Are DIY tire repair kits ok for permanent repairs on small punctures?


Well-known member
I use them for on the side of the road if I don't want to pop the spare on or my lawn mower.

If I can (which is most of the time) I throw the spare on and drop off the tire with a leak at a tire shop. They do the dismount and patch on the inside.


Well I'll just do the plug fix regardless. Seems like the concern isn't catastrophic failure but maybe a slow failure of the plug leading to a slow leak or back to the original leak. That's fine and I doubt I'll have any issue with such a small puncture on a new tire, on a pretty lightly driven Outback. Will report back if I find otherwise. Thanks all.


Well-known member
is there any reason not to repair this myself?
Plug kits were designed to work with bias ply tires, todays radial tires require the full patch inside the tire.
Your best bet for an answer, email the manufacturer of your tires, on the internet you just get opinions, mine included.

But it might affect your warranty so best to be dilligent.


Engineer In Residence
The only difference with a belted radial, is that the proper reamer (which is part of the kit) needs to be used to open up the belt enough for the plug to get through.


That kit probably duplicates a lot of stuff you already carry and therefore takes up too much space.

I bought this one.

Yep, exact one I carry


ARB kit arrived. Looks stout. But I still have the question of how permanent can these repairs be on a typical nail or small bolt puncture? The kit and most online sources say these are temporary fixes only, go see a repair shop for a permanent fix. But every time I've ever had a shop repair a puncture it sure looked to me like they were just plugging the hole with a small rubber strand like the ones in these kits.
I’ve run them permanent. The verbiage is just for liability reasons. If for some reason the plug fails they font want to be liable.


and there it is, another guy trolling for the answer he wants.

Thanks for the positive contribution.

Yes, I am taking in all the various pieces of information I'm receiving, here, on other similar discussions, on the repair kit instructions, and processing it through my own experiences and expectations. I like to think it's the application of a practical review process, not trolling for the answers I want. :rolleyes: I know there is a potential for the repair to fail, but I also know it won't fail catastrophically, it will almost certainly fail by returning to the state it was in at the time of the repair, a slow leak. Because I carry both a spare and an air pump at all times, I'm pretty sure I can save myself if that ever happens, and get the tire into a repair shop for a "proper" patch. In the meantime I'm going to be testing the practicality of my intuition here. Is that ok?
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Engineer In Residence
If someone here has had a plug patch fail in a dangerous way, by all means post it up. I would bet there is zero, or nearly zero events. Thus there is no need to worry about the efficacy of the plug patch method.


Well-known member
If someone here has had a plug patch fail in a dangerous way, by all means post it up. I would bet there is zero, or nearly zero events. Thus there is no need to worry about the efficacy of the plug patch method.

As long as it's not something like a dicey sidewall repair requiring lots of wire stitching & prayer, I don't see it happening.

Reminds me a person that refused to air down their tyres for relatively slow, off-road driving since he was certain that it would quickly lead to a blowout ... but no one could point to an example of that occurring.
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PV Hiker

One tip when installing a plug... Done well it will last the life of the tire.

  • Put more air in the tire than your running.
  • Place the tire so laying on the ground for rear you have a good angle to push well. (most nails are in the rear tire as the front tire flips it up and the rear gets stabbed)
  • Front tire turn the wheel to face tire outside the wheel well with the nail on the upper part of the tire. You get more force pushing down while standing.
  • Pull the nail and run the reamer in and out and leave it in.
  • Have the plug in the tool and lube the tip.
  • Pull reamer and push in plug to desired stick out. Pull out tool.
  • Adjust air pressure. Next morning readjust cold pressure.
  • The stick out will just wear away, no need to trim

Done well it will last the life of the tire. DaveM If you are uncomfortable you can always have a tire shop remove it and patch from the inside. Done well it will last the life of the tire.
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New member
I'd done more than i can count back when I was a dealer tech, have a shop now but don't really do this sort of thing. I was always weary but still trusted them and used them myself. September of 2018 I was finally able to put any doubts to rest for good.

We borrowed my dads 08 Boxster and were camping around northeast Canada for 2 weeks, my parents did similar for their honeymoon in a Fiat X1/9 40 years earlier. Every couple nights we stayed in an airbnb if that was more convenient than camping, one was down a very rocky road and sure enough we slashed a sidewall on the way in. This was saturday AM of memorial day weekend so virtually no one was open.

Canadian tire didn't have a single tire in the size we needed in the country but they could "overnight" night one on tuesday and hope to have it by thursday for an extra 100-150 bucks on top of a tire that was going to cost double what it would in the US.

After exhausting every other option we decided to try a plug ( and after service station we stopped at finally found one to sell us).. one didn't hold.. screw it throw a second in, OMG it is holding. Drove a few miles, checked, good.. repeat a half dozen times. Went for a hike (down a dirt road), checked, all good.. back to airbnb and to bed, wake up, held pressure overnight!

Ended up doing 2k miles on the double sidewall plug before we could get to the Porsche dealer in Portland who was able to order us 2 tires at a reasonable price.


Active member
To the original question, I've plugged many tired before and never had a single issue.

Can even plug the tire while it's still on the car if you can find the hole.

Quick 5 minute job, use lots of the included rubber cement and leave about an inch of plug rope thing. When you drive on it, it will squish it down making an even better seal.

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