Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities

Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby lightheir » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:38 pm

I had an unexpected flat tire on my Prius in the outparts of Napa Valley, CA, a full hour from most civilization today. Fortunately, the Prius does have a spare, and after about 35 minutes of effort due to the woefully suboptimal (but functional) lightweight tools the Prius comes with, I got the spare on.

Was looking for the most cost effective, and hopefully, time efficient way to get my original tire back in service, mounted, and then spare put back. I was originally going to take it to the dealer (I know nothing about cars) but then on second thought, thought I'd ask here first.

Some options I was thinking about:
- Take the flat tire to the auto mechanic (not dealer), have him patch the flat, and then remount it myself. I'd have to buy a real car jack for this - the Prius one is horrendous to use outside of an emergency. I thought this would be the cheapest, and possibly most time effective since it should be easy to get an appt. (Should I go to a tire specialist, or does everyone handle this?)

- Go to the tire specialists, have them do everything. Would probably be easier to get an appt than the dealer, who is very busy here. Not sure how much this would cost - if it's not much more than the above option, I'll go this route.

- Go to dealer

Just asking thx
lightheir
 
Posts: 1352
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:43 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby livesoft » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:45 pm

I tell my daughter to get my tire fixed. Don't you have teenage drivers? (OK, she's no longer a teenager, but still knows how to pull strings.)
This signature message sponsored by LadyGeek.
livesoft
 
Posts: 35140
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby BrandonBogle » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:48 pm

All my current tires are from Discount Tire Co and have free unlimited balancing and rotation. If I needed a flat fixed, I would take it to them.

That said, they are a great company to go to for your future tire needs.
User avatar
BrandonBogle
 
Posts: 1261
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:19 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby Cherokee8215 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:54 pm

I usually take the flat to a tire store where they patch the hole and put it back on the car for around $25 in about 15 minutes while I wait. Note, if the hole is in the sidewall, it often cannot be repaired and the tire is trash.
Cherokee8215
 
Posts: 2082
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:16 am

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby jsl11 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:58 pm

A tire store is probably the best place to get a tire fixed. There are two ways to fix a tread puncture:
1. Put a plug in the hole. This is the cheapest and fastest. However, it weakens the tire.
2. Put a patch on the inside of the tire. This is better because it does not weaken the tire. However, it requires removing the tire from the wheel, patching the hole, remounting the tire and rebalancing the wheel.
Jeff
jsl11
 
Posts: 3243
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:26 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby Niko » Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:36 pm

If you're in Napa Valley CA you should have access to Les Schwab Tires. Hands down the best tire company I've ever been to. In the past, they would repair flat tires for free if the tire was purchased from them or if it was an original tire that came with the car. Not sure if that's still the case, or if that policy varied on location. But you might check into it.
Niko
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 6:37 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby surfer1 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:02 pm

If the tire is bald (old) anyway, just get a new one. Otherwise, if it's in generally good condition aside from the flat, get it patched. Any mechanic can do it in about 15 mins. They can stick one of those rubber pieces in the whole and it kind of melts into it. That will last a year or more. It's even easier if you still have the nail sticking in the tire, since it acts as a marker.
surfer1
 
Posts: 172
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:35 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby tyrion » Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:08 pm

If you're worried about cost, don't be. This is a $10-40 repair. Tire shop, dealer, gas station mechanic... any will do. As previously mentioned, damage to the sidewall means a new tire is needed. If it's something through the tread it can be repaired relatively easily.

If you purchased tires from somewhere other than the dealer, go back to the same place. Many will fix for free. If you have original tires, try the dealer if you generally take it there for maintenance. Otherwise try a tire shop.

I generally buy tires at Costco. They will repair for free if you have a flat on their tires.
User avatar
tyrion
 
Posts: 786
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:33 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby MathWizard » Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:24 pm

I never repair a tire.

I would just replace the pair.

Though I am frugal, I don't skimp
on repairs to tires, brakes or front end

In my opinion it is a safety issue. A blowout
at highway speed can cause a crash.


I've done extensive car repair, sometimes
saving a little is not worth it.Just go to
a tire dealer and get tires for both
sides.

