Where’s my Spare? You need a Flat Tire Repair Kit
July 9th, 2019
Has this happened to you? You pop open your car trunk, lift the luggage floor cover and (*gasp*) nothing! Your spare tire well is empty! Don’t worry, you are not alone.
One in three new cars today don’t come with a spare tire. While some cars come with nothing in the trunk, most come with a flat tire repair kit – a compact device that injects repair sealant and air into your flat tire for a quick and easy repair.
While these repair kits may seem new to car owners in the United States, they are a much more common form of emergency tire repair in Europe, where cars are smaller and often do not have spare tires.
Flat tire repair kits have a lot of benefits. First, they are easier to use than a spare tire. For those of us who struggle to jack up a car, pry off lug nuts and haul a tire in and out of a car trunk, a flat tire repair kit can be a life saver.
Additionally, tire repair kits are faster than other tire repair solutions. They typically get you back on the road in 10 to 15 minutes – much shorter than the time it takes to put on the spare tire or wait for roadside assistance.
Flat tire repair kits come in two main types:
- Two-Step Kits: These tire repair kits contain two separate elements – a bottle of tire repair sealant and a tire inflator. First you inject the tire sealant to seal the puncture, then attach the inflator and air up your tire to full inflation.
- One-Step Kits: These tire repair kits are all-in-one. Simply attach the air hose and you simultaneously inject repair sealant and air into your tire at the same time. They are easier and faster to use than the two-step kits.
When selecting a flat tire repair kit, look for ones with replaceable refill bottles or cartridges, so you can extend the life of your kit. Also, be sure to buy the right size repair kit. Larger tires found on trucks and SUVs are going to need more sealant and more powerful tire inflators, so pick a larger repair kit that matches your tire needs.
The spare tire is an outdated way to solve a flat tire emergency. Next time you find yourself with a flat, reach for a flat tire repair kit!