Like it or not, almost our entire transportation system is based on tires. We need them for public transport, we need them in our own cars and we can not go for a bike ride without having two tires. The sad thing is that, until one of them gives up, we never consider tires as an important part of our lives. The saddest thing is that the tires know how to teach us a lesson and show us how important they really are, by surrendering in the most unpleasant moments. When you are in a hurry and you absolutely need to get somewhere, you will get a flat tire.
Leaving aside the irony of the situation, a flat tire and having the skills to change or fix it, can be the difference between life and death. There are many scenarios in which it is absolutely necessary that your car or bicycle work with its optimal parameters, and a floor can be the worst thing to happen. For example, when you run away from a hurricane or tornado, you do not need to call AAA to help you fix your tires.
Also, imagine that you are on a camping trip with the whole family and, on the way, one of your tires simply does not want to take it anymore. Generally, these situations can be solved simply by changing the problematic wheel with the spare wheel and keeping the plane for later inspection and repair. This also means that you must have the right tools and skills to make the change between the automobile wheel and the automobile wheel.
An expert driver will know how to solve the problem without ruining the fun for the rest of the participants in the trip. It usually takes about 15 minutes to change the flat tire and move to the desired location so it is not a big problem. Therefore, if you still do not know how to change a flat tire, it’s time to learn!
Preparing for the event.
Nobody wants something bad to happen, especially when you go to a relaxing place where you want to spend a few days of silence and fun.
However, you must prepare for such events, so that, when they occur, you will be ready to face them and resolve them quickly and efficiently.
A quick check
The first thing that a responsible driver must do before starting a long trip is to put the car in service for a quick check. Here, your car will be inspected to detect possible problems on the road and this also includes the tires. If you do not have the time or the intention to repair the car, you can do it yourself, in the garage or in the backyard. Look for signs or points of worn threads, cracks, possible foreign elements or anything else that indicates that your tires are near their expiration date. If your tires do not look tough enough, maybe it’s time to buy new ones.
Here are some Tips on when it’s time to change a tire:
- check the tread if it is 1/16 of an inch, the water is no longer deflected by the tire;
- Check if the thread wear is even by touching the wheel with your hand. If the wear is uneven, this may be the effect of a misalignment, so you must take the car to a service before changing the problematic tire.
- Check for bumps or side bubbles: this means that the structural integrity of the tire has been damaged and can explode at high speeds and cause an accident. If you see something like this on your tires, do not wait to see if the threads are worn, that tire needs to be changed as soon as possible!
The right tools
The second step to prepare is to make sure you have the right tools and know how to use them. Most cars are already equipped (by the producer) with some necessary tools such as:
- a simple jack
- a spanner
- the spare tire
As you can see, it’s not much, but if you know how to use them, you can get out of a bad situation. To learn how to use them, check the manual of the car and read the instructions there.
To make life easier, you should also add the following elements in your trunk:
- a thicker canvas or mat so you can kneel and access the tire easily without getting your clothes dirty;
- The rubber or work gloves would be perfect so as not to get your hands dirty;
- a flashlight with some extra batteries in case the problem occurs during the night;
- some type of sealant that is used to fix small punctures (we will discuss them later);
- a tire gauge and tire blocks;
- a raincoat to protect it when it rains (yes, the tires also deflate during the rainy days);
- Extra clothes for the cold season to keep you warm while you work in the snow.
Of course you can add to this little tire kit, but these are the main elements you should have in case something goes wrong.
How to change a flat tire in your car
Let’s discuss how to really change the plane with the spare wheel. It is not difficult and practically anyone can do it, so do not expect to be a tedious activity that requires a lot of effort. After doing it once, you can do it whenever you want.
The first thing to keep in mind when changing a tire is the Location. Try to make the car as far away as possible from traffic and make sure that other drivers can see it by activating emergency lights. Also, try to get a flat, solid surface that supports the car from all points. Avoid as much irregular or soft ground as possible, as there is a danger of the car moving away from you into a ravine or on a slope.
To ensure that the car remains in a firm position and does not move while operating around it, apply the parking brake and put it in Parking or first if it has a standard transmission. Since some additional precaution never harms anyone, place some heavy objects in front of the tires (you can use stones or, if you have them, the tire blocks).
Next, make sure you have all the necessary elements at arm’s length so that they are easy to grasp when you need them. Start by removing the cap so you can see the nuts. With the key, try loosening the nuts: you do not want to remove them completely, you just want to give them a good start while the car is still on all fours.