If it is the rear pair move the fronts to
The rear and mount the new ones on front
Always have the best tires on front
MathWizard
 
Posts: 1575
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:35 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby OldOne » Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:48 pm

Take it over to one of those places on Pinemont and they'll fix it for about $4.
User avatar
OldOne
 
Posts: 127
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:02 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby tibbitts » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:33 pm

You don't say what's wrong with the tire, so nobody can comment as to whether it can even be repaired. If you have a puncture, it's only repairable if it's in the center portion of the tread. Punctures in the outside of the tread or in the sidewall are not repairable.

Repair costs vary widely. Plugs inserted from the outside aren't used by any repair services that I know of. Plugs inserted from the inside are fine by ordinary standards, although admittedly if you're driving habits are on the extreme side, you might take the approach that any repair wouldn't be good enough. You have to mark the tire prior to removal to make sure it's still balanced when it's reinstalled on the rim. Obviously rebalancing would also work, but would usually cost more money. My last puncture repair (earlier this year) cost $10. I don't know of any tire stores that charge for removing and replacing the tire they're going to repair, but maybe some do.

Paul
tibbitts
 
Posts: 5126
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby telemark » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:49 pm

I was lucky the first time I needed to change a tire: someone else, who had proper tools, kindly stopped and did it for me. The handle for the jack had somehow gone missing, and I don't have the strength to break the nuts loose with the tire iron they supplied. I had to order a replacement handle through the dealer, and I bought a 4-way folding tire iron that works even for me. Cheap insurance.
User avatar
telemark
 
Posts: 1006
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:35 am

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby Driver » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:03 am

MathWizard wrote:I never repair a tire.

I would just replace the pair.

Though I am frugal, I don't skimp
on repairs to tires, brakes or front end

In my opinion it is a safety issue. A blowout
at highway speed can cause a crash.


I've done extensive car repair, sometimes
saving a little is not worth it.Just go to
a tire dealer and get tires for both
sides.

If it is the rear pair move the fronts to
The rear and mount the new ones on front
Always have the best tires on front


I do not believe this is correct. I'm no expert, but Tirerack.com states to put a new pair of tires on the rear:

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=52
User avatar
Driver
 
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 3:18 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby Balance » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:17 am

I go to America's Tire Company here in the Bay Area, CA. They have other locations throughout the country as well. They fix any flat for free if possible or tell you if it is not possible to repair it. They will also recommend a new tire for you if your tire is beyond repair. They will price match any tire competitor and had lower rates than Sear's and Costco when I last shopped for a set.

http://www.americastire.com/dtcs/home.do
Balance
 
Posts: 245
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:27 am
Location: San Francisco, CA

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby jda » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:18 am

discount tire and I am sure other big chain tire store will gladly patch your flat for free assuming it's not leaking through sidewall which is not repairable.

If your tire needs to be replaced, you might need to repair a pair at a time depending on the wear.
jda
 
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:03 am

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby tibbitts » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:38 am

SteveNet wrote:
telemark wrote:I was lucky the first time I needed to change a tire: someone else, who had proper tools, kindly stopped and did it for me. The handle for the jack had somehow gone missing, and I don't have the strength to break the nuts loose with the tire iron they supplied. I had to order a replacement handle through the dealer, and I bought a 4-way folding tire iron that works even for me. Cheap insurance.


A great tool for in the trunk is a cigarette lighter plugin electric impact gun, comes in its own case and with different sockets.
I keep that and a 12v air compressor made for travel in my cars.
Too old to be messing with what the manufacturer calls a lug nut wrench, I used to keep a breaker bar in the trunk for such things, but now the electric one works just fine.

http://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result?q=12v+impact

Just remember, the lug nuts need to be torqued properly asap.

I have a 120v electric impact wrench, rated at 240 ft. lbs. of torque. It's the usual imported tool sold at tool discounters (mine is from harborfreight.) It can't break even modestly torqued lug nuts loose, although it does make a lot of noise trying. So I'd be careful to test any 12v impact wrench for actual power. My 120v model is handy for other applications, but whereas a serious air-powered wrench can easily break loose fasteners that an ordinary person with ordinary hand tools can't, you can't count on lesser tools to have that capability. Some of the higher-end lithium-battery powered impact wrenches might actually have more power than my 120v model.

I've also had several 12v compressors that can't inflate a tire. The one I have now actually can inflate a tire - in about 15 or 20min - but also burns the hose off where it attaches to the compressor regularly (you can cut it off and reattach, but it keeps getting shorter, obviously.) Also it blows the cigarette lighter fuse if not attached directly to the battery via clamps.

