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7 Ways you can you plug a run flat tire

Can you plug a run flat tire

Can I plug a run flat tire? It is similar to asking if a run-flat tire can be repaired with a plug. Well, if you were to ask about a regular tire, the answer is yes. However, if you want to know if you can plug a run-flat tire or not, we are here with the right answer for you.

There is a way to plug a flat tire and repair it with a puncture in it, but it doesn’t work for all tires. So, if you read somewhere else that plugging a run-flat tire is not possible, they might be right. However, there is a way you can work around plugging a punctured run-flat tire if you have a mechanic that knows how to do it.

The truth is that a puncture can happen to any tire anywhere at any time. So, with a run-flat tire, they can move up some miles even when flat, but it might not last longer depending on the level of puncture to the car.

So, due to the rubber construction of the run-flat tire, it becomes quite hard and mostly ends up being unsuccessful in repairing the tire. Therefore, you have to think of getting a new tire if you ever get your run-flat tire punctured.

Should that be the end of the road for your tire even when it still has good tread and is still all new? You can try to plug the tire. Before we come to how you can do this for an effective result, what does plug tire mean?

Can you plug a run flat tire

What is a tire plug?

A tire plug is a sticky expandable object that you need to push into the damaged area of the tire from either outside or inside of the tire. The primary function of the plug is to shut out air from getting out of the tire. The question is, how safe and effective is the tire plug? Let’s find out.

Are the tire plugs bad?

Tire plugs are not bad only if you do the right thing with the run-flat-tire. Not all mechanical operators know the right way to plug a run-flat tire, which could lead to some unwanted situations. Sudden blowout is likely to occur if you don’t tire your plug rightly, and that is when you can say it is bad.

Also, it is never a long-lasting option, and one should consider changing the tire as soon as possible.

How to plug tire a run-flat tire?

With the information I am about to share with you, you can easily plug tire a run-flat tire yourself. You can do it all by yourself if you have the right tools.

Tools required

  • Carjack
  • Pliers
  • Spray bottle
  • Wire cutters
  • Tire plugging kit

The right materials needed for the task

  • Paper towels
  • Soap and water solution
  • Tire plug strips
  • Tire sealing cement

1. Locate the leaking point

Locate leaking on tire

You need to locate the leaking point on the tire before you can do anything. To do that, you need air to be in the tire as it is the best way to locate the area. So, you can have it in two ways. It is either you remove the tire from the car, or you don’t.

If you remove the tire from the car, it becomes easy to do as it is the best and easiest way to locate the spot. The second is lifting the car with a jack to ensure the tire is free to easily rotate for you to locate the leaking spot.

Either way, just ensure that you have a good sight of every area of the tire. Get a bowl of water with a little soap and pour the water on the tire while you watch to notice any sign of bubbles. You need the tire to be properly inflated to do this.

Rotate the tire around while you pour the solution on it, and you will easily spot the area where the leak takes place with the help of bubbles.

2. Ream out the hole

ream the tire hole

The next step here is for you to ream out the hole in the tire from the outside. However, doing this task from the outside for a run-flat tire is never as productive and efficient as you might think. So, it is best that you do it from the inside.

Doing it from the inside could be more tasking, but it is certainly worth the pain. You need to detach the rubber from the rim to access the inside of the tire to the outside. This should only be done when you have marked the leaking area, and you are sure of the initiating the reaming.

So, the reaming process involves you inserting the T-handle into the hole where the leak takes place. Once you jam the device, you need to work it up and down several times to prepare the place for plugging. Once the area is round, you are good at getting on to the next task.

4. Prepare the plug

preparing the plug

At this stage, most mechanical professionals make mistakes, and it ends up affecting how the tire performs after the repair. So, the best way to go about this is to take the plug strip and then thread it through the eyelet of the plug insertion tool.

You should get your tire sealant cement and insert the plug strip into it. Ensure it is properly immersed. You should do the same as well for the tire. Try and apply the tire sealant cement from the inside of the tire for run-flat tires and outside for regular tires.

5. Insert the plug strip

pushing plug into the tire

The next step is to slide the plug insertion tool slowly into the hole in the tire. You’ve got to press really hard to do that and harder, especially when you are doing it from inside the tire. When you finally plug in deeply, you should pull the handle of the plug insertion tool.

The insertion tool will come out while the plug will remain in the tire.

6. You should inflate the tire again

inflate tire

Once you have done that, you should inflate the tire again and take your observation on what you have done. Once you inflate the tire, you should go on with the next task: getting rid of the excess plug on the tire.

7. Trim the plug

trim the plug

So, you should trim the strip on the tire using a sharp blade or knife. Once you have done that, you can go on to inspect the tire, the first step we started with. You should inflate with the right psi and then pour the soap substance on the area to observe.

You should see no trace of a bubble this time, as the plug should completely block out any form of space for air to escape.

Read also:

Who to call when you have a flat tire?

How often should tires be rotated

How far can you drive on a flat tire?

How does a tire plug work?

The primary role of the plug is to help cover up the leaking space from the tire and ensure no air gets out from inside the tire. It looks like magic, but it is not. The little strip can really do that task efficiently. You just need to get the size that will work well for the hole in your tire.