To do this, turn the key to the left. Sometimes, the nuts are extremely tight and the strength of your arm is not enough. From the experience and ingenuity of other drivers, here are two tips that can be helpful when the nuts do not move:
- Try to stand on the key while it is placed on the nut. Using all your weight may be just what a stubborn nut needs;
- Take a stone or a hammer (one of the items that are not on the list but which is good to have around) and hit the arm of the key with it. Usually, this does the trick with the worst nuts.
As soon as the nuts are a little loose and you feel that you can unscrew them easily, take the jack and place it under the frame, near the problematic tire. Make sure the jack is placed on the frame and not on the floor of your car. Usually, producers create a special place in the frame for the cat so that you do not put it wrong and break some of the most sensitive parts.
With the jack in place, start lifting it until you feel it support the car for the problematic wheel. Check if the jack is firmly in place and if it is perpendicular to the ground. If you tend to lean on one side, you must lower it and place it again until it is correctly positioned. If everything is in order, continue lifting the jack until the tire is no longer on the ground.
Now, unscrew the nuts you loosened before and make sure you do not lose them, since you will not be able to drive anywhere without them. Once the nuts are down, pull the tire towards you and place it on the ground. Actually, it is recommended to place it under the car, near the steering wheel with problems, so, in case something goes wrong and the car falls off the jack, it has something to stop the fall.
Take the spare wheel and place it in the hub, making sure to align the studs of the nuts with the holes in the wheel and push it until you are sure it is fixed. Then begin to put in the nuts and screw them in just to keep the wheel in place. At this point there is no need to tighten them. Just make sure the wheel is perfectly balanced and screw the star nuts from one nut to the other.
If you apply too much force at this point, the jack may be out of balance and accidents may occur, so do nothing more than screw the nuts with just your hands. With the wheel in place and the nuts screwed in, start lowering the jack until the car is on its own four wheels again.
Remove the jack and take the wrench to tighten the nuts. You can use the same “techniques” you used when unscrewing the nuts. Once this task is done, it is time for cleaning. Gather all your tools and place them in the trunk, along with the flat tire. Take a quick look to make sure you have not left anything behind and can continue your journey.
How to fix the puncture
Now that you have learned how to change the tire in case you have a floor on the road, it is time to see how to solve the problem. Most drivers will simply take the tire to a service and let the professionals take care of it, but if you are curious and want to learn new things, you can turn this project into a DIY project.
The most popular cause of the floors is the puncture. Small, sharp objects such as nails, screws, staples, items that you might not think of being on the road and under the tires can obscure your day. Now, you have two main possibilities to repair a puncture (in addition to going to the service):
- Use of sealants;
- Using a tire plug kit.
Both methods are safe and simple, but both require a small budget to acquire all the necessary tools and elements.
Fix the tire with sealants.
For this operation, you will need a tire sealer, a pair of rubber or work gloves, a pair of protective goggles and pliers. First, be sure to read the instructions on the sealant since different manufacturers have different rules when it comes to applying the solution on the tire. If you can, remove the object from the tire with pliers or something with a sharp end.
To apply the sealant, simply remove the valve cap and attach the sealant nozzle to the valve stem. Press the button on the recipient to release the contents of the tire. Then follow the instructions on the recipient and when the waiting time expires, you can re-inflate the tire.
To help you speed up the process, we put together a list of the three best sealants you can find online. We use its popularity among users as a rating factor. The products that we mention in our list are available for all types of tires, so do not expect to read only the tires of the cars. Tires like bicycle tires, wheelbarrow tires, lawn mower tires and other types are definitely on our list.
NoTubes Tire Sealant
This is a fantastic sealer for cyclists, as it helps maintain the tire for long periods of time. Cyclists who like to take mountain routes usually have to carry a tire repair kit in their backpacks, but with this sealant, the problem is solved. It remains liquid inside the tire for approximately 6 months and when a new puncture appears, it covers it immediately, which allows it to go on without even knowing it. It also works on larger punctures.
With a quart you can fix up to 8 tires and can repair a 0.25 inch hole instantly. The price varies around $ 20, so it is quite affordable considering that a good bicycle tire can sometimes cost around $ 50.
The scammers mentioned with this product are the fact that the dry sealer can cause oxidation points in the wheel. Also, you should not use it with wheels that you do not use, since the liquid inside evaporates and the latex will solidify slowly.
If you like this product, you can find it and buy it on Amazon.