So, buyer beware when it comes to marginal tire-changing tools.

Paul
tibbitts
 
Posts: 5126
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby tibbitts » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:42 am

Balance wrote:I go to America's Tire Company here in the Bay Area, CA. They have other locations throughout the country as well. They fix any flat for free if possible or tell you if it is not possible to repair it. They will also recommend a new tire for you if your tire is beyond repair. They will price match any tire competitor and had lower rates than Sear's and Costco when I last shopped for a set.

http://www.americastire.com/dtcs/home.do

Really? They fix tires for free that they didn't sell?

Paul
tibbitts
 
Posts: 5126
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby tibbitts » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:43 am

jda wrote:discount tire and I am sure other big chain tire store will gladly patch your flat for free assuming it's not leaking through sidewall which is not repairable.

If your tire needs to be replaced, you might need to repair a pair at a time depending on the wear.

Same question for discount tire (actually the same company as in the other post, I think)?

Paul
tibbitts
 
Posts: 5126
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby Khanmots » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:57 am

Ever since I got a flat and realized that the dealer gave me the wrong key to my locking lug nut I've kept a tiny air compressor powered by the cigarette lighter in the car. Costs like $20 and so far has been able to keep me going without needing to swap out for a spare... even when I took a 1/2 diameter bolt I was able to air it up to 40ish psi and drive the 5-10 miles to a repair center and still have 28 or so when I got there. Did have someone follow me on that so if it started looking low I could put more in. Far easier than swapping out for a spare (and safer if you're by the side of the freeway... you're spending far less time exposed)

Also, I've yet to have a problem with any reputable repair. They've all held just fine even though I drive rather aggressively and put a good deal of stress on my tires. As for where... at least down here Discount Tire will do free flat repair regardless of where you bought your tires. I'm assuming they do so to generate good will and get people buying tires from them.
Khanmots
 
Posts: 1126
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby interplanetjanet » Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:56 am

tibbitts wrote:I have a 120v electric impact wrench, rated at 240 ft. lbs. of torque. It's the usual imported tool sold at tool discounters (mine is from harborfreight.) It can't break even modestly torqued lug nuts loose, although it does make a lot of noise trying. So I'd be careful to test any 12v impact wrench for actual power. My 120v model is handy for other applications, but whereas a serious air-powered wrench can easily break loose fasteners that an ordinary person with ordinary hand tools can't, you can't count on lesser tools to have that capability. Some of the higher-end lithium-battery powered impact wrenches might actually have more power than my 120v model.

This is my experience as well. Electric impact wrenches are sometimes pretty iffy.

I'm not all that strong, though I do work on cars at times. What I carry is a regular L shaped lug wrench, and a couple foot section of steel pipe that can slip over the long side of the wrench. Putting some thought into how to get the most leverage can make a big difference.

The section of pipe doubles as the handle for my jack, so that works out well.
User avatar
interplanetjanet
 
Posts: 2214
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:52 pm
Location: the wilds of central California

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby lightheir » Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:45 am

interplanetjanet wrote:
tibbitts wrote:I have a 120v electric impact wrench, rated at 240 ft. lbs. of torque. It's the usual imported tool sold at tool discounters (mine is from harborfreight.) It can't break even modestly torqued lug nuts loose, although it does make a lot of noise trying. So I'd be careful to test any 12v impact wrench for actual power. My 120v model is handy for other applications, but whereas a serious air-powered wrench can easily break loose fasteners that an ordinary person with ordinary hand tools can't, you can't count on lesser tools to have that capability. Some of the higher-end lithium-battery powered impact wrenches might actually have more power than my 120v model.

This is my experience as well. Electric impact wrenches are sometimes pretty iffy.

I'm not all that strong, though I do work on cars at times. What I carry is a regular L shaped lug wrench, and a couple foot section of steel pipe that can slip over the long side of the wrench. Putting some thought into how to get the most leverage can make a big difference.

The section of pipe doubles as the handle for my jack, so that works out well.



Actually, despite my noobness at changing the lug nuts on a tire, I did discover a very helpful (and crucial) tip yesterday while trying to figure out how to change my flat.

