Tire Plug, Tire Patch, Or Tire Sealant | Which One Is Better?

Last updated on November 16th, 2023 at 12:49 pm

tire plug

If you have knowledge about tire repair and maintenance, then you have an idea about tire plug, tire patch, and different types of tire repair tools. Even though all of these tools have the same purpose of fixing a tire, however, all of them are different and used for different purposes.

If you have ever wondered how to decide on the right tire repairing tool, then worry not, in this article we will talk all about these tools and how you can choose for yourself the best repairing tool. We will also guide you on how to use these tools so you can fix your tire on your own and get back on your track. 

What Is Tire Plug

Tire plugs are rubber pieces that use for covering the hole in the tire tread. it goes from the outside of the tire onto the hole and covers the hole with rubber. By using tire plugs, you can repair as many nail holes as you can on the tire. 

What Is Tire Patch

Tire patches come as a sticker, to stick on the tire’s damaged area. They are made of leather, which covers a bigger hole than tire plugs. The process of patching a tire is quite complicated and required other tools to effectively execute the process of tire repair. 

What Is Tire Sealant

Compared to the above two tools, this tool of tire repair is different. Tire sealants use for temporarily moving your car to the mechanic, it is not a permanent fix. Even after applying tire sealants, you have to fix the hole rather by using a plug or patch.

Tire sealants are a liquid formula prepared by mixing chemicals that give a layer of support after soaking. The sealant went through the valve stem of the tire and cover the damaged area so that in the middle of the road if you want a quick fix to drag your car to the repair shop, you could easily do that. 

How To Choose The right One

It totally depends on the size of the damage. If the hole is of a small nail or rock, then a tire plug will be a good response. They are perfect to fix small holes and plugging a tire is a quick process. 

However, if the hole is wider and deeper, then tire patching is a better response to that. Unlike tire plugs, tire patches have the ability to cover a wider area of the tread, which stops the tire from leaking air from the corners of the holes.

And when you are in a hurry or have a shorter distance to cover, tire sealants will also work for you. Although plug and patch should always consider before sealant, however in an emergency sealants can be a good resource that is quick and cover around 50 miles. 

When To Avoid Any of These

If you find a hole or slash on your sidewalls or even if the whole is larger than ¼ of the inch, then you should avoid using any of these tools. Replacing a tire is the better way to deal with this type of situation, which is safe and provides more mental peace than the everyday worry of blowing out of a tire. 

Which is the most durable repair

As tire sealant is a temporary fix, they are the least durable repair. Sealants last for about 50 miles and use just to reach the repair station. On the other hand plug and patch, both are durable enough to stick on tires until the end of that tire’s life. 

Repairing tires yourself

Tire repairing is sometimes quite complicated as it seems. For repairing tires correctly, you require different tools and skills to safely drive your car. Tire sealants and plugs are comparably easier to use, and you can use them by yourself. However, patching a tire requires skills, knowledge, and different tools to fully execute the process, which is why we recommend, for patching, taking assistance from professionals for safer driving. 

When does a tire not repairable

  • If the hole is wider than 6mm
  • When the hole or slash on the sidewalls
  • If the tire age is nearly 3/32 of the tread left
  • If the puncture is very close to the already plugged area
  • When the tire is unattachable with wheels

Methods To apply

Tire Plug

To repair a tire with plugs, you required a rasp tool or screwdriver, glue or adhesive, and an insertion tool. First, take out the nail and other objects that damaged the tire. Second use the rasp tool to make a clear way for the plug to get in. Third use the glue and adhesive that comes with a tool and put the plug into the eye of the insertion tool and put the tool in from the eye side. After leaving a little plug outside, take out the tool with force to keep the plug inside, That is it. 

Tire Patch

For patching a tire you need a buffer tool, adhesive and vulcanizing fluids, sometimes heat or fire, and a patch. First, you need to clear the area, then apply fluids, and wait for 5-10 minutes, after soaking, then put a patch on the hole. After doing that drag the patch with a scale or some blade to remove the bubbles and stick it properly on the tire. 

Tire Sealant

Using a tire sealant is very straightforward, first, remove the inner valve stem with a valve remover tool, then connect the pipe of sealant with the stem, and push the button to start putting sealant onto the tire. After that remove the pipe and put back the valve stem, then drive the car to make sure the sealant has spread all over the tire. 

Final Words

Tire repairing has many different ways to fix the puncture, however, all of them use for different purposes. If you are unfamiliar with the tools or the way of using them, then we would recommend you first look and learn from professionals before experimenting with your tires, because any error can create a big mess on the road.

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