Plugging a tire from the outside is not a RMA approved repair method, but for many tire stores, it is their method. Town Fair Tire uses the only approved method for tire injury repair, which first requires that the tire be removed from the wheel, inspected for damage before the tire can safely be repaired. This is a 7 step process:
We locate where the injury is located on the tire, remove the nail, and buff the area on the inside of the tire.
The buffing removes the slick surface and exposes a "raw" surface where the patch will stick to the tire. We also use a solvent to remove the mold release agent that the tire was coated with during manufacture and prep the rubber for the tire cement.
Tire patch cement is a applied and allowed to dry for 5 minutes or so. Then the plug patch is pushed into place. The plug portion of the plug patch is encased in a disposable metal sleeve to guide it through the tire.
Once through the tire, the metal sleeve is removed, leaving the rubber tire plug in place. The rubber plug is then cut so it is flush with the tire.
The patch is then adhesively bonded on the inside of the tire using a tool called a tire stitcher.
Then the whole patch is covered with another coat of tire cement.
The tire is remounted and rechecked for leaks. For an optional charge we will replace the valve stem and rebalance the tire for $5.95. The normal charge for this service is $19.95. Even when working at a good pace, it takes about an hour to complete the whole process.