Plug It Yourself:
Slime brand products makes a tire repair kit that lets you plug tire holes just like you pay big money for at a professional mechanic shop. This comes in handy when you pick up a nail or screw on the highway and you don’t want to waste time changing to the spare, or being limited to the 50 mph and 100 miles range limitation of the small donut spare tires that most cars are equipped with today. There are several times that I have pulled out a nail, plugged the hole, and inflated my car’s tire in much less time that it would take to change to the spare. These plugs saved my behind when I popped two ATV tires while out in a remote area.
The kits come with an auger to clean and round out the hole made by the nail or screw, six tire plugs, rubber cement to coat the plugs with before they are inserted in the tire, and a tool to push the plug into the hole. I highly recommend that you keep a pair of needle nose pliers to keep with your kit to help you pull the foreign object out of your tire. You will want to purchase a mini air compressor that is capable of being powered by your car’s cigarette lighter and a tire gauge so that you can inflate you tire back to its recommended pressure. Slime also has packages of replacement plugs. It is cheap insurance to keep a couple of packages of extra plugs with your tire repair kit.
Slime’s Plugs vs. Slime’s Gooey Sealant:
Slime also make a gooey sealant that you inject into the tire through the tire’s valve stem. In theory the goo should fill in the hole and seal it. I’m not a big liquid sealant fan for a couple of reasons. First, I don’t think that it is a solid repair like forcing in a plug. Second of all, using Slime’s sealant or another sealant such as Fix-A-Flat will void your tire warranty with most tire retailers, and it will really piss off your mechanic when he gets that stuff all over his equipment and has to thoroughly clean your rim before he can mount a new tire. I do not, however, have any problems using the goo in lawnmower tires that might be starting to get old and dry rotted.
Slime sells a tire repair kit call “Smart Spare” that includes a mini air compressor and a bottle of the goo sealant. For the reasons above, skip these kits. Buy the tire plug set and the pliers and air compressor a la carte.
Slime tire repair kits can be purchased in the automotive section of Walmart and at most auto parts stores.