Tire plugs are made from leather with a coating of an unvulcanized rubber compound. They are so sticky that they completely seal the tire’s hole. Tire plugs are extremely useful for a quick fix. They are cheap and save a lot of time. On the other hand, a patch is a piece of rubber with an adhesive that vulcanizes when the tire heats up. They are attached to the inner part of the tire. Patches are generally stronger than plugs, but they require a lot of work. Nowadays, there is this combo of plug-patch and is considered to be the most effective.
But the question asked is – “Is it better to patch or plug a tire?”
Tire plugs are inserted through the outside of the tire via an insertion tool. Then the insertion tool is removed, and the tire plug fills up the hole and seals it completely. Then, we have plugs known as string plugs. String plugs come with a repair kit of their own. The repair kit consists of the insertion tool, reaming tool, strong plugs and a block of rubber cement. This rubber cement can be used as a seal between the tire and the plug.
On the other hand, to install a patch, you have to locate the puncture from the interior part of the tire. The patch is a piece of rubber with an adhesive that vulcanizes when the tire heats up. Once you locate the puncture from the inside of the tire, the puncture’s surrounding area needs to be prepared. It is prepared using scrapers, buffing tools, and cleaning solutions. Once the area is well-prepped, the patch is applied with vulcanizing cement. The patch is then applied over the hole and covered with an adhesive.
Which Is Better? To Patch or Plug a Tire?
The NHTSA or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recommended that combination treatment is most beneficial for the fixation process of punctured tires. It recommends using a repair patch with a rubber plug or stem attached to its center.
To make the repair long-lasting, you need to do the following steps:
- Locate the puncture and gob it out to make a clean hole. Then insert the tire plug.
- Prepare the surrounding area of the hole using scrapers, buffing tools and cleaning solutions.
- Apply vulcanizing cement to the area as well as the plug and patch combo.
- Pull the plug from the outside of the tire. That way, the hole will be filled up completely and a tight seal will be created with rubber on the tire.
The whole process prevents air from escaping. The plug seals the hole, preventing water and air from entering the tire. On the other hand, the patch lines up the inside of the tire.
Do Tire Plugs or Patches Offer Permanent Fixing?
The question is – “Do tire plugs or patches offer permanent fixing?” The answer to that will be – “No, they do not offer permanent fixing of tires.”
While the plug tires and tire patch can help to fix your tire, experts claim them to be a temporary solution. They say that while tire plugs will seal and prevent air passage in your punctured tire, there will remain a hole. A small puncture in your car can enlarge and then tire plugs can do nothing. When this happens, you are likely to lose a large amount of air. Furthermore, tire plugs can fail while you are driving. They can never handle the same amount of strain as a tire in good condition will do.
Similarly, tire patches can never seal the inner liner of the car completely. However, there is no denying the fact that both offer excellent temporary treatments for your punctured tire.
Therefore, you should use tire plugs or patches only as a means of temporary fix till you get to a repair shop. Going to a repair shop will help you to get your tire fixed or replaced that will offer a long-run solution to your problem. When tires are repaired improperly, they can be disastrous. Make sure to get it repaired by a professional, so that your car can offer miles of safe and reliable performance.