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Plug Or Patch A Flat


Full Member
Sep 28, 2002
Garland, Texas
I had a flat tire last week due to a 1.5 in screw stuck between the treads. I was able to repair it with a plug kit I purchased. ;D When I got to work Monday a co-worker mentioned to me that the plug-kit was only a temporary fix and I should take it in and have the tire patched from the inside.

Is this true? -I thought this was the permanent method of repair. I only have 2000 miles on my AV-the last thing I want is a bum tire. ???

That's what I've been told too. "Only a temp repair." In fact my plug kit spells this out.

Funny thing though. That last two plugs I put in lasted the life of the tires. Just lucky I guess.........
Every plug I have ever done has lasted the life of the tire. Sounds like the "plug company" is just trying to protect itself from lawsuits.

I've always had my flats patched and never had any problems. Since you only have 2000 miles on the Av I would patch the tire and switch it with the spare. May be a good time of thinking about having the tire's rotated also.

My $0.02

Thanks for the info gentlemen,

Yes I have plugged my flats in the past and never had a problem but since I only have 2000 miles on my AV I may take it in just to double check my work. :B:
I have plugged a lot of tires in the past, most have never leaked and have never had a problem for the rest of the life of the tire. The tire shops actually do a patch-plug. I have had this done on several tires also when I got the road hazard warranty with a set of tires. If you want to continue to use the tire, considering it's the same as new, you might want to consider having it done.
Well, I guess I am odd man out, because most of my plugs end up in a slow leak. I don't do those anymore. I always have the tire removed and plug/patched. I get it done at the TIRE SHOP and they tell me that never plug cause they don't last. I believe them.
I'll be darned if I didn't get a nail in my brand new Avy at 500 miles. I took it to BiG O tires. They have a plug with the inside base being a patch. I've gone there for with my previous vehicle and it worked great. No leaks. Only $15.
I use a plug kit.... the first time I used it I was alittle skiddish... and a week later took it in to a tire shop.... to my supprise they told me that what I did looks like it would hold find, and is no better then what they would do... 5 years later and still plugging my own tires....
I haven't heard of problems with plugs, but I must admit that I prefer the patches just by looking at them and their application.

Also, being on a construction site quite a bit, I usually get road hazard and historically have used it quite a bit (been lucky with AV so far) and Tire Kingdom will not plug, only patch.
My dad is a mechanic. If it's an older tire, a plug is fine. However, in your case - a new tire, the way to go is to patch it. It will last longer and is definately more durable. People usually just plug them because it is easier, quicker and cheaper. With a patch, the tire has to be taken off the truck, then the rim, clean the inside of the tire, add an adhesive, allow it to become tacky, then apply the patch, put the tire back on the rim, then put the tire on the vehicle. The price is usually within $5. With the cost of gas now a days....what's $5!

Just My 0.02.....
Plugs are TEMPORARY and patches are PERMANENT. Like Terminator said, there is always the danger with plugs that they begin leaking. The problem is you never know if the leak will be a slow or fast one. It wouldn't be fun rolling along at 60 mph and get a fast one. :-[

come to think of it, the only flat that I've ever had with the AV, I couln't locate the puncture...but I did find a plug in it. Problem is, I swear I don't remember ever having it plugged :cautious:

Oh well, dealer owed me a favor, and I got a free take-off stock wrangler anyways.
I have used plugs for years and have never really had a problem with them. If the holes are nails, wire, screws or punctures like that they work great. If the hole is larger you may want to go ahead and use the patch. I have actually used two plug strips in a larger hole and it sealed off.

When I finally replaced the tires on my work truck I had 5 plugs in one and 2 in the other and never leaked. The key I think is using the tools correctly. Make sure to use the cleaninf tool to ream out the hople so there is a good cleand and even surface for the plug to stick to. Then make sure you trim the excess plug sticking out of the tire to prevent the plug from moving with each revolution of the tire.

You have to remember though, I am cheap. For real peace of mind you may want to stick with the patches. :)
Like othes have said, its a temp fix. A plug can allow water to leak into the cords causing the tread to eventually separate from the cords.

Contour said:
A plug can allow water to leak into the cords causing the tread to eventually separate from the cords.

Interesting . . . I'd guess the style of patch that just covers the hole from the inside will allow that same water penetration. The article mentions a mushroom shaped plug / patch . . . the goal being to fill the hole AND assure the integrity of the inside tire surface as well.

Thanks for posting the informative article!
again, just visuallizing in my own mind how each of these work, I know the patches I've seen are fairly large, maybe 3-4" square. That's a lot of glue for water (or air) to get through.
Hi all. Interesting subject. When I was younger I worked for a large tire chain changing and replacing tires and have plugged and patched hundreds of tires. From what I have read here all have good points.

In my experience (such as it is) I have seen plugs develope both slow and fast leaks, and others that have popped or pulled out completely. But, by and large the VAST majority have held fast. The reasons for failure can be improper application, hole too large for the plug (I have double plugged personal tires before, but NEVER recommend it :-X), wrong type of injury ie: where site is a CUT instead of a puncture as can be the case with glass or metal banding etc.

I have also seen patches that were improperly applied fail as well. But this happens much more rarely than plug failure. Patches are much less likely to experience water infiltration than plugs just by the very nature of the application. Airtight is a better seal that watertight and unless it is a large injury, the self-sealing properties of the rubber will negate most possibilities of water getting between the bands.

All that being said, I have done both for personal applications. The AV will be my first truck, but I have had a some pretty decent hotrods as well daily drivers. For the everyday grocery getter I wouldn't hesitate to use a plug. Very little heavy duty use here. But in the case of a lot of highway driving where a blow out can be costly, hot rodding where a blow out can be deadly, or Off Road use where you can be a long way from anything and out the reach of AAA, I would not use a plug. IMHO, for anything resembling heavy duty use I would do no less than a patch and possibly the patch/plug combination.

Just my $.02
Happy AV'ing