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Old 09-24-2013, 09:37 AM
Location: Chicago
38,707 posts, read 103,185,348 times
Reputation: 29983


Fix-a-flat isn't supposed to be a permanent fix. It's supposed to work just well enough to get you to the nearest tire shop in an emergency.

Get your tire fixed right or replace it.
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Old 09-24-2013, 04:38 PM
317 posts, read 747,818 times
Reputation: 380
Originally Posted by Linda Richards View Post
Coolio, I am willing to bet that you likely have another thin finishing nail that was road debris in your tire.

(Extremely common: nails, screws, metal shanks are found anywhere near areas of commercial and residential construction-------also pickup trucks will have at least one or two nails or screws, etc in the pickup bed which will likely bounce around and vibrate until it gets closer to the tailgate......later when tailgate is opened they fall to the bumper or on to the ground....)

You need to properly PLUG the tire or patch it.
FIX A FLAT will cause your tire dealer/seller to charge you a surcharge/a pain in the butt fee for the additional work needed to change/install tires when you do need to buy new tires to replace your old ones.
It creates a huge mess and you will pay in additional labor/shop charges because you chose to use FIX A FLAT.

You are being a stupid dumbass if you simply plan to drive it and add air as needed, because you run the risk of having the tire deflate just enough to the point that the PSI level is low enough to cause that tire to heat up and have excessive wear and sidewall damage if you were to drive long enough at speed above 40mph.
Yes, your TPS will tell you the tire is low, but it won't give you a PSI reading of what it's current reading is while it is low and you are driving it before topping it off.
It is plain stupid and irresponsible to drive with a tire that won't hold air.
Murphy's law will come into play and you'll have it deflate faster than you expected at the worst possible moment.
It is not safe to continue to believe that everything will remain hunky dorky if you just add a little every few days.
When the weather gets cooler and the mornings and evenings get cooler, you'll see that more air will escape and the tire pressure will get more deflated because of your slow leak.
Don't be a dumbass!! Service stations will plug a tire in 10min while you wait for about $15. It only takes about three minutes total to plug it, and maybe a few minutes to find the nail/screw by spraying the tire with soapy water from a plant spray bottle and rotating the tire forward to see and check every inch of it. Sometimes they might remove the wheel and rotate the tire and wheel in a large water tub to look for bubbles which indicates leaking air.
It is also possible that a bent wheel causes a loss of air, but that isn't usually the normal case. Most likely it is a screw or finishing nail or roofing nail or metal shank...... Once they locate the nail, etc......they yank it out with pliers and then use the corkscrew T poke it thingy to install the rubber strips(plug) coated with a special rubber cement.
Plugs should be fine and pose no problems for a nail size puncture in a good condition tire with good tread that is not old. You should seriously consider replacing all tires no matter what condition the tire/thread is if the DOT production date codes indicate it is OLDER than 7 years OLD.
Why? Tread separation at speed can occur! You can only see the exterior of the tire. Rubber compounds age and harden and tires heat up. They also experience UV rays and sunlight exposure and exposure to cold temperatures.
Put it this way: If you own and drive any vehicle with a high center of gravity, such as an SUV or Pickup with higher ground clearance than say a Miata or Ford Focus......you do not want to experience a sudden blow out at Interstate Speed because if say you were changing lanes or passing a car or large truck, you could lose control and have a roll-over accident.
Remember the tire ad that went: "Because So Much Is Riding On Your Tires" you don't need that brand. any of the major brands make outstanding tires, the house brands for Sams/Costco/Sears/pep boys and others are outstanding too. They are all produced by one of the major tire makers.
Certainly some tires are better for longer tread life and speed rating and wet traction, but even the most basic new tires are great. A fresh inexpensive basic tire is superior to an aged expensive tire that might have almost zero miles on it. If the tire DOT code indicates it was manufactured in 2004, or older, you are riding on a time-bomb risking a severe blow out from tire age, even if the tire looks brand new. Any 9 year old tire is like a potential grenade.
Storage and non exposure to sunlight doesn't mean much, the rubber compound has hardened and aged no matter if you rented a climate controlled storage facility at NASA to try to preserve them.
TIRES are not terribly expensive as you should get about four years or so on a set of tires.

There is a widely seen ABC 20/20 News Report from about four years ago on the importance of "fresh" and not aged tires on vehicles.