Tire sealer without camera Slime 10009
This product is amazing to fix maximum punctures? Inches on your tires without a camera. It is also surprising to use it as a preventive measure and acts almost immediately when something sharp decides to live on your tire. It is announced that it will last up to 2 years and is extremely easy to clean with only water.
Its use is not recommended for high speeds (more than 65 mph), except in cases of emergency. This warning is issued by the manufacturer as the product may cause excessive vibration. In addition, it will not seal the perforations in the side walls and its use with defective valves is not recommended.
It is ideal for both bicycles and cars and even for other types of tires. Users are completely satisfied with the product, with one exception, cars with tire pressure sensors. This product is not made for this type of tires.
If you like this product, you can find and check its price on Amazon.
Tire Inflator with hose Fix-A-Flat S430 for large hoses
This is the product you want to have around your car! You can seal a 3/16 inch puncture and you will have a new and inflated tire in a matter of seconds. It works with tire pressure sensors and is easy to clean with water. Even so, this is not a product that will make your grip stay flat for as long as you would before the puncture. It’s actually more of a quick patch before applying a real treatment to the tire.
It can be applied to several types of tires and produces a slight imbalance in the wheel due to the liquid that has just been introduced. This feels a little uncomfortable to drive, but you’ll get used to it.
If you like this product you can find it and buy it here.
Using a tire plug kit
First, let’s see what a tire plug kit is and what it contains. Almost all kits contain the same tools with small additions for certain manufacturers. The only difference between the kits is actually the design and perhaps the materials from which the tools are made. Also, the price may vary, but a standard tire repair kit should cost no more than $ 20. It’s a very small price to pay for the health of your tires.
A tire repair kit usually contains the following items (not necessarily all the items mentioned below):
- 1 T-handle insertion tool
- 1 spiral handle probe
- Repair plugs to insert into the puncture.
- hex keys
- sealing lubricant
Now, let’s see how to use one of these kits to repair the punctured tire.
The fist you need to pull the bucket wheel with a wrench and a jack (see above in the instructions on how to change a flat tire). As soon as you have the steering wheel in your hands, turn it over and find the puncture. If you can not see any foreign object, try to “see” with your hands. It will be easier to feel a small object on your tire than to see it with your eyes. As soon as you find the little bug, use a pair of pliers to remove it.
There are times when you can not see or feel a foreign object in the tire and this makes your life a bit difficult, since it will be harder for you to find the leak. For these situations, use soapy water (shake until it becomes foam). Pour the soapy water over your tire and observe it carefully. Where there is a leak, the soapy water will make bubbles.
Now that you have the leak, mark it with a marker, chalk or something more visible. Obtain the T-handle spiral probe from the kit and insert it into the hole by moving it up and down. This action cleans and evens the area and removes dirt so that the glue sticks properly. Then, add the glue or cement from the kit and use the T-Handle insertion tool to insert the plug into the hole. It should stay about 1 inch from the plug. Wait approximately 1 minute and then cut the rest of the stopper.
The next step is to verify if you really did a good job. To do this, inflate the tire to the correct pressure and check if the pressure is maintained for a few minutes. After this, go to the puncture and add some soapy water around it. If there are no bubbles, then you did a fantastic job! Replace the tire in the hub and enjoy your trip!
Again, to make things a little easier, we put together the 3 best products on the market, so check the following list.
Victor 22-5-00106-8 Heavy-duty tubeless tire repair kit
This is a standard repair kit that costs around $ 10 and comes with the two T-Handle tools and 5 pieces of 4-inch heavy-duty repair plugs.
This kit can be used for radial tubeless tires and double layer tires.
If you like this product you can find and check its price here.
Tire plug kit Slime 1034-A T-Handle
This kit also has the standard elements, but the T-handle tools seem more resistant and allow you to apply more strength. In addition, the kit contains 1 tube of glue for repairing the tires, so you can fix the puncture without having to remove the wheel from the hub.
If you like this product, you can find it and buy it on Amazon.
Professional tire repair kit Tooluxe 50002L
This is a more sophisticated set that comes in a heavy-duty heavy-duty plastic toolbox, which allows you to keep the entire kit together. In addition to traditional T-handle tools, the set also contains 2 hex keys, sealing lubricant and 30 pieces of rope plugs.
The price is a bit higher (around $ 20), but if you want some additional quality, this kit will definitely be with you for a while!
The final conclusion after seeing how to change and fix a floor is that there is nothing to worry about. Sure, it’s an unpleasant event but with the right knowledge and skills, you can fix it in a few minutes.
If you like this product, you can find it and buy it on Amazon.