I grew up around cars my entire life and could turn a wrench around the same time I learned to walk. As a result, I've learned a lot about car maintenance, repair, and mechanics. I also learned that a lot of people don't have that level of understanding, so I wanted to share my skills and my knowledge with others. I've created this site to help teach people how to maintain their own cars safely so that they don't risk disaster on the road. I hope the information here helps you to take better care of your car and maybe make fewer trips to the local auto repair shop.
When you're running late or have a jam-packed schedule, it's frustrating to have to take time out of your day to replace a flat or damaged tire. You may even find yourself in a situation where it isn't feasible to immediately replace a tire, either due to financial limitations or lack of access to a business that sells new tires. Or, perhaps you want a few more days to research prospective tires for your vehicle. Here are a few options to explore when you can't immediately purchase a new tire.
1. Replace the Tire with a Used Tire
If a new tire isn't in your budget, you can save money by replacing your damaged tire with a used tire. When purchasing a used tire, make sure to only purchase the tire from a reputable tire shop that inspects and guarantees its tires. Even if a tire looks like it has adequate tread, it's possible the tire is old or has previously been damaged.
2. Plug the Tire
Plugging your tire is a short-term solution that will give you a few days to rearrange your finances to accommodate a tire purchase or fit a trip to the tire shop into your schedule. You can plug your tire using a tire plugging product from a retail store.
Basically, you insert the plugging product into the tire via hose that connects to the tire valve. The plugging product enters your tire and plugs the puncture or hole where the air is leaking. Then, add air to the tire to re-inflate it. Make sure you follow the product's instructions regarding the amount of time it's safe to drive on the plugged tire.
3. Patch Your Tire
Depending on the cause of your flat tire, you may be able to patch the tire. When you have a tire patched, you're basically plugging the hole where air is escaping and then sealing the plug with a durable patch. When a tire is patched correctly, you're usually able to use the tire for its entire lifespan.
However, there are some limitations when it comes to patching a tire. You can only patch a tire once, and if the tire is old or has other damage, patching it isn't a safe option. The position of the hole in your tire will also influence whether patching is a viable solution for your flat tire. Holes or punctures located on the sidewall of your tire shouldn't be patched. When you drive, this area of your tire is subjected to a lot of pressure. This pressure makes it possible that the patch won't hold.