How to Use a Truck Tire Repair Kit

February 17, 2012

A truck tire repair kit is at least as essential as a spare tire. You're less likely to use your spare tire if you have the means to make minor repairs.

Using the Jack in a Tire Repair Kit

A truck tire repair kit is not only a good idea, it could be a lifesaver if you get a flat in the middle of nowhere. Certain types of tire repair kits let you plug the puncture without actually removing the tire. If you have to repair a punctured tire but you have no spare, follow this step-by-step to get you back on the road.

What a Tire Kit Should Include

  • Sealant
  • Tire plugs
  • A puncture probe
  • A plug holder
  • A car jack
  • A tire inflator
  • Pliers
  • A knife or scissors

Locate the Source of the Leak
Many tire repair kits let you plug a puncture with the tire still attached to the wheel assembly. That being said, if the puncture is located somewhere that cannot be reached without removing the tire, you will be forced to do so. Assuming you can see the puncture, locate the foreign object.

Remove the Object
Use the pliers to remove the object from the punctured area. This may take more than a little heave, especially if your truck has very thick tires.

Probe the Puncture
Apply a few drops of sealant/rubber cement on the tip of the puncture probe and work it into the hole. This slightly widens and cleans out the puncture while at the same time applying adhesive for the plug. Repeat this two or three times, each time with newly added drops of adhesive.

Insert the Tire Plug
Take the plug holder in one hand and roll up one end of a tire plug in the other, enough so it can fit into the needle eye of the holder. The plug should be held tightly. Apply another two or three drops of adhesive to the end of the holder and work the needle and the plug into the hole. It can take some finagling to get the plug in, but it should go in all the way. Make sure you leave about ¼ inch remaining outside the tire.

Remove the Needle
Twist the handle of the holder about a quarter-turn to remove the needle. The plug should stay inside the tire. With a knife or scissors, cut the remainder of the plug down to about â…› inch.

Inflate the Tire
Unscrew the tire valve cap and attach the tire inflator. Depending on the strength of the inflator and the size and pressure requirements of the tire, this should take anywhere from two to five minutes.

Now you are ready to get back on the road. Some people swear by tire plugs and insist they are a permanent fix. Others recommend you get the truck to a service station to get it checked out. Whichever school of thought you follow, a tire repair kit is at the very least a great temporary fix.

The Average Cost of a Truck Tire Repair Kit
You can count on spending an average of $30 for a tire repair kit that will serve you well. The best kits include all the materials necessary to repair the punctured or flat tire, not something that just temporarily patches the tire.

Some additional items that you should look for in a tire repair kit include:

  • Heavy-duty needles
  • A probe to clean the hole and around the hole
  • Lubricant for the needle
  • Razor blades
  • At least a dozen plugs
  • 12 volt tire inflator