Tires can sometimes be repaired, if there’s no sidewall damage to the tire. If there is, the tire will have to be replaced. If you have a simple puncture through the tread, you can usually patch the damage. A rope plug is a quick tire repair that will get you to the repair shop, but you shouldn’t trust it over the long run. This is how to properly repair a tire.

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To begin a tire repair, you will need to mark the hole and locate and mark the position of the valve stem to make sure that both can be easily found later, and then get the tire off the wheel. Once the tire’s off, use a tool to make sure that you know the path of the hole. Usually – but not always – it will be straight in, which simplifies the patching process. On the inside of the hole, you’ll need to smooth out the wall of the tire with a buffer and then apply rubber cement before gluing the patch in place.

Patching a tire takes more than just this, so make sure you understand your tire, the patch, and other procedures before you fix your tire.