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How to Fix A Flat Tire (puncture repair plug)

Fix a flat tire

Alright, so today on Repairs101 I’m going to show you how to fix a flat tire by repairing the puncture with a plug. You know that annoying “tick tick tick “ sound your tire makes when you pick up a rock? Well, it’s not always a rock.

Ok so you want to head down to your local automotive supplies store and pick up one of these Tire Puncture Repair kits. Now the ream may be spiraled like this one or knurled like this one. And it will come with a tire plug insertion tool. These plug strips are essentially a piece of rope impregnated with a silicone / rubber compound. You want to flatten the end and then thread it through your insertion tool. Now honestly I have never used the rubber cement but I imagine it acts as a lubricant.

And this is what it looks like, if you can imagine that this is the tire.

Ok now you’re going to push the plug into the puncture. And let me tell you it’s a lot easier said than done. Ok now it’s critically important that you don’t twist or turn the tool as you insert the plug or as you remove the insertion tool. And so this is what it would look like if you could see the tire plug through the tires wall. So if it’s not obvious you may have to feel around your tire treads to find the puncture. Failing that try a mixture of dish soap and water and spray it around the tire and look for bubbles. While you’re at it check the Schrader valve inside the valve stem.

Alright be sure and chock your tires before you get started. Inflate your tire according to the specs on the tire sidewalls. Or on the sticker found on the door post by the driver’s seat. Jack up your vehicle until the wheel runs free and settle the weight down into a jack stand. Use a pair of Vise Grips or Channel Locks or whatever pliers you have to remove the offending item. Remember to set your parking brake before you proceed with the ream. Because – trust me – it will not be easy to push the ream in for the first time.

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Some people plunge in and out. But I’m under the impression you’re trying to part the twisted wire cables of the steel belts. I apply firm pressure with clockwise turns to the handle only.

Of course the easiest way of doing this is to remove the tire from your vehicle and use your body weight to push straight down – and installing the plug will not be easy – that’s for sure. Here you can see I’m using my knee to push on my hand. Now it’s hard to see here but what I’ve done is loop a webbing band through the tire in order to give my foot a purchase so I can push against my knee.

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Now you don’t have to trim the tails if you’re in a big hurry. The road will do that for you. But it does look professional. And finally don’t forget to check your tire pressure again before you get rolling. Alright thanks for watching and don’t forget to subscribe!

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