How to Seal a Flat Tire

man changing a tire
What You'll Need
Bike puncture repair glue
An air pressure pump
A pressure gauge

Getting a flat tire is one of the most annoying things that can happen to any driver, and can sometimes mean that your car is temporarily off the road while the flat is being repaired. Flat tires can happen to anyone, and it can be a good idea to carry a puncture repair kit with you when you travel. Rather than leave it to a garage, there are things that you can do to prevent a flat tire from leaking air, and if you follow a few simple rules you should be able to seal up that tire in a matter of minutes.

Step 1 - Locate the Tire Problem

flat tire

Locate the point at which air is escaping from the tire. If you can see a hole, that is probably the part which needs patching, but if you can't see any obvious damage, you will need to check all around the tire to find out where the loss of air pressure is coming from. The best way to do this is to partially fill the tire using a pressure pump. Remove the tire from the wheel (you may need to unscrew the wheel using a wrench to get the tire off) and lay it down on the ground. Inflate the tire using the pump, and then watch for leaks from areas which you have already suspected are the cause of the flat. Run your hands around the tire, and take notice of any air escaping on to your hand.

Step 2 - Repair the Leak

Once you have found the leak, you can create an airtight seal using a standard bike tire puncture repair kit. If the hole is small enough, just dab a layer of the glue over the indent, and leave to dry. If you need to repair a larger hole, just add a tire patch and seal it in place with the glue. Take the tube of sealant, and squeeze it around the area where the hole is, or place the patch over the damaged space first. Take care that the glue forms an air-tight seal around your space, and then leave it to dry. These methods should keep air from leaking out.

Step 3 - Finish Up

checking tire pressure

Once you have allowed the glue to dry, push some air back into the tire. The air should now swell the tire without escaping. If you find that there is still a leak in the tire, check the glue first, and then examine the rest of the tire. A wheel tire which has been penetrated by nails may only have one hole, but it if was sharp grit, or just general wear and tear, then there may be small holes in a variety of different places. When the tire is completely fixed, place back onto the wheel, and screw the wheel back onto the axle using a wrench or a screwdriver.