Home » How to Plug and fix a tire with a tire plugging kit

How to Plug and fix a tire with a tire plugging kit

How to Plug a Leaky Tire

One of the common challenges people have is that they don’t know how to repair a Flat Tire with a Plug and Patch. This can be a big problem, especially if you’re on a road trip and your tire goes flat. It’s a simple process, but it can be difficult to do if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s why it’s important to learn how to do it before you need to.

You may want to plug and fix a leaky tire because you don’t have time to go get it fixed, or maybe you’re on a road trip and don’t want to worry about it. It’s a simple process that just about anyone can do.

All you need is a rubber plugging kit, some patience, and a little bit of know-how. Find the source of the leak, ream out the hole, clean the area around the leak, and plug the leak with a rubber strip from your kit. Inflate the tire and check for leaks. If everything looks good, trim the plug and you’re good to go!

We’ve all been there. Whether it’s a flat tire or some other issue, we can sympathize with the reader’s struggles.

We know how frustrating it can be to not have an easy solution for fixing things and making them better.

Also, It’s really tough to find a good mechanic these days.

You can’t trust them, they overcharge you, and sometimes the work is not guaranteed. In short, it’s hard to know who you should hire when your car needs some repair work done.

That doesn’t mean all hope is lost though! We’ve created this article to educate our readers to solve easy tasks like fixing a leaky tire.

Diy how to fix a flat tire easy

If you’re not comfortable fixing a leaky tire on your own, you can always take it to a mechanic. But if you’re feeling adventurous, or if you don’t have the time or money to go get it fixed, then you can try doing it yourself. It’s a simple process, and it just takes a little bit of patience and know-how.

So if you’re ever in a bind and your tire goes flat, don’t panic! Just follow these simple steps to plug and fix the leak.

First, in order to plug a tire, you will need some tools and materials. You will need a rubber plugging kit, a tire inflator, a car jack and a tire pressure gauge.

Also grab some paper towels and soap or water solution that will help with the process.

Related: How To Deal With Slow Leak Tires: Easy Fix

Do tire plugs really work?

Punctures in the red area can not be repaired

They work when the puncture is small enough to let air out slowly, but they don’t work for larger holes that need patching.


  • Diy Plugging is a cheap solution when you can’t get to a tire repair shop right away.
  • It only takes a few minutes to plug a small puncture in your tire.
  • Sometimes you don’t have to remove the wheel from the car, so it’s also very quick.


  • You can’t repair large holes in your tires with plugs.
  • If the hole is larger than the plug itself, then you must fix it (with glue or patches)

When your tire goes flat, you have two options: replace or repair it. If your car’s manufacturer recommends replacing the tire rather than repairing it, then it is time to get a replacement. However, if they recommend repairing instead of replacing it, then you can go ahead and try to fix the tire yourself by plugging it with a plugging kit from your local auto parts store or garage.

As always with DIY projects like this one where there are potentially dangerous consequences, we recommend consulting a professional if you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself.

Related: What To Do If You Have a Nail In Your Tire?

How to plug a Leaky tire – Step by Step Guide for begginers

1. Find and locate the source of the leak

The first thing you need to do is find where your tire is leaking. When a tire leaks, it can be difficult to find the source of the problem. To test for air pressure loss and determine if there’s any leak you need to inflate your tire first.

If you’re not sure where your tire is leaking, spray it liberally with 20% soap and 80% water. Bubbles indicate the location of any leaks! Use pliers to pull out any nails or screws that are causing this problem.

*A note about soap: Don’t use laundry detergent because this will make plugging harder when completed*

2. Ream Out the Hole

Ream the tire hole 4-5 times IN- OUT

When you have a small puncture, use your T-handle reaming tool to widen it and roughen up the inner surface for plugs. Then pull out that bad boy! If not yet round or uniform enough after these steps are done just keep going until they are – there’s no need at all in worrying about how much longer we’ll be using these tools here 🙂

When the hole is too small for your reaming tool, use a hand-held drill with an appropriate size bit.

3. Clean the area around the leak

Before we plug and patch any tire, it is necessary to clean up all of your tools and materials. There may be some debris on the rim or on the ground that will interfere with this process.

After you’ve thoroughly cleaned everything, check back over to make sure that there aren’t any pieces of debris or pieces of other tires that could be dragged into your work area and potentially create more leaks.

4. Plug the leak with a rubber strip from your rubber plugging kit

The Rubber Strip Needs To be Centered before you start

Make sure you have all of your tools and materials ready to go before you start this process.

