5 Top Tire Repair Kits
Emergency flat-tire repair kits that will get you back on the road in a hurry
By Tim Walton
Flat tires are a pain in any contractor’s day and they can be doubly irksome when there’s more than one flat at a time, the spare, jack or lug wrench is missing, the ground is unstable, or traffic too heavy for an extended roadside timeout.
That’s when you reach into the toolbox for the emergency tire repair kit.
Emergency tire repair kits come in two basic categories: sealants and plugs. Sealants are designed to close off small punctures with a gooey liquid introduced to the tire interior through the valve stem.
Some sealant-type kits provide air pressure in the can for partial inflation of the tire so additional air must be added to get the tire to proper inflation levels as soon as possible.
(This is why the kits with an air compressor are recommended for vehicles that do not have onboard air.)
Plug-type tire repair kits include plug material and various plug sizes and tools used for prepping and inserting the plugs.
A word of caution: The use of sealants and plugs can make double work for the tire repair shop because the tire often must be cleaned up, re-mounted and inflated to find the hole, or the quick fix makes the hole bigger, which is even less desirable.
Either way, when you take the tire in for repair let the tech know what type of emergency tire repair kit was used.
Also, find out if a repair kit will void a tire warranty or damage in-tire pressure (TPMS) sensors: A ruined TPMS sensor can easily set you back $50 and a tire $150.
Fixing a flat in the field is better than a service call.