If you’ve ever experienced a flat tire, you know that it can be an incredibly frustrating experience.
Most people don’t know how to fix them, and even if they do, time is often of the essence and having to waste time trying to figure out how to fix your flat can add insult to injury!
Luckily, if you learn just a few basic tips about fixing flat tires, you can save yourself the headache of being stranded on the side of the road!
Here are five steps that will help you get back on the road in no time at all!
Table of Contents
Can You Drive On A Flat Tire?
Don’t be tempted to drive on a flat tire. Doing so can seriously damage your tire and your rim and make matters worse. Here are 3 things you can do:
- If the leak is not too big, inflate your tire until you reach a place where you can repair the tire.
- If the leak is too big or you have no way to inflate your tire, it is time to use that spare tire that has been sitting for so long in your trunk.
- If you have no way to inflate your tire and no spare tire, you have no other choice than to call Roadside Assistance or pull into an auto repair shop.
Check Your Tire Pressure
If the leak is small enough that you can inflate your tire enough that you can reach a place to repair it, you must monitor your leak as you drive.
Inflate your leaky tire to 50PSI, drive for 5 minutes then monitor your leak.
If you haven’t lost more than 10 PSI, monitor the pressure every 15 minutes.
If you lost more than 10 PSI keep re-inflating your tire every 5 minutes until you reach your destination. If this become out of control, set your spare tire to let you reach a safe destination where you can repair it!
Locate The Puncture
First, inflate the tire. Before progressing on to more intensive techniques, it would be worthwhile to look at your tire. Look for any tire damage, including cuts, holes or objects protruding from the tire.
Listen for a hissing sound. Even if you’re not able to identify the problem immediately, you might be able to hear it. Hissing means air is leaking from your tire, and you should locate the leak.
Feel around the tire with your hand for air. As long as you feel careful with your hands, you may be able to find the leak even if you can’t see or hear it.
The last technique involves spreading soapy water on the tire. You should be able to see the leak right away as the punctured area will be covered in bubbles.
Choose The Right Fix
There are 3 methods to fix your tire
1) Sealant (temporary fix)
The tire puncture sealant. Attach the nozzle of the product to the valve stem and spray the content into your tire. Rotate your tire back and forth to spread the sealant into the tire. This solution is a temporary fix, it is only good for 3 days or 100 miles.
2) Tire Plug Kit (fix a small leak)
With the tire plug kit, you can keep the tire on your car. First, clean the hole with a screwdriver or a drill to have a clean hole. Force the plug into the hole and remove the tool fast. Cut the remaining of the plug.
3) Tire Patch
This method is more complex as it requires removing the tire from the rim but it is a reliable method of fixing your tire. It is usually done by the repair shop. Once the tire is removed, clean the area. The patch is stuck inside of the tire to seal the leak.
Once your tire is fixed, go for a test drive and keep monitoring the pressure of the tire the following days.
Nick, the Batman of automotive journalism, wields words like a skilled vigilante handling a baton. His articles untangle the spaghetti of car technologies, delivering clarity to readers as if solving a complex crime. Dive into his writing – a narrative gunfight against confusion, where every article is a triumph for automotive enlightenment.