The first problem I encountered was that my lug nuts seemed impossibly tight. The manual just said "loosen them" but even with all my strength, I couldn't do it. I even tried STANDING on the bar to get more torque, and it still wasn't enough. I was really despairing at that point - I was an hour out from the nearest auto center, so I'd be out there for 2 hrs or more just waiting for the repair guy to come. (I didn't even have a single park ranger pass by the entire time I was there.)

Then I remembered simple physics - if you JUMP on the handle of the lug nut bar, you can get several times your body weight of force. So I stood on the bar with both feet, and then did small jumps up and down on it. Sure enough, with a bunch of creaking sounds, I was able to loosen each lug nut. Mine were tight enough that there was no sudden give with the jumping - there was one loosening quarter turn and then I could do it by bodyweight and then by hand.

This would be a very helpful tip - I'm a pretty strong male, and there is no possible way that I could generate the same force with my arms on that bar, but it was very easy to do with the small jump. I did the same thing in reverse to tighten, just with a smaller jump, to make sure they wouldn't come off.
lightheir
 
Posts: 1352
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:43 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby DTSC » Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:22 am

Just take it to the nearest garage or car repair chain (Firestone, Jiffy Lube, etc) and get everything done there. Sometimes the tire just needs to be patched. Sure, you can do some of the work, but how much is your time worth?

I always carry a 1" diameter x 3 foot long steel pipe in the trunk to use as a cheater bar to use with the very short wrenches they seem to give these days. Works every time. Sometimes very old technology (the lever) work the better than anything else.
DTSC
 
Posts: 895
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:47 am
Location: Illinois

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby protagonist » Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:36 am

lightheir wrote:Then I remembered simple physics - if you JUMP on the handle of the lug nut bar, you can get several times your body weight of force..


Yes. Jumping is good.

If you have a major brand tire, there is a good likelihood that their brand-name shop will do the work for free.

If not, it should be an inexpensive job anywhere you take it.

Finding a puncture and patching it yourself is, in my humble opinion, not worth the small amount of money you will pay to get it fixed, and fixed properly....you can enjoy your lunch in a local cafe and read the paper, check your emails, whatever, while the work is being done. You may wind up paying more for lunch than for the repair.

Sorry if it seems like I am trying to micro-manage your life.

P.
protagonist
 
Posts: 2530
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby protagonist » Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:54 am

An aside, but from personal experience I would strongly recommend to NEVER buy a non-major brand tire. I did once...bought a set of Dayton tires at a local discount tire shop after being convinced that they were as good as the major brands, and perhaps they are.

A few months later I was driving on a Sunday in northern NJ on my way from MA to NC and had a flat that could not be repaired just outside the Holland Tunnel. I changed the tire for my "mini-spare". Called everywhere imaginable- despite northern NJ being perhaps the most tire-concentrated neighborhood in the Western world, I could not find a Dayton dealer open on Sunday. I drive an AWD vehicle (Honda Element). I didn't realize this, but it is strongly recommended to NOT buy one tire for an AWD vehicle if the tread does not match the others, and all of the tire shops around (Firestone, Goodyear, Michelin, etc) REFUSED to sell me one tire under the circumstances for liability reasons....I had to buy an entire set at a local Firestone dealer. Since my vehicle was packed for my trip, I had no room in the back for my other, essentially new, Dayton tires, and left them at Firestone. The Daytons were under warranty, but that did me no good. The alternative would have been to get a hotel room, miss my NC meeting, and drive a long distance the next day to the nearest Dayton dealer. The flat tire cost me $500, more or less, and an agonizing day on the phone, driving around, looking for solutions.

Caveat emptor.
protagonist
 
Posts: 2530
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby FrugalInvestor » Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:30 am

I've had good luck with Discount Tire also.
"Some men worship rank, some worship heroes, some worship power, some worship God, and over these ideals they dispute and cannot unite, but they all worship money. - Mark Twain
User avatar
FrugalInvestor
 
Posts: 3339
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:20 am

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby LadyGeek » Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:57 am

lightheir wrote:The first problem I encountered was that my lug nuts seemed impossibly tight. The manual just said "loosen them" but even with all my strength, I couldn't do it. I even tried STANDING on the bar to get more torque, and it still wasn't enough. I was really despairing at that point - I was an hour out from the nearest auto center, so I'd be out there for 2 hrs or more just waiting for the repair guy to come. (I didn't even have a single park ranger pass by the entire time I was there.)

