FIX THAT FLAT

FLAT TIRE REPAIR

Emergency tire repair kits that get you back on the road in a hurry

Flat tires are a pain in any contractor’s day and they can be even more irksome when there’s no easy way to change the tire.

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.

Plug-type tire repair kits include plug material and various plug sizes and tools used for prepping and inserting the plugs.

Dynaplug tire repair kit

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 kits with an air compressor are recommended for vehicles that do not have onboard air.)

But before you run out and buy a tire repair kit, check with your tire guy to see what he recommends and what he warns against using.

My tire guy doesn’t like any of the kits as a permanent solution. He grudgingly concedes that a sealant is ok, but the goo needs to be cleaned out soon after use.

Making the permanent repair can mean double the work, because the tire often must be cleaned up, re-mounted and inflated to find the hole. Only then can the tire tech start the normal repair process.

Likewise plugs make finding the hole a challenge for the repair shop or the quick fix makes the hole bigger, which is 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.

BEST TIRE REPAIR KITS

Here are five tire repair kits that can save you in a pinch:

ARB Speedy Seal tire repair kit.

ARB Speedy Seal tire puncture repair kit  comes in a compact carry case includes all of the components necessary to repair tubeless radial or cross ply tires, without removing the tire or rim.

The kit includes a quality pencil type tire gauge with dual pressure range and dual chuck, insertion and reamer tools, lubricant, additional valve accessories and 30 self vulcanizing repair cords for complete air sealing.

Spare repair cords are also available in packs of 50. ARB; arbusa.com; (866) 293-9078

Safety Seal tire repair kit

Safety Seal is a permanent “on the wheel” tire repair kit for all tubeless tires. Can be used on mowers, atv, auto/light truck, truck and otr/heavy equipment. No cement needed.

Kits come in carrying case with everything needed. Safety Seal; safetyseal.com; (800) 888-9021.

Slime is a liquid tire repair.

Slime repairs punctures up to ¼ inch (6mm) using their Fibro-Seal technology. The sealant remains liquid inside the tire, coating the tread area as the tire rotates.

Slime is non-toxic, non-hazardous, non-flammable, non-aerosol and water soluble. It can be cleaned out with water allowing for the installation of a proper plug/patch. Slime; slime.com; (888) 457-5463

Fix-A-Flat seals and inflates in minutes. Just connect the hose, inflate and you will be back on the road in minutes.

Fix-A-Flat is safe for tire sensors, requires no tools or jacks, non-flammable, safe to store in your vehicle’s trunk or tire well.

The product may be quickly and easily removed with a rag and water. Fix a Flat; fixaflat.com; (855) 888-1990

The Dynaplug tire repair system allows do-it-yourselfers to repair a punctured tire in less than a minute without removing the tire from the wheel.

The tool is easy to use and requires no glues or solvents. The process is very simple: load the tool with a brass-tipped plug, insert tip into puncture hole and pull the handle out of the tire. Dynaplug; dynaplug.com; (530) 345-8000