How to Use a Tire Repair Kit

a pair of pliers in front of a tire

A tire repair kit is one of the more valuable emergency items you can carry in your car. Think of it as being just as important as a having a spare tire available at all times. Even the largest, newest and strongest tires fail or get punctures. Most tire repair kits can be purchased at a local automotive parts store.

Materials and Tools (Present in the Kit)

  • Self-sealing strip tape
  • Vulcanizer
  • A tool that will increase the size of small and tiny holes
  • A tool that is used to push the plugging strip into the puncture hole

Step 1: Buy a Gauge and Pliers

Make a trip to the automotive parts store and purchase a pressure gauge. This gauge should measure between 0 and 50 psi. Pick up and purchase a pair of pliers. They come in handy when removing the nail or rock from your tire to expose the hole completely.

Step 2: Buy Extra Plugging Strip

Rather than use Fix-a-Flat or a liquid that pushes a soft material into the tire, use plugging strip. Purchase extra plugging strip at the automotive parts store. Plugging strip can be used on any type of flat tire or puncture hole.

Step 3: Remove Object

Remove the object that is responsible for creating the puncture or hole in your tire. It may be a nail, a screw, a rock or any other type of debris left on the roadway. Discard the item in the trash can. (Note: you may need to use your pliers to remove a hard to remove or tightly packed item from the tire)

Step 4: Apply Rubber Cement

Using the patch-kit probe, cover the tip with rubber cement (two to three drops will do). Insert the probe into the hole in the tire. Twist the probe from one side of the hole to the other side. Slide the probe inside and out of the hole. This will apply the rubber cement and clean the puncture in the tire.

Step 5: Fix the Puncture

Remove a repair strip from the kit. Apply it to the eye of the probe until you have applied the strip up to approximately the center of the material. Add a dab of rubber cement. Carefully push the probe (with the repair strip attached) into the hole in the tire until only a very little (approximately ¼ inch) of the strip is showing out from the tread of your tire. Gently, using a twisting motion, pull the probe handle and remove the probe from the tire. The patch will remain in the tire as you pull up on the probe. Trim the repair strip as close as possible to the tire’s surface.

Step 6: Fill the Tire

Using an air compressor or an air machine at a gas station, replace the air that has been lost from the tire due to the puncture or hole. Re-inflate the tire according to the tire requirements.