Then I remembered simple physics - if you JUMP on the handle of the lug nut bar, you can get several times your body weight of force. So I stood on the bar with both feet, and then did small jumps up and down on it. Sure enough, with a bunch of creaking sounds, I was able to loosen each lug nut. Mine were tight enough that there was no sudden give with the jumping - there was one loosening quarter turn and then I could do it by bodyweight and then by hand.

This would be a very helpful tip - I'm a pretty strong male, and there is no possible way that I could generate the same force with my arms on that bar, but it was very easy to do with the small jump. I did the same thing in reverse to tighten, just with a smaller jump, to make sure they wouldn't come off.

It also works if you are a female. I discovered that trick a long time ago. :wink:

Now, let's extend the physics project. The lug nuts have a torque spec: Wheel Lug Torquing This is information is not normally included in the owner's manual, but is definitely needed by the tire mechanic. Let's say the lug nut requires 80 foot-lbs of torque. If your tire iron (lever) is 1 foot long and you weigh 120 pounds, and the iron is perpendicular to the ground (maximum force on the nut), then you should stand 80/120 or about 2/3 of the distance from the nut.

80 foot-lbs = 2/3 * 120 pounds

Another very important point is that you must follow a torquing pattern - this is for safety, refer to the article.

BTW, jumping on the iron provides an impact to overcome the initial Stiction force between the nut and the bolt.

(Update: SteveNet's post is a better explanation, especially about the (mis)use of compressed air tools. I've only seen one store, a tire store, actually use a torque wrench. Everyone else used an air impact tool.)
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
 
Posts: 20560
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby DTSC » Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:04 am

LadyGeek wrote: BTW, jumping on the iron provides an impact to overcome the initial Stiction force between the nut and the bolt.

(Update: SteveNet's post is a better explanation, especially about the (mis)use of air impact hammers.)



However, jumping on the iron does put you at risk of damaging the nut so that it's even more difficult to remove. A longer lever arm works much better.
DTSC
 
Posts: 895
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:47 am
Location: Illinois

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby protagonist » Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:12 am

Khanmots wrote:Ever since I got a flat and realized that the dealer gave me the wrong key to my locking lug nut I've kept a tiny air compressor powered by the cigarette lighter in the car. Costs like $20 and so far has been able to keep me going without needing to swap out for a spare... even when I took a 1/2 diameter bolt I was able to air it up to 40ish psi and drive the 5-10 miles to a repair center and still have 28 or so when I got there. Did have someone follow me on that so if it started looking low I could put more in. Far easier than swapping out for a spare (and safer if you're by the side of the freeway... you're spending far less time exposed)

A.


Thanks for the idea. I'll buy one.
protagonist
 
Posts: 2530
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby LadyGeek » Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:31 am

Be sure to get a good tire pressure gauge, the ones built into the air compressors may not have the accuracy to read down to the nearest pound or so. I do carry an air compressor in my car, along with a pressure gauge. (For emergency roadside use, the compressor alone is good enough.)

Just in case... You should always inflate the tire to the pressure stated in the owner's manual, never what's printed on the tire. Those who are experienced in this may deviate from this recommendation, but I wanted to be sure that the "basics" are understood.
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
 
Posts: 20560
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby protagonist » Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:35 am

LadyGeek wrote:Be sure to get a good tire pressure gauge, the ones built into the air compressors may not have the accuracy to read down to the nearest pound or so. I do carry an air compressor in my car, along with a pressure gauge. (For emergency roadside use, the compressor alone is good enough.)

Just in case... You should always inflate the tire to the pressure stated in the owner's manual, never what's printed on the tire. Those who are experienced in this may deviate from this recommendation, but I wanted to be sure that the "basics" are understood.


Thanks as well. Good advice.
protagonist
 
Posts: 2530
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby dratkinson » Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:47 am

Assuming you are following all vehicle tire-changing instructions and know your wheels' torque numbers....



(1) A simple nail hole through the tread area can be easily/cheaply/safely plugged. I repaired tires this way when I was a pump jockey, including mine. Kits are made to do this. Would expect any auto supply store to sell them.

For greater structural damage (large or jagged holes, torn ply layers, sidewall damage, ...) to a tire, it must be replaced.

(2) A cheater pipe (~18") does wonders for increasing lug wrench torque to remove stuck lug nuts. Buy it and test it before you need it.

