How Long Does A Tire Plug Last?

Plugging the tire is a budget-friendly solution to a flat tire. Most people prefer to have a $20 to $40 fix than to spend a couple hundred dollars on a medium-quality tire. But, how long does a tire plug last? Does it pose any safety threat and cause an accident?

How Does The Plug Work?

Plugging a hole in a car is a simple solution to a bigger problem. If any of your car tires is struggling with holding air despite being inflated regularly, it must have a leak somewhere. Plug repair seems to be a logical approach to fill that leakage.

The process involves covering short strips of leather with a sticky, unvulcanized rubber compound and insert them into the holes. One strip is enough for sealing one chink or slit.

how long can you drive on a plugged tire
The repair will last for years.


A plug creates an airtight seal in the inner liner of the tire. It fills the said rupture and creates a strong seal to prevent from being forced out by the air pressure.

How Long Does A Tire Plug Last?

Plugging seems to be a temporary fix and you will hear many warnings against it. In fact, it is illegal for commercial vehicles and many repair shops don’t offer this service. Some mechanics will advise you against it and suggest for a tire change.

However, the truth is there is nothing to be worried about a plugged tire as long as you have done the repair the right way. What the mechanics need to do is to vulcanize the hole from the inside and then rebalance the tire.

So, how long does a tire plug last? According to tire experts, a plugged tire can last from 7 to 10 years. In fact, it will outlast the tire’s lifespan unless there is another puncture.

How long does a patched tire last? The answer is same as long as the repair is done correctly. However, it is not safe to plug or patch a tire more than once because it may lead to blowouts.

What Are The Safety Risks Of Plugging?

Plugging a tire is more or less a safe method. How long can you drive on a plugged tire? Indefinitely until the tire expires or pick up another puncture.

But, the process has to be done by demounting the tire from the rim. Also, a mechanic has to examine the inside of the tire. However, you should not choose to plug in these conditions:

1. When The Puncture Is Big

A plug can seal only small holes, which are not bigger than 1/4 inches in diameter. Go for the repair only if the puncture is small and is on the tread of the tire.

how long does a tire plug last
Demount the tire when fixing

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2. If The Hole Is Near The Sidewall

How long does a tire plug last? Not long if you do it to close up a puncture near the sidewall. To be precise, if the slit is within an inch of either sidewall, just change the tire. This area of the tires flexes much when you drive the vehicle, causing the plug to be pushed out eventually.

3. When The Sidewalls Are Damaged

It happens when you drive on a flat tire more than a few hundred yards. If any of the sidewalls is worn out or there is a huge amount of rubber dust inside the tire, discard it and install a new tire.