
Finding a deal on fixing the hole can be as simple as calling your dealership. Some dealers would patch or plug a wheel for free if you bought it from them initially. Otherwise, it could cost anywhere between $10 and $20 to get it patched.
The Bottom Line
If you want to learn how to fix a hole in your tire, all you need is a patch or plug, a few tools, and the information in this guide. The patch and plug methods both provide great options for at-home repairs or ideas to bring to your car dealership.
We recommend applying these tips as soon as possible to prevent lower PSI in your vehicle!
Did you find our guide helpful? Then consider reading of other blogs:
How To Vulcanize A Tire
How To Fix Flat Spots On Tires
How Close To The Sidewall Can You Patch A Tire
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How Much Sealant Per Tire
How To Use Slime Tire
How Much Does It Cost To Patch A Tire
How Long Does A Tire Patch Last
How Do Tires Get Dry Rot
How To Fix Dry Rotted Tires
How To Fix A Tire Rim Leak
How To Seal Tire Bead
How To Fill Tires With Foam