You can easily repair your tires by plugging them. But is rubber cement necessary while plugging a tire? Can you do the repair without it? Let’s find out.
Tires play an important role while driving vehicles on roads. But sometimes, while driving, various sharp objects on roads like a nail or a piece of glass or a razor blade may puncture your tires and cause them to lose all the air. There are multiple ways to repair a tire, like plugging, patching, or a combination of both plugging and patching on tires.
Plugging is one of the quickest and easiest methods to repair tires. In this method, you can repair your tires without removing the tire from your vehicle. Most car owners prefer to keep plugging kits in their cars to use them in an emergency.
You will find various types of plugging kits in the market, like with some kits with rubber cement while others have only glue.
One question that we often hear on forums and comments sections is: “Is rubber cement necessary while plugging a tire?” Yes, it’s essential because the rubber cement acts as a lubricant and helps in a better way to get the plug inside the crack or hole in the tire. Consequently, you will have a better seal, and your tire will be able to run on the roads. This article focuses more on plugging tires. So, continue reading this article for more information.
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How Do You Fix a Leaking Tire Plug?
You may encounter flat tires while moving your vehicle on the road. You can quickly repair your tire with the help of a plug kit. If you have never plugged a tire by yourself, you need to follow the below steps to learn how to use a tire plug kit.
#1. Buy A Tire Plug Kit
You can easily get a tire plug kit from various online stores. The tire plug kit consists of a rasp and plug tool, plugs, rubber cement, and utility blade. You may also need pliers to remove the object from your tire.
The reamer tool is a file you need to clean the hole or the spot from where the air is leaking so that the plug can fit tightly and make a good bond with the tire. In that kit, you will see rubber strips which are a bit sticky. They are known as plugs. You will find rubber cement in the plug kit, which is pretty essential for successful plugging.
#2.Detect Leak From Your Tire
If you observe a flat tire on your vehicle, first detect the spot where the air is leaking. You can easily see the spot where the nail or screw has made its way into your tire. You can use pliers to remove the nail or screw from your tires. Sometimes it’s hard for you to find the spot even after rotating the tire of your vehicle. If you face such an issue, take an air compressor and fill your tire with air.
Once you observe that the tires on your vehicle are pressurized, remove the air compressor from the car and secure the vehicle on a jack stand by keeping the parking brake in condition.
Now take a spray bottle and fill it with soapy water. Then spray the soapy water on all parts of the tire, including valve stem, sidewalls, rim, and opening after removing the cap.
The pressurized air will try to escape from a tiny hole. As the air escapes, it will create bubbles in the soapy fluid. Observing the bubbles lets you know that this is the spot from where the air is leaking, and it needs immediate repair.
#3.Ream The Edges
You can use the reamer tool to clean the edges of the leaking hole. It will surely enhance the adhesion of the rubber tire plug. But if your plugger kit does not have a reamer tool, you may use the tip portion of the plug insertion tool to clean the leaking hole.
Once you clean the hole, it’s time to insert the plug. Take one plug strip and insert it on one end of the plugging tool. It may involve some twisting movement.
You need to apply some rubber cement into the plug before inserting it into the leaking hole in your tire. The cement helps in lubricating the plug, and after some time, it dries and creates a bond with the tire to have an airtight seal.
After applying the rubber cement, push the plug inside the hole. But you need to stop pushing until the plug is three by four inches outside of the plug.
#5. Pull The Tool Out
Now your plug has been inserted into the leaking hole at a proper depth. So you need to take out the tool from the plugin in a very gentle way. You have to do a bit of twisting to release the rubber strip entirely from the tool.
#6. Check The Leakage Of Tire Once Again
You have to inflate the tire to design air pressure and check for air leakage with soapy water. If you still find any leaks, you need to repeat the process or opt for other repairing methods of the tire.
Frequently Answered Questions
#1. What is the rubber cement for in a tire plug kit?
The rubber cement in the tire plug kit acts as an excellent adhesive to the leaking hole of the tire. But after opening the tube for the first time, it dries out. So you cannot use it for the second time. It proves the importance of rubber cement in plugging a tire.
#2. Can you use rubber cement on car tires?
You can apply the rubber cement directly on the rough surface of the tire and wait until it becomes tacky. You can also use the rubber cement in patches.
#3. How long does rubber cement take to dry on a tire plug?
Rubber cement will dry in two to three minutes if the outside weather is sunny dry weather. But if you have applied a thick coat, then it may take fifteen minutes to dry.
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Sometimes you notice flat tires on your vehicle, and there is no tire shop nearby. So plugging a tire is the best way to repair a tire in an emergency. The tire plug kit is also affordable. It will cost you between $10 to $20.
I will say it’s safe to drive a plugged tire, but it’s not a permanent fix. The plugs do not fill the void. As a result, water may enter inside the tires and corrode the steel belts. Again if you have poorly installed the plugs, then it will dry out with time. So try to check your tires in a local tire shop if you have repaired tires with a plugging kit.
However, if the leak hole on your tire is more than one-fourth inch or 6mm, it’s not advisable to use a plugging kit to repair the tire. If you face such issues, then you may need to replace the whole tire. Furthermore, you should not use plugs on the sidewalls or treads of your tire.
I hope this article is informative and please don’t forget to share suggestions for this article. I would love to read your suggestions in the comment section.