Tips from Used Car Advisor

Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

Hi, this is Tamotsu Todoroki. I am a car advisor of
I write an online column every week to take care of your vehicle. My column is all about something useful and practical for your vehicle. Please have a look once to keep your car in good condition.


What Is a Tire Puncture Repair Kit? - Vol.416

Back in the day, cars came equipped with a full-size spare tire. It was a fairly easy process of jacking the car, taking the wheel off, putting on the spare, and then fixing the punctured one later on.

As cars became much more complicated, designers and engineers went for lighter designs to increase performance or lower cost, or both. And part of that push was to use up every inch of space so there's no waste. This is why many cars don't come with full-size spare tires anymore, but much smaller ones sometimes referred to as donuts.

These take up considerately less space in the trunk and you can still drive to the nearest tire shop to get your punctured tire fixed.

The next step of this evolution is the introduction of the tire puncture repair kit. In terms of space saving, there simply isn't anything that can beat this. If your car doesn't have any type of spare tire, it either features flat-run tires or a puncture repair kit.

The kit is meant as a sort of first aid for a tire puncture. Just like the donut spare wheel, it will save you some time and make it possible to get to the nearest tire shop, where you'll get your tire repaired by a professional or simply replace it with a new one.

If you car didn't come with one, you can purchase one at any well-equipped automotive parts store.

Tools and Materials
Most puncture repair kits will feature the same contents, but that may vary depending on the manufacturer. Upon opening the kit, you'll find a tube of rubber cement, self-sealing strip tape, tool for increasing the size of tiny holes in the tire, and another tool for pushing the plugging strip into the hole created by the puncture.

Keep in mind that these might not be enough to repair the tire properly, so while you're at the auto parts store, get some more items. First thing we suggest is to buy some extra plugging strip, just in case you're struggling with the one included in the kit.

We also suggest that you purchase a pair of pliers, as without them you might not be able to remove the rock or nail that caused the puncture in the first place. Once that's out, you'll have full access to the hole.

It's a good idea to get a pressure gauge which can measure between 0 and 50 psi. You'll need this to check the tire pressure when you're done with the repair.

Repairing the Tire
Once you've located the object that caused the puncture, you'll have to remove it. It could be a rock, a screw, a nail, or any other debris you encountered on the road. This is where the pliers will come in very handy.

Take the probe and cover its tip with two to three drops of rubber cement before inserting it into the hole made by the puncture. Apply the cement by twisting the probe across the sides of the hole. Make sure you also move it up and down, until you cover all sides.

After this, take a repair strip that is included in the kit. It needs to be applied to the tip of the probe, so that you can place it at the very center of the hole. Add a tiny bit of cement before pushing the probe carefully into the hole.

Once you gently remove the probe from the tire, just trim the excess repair strip.

As you've probably lost some air due to the puncture, re-inflate the tire at the nearest gas station and measure the pressure with the gauge you've purchased earlier.

And that's about all you need to know about the tire puncture repair kit. Remember that it's a temporary fix. Don't waste any time visiting the nearest tire shop to get the problem resolved by a trained professional.