Is it Safe to Plug a Flat Tire?

by Tiffany Bennett

Flat tires are inconvenient at best and dangerous at worst. How do you know if the plug in your tire is safe to drive on? There are a few guidelines about plugging tires that can help you find out.

Proper Plugs

The reliability of the plug in your tire depends greatly on the method your mechanic used to plug it. To plug a tire correctly, the mechanic must remove the tire and plug it from the inside using a strong adhesive. The plug has a mushroom-type head that allows it to adhere to the tire from the inside.

Poorly Installed Plugs

However, mechanic shops will sometimes plug a tire from the outside by filling the hole with glue and inserting a plug without a head. Although they are often helpful for getting you home after a flat tire, they do not meet standards for tire plugs.

Guidelines for Tire Plugging

Tires can have up to three properly installed plugs before they need to be replaced, provided that none of the plugs is on the side of the tire.

Temporary Solution

Improperly plugged tires should not be used as a permanent solution, because they can cause more serious problems later.

Exceptions

Many people do, in fact, drive for years on improperly plugged tires with no problem.

About the Author

Tiffany Bennett is a recent graduate from Toccoa Falls College. While earning her degree in counseling and psychology, she discovered that she enjoys various forms of writing. She is currently living in Athens, Ga., and looking forward to beginning a graduate degree program in international affairs at the University of Georgia.

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