Pro-quality tire plug kit

Originally published at: Pro-quality tire plug kit | Boing Boing

I find that my plastic handled Victor plug kit works just fine in the summertime, but it has trouble in the wintertime. Then I applied a heat gun to the tire and all my problems disappeared.
Rubber gets very stiff in cold weather. Ask any rocket scientist.

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I remember the last time I had an unexpected flat tire




Dammit, Janet! I’m not sure how useful the kit is for the average driver, but in almost 6 decades of driving I can’t think of a single time when I would have used one.

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Back when I was a motorcycle courier, I used a product called Oko Tyre Sealant. It was a viscous goo that was squeezed into the tyre when it was new, and sloshed around in there for the life of the tyre.

If I picked up a screw I would just pull it out and some Oko would dribble out and seal the hole.

Then when it was time for a new tyre, my tyre guy would always delight in showing me the bits of random metal that had made it inside the tyre. (As a courier, I would routinely use parts of the road unused by other drivers and debris tended to accumulate there)

So while I was mostly untroubled by punctures, when I did get punctures they were usually weird - a length of bone or a windscreen wiper!


Too soon!

I use something similar in my bicycle tires called Slime. The problem is it can really mess up the valve on the inner tube.

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Note, if you do plug a tire, some places won’t go and patch it later. I had a guy rescue me after I got a flat tire and already had a spare on there as I had just gotten a flat the other day and hadn’t gotten it fixed yet. He plugged it and pumped it up and I was on my way (he was an old farmer guy). But taking them in to get fixed, they said they wouldn’t work on a plugged tired. Seems like BS to me, but what are you going to do.

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Tire plugs are great, and people shouldn’t be so skeptical of them. I’ve done 8 hours of time trials on a plug because I picked up a nail in my very expensive R-compound racing tire on the way to the track. I then drove home on on that tire and drove it another 500 miles until it wore out normally. Never had a problem.

When I was a starving student, I drove on tires with multiple plugs in them for tens of thousands of miles because I lived near construction sites where there was always crap on the road and couldn’t afford new tires. Every basic puncture short of a gash in the sidewall or total blowout can be fixed just fine with a plug kit. Tire shops just like to sell new tires to people don’t know better.

Learn to use a plug kit and throw one in your trunk (along with a jack and lug wrench). You’ll save a lot of time and money on tires and tows.

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I literally just replaced flat tire on my brother’s car. He had picked up a screw somewhere… When I pulled out the spare it had nails stuck in it. He had been using his trunk for transporting construction debris and some loose nails had wiggled down into the spare tire well.

A plug kit can’t make up for lack of sense unfortunately

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