Author Topic: Fix a Flat, Slime, etc. Advice??  (Read 1642 times)

lizzzi

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Fix a Flat, Slime, etc. Advice??
« on: April 03, 2017, 08:01:13 AM »
Travel long-haul interstate highway trips a few times a year alone except for small dog. Have SUV with good tires and have never had a flat. Don't think I would even attempt to change a flat tire myself--the spare is in good shape, but deep underneath and within the SUV somewhere...I do have AAA. Question: Should I carry a Fix a Flat type of product, and what are some of your experiences with them? Any wise counsel would be appreciated. I make every effort to drive only in daylight and in reasonably clement weather. Most of the driving is on I-80 through Pennsylvania. (mountains, trucks, middle of nowhere, etc.)

Dave1442397

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Re: Fix a Flat, Slime, etc. Advice??
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2017, 08:41:15 AM »
You could carry fix-a-flat, etc, but I would only use it as a last resort. The problem with that stuff is that it can harden inside your tire, rendering it useless, and it can also stick to the inside of the wheel rim to the extent that either the rim needs replacing, or someone spends a couple of hours chipping it off.

In a lot of cases, you can fix a puncture using a cheap tire plug kit (check Amazon, they start at under $10), and if you carry a floor-standing bicycle pump that can handle a schrader valve, you can pump the tire up easily enough at the side of the road.

AAA would be the easiest option if you don't want to change it yourself.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Fix a Flat, Slime, etc. Advice??
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2017, 08:46:21 AM »
In a lot of cases, you can fix a puncture using a cheap tire plug kit (check Amazon, they start at under $10), and if you carry a floor-standing bicycle pump that can handle a schrader valve, you can pump the tire up easily enough at the side of the road.
I discovered the tire repair kits about 4 years ago when we got a puncture at 7pm on a Saturday evening, just as we were about to drive 1,000 miles back home from vacation.  I've now used them three times with zero problems, and highly recommend buying one and learning how to use it.

marielle

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Re: Fix a Flat, Slime, etc. Advice??
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2017, 08:53:11 AM »
I've never used fix-a-flat, but if you go to a tire shop after using it, make sure you tell the mechanic. It's pretty nasty stuff and a warning is definitely preferred before it explodes everywhere!

I also carry a bicycle pump in my car, it's actually pretty easy to pump up a tire if it's just a little low.

yachi

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Re: Fix a Flat, Slime, etc. Advice??
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2017, 09:45:36 AM »
If you read your SUV's manual it will tell you how to get to the spare.  Often there is something inside the SUV that you twist to lower the spare.

checkedoutat39

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Re: Fix a Flat, Slime, etc. Advice??
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2017, 10:00:57 AM »
If you can change the tire and get to a garage it's usually around $20-30 to get a flat patched up. Note the work requires removing the tire from the rim, finding the hole, fixing it, putting the tire back on the wheel, inflating the tire and putting it back on the car in some order. This is one place a shop has an economy of scale over DIY.

nobody123

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Re: Fix a Flat, Slime, etc. Advice??
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2017, 10:23:23 AM »
Now that cars have idiot lights for tire pressure, you should be able to get to a garage to fix a slow leak due to a nail / screw in the tire before it is too flat to drive on.  Most garages around here won't even bother trying to repair a tire if you've used fix a flat because they have to damage the tire to get it off the rim once it's been 'glued' on by fix a flat.  I do carry a cheap air compressor in my trunk that plugs into the car in case I have a slow leak and need to top off the tire before heading to the garage.  They are like $10-$20 at WalMart or Target.

If there is a catastrophic failure (gash, sidewall damage), fix a flat isn't going to do squat. 

