Introduction: How to Plug a Tire
Follow these steps to plug a hole in your tire. I live in a new housing development which leaves me prone to picking up nails and screws often. This would get mighty expensive if it weren't for the ability to patch them myself. Please keep in mind this is a how to guide, not a certified repair process. I assume no liability for damage to your vehicle as a result of this instructable.
Step 1: Gather Tools and Supplies
To complete this task you will need:
> Tire Plug Kit
> Impact Wrench with Proper Size Impact Socket (or tire iron)
> Torque Wrench
> Valve Stem Tool
> Air Chock
> Razor Blade
> Vehicle Jack
Step 2: Remove Tire
Begin by using your vehicle jack to lift your vehicle high enough to ensure you can remove the tire. Use safe lifting points, and never crawl under the vehicle if it is only supported by a hand jack. If you wish to perform other services at the same time. please support the vehicle on a jack stand.
Using your impact wrench ( or tire iron) and appropriately sized impact socket, remove the wheel lugs that hold the tire to the vehicle. Keep these lugs in a safe place so that you can re-attach the tire later.
Step 3: Locate Leak
Sometimes you will be able to find your leak just by looking around your tire. When this is the case you'll often find that this process will move along quite quickly. If you cannot easily see a problem, you may employ a bit of soapy water in a spray bottle. Once you spray your tire with this solution you will eventually find an area that bubble up, and will be the source of your leak. Once you have found the puncture use your pliers to remove it, and discard the offending item so that it will not cause trouble again.
Step 4: Remove Valve Stem Core
Using your valve stem tool, remove the valve stem core of the tire so that it deflates. This will allow the tire to give and accept the plug. Be very careful not to loose the valve stem core, as your tire will not hold air without it.
Step 5: Ream Hole
This step is very important as it prepares the puncture site for the incoming plug. Your tire patch kit will have a reamer, use this by inserting it into the puncture site and twisting as you push and pull on the reamer.
Step 6: Insert Patch
This is the fun part! Your kit will come with contact cement, a plug holder, and plugs. You will need all three for this step. Before you apply the contact cement, get your plug out and insert it into the tool as seen here. You may choose to cut the plug in half so that you can stretch the number of patches on kit can do. Now that you have the plug in the tool its time to apply the contact cement to the site. This is used to lubricate the hole so that the patch enters easily. Now you will need to push the patch in using your tool. This should go in with firm pressure. Make sure you follow the direction of the puncture channel. Once you have inserted the patch, pull the tool back out of the puncture cavity and you will see the plug is still stuck in place.
Step 7: Trim Plug
Using your razor blade carefully trim the excess plug that is left exposed on the tire. Be sure not to slash your tread, or that will make matters worse.
Step 8: Re-Install Tire
Using the socket, hand thread your lugs on as far as you can get them. This will help to prevent cross threaded studs, which will make it nearly impossible to install or remove a tire in the future. Once the lugs are hand tight, Use the air chock connected to your air line and fill your tire to the rated fill pressure. Remove your vehicle jack and place the vehicle back on the pavement. Finally, use your torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts to the manufacturer rated specifications. Good luck! Happy Patching!
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