You walk to the driveway on a cold morning thinking of the challenging day ahead and come to an abrupt stop when you notice the deflated tire on your car. On close inspection you the culprit that has ruined your morning – a nail or piece of metal that has punctured and embedded itself into your car tire. This is a scenario that can happen to anyone any day but the biggest question at this point is not how you drove on the nail but how do you fix the flat tire?
In a normal situation, you’d simply have to remove the flat tire and replace it with the spare before driving to a mechanic or shop to have the damaged tire replaced or get a new one. However, what if you don’t have a spare? If the puncture is not very big, you can fix the flat tire simply by patching the tiny hole. Keep in mind that patching a puncture is a short-term solution. You shouldn’t drive in a self-repaired tire for more than three days or 100 miles without having it checked by a professional. It is a temporary solution.
This is going to be some work so prepare some elbow grease, change into the right gear, and get the following tools:
Start by removing the flat tire using the lug wrench to loosen the nuts. Fix the jack to the right place, jack up the car and remove the tire. Make sure the car is on level ground and in gear with the parking brakes engaged to avoid forward or backward movement.
Once you’ve removed the tire, find the leak.
The culprit could be a nail or any other sharp piece of metal. Use the pair of pliers to pull out the nail carefully to avoid further damage to the tire. If you can find the source of the leak, inflate the tire and listen or feel its surface to check for an opening through where the air is escaping from like in the video above. You can also spray the tire with soapy water after you’ve inflated it and you’ll notice bubbles of escaping air at the puncture point.
After you’ve identified the source of the leak, you can plug it closed using the patch kit. Apply the adhesives provided in the kit and plug the hole. Let it dry and remove the excess adhesives from the outer part of the tire.
Finally, reattach the tire. Tighten the lug nuts enough to keep the tire firmly attached. Don’t tighten completely before you have lowered the car to the ground. You can then tighten the lug nuts all the way following an X pattern. Check for your car’s torque requirements in its manual and preferably use a torque wrench to tighten the nuts properly.
If you’ve done this properly, your flat tire should be fixed enough to get you to a mechanic or shop to have it replaced. Remember this is a short-term remedy. You should replace the damaged tire as soon as possible.
The best and safest solution to a flat tire problem is to call a tire replacement service. We can help tow your car to safety or to a mechanic if you run into a flat tire issue. We are present in all 350 major cities in the US. Just pick your city here and find the number to call our tow truck.