Q:

What products are available to temporarily fix a flat tire?

A:

Quick Answer

Pressurized can sealers such as Fix-A-Flat and tire sealant kits such as Slime are two types of products that drivers use to temporarily fix flat tires. Products like these should only be used in emergencies and only if the puncture in the tire is very small. A driver should seek a proper repair immediately after applying an emergency repair kit to a flat tire, as products that fix flats do not last indefinitely.

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Full Answer

Fix-A-Flat and Slime both operate in similar ways. Each product features a pressurized canister of sealant attached to a small inflation device that the driver plugs into an electrical outlet or car cigarette lighter. The device inflates the flat tire while simultaneously injecting sealant directly into the interior of the tire. This sealant coats the interior of the tire and expands, plugging any punctures in the tire.

While this type of repair is effective, it can present a couple of problems when it comes time to have a professional repair the tire. A professional must clean off the sealant inside before fixing the tire, which takes extra time and money. Sealants can also interfere with tire pressure sensors, though most sealants claim that they are safe and do not cause malfunctions with the TPMS sensors.

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