Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Emergency Tire Repair

Guide To Tire Repair In An Emergency
What you will need
Scissor jack-comes with your car
2 ½ ton jack would be nice
Tire iron
Plug kit
Small portable air compressor
A spare tire
Tire gage
What Can You do When You Get A Flat?
Your driving down the road and you hit something or something gets caught in your tire. You are out in the middle of nowhere. You can tell when your tire goes flat, starts to lose air, or you have trouble turning the wheel of your car. Regardless what has happened to your car, it is important for you to get off the road. Hopefully you got off the road because if your tire is flat, you need a good place to change the tire. Even with a flat tire, you should be able to get off the road and over to the right of it. When you repair or change your tire, you want to be in a safe place. Tire repair needs to be done in a safe place.
Your First Step
You are off of the road, get out of your car, (if it is nighttime) grab your flashlight. Look around your car to see what damage there may be to your tires. When you find the injured tire, check it to see if it can be repaired. These are the two major things you will look for when you find the injured or flat tire.
1)Your tire is flat, I will tell you how to change your tire. Or your tire is destroyed, still needs to be changed.
2)Your tire has a nail in it, I will tell you how to repair it.
Repairing A Flat Tire Or Changing a completely destroyed tire
Sometimes you can repair the tire while it is still on the car. It depends if you can reach the nail easily or if it is in a bad place. What determines this is the position of the nail on the tire. A lot of times SUV's or Trucks are the easiest to fix the tire without taking it off. However, if the tire is already flat, it is best to take the tire off of the vehicle.
Taking the tire off of the vehicle is not nearly as hard as it might seem. Get the equipment you will need to do this task. You will need your scissor jack (2 ½ ton floor jack if you have it), tire iron, plug kit, pliers, small portable air compressor, and your own brute strength. Take the tire iron and remove the hub cap by using the (screwdriver looking side) and wedging it between the hub cap and the wheel. Do this until you get it off. Sometimes the hub cap is held on by very cheap lug nuts. If this is so, use the other side of your tire iron to loosen them and the hub cap will pull right off. When the hubcap is off you are ready to loosen the lug nuts that hold the wheel on to the car.
Usually there are four or five lug nuts holding the wheel on your car. The wheel holds the tire and this is why you have to take the wheel off. To loosen the lug nuts, take the lug nut side of the tire iron, and fit it on each lug nut. You must turn the lug nuts counter clockwise to loosen them. Sometimes, you will have to kick the tire iron with your foot to begin loosening the lug nuts. To do this, take your foot (with a shoe on your foot) and kick the top of the tire iron towards the left or counter clockwise. When you have loosened the lug nuts, you are ready to jack up your vehicle. Pull the emergency brake on before you jack up your tire.
Take your scissor jack (or floor jack) place it under the car to jack it up. It needs to be a place that will raise the tire up high enough to take it off and it needs to be solid. Take the handle on the scissor jack and turn it clockwise. Continue to do this until your car is high enough to take the tire off of it. When the car is jacked up, turn each of the lug nuts off until they turn off by hand. Eventually you can pull the tire off. Pull the tire towards you until it comes off of the car.
To replace the tire with a spare is easy. Take the spare and put it on the car just like you took the tire off. The only difference is you will be doing everything backwards and most spare tires are smaller than your regular tires. It is optimal to have a full size spare tire, but not everybody has them. Push the spare on to the car and begin to put the lug nuts on by hand. Tighten each lug nut as much as you can with your hands. Get the tire iron and begin to tighten the lug nuts as much as you can without using all of your strength. When you are done tightening all the lug nuts, go to the scissor jack and turn it counter clockwise to bring the car down to the ground. When you are able to pull the scissor jack out, you are ready to finish tightening the lug nuts. Tighten them this way. Start at the top left lug nut, tighten it. Go to the bottom right lug nut, tighten it. Go to the top right lug nut, tighten it. If you have four lug nuts, tighten the last one and you are finished. If you have five, you are finished when you have tightened all of the lug nuts. Put everything away and drive your car to work, home, or the repair shop. This all depends on what your schedule is like. It also depends on whether it is late and the repair shop is closed.
Tip- always check to see if your spare tire is filled with air. If not, you do have the air compressor to fill it. Make sure you get the portable air compressor which is powered by your cigarette lighter outlet. Also do not drive too fast or too long on a spare tire. It is a spare, not a real tire.
Your tire has a screw or nail in it.
If our tire is not flat (and is still losing air) it may have a nail or screw in it. Take your flashlight and look to see if you can find the nail or screw. If you can find it, you can (most likely) repair it on the road. You have the tools, use them. Tips-sometimes putting water on the tire will show you where the air is coming from. Pour bottled water or your drink on the tire if you need to.
Get your tire plug kit. Make sure you have the tool with the round rough end on it. This tool is to make the hole in your tire bigger, so you can fit the plug into the tire. The other tool has a long hole at the end of it. This tool is used kind of like a needle. You will take the plug and put it through the hole like you would put thread through the end of a needle. However, you will put the plug half way through the hole. If it is correctly done, you will have equal amounts of the plug material on both sides of the hole. Make sure you put the plug (the plug is the sticky rubber material in your plug kit) through this tool before you take the nail out of the tire.
Taking a nail out of a tire can be aggravating. Sometimes, the nails really get stuck good. Take your pliers and pull the nail out of the tire. Air will begin to shoot out of the tire. You can wait to the air is out of the tire before you plug it. Or you can plug it my way, the easy way. Take the first plug tool and plug the hole. The air will stop and you can use this tool to get the tire ready for the plug. All you do is turn the tool around and it will make a hole big enough for the plug. It is really this simple. Pull the other tool out and force this tool into the hole. This tool will automatically push the plug into the tire. Push the plug about two thirds into the tire. When you are at this point, pull this tool out. The plug will remain in your tire and most of the air. Get your air compressor and fill your tired to the desired level of air. Put your tire back on your car the same way you did your spare tire. If you decide to wait for the air to deflate from your tire, use the same process to put your plug in. The only two difference are these, it will be easier to plug your tire, and it will take longer to inflate it. If you don't consider yourself strong, this would be the best way for you to fix your tire.
When you are done putting your tire on the car, lower the car, and put all of your materials away. You can go to work, home, or have your car checked at the repair shop. I would recommend you have a repair shop check out your work the first few times you plug your tire.
Tips-Before you go out on the road, try out all of the above processes.. The more ready you are on the road, the safer you will be. You can try everything out except for plugging the tire. You don't want to put a hole in your tire just so you can see if you can plug it. Here's what you can do. However if you get a nail in your tire at home, this is the perfect place to learn how to plug your tire. Also, if you get a flat tire at home, this is also the best place to learn how to change your tire.
Make sure your flashlight has good batteries in it at all times. Keep some extras in your car.
Make sure you are familiar with your plug kit and how the tools work-make sure it has plenty of plugs in it
Make sure you know how to use your portable air compressor. You don't want to learn on the road.
Test your scissor jack. Make sure you know how to use it
Try loosening and tightening the lug nuts on one tire on your car
you can buy all of these materials from Walmart. I would go to Walmart because they usually have the best prices. Don't buy the basic tire plugging kit, but the best one they have. Most tire repair shops will tell you not to try to plug your own tires. I have been doing this for years and have not had any problems.
One last and important tip-If there is a nail on the inside of your tire, treat this tire like a flat tireDo Not Plug A Tire On The Inside Of The Tire. Only Plug A Tire Where There Are Tire Treads.

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