There’s hardly a driver who has never been through that distressing episode when a tire (or two, god forbid) gets a little iron buddy stuck in it.
The buddy gets in, the air starts getting out. As bad luck would have it, it usually happens when you’re a long way from civilization. As if nails and screws and all kinds of bolts were raining from the sky and falling down right to the motorways.
Many a mechanic would shudder at the thought of plugging an injured tire without patching it from the inside, but sometimes it’s the only solution if you want to actually make it to the mechanic. (That being said, you should definitely take your car to a doctor as soon as possible.) I’m sure you’ve had this motorist friend who claims that he’s been ridin’ for years with a nail in his tire, without losing any air. Don’t mind stories such as this, as you definitely want to make sure that everything is fine from the inside, as well as on the surface of your tire
1) Inflate the tire
There’s pretty much nothing you can do with a flat and squashed tire. That’s why the first step is to inflate it. The second, of course, is to lift the vehicle and unscrew the tire to get it off. You’ll need an air pump, a jack, and pliers, but those are things that usually come with the car.
2) Use some soapy water to find the leak
Just spray the tire. You can really soak it and then look for the bubbles or foam to show you where the leak is. You can use tap water of course, but it will do the trick best when mixed with some soap.
You’ll also want to check the rim for corrosion. Maybe your tire loses air not because of a foreign object that’s stuck in it, but because the rim is corroded, so the tire doesn’t catch up well with it. Then you would have to remove the tire from the rim, clean the latter and put everything back together.
3) If the leak is on the tire’s shoulder part or sidewall, stop reading this text…
… And just replace the tire. If you don’t have a spare one and you’re in the middle of nowhere, find a tow service. That’s what they’re for.
Why is that so? The tire crown, that is the tread area, is the only repairable part. This is the First Commandment of manual tire repairing. If the sidewall or the shoulder is damaged, you don’t want to repair it.
There’s one more undesirable outcome. As you know, nails come in boxes. Somebody might have dropped the entire box, so you could have more than one puncture in your tire. If those punctures are too close to each other, give it up and call the mechanic.
4) Take the intruder out and prepare the hole
You can get rid of the nail by using pliers, screwdrivers, wire cutters, or whatever you’ve got there. Don’t expect this to be easy, though, especially if you’re a lady…
Once the spike’s out of the system, ream the hole, so there won’t be any remnants left. It has to be smooth. The reamer is usually a part of the plug kit, which will cost you just a few dollars. Some vulcanizing glue would add to the fun.
5) Finally, seal the hole with a plug
You’ll do this with the plug pusher from your kit. It also requires quite a bit of physical strength, but you’ll be able to do it if you use all of your body as a lever. This also calls for some vulcanizing cement, so you’ll want to leave it for 15 minutes to get dry. Cut the top of the plug, check the tire again for leakage, and this is all that’s needed.
After you take care of this situation on your own, don’t continue driving like this. You need to have your trusted mechanic take a look at your vehicle to make sure it’s still in good condition.
Let us be that for you! Come to our repair shops in Hamilton and Stoney Creek today and we will take care of your car like our own.