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RV Tire Safety: Can I “fix” my flat tire?

By Roger Marble
People often wonder: “Can I ‘fix’ my flat tire?” This is a reasonable question but the answer is not a simple Yes or No.

Here is a video from the Tire Information Association that covers the use of a simple “plug”-type repair.

This video shows an example of “hidden damage,” and here is what that “saw tooth” can turn into.

My post in 2017 has pictures of three examples of tires with internal damage that were improperly “plugged.”

Obviously, if just doing an external plug is improper, then squirting “oatmeal” into a tire in the hopes it will block the air leak is not a good option.

It may look like this:

or your wheel like this:

Squirt-in “sealant” can also “seal” your TPM sensor so you have to buy a new sensor. You also need to consider that the use of aftermarket “sealant” can void the tire warranty and even make it impossible to do a proper repair.

If you must use a plug, use it to get off the road and to the nearest service station where you can have the tire dismounted and completely inspected.

 

Read more from Roger Marble on his blog at RVtiresafety.net or on RVtravel.com.

 ##RVT978

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Ron L
11 months ago

The word “fix” needs to be defined. You can’t “fix” a blow out. You can “fix” a flat tire situation by replacing it with a spare…or you can put in a plug where a nail or screw penetrated the tire. However, if you have a large motorhome, you gotta be able to lift a 200 lb tire/wheel combination and torque the lug nuts to 450 to 500 lbs.

Roger Marble
11 months ago
Reply to  Ron L

OK Ron, you are correct. But the intent of this post was to point out that external “Plug only” repairs should be considered a temporary repair and that stuff you squirt into the tire air chamber have some significant downsides that few people know about and fewer mention.