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The cost of manufacturing tire plugs and patches is very small. What can cost money is the tools needed to do an effective tire repair.

Plugging and patching a tire will require tools that usually come in a kit to allow you to do this job properly.

Below we will examine the real cost of patching and plugging a tire and the cost of doing this yourself at home or taking your car to a tire shop to repair for you. 

Tire Shop Patch Cost vs Tire Shop Plug Cost

This is quite an easy question to answer. Any professional tire shop would not consider plugging your tire.  

They would want to remove it from the rim and inspect the inside and do a proper combi plug patch repair from the inside.

A tire shop will take about 30 minutes to patch your tire. Expect to pay in the region of $20 to $30 for them to do this.  

It’s always worth checking whether you have a road hazard warranty with your tires which tire retailers normally offer at the point of sale.  

Usually, this cover costs an additional $5 to $10 per tire but guarantees that your tire will be repaired free of charge should you run over a nail or have a slow leak in the future.

Tire Plug Kit Cost vs Tire Patch Kit Cost

It may be that you’re tire is so flat you can’t inflate enough to get it to the tire shop and wish to repair it at home. 

Unlike tire shops that will only patch your tire for you and not plug it, you have the option to do either.

Tire Plug Kit Cost

Tire Strip Kit Cost

Tire strip plug kits normally cost in the region of $7 to $20. There is very little to them. You will get a small tube of cement,  five to ten plug strips,  a reaming tool, and a strip applicator.

No other expensive tools are needed because you are not removing the wheel from the tire, so you don’t require a jack or a tire iron.

Remember that a tire plug is deemed a temporary fix and not viewed as a long-term replacement for a patch.

Plugging a tire
A basic strip plug kit

Mushroom Tire Plug Kit Cost

Mushroom tire plug kit sets are becoming increasingly popular because they perform a partial seal on the inside of the tire without having to take it off the rim.  

It works by using an insertion tool that pushes the plug inside the tire, and then when pulled out, the plug stays in place. You then cut the excess tube off, and that seals the hole. 

Mushroom plugs are considered much better fixes than strip plugs, but there is a cost involved due to the additional tools in the kit.

Mushroom tire plug kit costs around $45 and normally includes ten plugs and all the tools you need to apply it. 

Tire Patch Kit Cost

If you look on Amazon, you will find fewer patch kits than plug kits.

I’m unsure whether this is because they are in less demand for DIY mechanics at home than plugs or if additional tools are needed and can’t be included in the kits.

For instance, 24 patch combi pieces (You won’t find many smaller quantities available) may cost you in the region of $25.  

Then add in the cost of a tire patch stitcher – a roller to roll the patch onto the inside of the tire. These can cost $10 to $15.

If you don’t have a jack in the trunk, expect to pay $15 to $30 for this, and also, a tire iron to remove the tire from the rim will cost around the same.

In total, removing the tire and patching the hole effectively will cost $50 to $70.

Related Article: Are Plugs Bad For Tires?4 Points To Consider

Tire Plug vs Fix A Flat Cost

So most people looking to repair their tires at home won’t go to the trouble and expense of patching it but rather go for the more temporary fix of plugging or using a Fix a Flat or Slime sealant.

 Let’s compare the costs of these.

Tire sealant is good for 100 miles
A tire sealant and compressor kit

A tire plug kit will cost $7 to $20. There is nothing else to buy.  

A Slime or Fix-a-Flat tire repair sealant requires an air compressor to force the chemical inside of the tire when inflating. You can buy this in a kit along with the sealant. A compressor Slime combi kit will cost in the region of $35, so not that much more expensive than a tire plug kit.

However, you’ll need a new sealant can for each flat you get, so the costs could increase if you drive in an area with lots of nails on the road.

A Slime or Fix a Flat compressor kit is still cheaper than buying the tools needed to affect a tire’s patch repair. 

Mushroom plug kits may well work out cheaper, though.

Often read next: Is Tire Sealant Bad For Tires? Myths Debunked

Other Tire Patch vs. Tire Plug Considerations

A tire plug or sealant repair is never deemed permanent by tire manufacturers. All state that a proper patch repair should be done as soon as possible. 

A tire patch repair at a tire shop will always give you the added peace of mind that it has been done to a very high standard. 

Of course, there will be occasions when you can’t get there and are short of time.

If that’s the case, the cheapest option is to plug the tire rather than patch it at home. It may not be the long-term solution, though. 

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