How to Plug a Flat Tire: Repair the puncture hole by installing a tire plug and inflate the tire.
This project is continued from How to Plug a Flat Car Tire – Part 1.
Flat Car Tire Plug Repair Kit
This is the Victor plug repair kit. Note the puncture car tire hole at the red arrow:
The car tire puncture hole is cleaned with the rasp tool by drawing it back and forth several times to remove any dirt, mud or grease that would interfere with a clean bond between the tire rubber and tire plug:
The flat tire plug is woven cord coated in a sticky tar-like substance:
The tire plug is threaded through the eye of the needle tool, centered halfway as shown:
It takes a fair amount of force to press the needle tool and plug into the car tire. Press straight in, do not twist.
The tire plug is pressed about 2/3rds of the way into the car tire, then the needle tool is forcefully drawn straight out to set the plug. This was the hardest part and took a lot of muscle.
The car tire plug remains in the hole after the needle tool is withdrawn. The newly installed tire plug:
Cut the tire plug off roughly even with the tire tread:
A small portable air compressor is used to re-inflate the tire. It takes more than one tank of air to fully inflate the tire, so the compressor needs to be plugged in to the 120VAC outlet to do the job.
A portable air compressor that plugs into the cigarette lighter also works great:
Refer to your owner’s manual for the recommended tire inflation pressure – on my car, it’s 39 psi. Do not exceed the maximum tire pressure printed in raised letters on the sidewall.
Check the tire pressure with the gauge several times as you inflate the tire. Here I’m showing 42 psi on the tire pressure pencil gauge. I let out small amount of air to bring the pressure down to the recommended 39 psi.
The tire is now ready to be mounted back on the car.
Plugged Flat Car Tire Re-Balancing
It’s possible the tire plug can add enough weight that the tire needs to be rebalanced. I’ve never noticed a balancing problem with a plug repair nor has my plugged tires ever developed a vibration or flat spot that is characteristic of an unbalanced tire. However, if you notice a vibration that increases with speed or which happens at a specific speed range (it’s worse at a harmonic frequency), then have your tire rebalanced. While you’re at the repair shop with the tire off the car to have it rebalanced, you might as well have the tire patched-and-plugged professionally per the Rubber Manufacturers Association recommendations.
Press your thumb into the sidewall and note how firm the tire feels. Remember this for a quick check with your visual inspection to ensure the tire is holding air each time before you drive. If in doubt, confirm the tire pressure with the tire gauge when the tire is cold.
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