Is it Safe to Drive With a Plugged Tire?

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

Excellent Rating

(158)

Rating Summary
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5
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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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