Have you noticed that one of your tires always seems to need a little top-up? There may be a chance that you have a slow leak. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the tire has reached the end of its life.
If you know how to use a tire plug kit, you can salvage the tire. Read our guide to learn more about plug kits, how to use them, and some things you need to know.
What Is a Tire Plug Kit?
A tire plug kit contains all of the items you need to repair small punctures in your tires. It includes the materials needed to fill and seal the hole and a couple of small tools to make the job easier.
Consider checking: How Much Is It To Repair A Tire
A typical kit will include:
- Different sized rubber plugs
- A small rasp or filing tool
- A plugging needle
- Rubber cement
Aside from the above, you will need other tools to remove the tire:
- A vehicle jack
- A locking wheel nut
- A tire iron
- A sharp blade
- An air pumping
How to Use a Tire Plug Kit
Using a tire plug kit is pretty straightforward. Here is how you use it:
1. Remove the Tire
The first step is to remove the tire. You will need to jack the car up to do this. This prevents the car’s weight from putting pressure on it and allows you to perform a full inspection.
Once you have complete access to all areas, inspect the tread, sidewall, and other areas to identify the source of the leak. Small punctures can sometimes be difficult to spot, so here’s a great tip:
Give your tire a drenching with soapy water. You’ll be able to spot leaks as they will bubble up around the area of the puncture.
3. Clear the Hole
Once you have located the puncture, it is time to create a uniform and consistent area to apply your plug. Insert a reaming tool or the provided rasp into the puncture and twist it to remove any objects and debris from the puncture site.
4. Insert Your Plug
Now that you have a hole with precise dimensions, you can now insert your plug. First, insert your rubber plug into your plugging needle. Then apply the rubber cement liberally to the interior of the puncture.
Insert your threaded plugging needle into the hole. The rubber cement will act as a lubricant, and it shouldn’t require too much force. When you remove the plugging needle, the tire bung should stay in place in the hole.
5. Trim the Plug
Using a sharp knife, trim the plug so that it is flush with the tire’s surface. Be careful not to make any cuts or scratches elsewhere on the tread, or you’ll be getting plenty of practice in how to use a tire plug kit!
6. Reinstall and Re Inflate
Once you have plugged the puncture, you can reinstall your tire onto your vehicle. Be sure to reinflate it before you lower the vehicle on its jack.
When Not to Use a Plug Kit
Some leaks or punctures require a replacement rather than repairs. Don’t use a plug kit when:
- The puncture is bigger than ¼ inch in diameter.
- There are bulges or significant damage elsewhere.
- The puncture is on or near the sidewall.
- You are somewhere it would be dangerous to perform this procedure, such as fast-moving freeways or in heavy traffic.
Is Plugging a Tire Easy?
If you know how to use a tire plug kit and have the necessary tools, it can be easy. These kits provide an effective means of sealing small punctures. When done correctly, it can be difficult to see where the puncture existed in the first place.
How Long Can You Drive on a Plugged Tire?
While a tire plug can last a long time, it’s not a permanent solution. One reason is that it is impossible to see how much damage has occurred to the tire’s interior.
You also need to remove the tire from its rim, which is a job that a professional repair service should perform. They will know to follow the appropriate repair guidelines.
In the interest of safety, you should consider a plug as a temporary fix and only drive for short distances until you can take it into a workshop to have it looked at by a professional.
Knowing how to use a tire repair kit will let you repair a slow leak until you can have it properly assessed by a professional. The kits are relatively easy to use, provided you have a good quality repair kit, the correct tools, and some knowledge of the correct techniques.
Did you find this guide helpful? Then feel free to look at other guides:
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