Tire repair, nowadays, does not need to be done by the motorists themselves. There are a lot of tire repair shops in every locale you would be driving to; besides, there is always that good old spare tire available in the trunk of the car or in the undercarriage of the truck you’re driving. But come to think of it, there are times that you may pass through a remote area that does not have any repair establishments nor any residents to help during a flat tire occurrence. Worse is, the car or truck you’re driving does not have a spare tire, and you have to get out of that spot as soon as possible for any reason at all.
Well, simple tire problems like a nail hole in the tire tread can be repaired by the motorists themselves if they are in the above situation. They only need to have a pair of pliers to remove the nail that punched the tire tread, a jack to lift the vehicle up, a wrench to remove the tire, a small tire pump, and a tire repair kit (you may purchase a repair kit from any of your neighborhood hardware or automotive part stores). Tire repair kits may vary in packing. The typical ones have a rasp tool, an inserting tool, and a few strands of plug strips/repair strings (others have a tube of rubber cement – an adhesive for the plug strips).
The first thing to do is to park the car in a flat surface on the road shoulder, then make sure that the engine is shut off and parking brakes are engaged before lifting up the side where the flat tire is with a jack. If you can find anything handy to block any of the wheels other than the flat one to make sure that the car won’t move especially when it is already jacked up, better do it. Be safe. You are not doing this kind of thing every day, so you have to move with caution. Remove the flat tire by loosening the lug nuts with the tire wrench and try to remove the nail from it using your pliers. Get the rasp tool in the tire repair kit and scrape the nail hole to widen and remove some obstructions. Squirt some rubber cement into the hole before inserting a repair string/plug strip with the insert tool. Insert the strip all the way to the hole and pull out the insert tool. There might be a residual string protruding from the surface e of the tire tread that must be cut by a sharp blade. The plug strip must be flushed with the tire tread surface. This will prevent possible removal of the strip when driving. After this repair the tire is now ready for inflation with your handy motorized pump of even a foot operated inflator. Finally, you may now install the tire, lower your car, remove the jack and the wheel blocks, then leave the area with good tires and a smooth drive.
It is an advantage to have a tubeless tire repair kit and a handy tire pump with your jack and tire wrench whenever you drive out especially in remote places. Be prepared for this kind of situations. Tire repair – you can do it yourself.
Jonathan C. Tumalban manages a bus fleet maintenance shop for a tours and travel company in Saipan, CNMI. He spends a lot of free time in enhancing his other skills such as writing and web site design. He believes that writing, as well as a lot of reading, is not only an excellent past time but also a strong mental excercise. Jonathan writes about anything within the grasp of his understanding; with the intent to share these ideas, and to learn more whenever readers give comments and offer rectifications to any errors they may find in the articles.