Don't use a cheater pipe when tightening lug nuts to avoid over tightening. As tight as you can go using the lug nut tool and your hands is probably good enough if you are a heavyweight. A lightweight can stand on the tool as the last step to increase torque.

(3) Don't know if bicycle tire slime would have avoided the original flat tire. It seems to work well and keeps the air in my bikes and lawn cart tires. (Thorns.)

(4) I've read some have reported good results using a can of "fix-a-flat" on simple punctures to get quickly back on the road. (I've never used the stuff. Would expect there are some special procedures for carrying around this pressurized can.) Believe we are supposed to tell a tire repairer when we've used "fix-a-flat" on a tire.
d.r.a, not dr.a.
User avatar
dratkinson
 
Posts: 2549
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:23 pm
Location: Centennial CO

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby dratkinson » Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:55 am

LadyGeek wrote:... You should always inflate the tire to the pressure stated in the owner's manual...


Exception noted: Ford Explorer and Firestone tires. 26 psi was too low. Don't know what the revised recommendation became.
d.r.a, not dr.a.
User avatar
dratkinson
 
Posts: 2549
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:23 pm
Location: Centennial CO

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby enderland » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:06 pm

I found out that Sam's Club will repair flat tires for free if you are a member there.

You might check if you have a membership to any sort of store with automotive service (Sears, Sams Club, Costco, etc) - they might do it for free.
enderland
 
Posts: 194
Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:36 am

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby FrugalInvestor » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:27 pm

SteveNet wrote:
dratkinson wrote:Assuming you are following all vehicle tire-changing instructions and know your wheels' torque numbers....
(1) A simple nail hole through the tread area can be easily/cheaply/safely plugged. I repaired tires this way when I was a pump jockey, including mine. Kits are made to do this. Would expect any auto supply store to sell them.


Plug kits are perfectly fine for those inclined to undertake such repairs on the roadside. A plug will typically stop the leak and get you home providing the damage is not too severe.

However, a tire should not be just plugged, it should be plugged and patched to prevent internal damage to the tire over time. This requires removing the tire from the rim.

Here is a link to an article explaining this.....

http://www.motorweek.org/features/goss_ ... ot_to_plug

So even if you plug your tire on the roadside or in the garage you should take it to a tire shop to complete the repair (add an internal patch).
"Some men worship rank, some worship heroes, some worship power, some worship God, and over these ideals they dispute and cannot unite, but they all worship money. - Mark Twain
User avatar
FrugalInvestor
 
Posts: 3339
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:20 am

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby protagonist » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:41 pm

dratkinson wrote:(4) I've read some have reported good results using a can of "fix-a-flat" on simple punctures to get quickly back on the road. (I've never used the stuff. Would expect there are some special procedures for carrying around this pressurized can.) Believe we are supposed to tell a tire repairer when we've used "fix-a-flat" on a tire.


I tried this once and it worked but I wouldn't recommend it. It was a Firestone. When I took it to the Firestone dealer to repair (should have been a free repair), they refused to do it. Reasons cited:
- Canned fix-a-flat can erode the inside of the tire and cause problems down the road...they don't want to be liable
- Toxicity of working with the stuff.

The real reason is that it can be a real time-consuming pain to clean the stuff out so that it DOESN'T erode your tire down the road. They all have the ability to take necessary, simple precautions against toxicity.

I like the $20 compressor idea better.
protagonist
 
Posts: 2530
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby FrugalInvestor » Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:09 pm

SteveNet wrote:I'm not going to argue with Internet found postings, just sharing my own personal experience, take it for what its worth.


I posted the article to add some credence to my own opinion on the subject. Of course that's to be taken for what it's worth as well as they come pretty cheap. :beer
"Some men worship rank, some worship heroes, some worship power, some worship God, and over these ideals they dispute and cannot unite, but they all worship money. - Mark Twain
User avatar
FrugalInvestor
 
Posts: 3339
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:20 am

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby jay22 » Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:14 pm

Not trying to hijack OP's thread, but, is there a tire pressure gauge you'd recommend? I need to buy one and wanted something reliable and accurate. Thanks.
jay22
 
Posts: 361
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:56 am

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby stevep001 » Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:22 pm

I've had tires with smaller plugs last for the life of the tire. Bigger holes can't be fixed.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000LM ... UTF8&psc=1 is the pressure gauge I have. Works great.
stevep001
 
Posts: 283
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:23 am

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby tibbitts » Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:48 pm

I don't agree with the plug-from-outside recommendations. I've done a number of these myself. Usually they work ok and last the life of the tire, but it's dramatically easier to damage the tire while inserting the plug from the outside. Occasionally, even if done by an experienced person, they'll result in air leaks that result in belt separation. Inside plug/patch combinations use a different method to insert the plug portion into the hole, which results in less trauma to the tire and much less chance for damage.

