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Old 03-25-2011, 11:16 PM   #1
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Tire plugs vs. patches

I know that, when repairing a tire punctured by a nail etc in the tread area, a patch applied from the inside is considered superior to a plug.

But has anyone here actually had any problems with using a plug?

Over many years, I have used both patches and plugs, equally, and with no problems at all. But when I use a plug,, its temporary. I tend to get a plugged tire properly patched from the inside, when time allows.

But has anyone had any problems with leaving a plug in the tire permanently?
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:15 AM   #2
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Re: Tire plugs vs. patches

I have installed many patches and plugs and looked into them before using them on a customers car. Either can be a perminant fix but the big part is that it be installed correctly. The best plugs I have used are the ones that look like brown rope. Patches seem to be much the same as any other patch. The best I have ever used is a plug and patch, the patch has a rubber spike you pull through from the inside with a patch connected to it. The most important part is preping the surface or and patch or plug will not work properly. Also keep in mind any repair like that to a tire changes the speed rating of that tire. For that reason any emergency vehicle like police or ambulance can not be patched or plugged.
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:13 PM   #3
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Re: Tire plugs vs. patches

Installing a patch saves the integridity of the tire, and is by far superior to a plug. i have experienced a plug failure and believe me it is not pleasant. Spend the money and have a patch installed the next time you have a puncture.
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:44 PM   #4
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Re: Tire plugs vs. patches

I drive the posted speed and with the rope type plugs had never experienced any failures. (Had a brand new Goodyear tire blow the side wall out not thirty miles from the tire shop.) Also would never use plugs on a motorcycle.
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Old 03-29-2011, 01:00 AM   #5
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Re: Tire plugs vs. patches

I worked for two different repair shops back in the mid 80's and used both plugs and patches. The first place i worked at used plugs exclusively to fix small holes and during my short time there, never saw one fail if installed correctly. We used the brown rope type and had to ream the hole with a small round file/rasp first before installing the plug. The important thing with using plugs is that they need to be installed in the same direction that the nail or screw comes out thus filling the hole made in the tire tread to begin with. Since that time, I carry the plugs and rasp in my car just in case. I have also had plugs last the life of the tire with no problem.

The second place I worked at used patches only, it takes longer to make the repair with a patch but it is probably the better way to go IMHO for a more permanent repair.

That said, I would still use a plug but would prefer a patch.
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Old 03-29-2011, 01:36 PM   #6
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Re: Tire plugs vs. patches

I've never had a problem with using the rope-style plugs, even a tire plugged multiple times due to nearby construction. A kit with those along with a small tire inflator will keep me from being stranded.
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Old 04-02-2011, 12:06 PM   #7
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Re: Tire plugs vs. patches

Typically, if a tires suffers a puncture, it will have internal damage to the belts (steel, kevlar, etc.). You can see that if you run a rasp thru there when you are preparing the tire area for a plug. A plug or a patch, while helping the tire to hold air, doesn't really fix the problem completely.
I'd have no problem patching or plugging a tire on my old Cougar. but on a high performance car, or a car driven fast regularly, it would be potentially dangerous, as the tires internal belts have been broken in multiple places.
That's why the manufacturers of such cars suggest you replace the tire, rather than attempt a permanent patch, or (IMO) if the tire on the other side of the car is worn, replace the axle pair.
I might add that if I were to chose between a patch or a plug, I would go for a plug, as it helps keep the water out of the "wounded" area of the tire.

Last edited by Black Lotus; 04-02-2011 at 12:13 PM. Reason: Addition
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