Patch Your Own Damned Tire

Satety Seal Tire Patch Kit

I’ve had a Safety Seal tire patch kit for several years. I got it back when I was wheeling my HUMMER and have used it several times. For the past few years, it’s just sat in a tool box in the back of my truck, unused. Until this weekend.

Saturday, we got in the car and the driver information center (DIC) lit up, “Check Left Rear Tire Pressure.” Ugggh. It was holding well at 26 pounds, and since we weren’t going far, I didn’t delay the outing. Upon return I topped the pressure off at the recommended 35lbs.

First chance I had Sunday, I checked the pressure on the DIC, 26lbs again 🙁 A quick check of the tire with a flash light revealed a screw embedded between the lugs.

I found the Safety Seal kit, pulled the screw, reamed the hole with the included tool (to properly size it), inserted the patch, trimmed it, and reinflated, right then and there…15 minutes. I didn’t play the fill-the-leak-until-I-can-waste-an-hour-or-so-at-the-tire-shop-on-Monday game. Yeah!

And as if that wasn’t triumph enough, I discovered another screw in the flat tire on my riding mower Monday. Since I remembered where everything was and had recently “practiced” with it, that fix took all of 5 minutes. Double yeah!

But what was with all the screws? We’re having our basement finished. And despite our builder’s attention to detail, small pokey things apparently have managed to sneak out onto the street and lawn here and there. I’m not thrilled, but since I don’t have to waste time going to the tire shop to get it fixed, I’m no overly upset.

The kit I have (amazon affiliate link) costs about $45 and is very sturdy.  The all metal probe and insertion tools won’t break as easily as some less expensive patch kits out there.  I’ve patch a few holes in the multi-ply light truck tires on my HUMMER.  So it’ll stand up to frequent use if you’re a contractor who frequently gets punctures on your work truck at debris strewn job sites.

If you’re capable of changing a tire, you’re capable of easily patching small holes in a tire with one of these kits.  Toss it in the back of the vehicle with a portable compressor (pliers, flashlight, and a pressure gauge might help too).  It might sit there for a few years unused, but if you have to use it just once, you’ll save yourself time and money not changing to spare and/or paying the tire shop to fix it for you.

I’ve used it 5 or 6 times now and have never had a follow-up issue with any of the sealed punctures.  It’s a good product, that’s well worth the money. I highly recommend it, and they didn’t pay me to say that.

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2 Responses to Patch Your Own Damned Tire

  1. Bob Easton says:

    Hear here! I’ve used one of those kits many times over the past few decades, always with good results.

    What I haven’t found a good fix for is aluminum rims that leak around the bead area. One of our cars still has aluminum wheels (can’t find steel replacements) that have been “fixed” several times now. I have several hundred dollars invested in scrape, scrub and seal treatments and one of them is still leaking 5 pounds per week. Frosts me to have to pump the damned thing up once a week in sun / rain/ sleet / snow. The F150 has steel wheels (after market replacements) which haven’t seen an air pump in 5 years. Looking at new cars, I can’t find one that has steel wheels. All of them now have crappy leaky aluminum wheels … AND automatic leak detection systems. Go figure!

    • evan says:

      There is a solution to the aluminum wheels, one that keeps the aluminum wheels: solid core tires. But then you’d probably be whining about how they’re always out of balance 🙂

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