Small puncture: You can use a long, thin piece of rubber (1/4″ x 12″) to fix the leak if it is less than 1/2″ in diameter.

Make sure you cut off enough length of your internal rubber strip so that there’s still some extra rubber.

This will help to make sure that there is a large enough area of material to be compressed and create a good seal as the tire takes on pressure again.

It is important to coat the entire plug strip in tire sealing cement, then do the same with the hole in the tire.

How to Insert the Plug Strip

Push the strip slowly into the hole – Not all the way

Once you’ve applied the tire sealant, insert the plug strip into your tire.

Don’t forget about that excess rubber – if placed correctly, it should stick out on either side of the hole.

Rubber Strip with tire sealant applied
If the rubber strip is inserted correctly it should look like this

Insert the plugging tool into your tire’s hollow area and push in the rubber strip until about an inch sticks out. 
If it looks like in the image you are done and you can slowly pull and remove the plugging tool.

5. Inflate the tire and check for leaks

Inflate the tire and check for any air leaks

Inflate the tire to its proper pressure and give it a quick visual inspection. If everything looks good, you can insert your tire pressure gauge and check for leaks.

Add some water solution to your tire’s surface and check for bubbles. If the area remains dry, that means that you’ve plugged and fixed your flat tire successfully!

6. Trim the Plug

Cut any remaining excess rubber strip -  as much as possible

When it comes time to remove the excess rubber strip, just cut off the extra length with some scissors. Keep the inside of your tire clean and clear of debris so it can last as long as possible.

Since you’ve come this far, why not give yourself a pat on the back for doing such a good job! Now that you know how to plug and fix a leaky tire with a tire plugging kit, you’ll be prepared for those unexpected punctures and be back on the road in no time.

Make sure to visit your local mechanic as soon as possible They’ll take a look at it and let you know what kind of damage was done.

This is a simple five-step process that just about anyone can do with the right tools and materials.

Until next time, keep on pluggin’!  



Where to buy a tire plugging kit?

Tire plugging kits can be found at most car and bike repair shops. You might also be able to find them at your local hardware store. If you are not in a hurry simply order one online.

What is a tire plug kit made of?

A tire plug kit consists of several different parts, including an internal rubber strip, a metal reamer tool with a T-handle, a hole repair tool, and some tire sealant. The sealant dries black and helps prevent further leaks from occurring inside the tire after it has been plugged.

Why do you need to seal the tire?

Before you plug the hole in your tire with a rubber strip, it is important that you coat the entire surface of the rubber in tire sealing cement. This helps to ensure that there are no leaks and your tire is good to go!

What is rubber sealing cement?

Rubber sealing cement is an adhesive that works to stick the rubber plugging strip onto the inside of your tire and create a solid seal against any leaks.

What is a rubber plugging strip?

A rubber plugging strip is a long, thin strip of rubber that comes inside your tire plugging kit. Its purpose is to be inserted into your tire and have an airtight seal against the inside of your tire’s rim.

How do you ream out a hole?

Reaming out a hole refers to making it larger so that the plugging strip sticks out more on both sides of the opening. You can use your manual or electric drill to bore out the puncture and make it larger.
Make sure to use a sharp object to remove any debris from your puncture. This will ensure that there is enough space for the plugging strip to be inserted into your tire and create a solid, airtight seal around it.

How to plug a tire without a plug kit?

You can always use a solid rubber plug to accomplish the same task. Just make sure that it is at least as long as your puncture and has a diameter that’s slightly smaller than the hole itself.

Can you plug a tire sidewall?

You should never plug a tire sidewall. A puncture on your tire’s sidewall usually means that something has come in contact with the inner lining and caused some serious damage. Check with your mechanic but it’s probably time for a new set of tires.Puncture Repair Zone

Are tire plugs safe?

If the plugging strip is inserted correctly and the tire has been properly cleaned out, you should be in good shape! Just make sure that you avoid any sharp edges, debris and other foreign objects when you’re working with your tire.

How much does it cost to plug a tire?

Tire plugging kits are quite affordable, ranging from $10 to $30. Also, it’s important to remember that tire damage is usually caused by something other than a flat tire. The average price of a new tire ranges from $100 to $300.

Can you plug a truck tire?

sure that your puncture is large enough to accommodate it and the sealing cement has been applied well so there are no leaks.

How close to the sidewall can you plug a tire?

Your puncture should always be at least 1.5 inches away from the sidewall of your tire or else you risk damaging it! If you don’t have a plugging kit available, try using a solid rubber plug instead.

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