Plugging a flat tire
Recommended only as a temporary fix for a flat tire; A tire plug is a simple way to fix a flat tire, as is a tire patch. Between patches and plugs, the controversy between expert mechanics is which would be more reliable. Essentially, both are meant to be only a temporary fix, to last a little longer than your spare “doughnut” tire. The more agreed on solution is to replace the flat tire, altogether with a new and more reliable one. As a part of your car care routine, you should inspect your tires for any nails and screws and be prepared to plug them right away, to avoid future problems.
To plug a tire you could buy a simple tire plug kit, which comes with the necessary tools and even a few extra plugs. These kits can be purchased at a local car repair parts store.
The first step to plugging a flat tire is to remove the tire, which you may have already done if you are driving around on your spare “doughnut” tire. In the case of a screw or a nail, you will first need to pull them out of the flat tire, using pliers.Fll the tire with air prior to plugging it. Then insert the tire plug tool (called the probe). The probe is like a screwdriver but the outside s more rough and jagged. The probe tool will make the hole slightly bigger and clean the hole at the same time. After the hole is cleaned you can leave the probe inside of it to prevent the air from leaking out. You can prepare t plug the tire hole now. Now you will use another tool which you will insert the plug through the hole at the end of the tool, kind of like threading a needle. Remove the probe and put the plug in place. Be sure to place the plug all the way into the hole. Then, the tool will come out but the plugs will stay. Trim off any excess plug that may be outside of the tire. If available, use some soapy water on the hole: if you see any bubbles that means there is still a leak. If you see no bubbles and feel confident that the tire is plugged properly, you can fill the tire with adequate amount of air. After plugging your tire, it is highly recommended that you bring your car or tire to a local car repair center and have the tire replaced with a more appropriate and safe tire, as plugs are only meant for use in temporary situations and are not reliable for long periods of time.
Remember that as part of your car care, you should keep a tire plugging kit stored securely in the trunk of your car. You may find this to be very useful in future situations.