Tire repair can be tedious; however, it’s an inevitable part of life…
You’re driving down the road and all of a sudden it feels like you’ve run over a branch or a large stone, then it happens again and again, thud, thud, thud. You pull over to the side of the road and realize you’ve run over a spike in the road and that you now have a flat tire.
If you’re lucky, you will have realized that you had a flat before you have damaged the rim the tire is seated on. If this is the case, you should be able to get away with a temporary tire repair to get you by until you can afford a new set of tires.
Typically, either with a car or a bike, for safety, tires should always be replaced and not repaired in instances where wear, cracking, or damage is involved. However, if faced with a puncture, there are some temporary and more permanent methods for tire repair.
Repairing a Puncture for Cars
Any type of tire repair involving the wheels of a car should be a temporary fix and not a long-lasting solution. In fact, a tire repair should only last you the time it takes to drive home and book an appointment for a replacement.
While accidents involving bikes can be hazardous, an accident involving a car is usually much more severe, and therefore any issue concerning the tires should be responded to promptly. When you drive on a tire that has been repaired, you always run the risk of the weakened tire giving out and popping when you least expect it to. For safety’s sake, always replace your tire at the first sign of a puncture.
To repair your cars flat tire, you’ll require a tire repair kit. Most new vehicles will come with one of these. A kit is comprised of a sealant and a compressor. All capable drivers wanting to save the cost of recovery for their vehicle should have one somewhere in their car. Most tire repair kits on the market are designed to only last for a short while to avoid you being stranded in the middle of your journey.
Firstly, to begin your tire repair, you’ll need to make sure your car is prepared. To do this you must make sure no passengers are in the vehicle, and that the handbrake is on. This, of course, will stop any nasty accidents and will ensure the car stays still so you can work on it.
Once the car is stable, you need to assess the damage before attempting a tire repair. If the hole is too large or extends along the sidewall of the tire, then a repair is not advisable, and you’ll need to get your tire replaced then and there. If the puncture has been caused by debris like nails or glass, then you should leave this embedded in the tire, as removing it may make the hole bigger.
Next, it’s time to use the sealant. To successfully do this, make sure you carefully follow the instructions that will come with the kit.
Most tire repair kits contain some kind of puncture sealing slime. You will want to take extreme caution not to get this slime all over the place because once it dries it is nearly impossible to get off. When you are using a tire repair kit containing slime, be sure to use a wet rag to wipe the slime off as soon as it gets on a surface that it shouldn’t be on.
Once the sealant has been applied, you will need to attach the compressor to the tire valve and power it using the 12v socket in your car. This is the second last step in completing your tire repair.
Finally, with the car in neutral, start the compressor and inflate your repaired tire to the correct pressure for your vehicle. Be sure to inflate the tire properly and to the tire manufacturers specifications. Failing to do so could make your tire unstable making it unsafe to drive on. This could render your whole tire repair useless.
Replace Over Repair
Ideally with any type of vehicle, be it human propelled or driven by an engine, with any type of damage to tire it’s really best to choose replacement over a tire repair. This is to help ensure that a puncture doesn’t reoccur, as well as to ensure your vehicle of choice is as safe as possible. A puncture in a tire will weaken its structural integrity which means that the tire is more likely to have an issue in the future. You are ALWAYS encouraged to replace any punctured tires as soon as possible for your safety and those around you.