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Old 12-20-2006, 12:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How Well Do Tire Plugs Work?

I've never used one, but today at autozone I saw a tire plug kit. Now see, I got tons of nails in my tires, from when I drive my toy to the jobsite instead of my work truck, and I've never really paid much mind to it. It's only caused a super slow leak in three of my tires (air up again every month or so), and a moderately slow leak on my back left tire (air up again every 4-7 days or so).

But, I'd really like to pull out some of those nails, cause that clicking while on pavement gets annoying. So, what's the verdict on those tire plug kits? Are they good, do they work, do they last, are they hard to do, ect...? Thanks a bundle.
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Old 12-20-2006, 01:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've used them many times. In my experience, they are a temporary fix. They usually lasted about a month before they started to leak.
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Old 12-20-2006, 01:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ive used them on smaller tires such as my 4wheeler and lawnmower. Them work just fine. Never used them on a truck tire but I would guess if you installed them right then you wouldnt have any problems. Principle is the same thing.
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Old 12-20-2006, 01:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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plugs work well but are designed as temporary. if ya put enough of em in there balance becomes an issue. i have gotten more than 6 mos on one before(not 10)
i used to do them when i worked at a service station (double $$ on weekends ) and always told people it was necessary to get it fixed corretly later-patched from the inside or a new tire.
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Old 12-20-2006, 01:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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imo only tire plugs worth installing are the ones installed from the inside of the tire, its basically a plug&patch. just the plugs will start to leak over time, depending on the location of the hole.
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Old 12-20-2006, 01:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampThing View Post
I've never used one, but today at autozone I saw a tire plug kit. Now see, I got tons of nails in my tires, from when I drive my toy to the jobsite instead of my work truck, and I've never really paid much mind to it. It's only caused a super slow leak in three of my tires (air up again every month or so), and a moderately slow leak on my back left tire (air up again every 4-7 days or so).

But, I'd really like to pull out some of those nails, cause that clicking while on pavement gets annoying. So, what's the verdict on those tire plug kits? Are they good, do they work, do they last, are they hard to do, ect...? Thanks a bundle.
Been using (and carrying) plugs since about 1980. Used in conjunction with a good sealant (the kind with the screw on tube), you can fix a tire much faster than you can change a spare.

First learned to use them on motorcycles. I have a lot of miles on Honda Gold Wings. Three times in all those miles I've caught a flat. The Honda's are so quiet I can hear them losing air as the tire rotates even at high speed. Hate leaving a bike to get help. Not to mention all the hassle with removing a rear tire (on most bikes). Fixing them is quick and easy once you get the hang of it. The equipment is compact, a can of sealant, and one of the kits available almost anywhere. Screwdriver and a good knife can be handy as well. Tires seem to be better these days as I've not had to plug a tire in many miles. But I continue to carry the kit. Oh, a cheap air pump as well... (the Gold Wing has a pump built in).

Also use them on ATV's and tractor tires. I'm definitely thumbs up for all those reasons. Never had one fail. No balance problems.
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Old 12-20-2006, 01:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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for the trail they will get you home but the heat from driving on the road will cause them to fail, we only patch from the inside of the tire
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Old 12-20-2006, 01:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Well normally I'd just go to discount tire and have the tire replaced for $15 brand new with their little warrenty dealy like on all my other vehicles, but they don't sell the tires that I use for my toy. And if I had enough money to buy a new 33x12.5x15 xterrains everytime I got a flat or nail in my tire, I'd have had a sfa and a twin turbo supra engine in my runner for a long time now lol.

So... From the impression that I'm getting, just go to a place, and have em put a patch on the inside of it? Kinda like when I was little and my bike got a flat, I'd get an old tube, some superglue, and cut little squares and glue em over the hole? How much do places usually charge to do that, and would a place like discount tire do that or...? Thanks!
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Quote:
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One day a child will ask,"Mommy, why are there endangered species?". "Well, dear, one day someone invented the truck. Then Swampy was born!"
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Old 12-20-2006, 02:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampThing View Post
So... From the impression that I'm getting, just go to a place, and have em put a patch on the inside of it? Kinda like when I was little and my bike got a flat, I'd get an old tube, some superglue, and cut little squares and glue em over the hole? How much do places usually charge to do that, and would a place like discount tire do that or...? Thanks!
Never have put one inside, that obviates the whole point of a quick fix. The plugs have worked fine for me.
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Old 12-20-2006, 02:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have not ever had a problem with the plugs myself, and have had some in for at least 2 years in my other trucks tires I did pay for the better plugs just use the glue that comes with the kit also.
the tire place I bought my tires from uses the plugs to fix the tires unless it is a bolt hole in the tread but small screws or nails they use the plugs and at 7 to 10 bucks a fix I found it cheaper to buy the kit use it 2 times and it has payed for its self..
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Old 12-20-2006, 02:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Never have put one inside, that obviates the whole point of a quick fix. The plugs have worked fine for me.
exactly its not just a quick fix. from my experience its pretty much a permanent fix.
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Old 12-20-2006, 02:45 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'll throw my 2 cents in. I have used plug kits for years. I remember in the early days, the plugs were not made very well and tended to leak over time. The plugs you can buy today are much superior to the old kind and I have never had one of those leak later. I can understand one leaking later if too large of a hole was plugged. But, for a regular puncture like a small nail, I just plug it, cut it flush, and forget about it. After running on it for a while, the plug bonds so well with the tire, you probably will not even be able to find it.
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Old 12-20-2006, 02:51 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Plugs have always worked for me, they are definitely better than yuor current situation of airing up now and then, they certianly arent going to leak any faster than that....

