Flat tyres are quite common in India due to poor road conditions. Any sharp object such as a nail or a piece of broken glass may damage the tyre of your vehicle. Flat tyre can be a challenge especially when you are driving away from the city limits and have no access to a mechanic. A flat tyre can damage the rims of the vehicle and may also cause accidents. However, fixing a flat tyre isn’t very difficult and is something every car owner should know. Also, fixing a puncture by yourself can save you a lot of time and effort to find a repair shop or get your vehicle carried to a garage. A car owner must carry the puncture kit in the car at all times to be able to fix a flat tyre when need be.
Step 1: Locate the Affected Area: The first step is to find if there is a visible leak in the tyre. Try to find if the rubber is pierced by taking a closer look at the tyre. You may also inflate the tyre to find the leak and spray water mixed with dish soap to see if there are bubbles coming out from the tyre. If you are not able to locate a puncture on the tyre, you may check the tube to see if there is a tear or cut on it which led to a puncture. Once you find the affected area, mark the same with a sticker or coloured tape.
Step 2: Remove The Wheel: The second step requires you to unbolt the nuts on the wheel with a spanner to remove the tyre. You must unscrew the nuts before jacking up the car or else the car may lose its balance. Once you are done loosening the lug nuts, you may jack up the car using a jack stand.
Step 3: Remove The Tube: In case of a tube tyre, you may unbolt the valve to remove the tube. If the puncture is not visible, you will be required to inflate the tube and dip the same in water to locate the leak. In case you do not have a tub or container, you may pour water on the tube using the bottle to find out the affected area. Also, you should keep a spare tube handy if you do not have enough time or resources to locate the puncture and fix it.
Step 4: Fix The Puncture: In case of a tube tyre, you may apply a sticker on the punctured area which will fix the leak. If your car has a tubeless tyre, you may use a plug to seal the punctured area. For easy insertion of the plug, you may use an adhesive or rubber cement. Once you apply the plug, leave it still for 2 minutes for the adhesive to dry. You may cut out the excess plug coming above the surface of the tyre.
Step 5: Inflate the Tyre And Check Again: Once you fix the punctured tube or tyre, you must inflate the tyre/tube and again dip the same into water to check if the leak has been fixed. If you still see bubbles rising, there might be multiple punctures in the tyre or the existing puncture has not been fixed properly. In such a case, you may need to do the whole process again. Conversely, if you do not see air bubbles while rechecking the tyre, you may go ahead and fix the tyre to the wheel.
Step 6: Finally, you can inflate the tyre to the suggested tyre pressure and reinstall the wheel using floor jack and spanners.
The process of fixing a tyre puncture isn’t as difficult as it looks to be. Having knowledge of the same will help you in difficult times. However, it is important for you to carry the necessary tools and solutions at all times so as to use your knowledge when time demands.