Nothing ruins your day more than walking out to your car and finding a tire that isn’t just low, but completely flat. We’ll help you fix that, continue reading to learn how to inflate a completely flat car tire.
Of course, you should never drive on a flat tire unless your life is in danger because you will ruin both tire and rim, but what if you don’t want to change the tire with your spare tire? What if your spare tire is also flat?
So, what can you do? You aren’t stuck waiting for roadside assistance, you can actually inflate that tire a few different ways.
How to Inflate a Completely Flat Tire
How you inflate that tire will also depend on what you have on hand and where you are. For example, you have a lot more choices if the car is sitting in your driveway as opposed to an empty parking lot.
Let’s take a look at the different ways you can get your car back on the road:
- Fix a Flat
This product goes by many different names depending on the manufacturer, but the best-known name is called Fix a Flat. This is one of the best inventions since the wheel, in our opinion, because in nearly every case, you can inflate that tire and be back on the road within 5 minutes.
Fix a Flat is an aerosol in a can mixed with liquid glue. There is a small hose that attaches directly to the valve stem of the tire. Screw on the valve stem and press down on the valve on top of the can.
The aerosol will go into the tire and inflate it about halfway. Once the can is empty, you need to get in the car and drive it. The glue will rotate around the inside of the tire as you drive, sealing any minor holes. The aerosol will continue to expand as you drive. Within 1.5-2 miles, that tire should look like it was never flat!
This method will not work, however, if you have a large hole or rip in the tire. Sometimes the glue will only seal part of the leak and the tire will start to lose air again, so even if the tire looks OK, you should immediately drive it to a tire repair location.
- Use a Portable Compressor
Assuming that the tire only has a slow leak, you can inflate the tire by using a portable air compressor. There are many different types, but many are designed to work off right off the battery of your car. This portable compressor, made by Tugoku, operates through the cigarette lighter and is designed to inflate the average car tire to 35 PSI in 3 minutes.
- Fix the Leak
Sometimes, the object that caused the leak (or the object might still be embedded in the tire) is so large that you can’t inflate the tire more than a few pounds as the air escapes faster than you can put it in.
If you can see the object (a screw for example) or if you can feel the air rushing out of the hole in the tire, you might try fixing the leak temporarily.
If you can feel the air or see the object in the tire, try using something to plug the hole. Even if you should see a screw, for example, don’t pull it out, try to plug up the area around the screw.
Different items you might try to plug the leak include silicone, caulk, glue, even bubble gum! If the hole is visible, try sticking something inside, such as a small stick, to make the hole smaller, then plug it with some glue or whatever you have on hand.
This type of repair is only meant to allow you to inflate the tire enough so that you can fill the tire with air and then proceed immediately to a tire repair location. This repair will NOT last long, so don’t drive too quickly and take care of the problem ASAP.
If you should see a blowout on the sidewall, for example, or if the tire is literally coming apart, none of the above solutions are going to work for you, unfortunately.
While you can’t avoid screws, nails, and other road debris, inspecting your tires once a month can go a long way towards being stranded with a flat tire.