Paul
tibbitts
 
Posts: 5126
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby protagonist » Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:11 pm

A challenge to the geeks following this forum:

A cell phone app that measures your tire pressure.

You might ask: how could this be possible??

Beats me.

I have a wind gauge on mine that I use when windsurfing, but that is a much simpler concept.
protagonist
 
Posts: 2530
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby tibbitts » Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:43 pm

SteveNet wrote:
tibbitts wrote:I don't agree with the plug-from-outside recommendations. I've done a number of these myself. Usually they work ok and last the life of the tire, but it's dramatically easier to damage the tire while inserting the plug from the outside. Occasionally, even if done by an experienced person, they'll result in air leaks that result in belt separation.

Paul


Yep, I don't recommend it for anyone that has never done it before, take it to a garage instead.
If you have done it before and know the potential outcome of screwing it up, then it's up to you...of course.

The problem is that even if you do it yourself, there's no different feedback when you leave what might become (maybe months or years later) a microscopic opportunity for air to invade. You could do the patch exactly the same way a thousand times, but a few percent will still fail. I'm just guessing but it's a matter of maybe having 3% of properly-installed plugs from the outside failing vs. maybe 1% of inside patches/plugs. Of course, the inside patch/plug probably adds another 1% of failure in terms of valve stem or bead seal issues, but that failure tends not to be catastrophic/permanent, while the tread separation can be.

Paul
tibbitts
 
Posts: 5126
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby gwrvmd » Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:46 pm

Having your flat tire repaired in the Caribbean (and probably in most 3rd world countries)
Jack up that corner of the car, find the nail or screw and pull it out, plug the tire and blow it up, let the car down off the jack
All done, $10.00 US, Good Bye Charlie..... $10.00 more if they have to come and do it in your driveway....Gordon
Disciple of John Neff
gwrvmd
 
Posts: 392
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:34 pm
Location: Calabash NC

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby whomever » Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:17 pm

This would be a very helpful tip - I'm a pretty strong male, and there is no possible way that I could generate the same force with my arms on that bar, but it was very easy to do with the small jump. I did the same thing in reverse to tighten, just with a smaller jump, to make sure ...


Lug nuts typically have a torque spec - 75 to 90 ft/lbs IMHE. If you exceed that, you risk stripping the stud threads.

I know this because the one time I let a tire shop change the wheel (a flat while travelling) they used an impact wrench to reinstall and when I next went to change the wheel I found the stud stripped - which on that vehicle required a destructive disassembly of the hub to repair.

I am a little OCD about torque, and use a torque wrench for the annual snow tire changeouts. It's easier than you might think for an average adult male to exceed the proper torque.
whomever
 
Posts: 244
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:21 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby tibbitts » Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:40 pm

gwrvmd wrote:Having your flat tire repaired in the Caribbean (and probably in most 3rd world countries)
Jack up that corner of the car, find the nail or screw and pull it out, plug the tire and blow it up, let the car down off the jack
All done, $10.00 US, Good Bye Charlie..... $10.00 more if they have to come and do it in your driveway....Gordon

Last month I also paid $10, but for an inside plug/patch.

Paul
tibbitts
 
Posts: 5126
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby lightheir » Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:57 pm

Balance wrote:I go to America's Tire Company here in the Bay Area, CA. They have other locations throughout the country as well. They fix any flat for free if possible or tell you if it is not possible to repair it. They will also recommend a new tire for you if your tire is beyond repair. They will price match any tire competitor and had lower rates than Sear's and Costco when I last shopped for a set.

http://www.americastire.com/dtcs/home.do


I happened to have one of these not far from where I live. I took it there just now, mainly due to ease of appointment booking, and had my tire looked at.

