The situation can be even more annoying depending on when and where it happens to you. Well, depending on the severity of your famous “flat”, know that if you have a minimum of tool, a little time and resourcefulness, you will be able to repair your tire yourself.
Find the origin of the leak
If you are at home and you have some tools and especially an air compressor, you can try to repair yourself on site.
The first step is to refill the tire to the correct air pressure and locate the origin of the air leak. Although you can sometimes do this check with the wheel in place on the vehicle, it is best to remove it from the car.
Start by performing a visual check of the tread pattern. In most cases, a slow air leak can be caused by a nail, screw or other metal object driven into the tread. If you do not notice any abnormalities, you can also spray the tire with a mixture of water and soap and pay attention to the formation of bubbles, which will mean that there is an air leak.
In addition to the tread, pay particular attention to the tire valve and belt.
Two types of repairs
There are two main types of repairs to plug an air leak: the installation of a rubber wick and the application of an internal repair strip (commonly referred to as a “patch”). Although the wicks are very resistant, it is a temporary solution while the famous “patch” is permanent.
Repair kits containing a few drill bits and the tool to insert them into the tread are available in most auto parts stores. It is also with a repair kit so that you can repair your tire yourself.
To start, you will need to remove the nail or screw from the tread using pliers. Then, to plug the leak, use the insertion tool to insert the rubber wick where the tire is punctured. Finally, you will have to burn the part of the wick that protrudes to ensure maximum tightness.
If the puncture is larger, located in the sidewall of the tire or caused by a defective valve, you will have to go to the garage to have the tire removed from the wheel. Once the tire is removed, the technician can then install an internal repair strip or change the defective valve.
In any case, avoid driving with a low air pressure tire. You could cause irreparable internal damage and cost you much more than just a flat tire repair.