Essential Tire Repair Tools and Supplies

January 27, 2012

If you are going to fix a flat tire, you will need the right tire repair tools to do the job. A punctured tire can leave you stranded on the side of the road waiting for help unless you are in possession of the necessary hardware. On list that follows are the tools needed to plug a tire. Although a plug is a good fix, it's a good idea to get the tire checked out by a technician as soon as you can after the repair.

Tire Repair Tools

  • Pliers. keep an extra set of trusty pliers in your car's tool box at all times. When you get a puncture in a tire, the first thing to do is remove the foreign object. Pliers are a great way to do that
  • T-handle insert tool. there are usually two t-handle tools in a tire repair kit: the rasp tool and the needle insertion tool. The rasp tool is pushed into the puncture to clean out the hole in preparation for the rubber cement and tire plug. The insert tool forces the plug into the hole and secures it there
  • Tire plugs. You should always have a fair amount of these on hand. Tire plugs are treated pieces of cordage that are stuffed into the puncture and plug the leak
  • Rubber cement. This is the bonding agent that seals the plug into place
  • Tire inflator. either a portable inflator or an air compressor will get the tire full once again

You may be able to do the repair without removing the tire. If not, you will need a car jack and tire iron as well.

Where to Purchase Tire Repair Equipment
Tire repair kits can be purchased at any auto parts store, whether it's a chain like Napa or Schucks or an independent retailer. You can also find a wide selection of tire repair kits online.

How to Use a Tire Repair Gun
A tire repair gun is something that everyone should consider adding to their toolbox. Tire gun kits are available at most auto parts stores and can also be purchased on-line. Assuming you have already found the cause of the leak, the tire should be off the vehicle. Here is how a tire repair gun works:

  • Use the reamer tool in the kit to ream out the hole. This cleans out the puncture and prepares the hole for the plug
  • Prepare the plugger gun. Remove the nozzle of the gun barrel by unscrewing it. Release the lever at the back of the plugger gun. The plunger will pop out of the back
  • Put a mushroom shaped plug into the barrel. Use the nozzle you unscrewed to push the plug into the barrel
  • Locate the probe tool in the kit and screw the nozzle of the plugger gun onto the probe. Push the nozzle into the hole in the tire. Unscrew the probe tool, leaving the nozzle in the hole
  • Screw the loaded plugger gun back onto the nozzle
  • Pull and release the handle of the gun four or five times. The push rod will be pushing the plug into the tire
  • Release the push rod on the plugger gun. If the plug is out of the gun and in the tire then pull the plugger gun and nozzle out of the hole. If the plug is not completely out of the plugger gun then repeat the process of pulling the handle until the plug is in the tire
  • Use pliers to pull the stem of the plug out towards you about two inches. Re-inflate the tire to its full pressure and trim any remaining plug with a knife or scissors. You want to create as smooth a surface as possible

A tire plug will often last for quite awhile but to be on the safe side it is best to get the tire professionally repaired as soon as possible. It is important to remember that if the tire is splitting then a tire plug is not going to work and the tire should be replaced or fixed professionally. Easy to use and fairly inexpensive, a tire repair gun can be a real time saver when you get a flat tire.