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How to Easily Patch a Tire Hole

If you discover a nail or other object in your tire, you might not need to replace it. If it’s still in good condition and the puncture occurred in a repairable area, you might be able to patch it. The process of patching a tire is relatively simple, and something just about anyone can do in a few minutes.

If you’ve found yourself with a hole in one of your tires, keep reading!

Today, we’re sharing how to easily patch a tire hole in your tire. Let’s get started and get you back on the road!

What Is a Tire Hole?

There are limitless possibilities for what type of object might puncture one of your tires. We’ve seen many nails and staples, but hitting any blunt object at a higher rate of speed can cause a hole in one of your tires.

The difficult thing about tire holes is that you might not notice them immediately. A small nail could cause a leak in the tire which could take a day or two before your car alerts you or you notice the tire looking low. This is why it’s crucial to regularly examine your tires and check your tire pressure.

How Do You Temporarily Plug a Tire?

There are a variety of sealants available that you can use to plug a tire temporarily. One of the most popular options is an aerosol sealant that contains foam or liquid. You connect the aerosol can to your tire, and the sealant fills the tire’s interior. As your tire moves, it coats and seals its interior, which prevents it from leaking.

This is only a temporary fix and should only be considered during an emergency. You’ll want to get your tire to a repair shop as soon as possible. However, this method can get you back on the road in minutes and can require no additional tools.

Man patching tire with tire plug kit
Easily patch your tire at home with a tire plug kit.

How Do You Patch a Hole In a Tire at Home? 

You’re going to need a tire plug kit. Most local car part stores will sell these kits, and you’ll typically see them for $10 to $15. One of the most popular brands of kits is from the well-known tire repair company, Slime.

Once you have the kit, you’ll need to remove the tire from your vehicle. If you can remove the object from your tire, go ahead and do so. You’ll then need to use the tools included with the kit to push through the tire. This will help ensure the hole is the appropriate size for the plug and that it will seal correctly. If the hole is too big, you’re not going to be able to patch it, and you’ll need to replace the tire.

After pushing the tool through the hole, mount the patch strips onto the set tool. Put some of the sealant that came with the kit into the hole and on the strip. The strip will slide through and center on the set tool. Push the tip of the setting tool through the hole until the strip folds upwards toward your hand. Make sure not to push the strip through the tire. Remove the set tool and fill the tire to the proper PSI.

With the tire at the proper PSI, look and listen for air leaks. You can use a spray bottle to look for air bubbles that indicate a leak. If all is good, you can clip off the extra patch pieces, so they’re flush with the rest of the tire tread.  

Pro Tip: Can’t repair the hole in your tire and need to use your spare tire for a while? This is How Long You Can Drive on a Spare Tire.

Large hole in tire.
If the hole in your tire is too big, you will need to replace it.

Can You Use Gum to Patch a Tire?

Bubble gum may be sticky, but it’s not a good patch for a tire. It may do the job for a few seconds, but it will not be sticky enough to withstand the weight of the car and the road conditions.

There have been several who have tried this experiment with smaller bike tires and failed. If you’re worried about a flat tire, it’s best to make sure you have a spare tire or a sealant kit available in your car.

Can You Patch a Tire While Still on Car?

If you can’t remove your tire from the car, you can still patch the tire in some cases. You’ll need to rotate the tire to access the object that is puncturing it. Once you can remove the object, the process is the same as if the tire was off your vehicle.

Push the plug through the hole and remove the plug set tool. Air up the tire and look for any leaks. This will likely get you by until you can get to the shop and replace the tire.

Pro Tip: We uncovered Do You Need to Rotate RV Tires Regularly to make your car maintenance easier.

Is It Worth Patching a Tire on Your Own?

We always recommend having a professional do the job.

Your tires play a pivotal role in keeping you safe while traveling down the highway. You want to ensure that they are in top-notch condition to avoid any issues. However, many tire shops will often patch tires for free. 

Places like Discount Tires will often repair the tire for free and encourage you to return to them the next time you need tires. These tire service stations will only repair tires if they’re safe. If they’re not willing to repair them, there’s a good chance it’s time to replace them.

Have you ever had to patch a tire? Tell us your experience in the comments.

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