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Here will explore how to plug a tire without a tube of cement. The basics of plugging a tire are that you need a plug, a reaming tool, and a plug needle.

Cement is usually applied to the plug before insertion, but in this case, you do not have any.

It is possible to plug a tire without cement, but it is important to note that the plug may be less secure and may not last as long.

The reason for this is that cement helps to adhere the plug to the rubber and creates a much tighter seal which helps to keep moisture from entering the tire and weakening the cords and steel tire belts inside.

Plugging a tire
Most plug kits come with cement or glue

In order to plug the tire without cement, it is important to ensure that the area around the hole is completely clean and that any debris is removed. This can be done using the reaming tool. 

Once the area is clean, the plug needs to be inserted. It is important to make sure that the plug is pushed all the way through the hole until you stop feeling resistance.

Finally, it is important to inflate the tire after the plug has been inserted. You would normally wait 5 minutes for the cement to set before driving, but you don’t need to do this now if you have not applied any.

This helps to secure the plug and make sure that it is in place. It is also important to check the tire pressure regularly to ensure the plug is holding air and that the tire is not leaking.

Apart from providing a tighter seal, cement also helps lubricate the string plug and makes it easier to insert. 

Because of this, less force is needed, and less damage is caused to the steel belts and cords within the tire if you use cement.

What Does Rubber Cement Do Exactly?

When patching the tire, they often are self-vulcanizing, which means when the rubber heats due to friction of being driven, a chemical reaction takes place that seals the patch against the tire’s inner wall tightly. 

Tire plugs, obviously without the patch part, do not do this inside the tire, and cement is often used to encourage vulcanization.

deflated tire plug
Reaming a hole before firing a tire plug while on a car

Tire Plug and Cement Vulcanization

The key to vulcanizing cement is its ability to form a chemical bond between the two objects. This bond is known as a “vulcanized bond.”

The vulcanizing process involves using heat and pressure to force the adhesive material into the two objects bonding together. In this case, the plug to the tire.

The heat and pressure cause the molecules of the adhesive material to mix and form a chemical bond. 

The bond is so strong that it can withstand extreme temperatures, impacts, and vibrations.

Tire plugs are also used in conjunction with vulcanizing cement to repair punctures in tires. The plugs are inserted into the tire, and the vulcanizing cement forms a seal around the plug and the tire. 

This seal is so strong that it is virtually impossible to remove the plug without damaging the tire.

It’s worth noting that if you intend to get the tire patched after using cement to plug, you may find a tire shop with refuses to repair as removing cement and the plug will make the tire weaker and not repairable in the professional’s view. 

It is worth remembering that tire plugs are never permanent repairs and should only be driven on until you can get a patch or a new tire fitted.

Is A Plug More Likely To Fall Out If I Don’t Use Rubber Cement?

However, some wonder if their tire plug is more likely to fall out if they don’t use rubber cement.

When properly installed, the answer is no; a tire plug should remain securely in place without using rubber cement if the kit states this to be the case.

Rubber cement, also known as tire repair cement, is a substance that can help create a stronger bond between the tire plug and the tire wall. Most tire plug kits come with rubber cement, but it’s not necessary.

When installing a strip tire plug, the most important thing is to make sure that the plug is pushed in as deeply as possible. 

This will ensure that the plug is firmly set in place and less likely to pull out. You should also ensure that the plug is flush with the tire wall, as any gap may allow air to escape.

Mushroom-type plugs are a better option as they seal at least in part the inside of the tire and not just the hole – as string plugs do.

Tire Plug Cement – How Does It Work?

Tire Plug Repair Cement is a specially vulcanizing compound that bonds the plug and rubber tire together to provide a secure seal. It is also designed to help rubber resist moisture and remain flexible for a longer period.

The vulcanization process helps to make the rubber even more durable and resistant to wear and tear. Vulcanized rubber can withstand extreme temperatures and high levels of stress.


In conclusion, it is possible to plug a tire without cement, but it is important to make sure that the area around the hole is completely clean and that the plug is pushed all the way through the hole until you stop feeling resistance. 

It is also important to inflate the tire after the plug is inserted. Although a plug without cement may be less secure and not last as long, it can still be a viable option when you do not have any cement available.

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