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Does Walmart Auto Center Patch/Repair Tires? (Is It Free?)

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There is nothing that car owners hate more than to be stuck on the side of the road so when your tire pressure starts to drop it’s always a good idea to stop and figure out how to repair it yourself (using tire patches) or to take it to one of the many tire repair services.

If you have a tire that is losing air you will definitely want to get it fixed as soon as possible as there is nothing more annoying than having a flat tire at the wrong time. 

Rather than getting new tires instead you can get your old tire plugged/fixed (assuming the hole isn’t in the sidewall or close to it) but does the Walmart Tire Center plug/ fix tires? 

Walmart does repair/fix tires with holes in them but it will currently cost you $15 (depending on your location). There is also normally a long line to do them as tire repairs are often put in line behind all of the other work the mechanics are doing.

Does Walmart Auto Center Patch/Repair Tires? (Is It Free?)

Walmart does have many different services but they aren’t always the best choice for all of your automotive needs.

You can often get tire repairs done faster at a designated auto repair shop and many tire retailers will do puncture repair for free which is a much better deal than spending $15 and 1-5 hours of your time waiting at Walmart (of course they will often try and get you to get rid of your old tires and upgrade to new ones as well which is how they make their money).

One thing to consider when getting your tire repaired at a Walmart store is how long you will have to wait. Typically the Walmart Auto Center (Tire & Lube) will be pretty busy so you might have to wait multiple hours to get your tire repaired while a business that exclusively handles tires will often be considerably faster. 

Before you go to get Walmart tire services you will want to make sure that your car tires can actually be repaired. If the old tires have a slow leak in the valve stems then that is something that is normally fixable. However if your tire was slashed with some sharp objects (glass, knives, or other road hazards) the damage might be too extensive to just patch it up.

In that case you will want to put on the spare tire and take the damaged one in to get the whole tire replaced. Ideally you do your tire replacement in pairs (so both front tires or both rear tires) but if you don’t have the money replacing a single damaged tire will work as well.

Of course paying someone to repair your tire isn’t the only option. You can easily plug your own tires yourself (if they have some small punctures) with a simple kit and save money as well as time! 

I personally use this method as it also allows me to extend the life of my tire as most places won’t patch a tire if the tread is too low or if they feel that the nail (or other item) that is in the tire is in an odd spot or too close to the sidewall. 

With your own tire repair kit you don’t have to worry about that. Repairing your own tire isn’t for everyone but it is a good option for a lot of people. 

Walmart Auto Care Centers offer many different services including:

  • Oil Change
  • Road Hazard Warranty
  • Tire Mounting
  • Tire Balancing
  • Tire Rotation
  • Tire Installation Services (if you purchase the tires at Walmart)
  • Valve Stem Installation
  • Flat Tire Repair Service
  • Lug Nut Replacement
  • TPMS Relearn
  • Fuel System Maintenance
  • Wiper Blade Installation
  • Air Filter Installation
  • Headlight Restoration
  • Headlight Installation
  • Bulb Installation
  • Battery Installation
  • Battery Non-Corrosion Service
  • Battery Terminal End Replacement
  • Refrigerant Recharge

Of course all of these services might not be available at all Walmart stores all of the time so it is a good idea to call your local store to see if they offer the auto services that you need. Every service will have an additional charge as well so be sure and ask about that before going overboard getting everything that they offer.

Is Walmart Tire Repair Free? 

I mentioned earlier that Walmart does do tire repair at their Auto Center but of course knowing how much it costs (or whether it is free) is important to know.

So how much does Walmart charge to plug a tire?

Walmart has a tire plug cost of between $10 and $15. Exactly how much Walmart will charge to plug/repair your tire will vary depending on your location and also the Walmart management. 

It is important to note that although Walmart can patch/plug your tire for a small fee there are some restrictions on whether they will actually repair it or not. For example, if they feel the puncture is too close to the sidewall or your tread is not thick enough they won’t repair the tire for you.

In that case you will have to buy a tire plug kit (Walmart does sell tire plug kits inside) to repair it yourself or take it to a dedicated tire repair shop.

There are multiple tire shops that will repair tires for free however they will sometimes also be super picky on which tires they will repair. Of course if your tires aren’t new they will also try to push you to get replacement tires rather than just patching them. 

Having a tire repaired for free is obviously ideal as it saves you money but if you don’t have any tire shops in your local area that offer tire repairs for free then Walmart is a good option and it won’t break the bank. 

Personally I would rather repair it myself (as mentioned above) or go to a dedicated tire shop (because they are faster). However, many places only have a Walmart close by and might not have any other option. 

If that is the case with you then paying the small fee for a repair certainly beats the higher cost of replacing the tire.

Does Walmart Sell A Tire Plug Kit? 

If you have decided that you want to repair your flat tire yourself but don’t want to wait for buying a repair set online to arrive then buying one from your local Walmart might be a thought that has crossed your mind. 

But do they sell tire plug kits at Walmart? 

Most Walmarts will carry a few different tire plug kits that you can use to fix your flat tire. Current you can get a tire plug kit at Walmart (in stores) that includes the plugs, glue, reamer tool, and plugger tool for a little over $7.

When purchasing a tire repair kit online you will often have a lot more choices and can even get kits with all the possible tools needed to remove nails, screws, etc. but when buying one at Walmart you can repair your tire immediately rather than waiting a few days for it to arrive. 

The one mentioned above can currently be purchased in stores and it has everything that you need from a tire plug kits.

Of course tire plug kits can’t only be purchased at Walmart or online.

Tire repair kits can be purchased at most major retailers as well as at most car parts stores (such as Autozone, O’reillys, Napa, etc. If you go to a dedicated car parts store you will often get a better variety of tire repair kits than you will find at Walmart.

So if you like to have more options then going to one of those places will work better. 

How Long Will A Tire Plug Last?

Whether you get your tire plugged at Walmart, a tire shop, or do it yourself, once the tire has been plugged the question that most people ask is how long the patched tire will last.

After all there is no point in spending money on getting your tire plugged if it will only last a couple of weeks or months. 

Tire plugs should actually last for the life of the tire as long as they are done right and they get a proper seal. However, if you seal a tire that is starting to bald the tire plug will often not adhere properly which means the plug won’t last as long. 

I have personally repaired/plugged tires multiple times on my vehicles and have only once had a plug give out on me. That was because my tires needed to be replaced and so the plug that I put in didn’t have hardly any tread to adhere to which in turn caused it to not hold well. 

That is why shops won’t do a repair if the hole is near the sidewall or if they feel like the tread on the tire isn’t enough. 

Besides that one time I have never had a single problem with one of my tire plugs coming out and they have held up and lasted just as long as my tires have. 

These are tire repairs that I did myself as well so I paid very little to repair the tire and could do it right in my own driveway as well. 

Any tire plug that is done by yourself or any shop (Walmart or others) should last you multiple years (or the life of the tire) as long as it’s done right (and doing it right yourself is incredibly simple too). 

So you don’t have to feel like a tire plug is a temporary measure until you can get the tire replaced. Tire plugs can absolutely be used for multiple years without any issues at all (again as long as installed properly and as long as the tire isn’t almost bald).