how to fix a flat tire

How to Fix a Flat Tire

Having a flat tire is a huge problem when driving. Driving with a flat tire damages the rim of the wheel. Therefore, learning how to fix a flat tire should be a common knowledge to all drivers. Luckily for us, fixing a flat tire is a pretty straightforward process that only requires a few tools.

Fixing a flat tire is not rocket science. However, if you have zero knowledge on troubleshooting this problem, the internet is your best friend. There are lots of videos and How-Tos on fixing a flat tire.

Learning how to fix a flat tire only takes you a short period of time. It’s not a tough job since you’re only going to need a few things. In this article, I will teach you how to fix a flat tire using a spare tire or a tire plug kit.

Using a spare tire

The most common practice on fixing a flat tire is using your spare tire. However, in this process, you are technically not fixing the flat tire. You’re only replacing it with your spare tire so you could continue driving. Driving with a spare tire is only a temporary fix to your flat tire problem.  So, you still need to fix the flat by bringing it to a car shop.

tire change

In this fix, you need to have a spare tire, a jack, and a wrench. If you are on the highway, it is recommended that you have an early warning device so that the incoming traffic can see you. Also, make sure you are parked with additional space so you can work safely and without limitations.

  • 1. The first thing you want to make sure is that your brakes should be on. Also a wheel wedge, rock or even a brick can be placed behind the diagonally opposite wheel to keep the car from moving.
  • 2. You can now remove the hubcap of the flat tire and loosen the lugs before lifting the tire using a jack.
  • 3. The next step is positioning your jack on the pinch flange, the strongest part of the car for lifting (you can turn to your car’s manual for the pinch flange location), and lift the car.
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    4. Then, you can now remove the loose lugs and flat tire, just be careful since the tire is heavy. Now, remove the spare either on the compartment or under the car’s rear. While you’re at it, you can also put the flat in place.
fix flat tire
  • 5. Install the spare by lining its holes on the studs, then tighten the lugs with your fingers.
  • 6. Lower the car using your jack until the wheel touches the ground, and don’t remove the jack yet.
  • 7. You can now tighten the lugs to secure it and reinstall your hubcap. Your spare is now installed.
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    8. Now, completely lower your jack so you can remove it and stow in your compartment with the tools you’ve used.

Depending on the type of your spare, you can drive for 70 miles or more. However, it is advisable to repair the flat and reinstall it as soon as possible.

Using a tire plug kit

The flat is still pretty much busted and is not advisable for use. Using a tire plug kit, you can learn how to fix a flat tire that is due to leakage via puncture of a foreign material.

For this method, you need to locate the source of the leak. Depending on the type of flat, there may be a protruding object that punctured the tire making it easier to look for the source. However, if the tire doesn’t have any protruding object, you can still look for the puncture by inflating the tire and listen for the hissing, or use a mixture of water and soap and put it on the flat. The source of the flat will surely make bubbles, make sure to mark the source of the leak.

tire plug kit

The tire plug kit can be bought for less than 20 dollars online and can be used to repair flats for more than 10 times.

  • 1. The first step in this procedure is to clean the hole by inserting the rasp tool, which comes with the kit, in and out of the hole quickly.
  • 2. Next is using the insertion tool to thread the hole. Also, depending on the size of the hole, this step may require some force.
  • 3. If your kit comes with an adhesive, apply it in the hole, and use the insertion tool to force the plug into the hole. Some of the plugs should protrude from the tire.
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    4. Clean the excess plug material by cutting but make sure to let any adhesive dry.
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    5. Pump the tire to the recommended air pressure.

Viola, the tire is now fixed.  However, it is recommended to replace the tire within the next twenty thousand miles.

In conclusion, replacing and fixing a flat tire may be a tiring and, somewhat, dirty job. But, every driver should be able to perform this essential procedure. Knowing the basics on how to fix a flat tire will come in handy on unexpected situations and emergencies.

The key here is to make sure your spare is ready for use anytime and is at a specified pressure to lessen the hassle of having a flat on the road. Lastly, fixing your flat using a tire plug kit may be a good solution to the flat, however, the optimal solution to the problem is replacing the flat since this fix is not permanent and may still cause inconvenience in the future.

About the Author Aaron

Hi, I'm Aaron Cardwell. I did not think of myself as an auto enthusiast until I bought my first car and discover how much fun driving is. Also, using vehicles or any means of transportation is a way of life. I know how greatly it impacts our daily lives.

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