Once you push the plug into the tire with the help of the insertion tool, you just need to pull the tool out while the eyelet allows it to slide free for the plug to remain in the tire. Then it shut out air from getting out of the tire.

How to plug a tire from the outside?

If you want to plug a tire from the outside, you sure need to first locate the point of leak. Once you have located the leaking point, you can ream the area to prepare it for plugging. So, once that is done, you can go ahead to prepare the plug.

Insert it into the eyelet of the plug insertion tool. Then you should forcefully push the insertion tool into the tire and then pull it out to leave the plugin on the tire.

How to plug a tire without a plug kit?

The only way you can do this is to push the plug into the hole using the jammer you used in reaming the tire. It doesn’t look to be safe considering the method. However, if you can patch the tire thereafter, you can have a rest of mind by plugging the tire that way.

How to plug a tire sidewall?

There is no magic or any special way to plug the tire sidewall. You sure need to locate the leaking area too. Once you do that, you should ream, prepare the plug by inserting in the sealant and then insert into the tire from the sidewall.

You need to ensure that the hole is not too big for what a plug can cover. Once you ream, you can easily detect the numbers of plugs you can use to block out the punctured area.

How long to wait after plugging the tire?

You can get to use your tire immediately after you plug it in. You don’t have to wait for hours for anything. I have plugged my car several times, and I set out immediately whenever I get through with it. I have to witness that the plug gets to blend with the level of the tread as time goes on.

So, if the plugging is done in the right way, you should be able to drive your car straightaway. However, leaving the car so that a tire gets used on a foreign body is never a bad thing to do either. Trust me; you don’t want to sit and watch when you have somewhere to go.

How long can you drive on a tire with a plug in it?

You can go as far as you want with a plugin on your tire. The truth is that the plug gets to blend with the tire’s tread and then makes it quite hard for a blowout to occur. It even gets stronger when you apply sealing material to the plug during insertion. So, with a plugin for your tire, you can still use it to cover, on average, 5000 miles.

Is plugging a tire a good idea?

If you consider its safety, I will tell you that plugging is not a good idea because if it is not done properly, you can easily experience blowouts on the highway. However, for those who are conservative like me, plugging a tire is a good idea.

For instance, I just got a new tire, and then the next day, I noticed the tire went flat due to a puncture. I had no option but to settle for plugging, but I ensured it was done properly. Inspecting the tire before use is all you need to do.

Can you drive a car with a plugged tire?

Yes, there is nothing wrong or at stake with driving a car with a plugged tire. You can only be safety cautious, and that is only when you are not sure of the status or effectiveness of the plugin for the tire. Once you have your inspection and you are sure it is perfect, you can drive to any length.

How much does a plug-in tire cost?

The price of plugging a tire is not the same in all states. Also, the price a mechanic will charge will be different from the price another will charge you. However, you should not spend

Do tire plugs come out?

I have never experienced a tire plug coming out from the tire. So, I can tell you that they don’t come out of the tire. Remember you have to apply a sealant that will hold the other side of the plugin the interior part of the tire while you have to cut or trim the remaining part from outside the tire.

Do I need a new tire if I have a nail in it?

You can never jump to conclude that you need a new tire all because you have a nail in it. You need to get your car to a mechanic to inspect the degree of the damage. If it can be repaired through plugging, you don’t need a new tire.

If the hole or the degree of damage is high, then you should settle for a new tire.

Is it better to plug a tire or patch it?

Either of the two works fine with repairing a tire. However, I will consider having the two to make it stronger and more reliable. You can patch the leaking area and plug it to ensure that there is no chance of a blowout occurring in the punctured place.

Is a tire plug a permanent fix?

It depends on what you mean by permanent. Inserting a plug in the tire doesn’t mean the tire is back to its previous state or condition. No, one should only use a plugged tire for a few miles and get a replacement as fast as possible.

Can I plug a tire twice?

Plugging a tire once is not safe not to talk of doing it twice. For safety reasons, it is never a good thing to do. So, I would suggest you get a new tire and dispose of anyone you have plugin it already.

Can you patch a BMW run-flat tire?

Yes, you can patch a run-flat BMW tire as long as the damage is not the type that has caused total deflation of the tire.

Can you plug a tire yourself?

Yes, you can do that whole task of plugging a tire yourself. Indeed, it saves you the money you have to pay a professional mechanic to fix the tire for you. You just need to get the right tools, and then you are good to go.

Can you plug a run-flat tire Mercedes?

Most of the run-flat tires are designed with reinforced sidewalls, which makes the tire easy for one to drive for some miles without air. So, while some run-flat tires can be plugged in, you can try the same with the run-flat tires from Mercedes, and you just need to ensure you patch the tire over the plug for a good result.


This page is a comprehensive one on how can you plug a run flat tire yourself or what to expect from it. If your tire ever gets punctured, you should not just give up on it and dispose of the tire. You should consider plugging the tire instead of throwing it away. We have the whole process explained on this page, and we hope you find it easy to do.