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Got a Flat?
Fix it at home! ◆◇◇◇ Easy
On my daily commuting route, there are many construction sites. You guys know what that means, nails! A few months ago, I had a nail stuck on the right rear. I took it to a Good Year tire shop and got it repaired. They took the tire out of the rim and remove the nail, then prep the interior of the tire where the puncture was by burning the area slightly with lighter fluid. Finally, a patch is applied to keep the air from escaping. They remounted the tire and rebalanced the tire. A thorough job if you ask me, no doubt. It just cost $35. After paying up, I brought it home and rotated tires.
With my luck, I managed pick up several other metal objects in the next couple of weeks on the right rear tire again! Suspecting one of the three metal objects would be long enough to go through all the way. I didn't even bother try removing them. As you can see, that particular tire is almost worn out. I thought I could wait till a new set of tires but noticed that tire is losing air pressure slowly but fast enough to bug me. Something had to be done. Knowing it would take another $35, I started looking for other options.
I found this rather traditional method of fixing puntured tire; replacing the puncturing object with a special sticky rubber plug. There were many brands for this method but anything over $5 was not practial for the tire that has seen its better days.
Tools & Parts Needed
Tire Plug Kit($1.99 from HarborfreightTools)
Source of air to inflate tires
You are working on one of the most important parts of a vehicle. Even though it is hard to mess up but don't do a half job! If you are in a doubt, take it to a tire shop!
1. First, you need to remove the vehicle weight off the tire you are going to work on. This is because once you remove whatever has gone through, the tire will lose air; if your tire is carrying the weight of the vehicle then it will collapse.
2. Once the tire is off of the ground carrying no weight, you can safely remove the nail from the tire. Don't be surprised if you have a long nail and/or something short that won't let the air out once removed as shown in the picture. The air in the tire will leak for some time. Let it leak until it stops.
3. Take the reaming tool and the rubber solution. Apply the solution to the reamer and work it in and out of the hole. You will have to repeat this step several times by applying the solution and push the reamer in and out until it moves relatively freely. After awhile you will be able to see the hole is being wider and the rubber will disintegrate and become semi soft.
5. Thrust the preped tool into the hole until only 1/2" of the plug material remains outside of the tool. Once that is done, rotate the handle 1/4-1/2 turn and pull it out of tire. The plug should stay in the tire. This step is a lot tougher than it sounds. It won't slide in. It took me a good 10 minutes for this simple step.
6. Cut the remaining plug material as flat as you can with respect to the tire surface.
If you have any questions or recommendations, please let me know!!
I tried my best to document as much as possible along with pictures. I hope you find them useful. However, do use the information provided here "as-is". DailyDrivenTJ.com or the author does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, or process disclosed. Use the information at your own risk.
Written by Michael on 9.9.2006.
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