Is it Safe to Drive With a Plugged Tire?

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A plug goes into the hole of a tire and is intended to stop the air from leaking out of it. The plug is supposed to be a temporary fix, not something that is a permanent solution to repair the hole in your tire. While it is safe to drive with a plugged tire, it is only safe to do so for a short amount of time.

If you have a plugged tire or are considering having your tire plugged, here are some things to know:

  • The tire plug is intended to make the car drivable so you can reach the tire store. Depending on the condition of the tire, the mechanic will either patch it, or replace the whole tire.

  • For a proper repair to happen, the entire tire needs to be demounted from the rim. There is no way for you to know what the inside of the tire looks like, which is why it needs to be inspected by a mechanic.

  • A plug can only be used on small holes, those up to ¼ inches in diameter. Furthermore, the plugs should only be used on the tread of the tire, not on or near the sidewalls. If the hole in your tire is larger than ¼ inch in diameter or is near the sidewall, it would be best to have a spare tire installed by a mechanic until you can get a new pair of tires.

  • If you experience a flat tire while driving down the road, pull over and come to a complete stop in a safe location. Once you are safe, inspect the tire for a small hole or any damage that has been done to the tire. If you know how to plug a tire, you can repair this small hole on the side of the road. If you do not know how to plug a tire, it is best to contact a professional.

  • A plug works by creating an airtight seal in the tire’s inner liner. The plug fills the hole the object made, along with creating a mushroom shaped seal inside the tire to prevent the plug from being pushed out.

Driving on a plugged tire is only safe to do so for a short distance. For instance, you can drive on a plugged tire if you are trying to the mechanic’s shop to get your tire repaired.


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Recent Spare Tire Installation reviews

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YourMechanic Spare Tire Installation Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

107

Rating Summary
101
5
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101
5
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Bryant

10 years of experience
282 reviews
Bryant
10 years of experience
Toyota RAV4 - Spare Tire Installation - Indianapolis, Indiana
Bryant explained each step in the repair process. He answered All my questions and educated me on certain driving and maintenance procedures that will extend my car maintenance schedule.

Andrew

10 years of experience
23 reviews
Andrew
10 years of experience
Ford Fusion - Spare Tire Installation - Fort Myers, Florida
Excellent service! Went above and beyond quickly performing the required maintenance. Provided good insight on what additional work need to be done and what could reasonably wait. Very personable would recommended for your maintenance needs.

Jacob

10 years of experience
45 reviews
Jacob
10 years of experience
Honda Odyssey - Spare Tire Installation - Irving, Texas
Put on spare tire on my minivan. My jack sold with the minivan not strong enough. Show up about 30 minutes later than scheduled not due to his fault. Get the job done quick, fast and professional.

Justin

6 years of experience
287 reviews
Justin
6 years of experience
Lexus RX350 - Spare Tire Installation - Delray Beach, Florida
Jason is very professional and friendly also. He arrived on time. Changed the tire quickly. Did a few other minor adjustments.

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