You're paying for AAA for a reason, just let them change the tire.  If it's at night, in the rain, etc., why put yourself in danger on the side of the road.

lizzzi

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Re: Fix a Flat, Slime, etc. Advice??
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2017, 10:48:02 AM »
I know where the spare tire is in the SUV and theoretically how to get it out and theoretically how to change the tire--just doubt that I could do it. (jack the vehicle up, get the lug nuts off, lift the bad tire off and lift  the spare tire on--yikes.) I would definitely try calling AAA as my first option. But I can just see this occurring--Murphy's law--in the middle of the Pennsylvania Wilds with a bad cell phone signal and no garage within 50 miles. lol

I was the one who started that other thread about using a bicycle pump to top off my tires. I have a good standing bicycle pump, but found it very awkward to use on the SUV tires--it's possible, but difficult--odd angle, releases a lot of air while I'm trying to clamp on or off. I tried an inexpensive compressor that broke the first time--I returned it to the automotive store immediately, and have just been topping off my tires myself using a gas station set-up in NY, and having Goodyear do it for me in the Heartland.

My concern is for when I'm in between those two places. Fix a Flat or Slime don't sound like the best way to go. I'm going to look into a patch kit and a better compressor. The dog and I travel well-prepared for an overnight motel stay somewhere if need be--or for a night sleeping in the vehicle--but of course, I'd rather not do that if I can keep myself on the road.

MightyAl

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Re: Fix a Flat, Slime, etc. Advice??
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2017, 10:55:53 AM »
Fix a flat is a one time use kind of deal.  Once you use it the tire can't be repaired and has to be replaced.  A good plug kit and compressor would be better in the long run if you get a puncture through the tread.

If you aren't wanting to mess with the tire then fix a flat is the fast and easy way to go. 

ChpBstrd

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Re: Fix a Flat, Slime, etc. Advice??
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2017, 10:57:35 AM »
DO NOT use fix-a-flat on modern cars with tire pressure sensors. The glue will gum up this sensor, result in a constant tire pressure warning light on your dash, and cost at least $80-100 to fix at your next tire change. I made this mistake on a '12 Fit. Bottom line, there is no substitute for being able to change a tire at all times. Keep your spare inflated. Consider keeping a 12v air compressor and a plug kit in the car to make the change go faster.

Fishindude

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Re: Fix a Flat, Slime, etc. Advice??
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2017, 10:59:58 AM »
Learn how to change your tire.  Get the owners manual out and change one on a nice dry day on level pavement for practice.
That spare is there for a reason, use it if necessary.   Also, this is exactly why you pay for the AAA membership or road service on your car insurance, make a call and use it.

Fix a flat and plugs are for when you are out in the boonies and don't have other options.   With either of these, I'd still have a pump of some type also to fill the air.
I've plugged tires successfully many times, they do work well, but if your car sits outdoors in freeze / thaw the adhesive will go bad over time.

checkedoutat39

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Re: Fix a Flat, Slime, etc. Advice??
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2017, 11:04:09 AM »
Middle of nowhere, huh? I've been stuck 25 miles away from the nearest pavement and another 50 or 60 from the nearest town of any size.

Anyway, get a full-sized spare if you don't have one already (most SUVs should). I'm in the backcountry a lot and it's the single best piece of mind I have. With a full-sized spare you can drive at normal freeway speeds and it's much safer. You still want to fix the flat as soon as it is convenient, because the difference in tread depth between the spare and the other tires will mess with the differential, but you have a few days and more miles as opposed to OMG RIGHT NOW with a T-spare. I've driven 200+ miles back home on my spare -- not ideal but gives you much more flexibility.

HipGnosis

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Re: Fix a Flat, Slime, etc. Advice??
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2017, 12:35:04 PM »
Have your tire inspected and repaired as soon as possible after Fix-A-Flat has been installed and notify them that you used Fix-A-Flat.
Part of the repair (if possible) is to remove the Fix-A-Flat.

rulesofacquisition

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Re: Fix a Flat, Slime, etc. Advice??
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2017, 12:44:39 PM »
Practice changing the tires. Know where to place the jack and carry a floor jack if you have room. I carry a 4 way lug wrench so I can step on it and pull at the same time. I also use Never Seez on the studs and have them tightened with a torque wrench by hand. I'm a small woman and used to travel alone towing a horse trailer, so tried to plan ahead.