How Long Can You Drive on a Plugged or Patched Tire?

You made it! You got your punctured tire repaired before it became damaged any further. The technician fixed it, filled it, and now you’re on your way. Then a thought clouds your mood over. How long are you able to drive with your tire like this? Is it safe to drive your car on a patched tire?

There are three common ways to repair a tire:

  • A patch over the puncture hole on the inside of the tire

  • A plug through the puncture hole

  • A combination patch-plug that covers the puncture from the inside and plugs through it

The only proper repair is a combination patch-plug. A patch or a plug on their own are temporary repairs at best and the tire should either be repaired properly as soon as possible, or replaced.

How long Can I drive on my plug-patched tire?

A proper repair job with a plug-patch results in a tire able to hold air indefinitely -- that is, unless you get another puncture. It is safe to drive your vehicle like this as long as the tire’s useful life. The one consideration is that tire manufacturers no longer support their speed rating on a repaired tire, so taking your high performance car to a track day on a repaired tire is probably not a good idea.

As a rule, most shops will not patch one tire more than three times. If the proper repair for a puncture overlaps with another repair, or if the tire has already been repaired three times, you will need to replace your tire.


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Recent Spare Tire Installation reviews

Excellent Rating

(158)

Rating Summary
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5
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Nicholas

11 years of experience
585 reviews
Nicholas
11 years of experience
Toyota Camry V6-3.0L - Spare Tire Installation - Knightdale, North Carolina
Nicholas finished an earlier appointment which enabled him to come by earlier than originally scheduled. I'm very grateful he chose to reschedule. While replacing a flat with my donut spare, he instructed me on how to safely drive to the tire shop for the repair. More importantly to have the shop add air to the donut spare. Nicholas did an excellent job. He as very professional. Thank you
Ford E-150 Econoline - Spare Tire Installation - Durham, North Carolina
I was VERY pleased with Nicholas' expertise and was more than delighted that he was so prompt. He was very polite and friendly, and he did a marvelous job. If I ever need any repairs to my vehicle in the future, I would definitely ask for Nicholas.

Luis

29 years of experience
91 reviews
Luis
29 years of experience
Toyota Prius L4-1.5L Hybrid - Spare Tire Installation - Prospect Heights, Illinois
Luis attended my car today and help in fixing the issue quickly. He is nice and friendly guy. I will recommend him for any services.

Hugh

11 years of experience
106 reviews
Hugh
11 years of experience
Toyota FJ Cruiser V6-4.0L - Spare Tire Installation - Castle Rock, Colorado
Hugh came to change out a flat tire for my spare today. I have to say that I feel sheepish for calling someone to come help because I know how to change a tire but I was at work and on shift until 2 am and he came to my place of work. Instead of just installing my spare, he took the time to evaluate the situation. I had a nail in my tire and he took the tire to get patched and my vehicle drove better on my way home than when I left this morning. It was snowing sideways when he showed up to help me. He was a bit of a godsend in the moment and I would recommend him to anyone. I was just distressed because I did not have enough tip to give this guy for overachieving when I needed it. Huge five star review. I only hope to pay his generosity forward. He was more than worth the cost and he did a phenomenal job.

Jonathan

26 years of experience
88 reviews
Jonathan
26 years of experience
Honda Civic L4-1.7L - Spare Tire Installation - Smyrna, Georgia
Jonathan was very punctual, friendly, and transparent. He clearly explained everything he did and provided detail about any additional work he recommended. Great work!

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