Tire Repair Tools

Repairing a tire can be an exhausting job but it doesn't have to be. There is a large range of tire repair tools available to help reduce the workload. Tire sealant cans can make a flat tire usable for a short distance. Plug kits can fix small punctures without needing to remove the tire. Wheel cover pullers, lug wrenches, and tire lifts can help with changing the tire. Tire irons are used to separate the tire from the rim, and cold patch kits and tube scrapers are essential for repairing tire inner tubes.

Some cars don't have a spare tire to allow for extra boot space. Even when there is a spare tire, it can be useless because it wasn't repaired the last time a tire was changed. Pressurized tire sealant cans are great to have when stuck with a flat tire and no replacement. They have a long nozzle that connects to the valve and pumps the tire full of gas, along with a solvent and sealant that plugs small holes. It is not a permanent fix but it can last long enough for the car to reach a service station or home.

Plug kits contain a reamer, plugger, adhesive, and several rubber plugs. The reamer is used to make the puncture hole more rounded so that the plug form an airtight seal. The plugger is a large needle used for inserting plugs into the puncture. It has a hole at one end to hold the plug, and a handle on the other end for pushing it into the tire. Adhesive should be applied to the plug before it is pushed into the hole so that it remains in place. Once the puncture has been reamed, the plugger is pushed into it and quickly pulled out again, leaving the plug behind. The protruding end of the plug can then be cut off using a knife.

Everyone is familiar with the lug wrench but they are useless if the wheel cover can't be removed. While a flathead screwdriver can be used to remove the cover, it can also damage it. The wheel cover puller is similar to a screwdriver but has a curved rubber head that doesn't damage the cover. Once the cover is removed, the lug nuts are unscrewed using a lug wrench. If an air compressor is available, an air-powered wrench makes this laborious task much easier. Once the lug nuts are removed, the tire can be removed from the axle. Even regular car tires can be quite heavy so it helps to use a tire lift. These are similar to car jacks but have a support frame that holds the tire as it's being lifted.

Without a doubt, the most difficult part of tire repair is removing the bead from the rim. It is almost impossible to remove a car tire from the rim with their bare hands. An essential addition to the repair toolkit is the tire iron, sometimes called a tire spoon or lever. This is simply a long metal bar with a flat curved head that slips under the bead and levers it over the rim. There are also bead breaking hammers that have a small tire iron on one end.

Plug kits are fine for tubeless tires but regular tires need their inner tube repaired as well. Cold patch kits contain various size patches and rubber cement, and are good for fixing small holes in rubber inner tubes. Before a cold patch can be applied, the area around the puncture hole needs to be prepared. It should be free from dirt and grease, and also have a rough surface to improve the adhesive bond. The smooth rubber surface can be roughened using sandpaper but a tire scraper will do a better job. Rubber cement is applied around the puncture and a patch placed over it, and the tire left deflated until the cement has completely dried.

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