How to Repair a Flat Tire

How to Repair a Flat Tire

When a flat tire happens while on the road, you should try to assess the situation as quickly as possible. Visually inspect the tire for any foreign objects or holes, and listen for a hissing sound.

Fortunately, there are several methods for repairing a flat tire while on the road, including using a plug or patch.

1. Remove the Tire

Remove the Tire

There are several ways to fix a flat tire. The most important thing is to find a safe place to stop and put on your hazard lights. This will alert other drivers to your situation and give them time to react accordingly.

Next, carefully drive to a spot where you can safely and completely remove the tire. Check for other hazards like passing traffic or wild animals.

Once you have found a safe place to park, loosen the lug nuts using a lug wrench. Be careful not to over tighten them as this can cause your tire to spin dangerously when you try to remove it.

After removing the lug nuts, use your jack to raise the car enough to allow you to work on the tire. Remember to keep the jack pointed in a safe direction, as per your vehicle’s manufacturer guidelines, check out here.

2. Remove the Lug Nuts

A lug wrench (also called a tire iron or a tire tool) should be included in your vehicle’s emergency tire kit along with a jack and a spare. This specialized tool grips onto the head of each lug nut, allowing you to twist it off with all your strength.

Mechanics typically use an impact wrench, which is designed to spin fasteners quickly without requiring much hand effort. WD-40 or a similar penetrating oil can also help loosen stuck lug nuts. If the lug nut is stripped or otherwise damaged, a pry bar can be used to lever it up and loosen it.

Plugs and patch-plugs are among the best short-term methods for repairing a flat tire. They are essentially pieces of string coated in unvulcanised rubber. The technician may need to drill the hole and widen it slightly before inserting the plug. Once the plug is in place, it is vulcanised and air can be added to the tire.

3. Jack Up the Vehicle

Jack Up the Vehicle

While a plug is one of the easiest and most affordable methods to repair a flat tire, it is not a permanent solution. It is recommended that you take the tire to an auto repair shop for professional patching or replacement.

To begin, loosen the lug nuts (or lug bolts) that hold the wheel to the hub using your lug wrench. Loosen each nut by turning it counterclockwise, but don’t remove them completely. Next, place the jack under the vehicle at a point that will not damage the frame or warp components. Refer to the vehicle owner’s manual for specific placement instructions.

Once the jack is in place, raise the vehicle until the flat tire is at about the 2 o’clock position. It’s a good idea to put something under the car before you do this — a brick or block of wood will do the trick. This will help to ensure that the jack won’t roll off the vehicle while you are working on the tire.

4. Remove the Tire

A tire can be flat for many reasons. Most commonly it’s caused by a foreign object (like a nail or screw) that punctures the tire, causing an external tear. Other times the tire may simply be losing air due to an internal leak. In either case, the tire should be removed from the vehicle.

Locating the source of the leak can be difficult. Fortunately there are some tricks to help you find it. Try examining the tire visually, inflating it and listening for a hissing sound or using a leak detection liquid such as vegetable based soap or car manufacturer approved leak detection spray.


Once the tire is loose, remove the lug nuts (always loosen them before jacking up your vehicle) and then remove the tire from the vehicle. Be sure you are in a safe place, as the wheel and lug nuts can still spin dangerously at this point.