Product Testing the Dynaplug Tire Tool

1
Better Than the Old Tar Covered Plugs

Tire plug
Dynaplug ready to plug a tire. photo by Matt Wright, 2013

A leaky tire can drive you nuts. Slow leaks are especially irritating. Very slow leaks? These are the worst. You fill your tire, check it, check it, check it. Finally, you decide that maybe you were imagining the leak, or that it lost a little pressure due to cold weather or a similar phenomenon. It's then and only then that the tire starts to feel low again. So you fill it, again. If your vehicle is equipped with a Tire Pressure Management System or TPMS it can be even more maddening as often even the slightest change in tire pressure will cause a holiday tree full of warning lights on your ​​dashboard.

If your tire has a slow leak, and you're tired of playing games with it, you may need a new tire. But before you replace it, have your tire checked for slow leaks. Often a tiny nail or puncture can be enough to cause the slow leak. Small punctures like this can be repaired with a tire plug in most cases. Tire plugs are hardly a new invention. The tried and true plug -- a section of strong cord coated with rubbery tar -- has been in use for decades and has proven very reliable. The only downside to a traditional tire plug is the installation is the messy plugs, the difficult to use tools, and the strength needed to make it all happen.

A traditional tire plug happens like this: First, you locate the hole or foreign object embedded in the wheel. Remove the object, then take the reaming tool and shove it into the hole to make it bigger and rougher. Next, you thread the gooey tar plug through the giant needle and shove the whole thing as hard as you can through the puncture. Pull it out and you've got a sealed tire. It seems easy enough, but it's messy, and the reaming and shoving require a lot of strength!

The Dynaplug system relies on the same principle as the old tire plugs, but believe me when I tell you it's a revolution. We were skeptical when we first opened the package. There were some familiar shapes, but gone was the reaming tool, and the plugs themselves didn't look right. The system looked a little bit too slick to get the dirty job of tire plugging done. But boy were we wrong about that. The loss of the reaming tool was more than welcome, it's one of the most difficult to use parts of the old tire plugging set ups. The newly designed plugs are small enough that there is no need to open the puncture hold up to a larger size. The next improvement is the loading of the plug into the plugging tool. The old plugs were sticky and difficult to squeeze through the insertion tool. It was so difficult to get them properly threaded that we often wasted plug after plug trying to get them in there.

Dynaplug offers a smoother, cleaner simpler plug. It's still wearing a light coating of adhesive to ensure that it stays in place when it's doing its job as a tire plug, but it's about 1/3 as thick as the old plug, and not nearly as gooey. Further, threading it into the tool is as simple as inserting the end of the plug into a hole at the end of the tool.

By far the greatest improvement over the old tool is the act of inserting the plug into the tire. Where the old plugging tool had to be literally wrestled into the tire puncture thanks to the fact that you were trying to shove a tool and at that point, a folded plug into the hole. It was very difficult, and often resulted in our needing to return to the reaming tool to make the puncture hole a little larger.

Dynaplug really nailed the improvement in this area. The redesigned plug has a metal tip. This metal tip is at the end which is inserted into the tire and acts as a sharp leading edge to guide the plug into place. It goes in so much more easily than the old plug. We've been using these for some time now (as in years!) and have had great results.