What is a Tire Repair Kit and how do You Use It?
A tire repair kit can be a lifesaver when you have a flat tire. But, like anything else, it needs to be used properly to work. In this article, we’ll show you when and how to use the kit, so you can be prepared the next time you have a flat. We’ll also share tips on how to buy a tire repair kit if your car doesn’t come with one.
What is a Tire Repair Kit?
A tire repair kit is a portable set of tools that allows you to quickly fix a flat tire without having to call a tow truck or service station. Many cars today come with one in the trunk. But if yours doesn’t, they’re relatively inexpensive and easy to find online or at auto parts stores. A flat tire repair kit is also usually a sealant or plug type.
Tire Sealant Repair Kit
Sealant-type kits contain a sealant that you inject into the tire through the valve stem. The sealant then fills any holes in the tire and seals them so that air can’t escape. When using this type of tire repair kit, sealant is usually injected by an electric inflator.
The sealant repair kit is best used for small holes. Larger holes (but that are less than ¼ inches) require a more elaborate method to fix, such as plugging them with a ‘string plug” that has been covered with rubber cement. This kit is called a tire plug repair kit.
Tire Plug Repair Kit
Plug-type kits contain a plug that you insert into the hole in your tire. That serves to stop the air from leaking out. The plug is mostly a length of woven string or cord, about 4 to 5 inches long, or a piece of leather that has been covered with vulcanizing cement.
The plug repair kit is the most common version of the kit, so that’s the type we’ll focus on in this article. It’s also the type of kit you’ll mostly use if your car didn’t come with the sealant kit. Now that you know what a tire repair kit for car and truck punctures is, let’s see what it contains.
Puncture Repair Kit Contents
Depending on the brand and type of kit, there may be variations in what’s included in a plug tire repair kit. Some come with a tire inflator, for example, and cost more. But in general, most kits will contain the following items:
- Reamer: Used to clean out the hole in the tire so that the plug can be inserted more easily.
- Plugs: A tire repair kit plug is a long, thin strip of rubber covered material that’s inserted into the hole in the tire to stop the air from leaking out.
- Plug insertion tool: A tool that’s used to insert the plug into the hole in the tire.
- Rasp: Used to rough up the inside of the hole in the tire so that the plug will adhere better.
- Glue or rubber cement: The tire repair kit rubber cement helps adhere the plug to the tire.
Other puncture repair kit contents (but which may not be available in some kits) include the following: a set of pliers to remove the nails and other objects that cause flat tires, a razor to cut off any excess plug material, and even a small air compressor; the tire repair kit compressor is meant to help you inflate your tire after plugging the puncture.
Why Use a Tire Repair Kit?
Many cars today do not come with spare tires. When faced with a puncture, you only have a few options; you either can call a tow truck to take your car to a service station, or you can change the tire yourself. However, there are times when either option is not possible or desirable.
For example, if you’re on a long road trip and far from a service station, changing the tire may not be an option if you don’t have a spare. In that case, being able to fix the flat with the emergency tire repair kit can get you back on the road quickly- without having to call for help.
Similarly, if you’re in a remote location where there is no cell phone reception, a tow truck may not be able to find you. In that case, again, fixing the flat with the flat tire repair kit can get you back on the road within minutes.
Tire repair kits are a convenient and relatively inexpensive way to temporarily fix a punctured tire. They’re also relatively easy to use, as long as you follow the instructions, and can last for months or even longer. That said, here is how to fix a flat tire with a tire plug kit. This type of kit uses a plug instead of sealant.
How to Use a Tire Repair Kit
A tire repair kit is relatively easy to use, but it’s important that you follow the usage instructions carefully. Remember, the kit is usually designed for punctures no larger than 1/4 inch in diameter. If the hole is any bigger, you will need to replace the tire, not just patch it.
It’s also important to make sure that the hole in your tire is in the tread, not the sidewall. Sidewall punctures cannot be safely repaired. Here now, are tire repair kit instructions that will see you successfully fix a flat tire.
What You Will Need:
- The tire repair kit (plug type)
- Pliers if the kit doesn’t come with one
- A sharp knife if the kit doesn’t include a cutting tool
- Gloves (included in some kits)
- Compressor or portable tire inflator
Next, follow these simple, DIY tire repair kit instructions:
Step 1: Locate the Puncture
Find the hole in the tire. In some cases, you may need to use soapy water to help you locate it. Just spray the soapy water on the tire and look for bubbles.
Step 2: Remove the Object
Once you have found the hole, remove the object that caused the puncture using pliers. If the object is still stuck, try using side cutters to take it out.
Step 3: Clean Out the Hole
Use the reaming tool included in the tire repair kit to clean out any debris around the hole. This will also help to make the hole bigger, which will make it easier to plug.
Step 4: Insert the Plug
Now it’s time to insert the plug into the hole. First, apply a little rubber cement to the plug. This will help it to stay in place. Next, insert the plug into the hole. Use the insertion tool to push it halfway into the tire. Pull out the plug tool. This will leave the plug inside the tire filling the hole.
Step 5: Trim the Plug
Once the plug is inside the puncture hole, you will need to trim it so that it is level with the tire. Be sure not to trim it too short. Some kits come with a cutting tool. If yours didn’t, use a sharp knife to cut the plug.
Step 6: Inflate the Tire
Use a compressor or tire inflator to inflate the tire to the proper pressure. Most kits will come with a tire gauge so you can check to make sure you have the right amount of air in the tire. Your tire is now fixed and you can drive to the next tire service station without trouble.
Tire Repair Kit Price
The tire repair kit price will vary on the brand and the specific tools included. For example, a kit that includes a tire inflator or multiple plugs will cost more than a basic kit. Having said that, expect to pay around $10 for a simple kit with only a few plugs.
A heavy-duty tire repair kit with all the tools include would cost more, up to $60. Be sure to consider what you need the kit for. If you’re just looking for a means to fix flat tires in a pinch, then a basic, inexpensive kit will suffice.
However, if you’re looking for a kit that includes every tool you need to fix a flat, then you may want to spend a little extra and get a more comprehensive, professional tire repair kit.
What is the Best Tire Repair Kit for Your car?
The best tire repair kit for your car will depend on how well you do your research. It will also depend on what you’re willing to pay for the kit; the more expensive the kit, the better it will be.
The best emergency tire repair kit will also be a brand with a good reputation because whereas the market is full of options, not all of them are created equal.
So do your research before making a purchase, and be sure to get a kit that includes everything you need to fix a tire. Make sure too, that the kit includes instructions and that you understand how to use it before you need it.
Where to Buy Tire Repair kit
The best place to buy a tire repair kit is at a local auto parts store or online from a trusted retailer. If buying online, you’ll likely come across informative tire repair kit reviews. Read these before purchasing to make sure that the kit has what you want.
Finally, always keep your kit in your car so that you’re prepared for anything when out there on the road. Be sure, also, to match the kit with the type of tires you have on your car – a heavy duty tire repair kit with large tires. That way, if you do get a flat, you’ll be able to fix it quickly and easily.
A flat tire can ruin your day, and if you’re not prepared, it can also ruin your budget. A tire repair kit will get you back on the road- quickly and almost effortlessly. Some cars come with a sealant repair kit in the trunk. If yours doesn’t (or you’re in need of a more useful plug type kit), it’s a good idea to buy one and keep it in your car. With the kit on hand, you’ll be prepared if you ever have a flat.