I've had them in my tire for just over a year before I replaced the tire.

I had one in my Taco tire here recently, it got me home from 2 hours away in the mountians, I replaced the tire when I got home though, it was trashed.
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Old 12-20-2006, 03:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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plugs go on the outside , patches (boots) on the inside, we dont charge to fix a flat at my tire shop but some places charge $15
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Old 12-20-2006, 03:31 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
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How much do places usually charge to do that, and would a place like discount tire do that or...? Thanks!
i use tire-pro out here. w/ their warranty, they will do free patches.
big brand will also do free flat repair, tires from anyone, they dont mind
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I was traumatized. I had nightmares of trained attack tupperware beef-logs chasing me all night! Don't bend over, Fuster!!!!!
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Just pile us nekkid in an engine bay and drizzle us with gear oil and watch the fun!
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Old 12-20-2006, 03:33 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I use plugs as a trail fix. When I get home, I remove it and have the tire patched.
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Old 12-20-2006, 03:39 PM   #17 (permalink)
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definately use a patch. Discount Tire direct will patch them for free, even if you didnt buy the tire from them.:bigclap:
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Old 12-20-2006, 03:47 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Awesome, thanks for the info folks. Think I'll have them patched for now, specially if some places will do it for free, but definitly seems worth it to pick up a plug kit for trail emergencies.

What brands, or where do yall usually get your's from? And how do you use that thing? It looked like a big spike with some rubber tubes, so I assume you just what, measure off a couple inches, then stuff it down there with that spike and your done, or...?
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One day a child will ask,"Mommy, why are there endangered species?". "Well, dear, one day someone invented the truck. Then Swampy was born!"
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Old 12-20-2006, 03:51 PM   #19 (permalink)
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^ & mixed w/ a lot of glue too
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Quote:
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I was traumatized. I had nightmares of trained attack tupperware beef-logs chasing me all night! Don't bend over, Fuster!!!!!
Quote:
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Just pile us nekkid in an engine bay and drizzle us with gear oil and watch the fun!
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Old 12-20-2006, 04:06 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Awesome, thanks for the info folks. Think I'll have them patched for now, specially if some places will do it for free, but definitly seems worth it to pick up a plug kit for trail emergencies.

What brands, or where do yall usually get your's from? And how do you use that thing? It looked like a big spike with some rubber tubes, so I assume you just what, measure off a couple inches, then stuff it down there with that spike and your done, or...?
I use Monkey Grip from Kragen's... Includes an insertion tool, and a reaming tool.

1. Find the leak. If it is a very small leak, you can use the sealent as mentioned before, by itself. I usually use just a partial fill, then use the cheap pump to bring it up to correct pressure. Recheck after a few miles, in a safer place than you stopped the first time.
2. If it is a nail size hole, remove the offending item with a screwdriver, or pliers. The pressure must be down to (at least) 10-20lbs. Ream the hole with the tool provided, so that you have enough room to insert the plug(ribbon). The instructions will be to put the ribbon like strip in the insertion tool. Gop it up with the supplied glue, and insert the ribbon so it is inside the tire a 1/2" or so.
3. Clip off the excess, add the sealent (my version of how to do it), 1/2 can or so.
4. Pump the tire up (you did bring a cheap timre pump, right?).

Drive it for a number of miles, and recheck tire pressure. Should be good to go. The whole process can take as little as 15 minutes. Often the toughest part is finding the leak.
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'94 Toyota 4Runner V6 3L 158K miles 14mpg
'85 Toyota 22rec 4WD SR5 LB PU 208K miles 18mpg
'08 Honda Ridgeline RT 4.8K miles 16mpg
'06 Honda Rincon ATV 410miles/65hrs 22 mpg

Last edited by rdharper; 12-20-2006 at 04:10 PM.
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