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Tips for Fixing a Flat Tire

Fixing a Flat Tire Yourself

Fixing a Flat Tire Yourself

Flat tires can be a major inconvenience, even if you aren’t in a hurry. Having a spare on hand is always the fastest way to remedy the situation. But when this is not an option, you will be happy to know the product of addressing the flat yourself is not too complicated.

The following are some best practices and handy products for fixing flat tires:

  1. Inflate the tire to its full PSI:  It will be easier to locate the leak if it is properly pressurized.
  2. Inspect the Tire:  The location of the leak could be easily identified by cuts, holes or sharp objects protruding from your tire. If you notice one you have found your leak.
  3. Listen:  you may not see the problem, but if you have inflated your tire you may hear the air as it passes from through the leak. You may even feel small gust of air spurting from the spot.
  4. Apply a soapy solution:  If you have done everything above and still no leak, try adding a mixture of soap and water. Pour this over the tire and watch for the bubbles, if there is a leak in the tire, this will reveal its location.
  5. Fixing the hole:  Unless you have the equipment to remove the tire from the rim, a tire plugger kit will be the easiest way to fix the leak from the outside. You can find these products at any auto accessory shop.

Popular Products for Fixing a Flat Tire

Then there are two other products that can address the problem quickly and effectively without the need for roadside assistance. These products work by filling the tire with pressurized sealants that stop up the leak from the inside.

  • Pressurized Can Sealants:  The well-known Fix-a-flat, is the primary example of a cost-effective product to inflate your tires and patch up the leak. These products will typically have a small tube extending from the cap that passes the sealant into the tire and cost between $7 – $10 per can.
  • Tire Sealant Kits:  A tire sealant kit will combine with a small 12V air compressor and a container of sealant that must be replaced every so often. Most drivers are taking this selection over the spare tire.

Final Notes

Even though they can inflate and fix the leak from the inside, these products are not to be considered an alternative to spare tires. They should only be used under the understanding that the inflation and sealant along the fissure within the tire are temporary and that a replacement or full repairs will be done as soon as possible.

The life expectancy of a tire fixed with pressurized sealant is 3 days or 100 miles. Furthermore, fissures larger than 6mm in diameter can’t be repaired by a pressurized sealant and repairs or replacement is imperative.

Finally, remember that sealant leave a sticky residue within the inside of the tire which the repairmen at the service station will have to clean out before making repairs. Although some products are TPMS-Safe, others can mess with tire-pressure monitor sensors as well, causing them to deliver a poor reading.

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