I had a sidewall flat, not unexpectedly, as I got it from veering a bit off the side of a country road. Nothing was impaled in the tire, but the rip was about half an inch long visible but probably 2 inches long wide if you felt the soft spot on the sidewall, so the entire tire had to be replaced. I ended up replacing both matched front tires (might have been unnecessary but they were on sale, what the hey) and had the tires rotated - whole thing came out to $270 with taxes and fees. Not a cheap result for a few seconds of errant steering, but fixed quickly and with no hassle. Service was pretty good too - it was surprisingly busy in there though - felt like they could have used another few staff.
lightheir
 
Posts: 1352
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:43 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby telemark » Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:57 pm

Driver wrote:
MathWizard wrote:I never repair a tire.

I would just replace the pair.

Though I am frugal, I don't skimp
on repairs to tires, brakes or front end

In my opinion it is a safety issue. A blowout
at highway speed can cause a crash.


I've done extensive car repair, sometimes
saving a little is not worth it.Just go to
a tire dealer and get tires for both
sides.

If it is the rear pair move the fronts to
The rear and mount the new ones on front
Always have the best tires on front


I do not believe this is correct. I'm no expert, but Tirerack.com states to put a new pair of tires on the rear:

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=52


It depends. If you're driving too fast on a slippery surface, putting them in back makes it slightly less likely that the rear end will try to get in front of you when you hit the brakes. On the other hand, if it's snowing and you're trying to get up your driveway, and your car has front-wheel drive, putting them in front makes it somewhat more likely that you'll succeed. You need to decide which is more important to you.

And no matter where you put them, try not to drive too fast on slippery roads, 'cause your tires probably won't save you.
User avatar
telemark
 
Posts: 1006
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:35 am

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby MathWizard » Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:37 pm

Driver wrote:
MathWizard wrote:I never repair a tire.

I would just replace the pair.

Though I am frugal, I don't skimp
on repairs to tires, brakes or front end

In my opinion it is a safety issue. A blowout
at highway speed can cause a crash.


I've done extensive car repair, sometimes
saving a little is not worth it.Just go to
a tire dealer and get tires for both
sides.

If it is the rear pair move the fronts to
The rear and mount the new ones on front
Always have the best tires on front


I do not believe this is correct. I'm no expert, but Tirerack.com states to put a new pair of tires on the rear:

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=52


Thanks for the link, I was not aware of this issue. I hydro-planed a long time ago, and am very cautious
in water deep enough to cause hydro-planing. I treat it like glare ice, since that is about as much traction
as you have.

My recommendation was based on not wanting a blowout on the front. I've had bowouts in the past,
on the front affects stability, on the back is easy to control.

Also about 70% of braking is done by the front wheels. Stopping is done all the time, having
enough rain to cause hydro-planing is a fairly rare phenomenon where I live.
MathWizard
 
Posts: 1575
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:35 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby NHRATA01 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:30 pm

whomever wrote:This would be a very helpful tip - I'm a pretty strong male, and there is no possible way that I could generate the same force with my arms on that bar, but it was very easy to do with the small jump. I did the same thing in reverse to tighten, just with a smaller jump, to make sure ...


Lug nuts typically have a torque spec - 75 to 90 ft/lbs IMHE. If you exceed that, you risk stripping the stud threads.

I know this because the one time I let a tire shop change the wheel (a flat while travelling) they used an impact wrench to reinstall and when I next went to change the wheel I found the stud stripped - which on that vehicle required a destructive disassembly of the hub to repair.

I am a little OCD about torque, and use a torque wrench for the annual snow tire changeouts. It's easier than you might think for an average adult male to exceed the proper torque.


Not only that, but an impact will not accurately torque each nut to the same value. Getting equal torque as well as the proper star pattern is particularly helpful in preventing your brake rotors from warping (ie the pulsing feel).
NHRATA01
 
Posts: 247
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:57 pm
Location: New York City area

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby KyleAAA » Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:59 pm

Tire stores usually charge $20-30 and will do all the labor for you.
KyleAAA
 
Posts: 5493
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:35 pm

Re: Had a flat car tire, changed it, what now?

Postby beowulf » Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:02 pm

Buy and carry a full-size spare and an X-shape lug wrench (to allow you to remove the nuts tightened with an air wrench).
beowulf
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 3:34 pm


Return to Personal Consumer Issues

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], DavidC, FullYellowJacket, investor, johnubc, SammyG, Swampy, The Wizard, Wagnerjb and 57 guests