You wouldn't drive with Bad Brakes, or Non Functioning Headlights, or Wipers not functioning...............Why in the world do you consider it smart to simply keep topping off your tire, in the hopes that it remains only the small constant leak. DON'T BE A CHEAPSKATE! REPAIR IT. A plug is a helluva lot better than continuing to TOP IT OFF.
You can buy a diy PLUG kit for about $2 from Harbour Freight.
Service stations will typically charge only about $15 to plug a tire as it is simple and quick.
They can also determine if the leak is from unlikely source such as old valve stem or bent rim........most likely it is a nail from road debris that you ran over while driving, and the nail/shank/screw is still embedded in the tire.
Linda, a tad harsh don't you think? I bet your husband has a tire shop or your name isn't Linda.

Oh and I don't think superman can do what you suggest- "Service stations will plug a tire in 10min while you wait for about $15. It only takes about three minutes total to plug it"

Are you related - Renée Richards (born August 19, 1934) is an American ophthalmologist, author and former professional tennis player. In 1975, Richards underwent sex reassignment surgery.
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Old 09-25-2013, 01:56 AM
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 18,161,108 times
Reputation: 10355
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
Fix-a-flat isn't supposed to be a permanent fix. It's supposed to work just well enough to get you to the nearest tire shop in an emergency.

Get your tire fixed right or replace it.

I used it a couple of weeks ago for the first time. But just to get me to the tire store a few miles away to buy new tires.
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:25 AM
358 posts, read 886,756 times
Reputation: 462
I keep a can of it in every car. It is good stuff for emergencies. What you need to do is use it, drive for a few days and then let the air out of the tire and replace it a few times. I have never had any problems from tire stores complaining about it.

Frequently it will permanently fix small rim leaks. That is good because some cheap rims corrode where the tire meets the rim and cannot be repaired. Sometimes a sealer will work, sometimes polishing will work, but other times the rim has to be replaced and that gets expensive. If a $4 can of goo will fix the leak and I will never have a problem with it again, I will take that over replacing the rim any day.

I find tire stores charging more and more to fix small leaks. They used to do it for $5, then it went up to $10, then $15 and now frequently it is $25 or even $30 - $40. That is crazy. For rim leaks they often charge even more because they have to polish the rims to get it to seal again. In one instance they polished too aggressively and ruined the rim. Generally I will gamble with fix a flat with a small slow leak. First thing though - replace the valve core. Those cost nothing and it takes about five minutes.

By the way, the first thing to do is check your tire purchase papers. Sometimes the purchase includes free repairs. Sometimes they talk you into buying a free repair guarantee (that you then forget you have and end up paying for the repair). If you can get a free repair, do not use fix a flat.
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Old 09-25-2013, 07:35 PM
1,831 posts, read 3,200,641 times
Reputation: 2661
It may not be leaking from the patch. Could be leaking from the valve stem, where the rubber meets the rim, or from a different spot all together. I have lots of flats because I live on a gravel, 3 miles from a paved road. I would air it up and put some dish soap in a pitcher and mix it well. Slather the suds on the tire. Find the leak and plug it with a tire plug kit from Walmart. Tip: Always coat the plugs with rubber cement. Can plug it while it is on the car. The plugs work great and there is no additional benefit of patching the tire. If the plug fails in a few years, it will slow leak first and can be replugged. If you don't want to plug it, using the fix a flat is fine too. When my older tires get a bunch of plugs in them, I sometimes will "green slime" them and they will go for another year. The slime doesn't hurt anything and can be cleaned out with a garden hose when the tire is pulled off the rim. I have a 1993 riding mower with the original tires. Each has about 20 plugs (lots of hedge thorns) and they also have green slime. Just mowed tonight and those tires hold air. I only patch the larger holes that can't be plugged. If the tire is damaged and has a bulge of some sort, replace it ASAP.
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Old 09-25-2013, 07:36 PM
Location: Eastern Washington
17,216 posts, read 57,078,859 times
Reputation: 18579
OP, you know, you *could* just add air say once a week...

This is not that big a leak.

Something else you could try is get the correct tool (not expensive) and make sure the valve core is screwed in tight.

I have to agree with most that the fix-a-flat stuff will cause you more trouble than it's worth in the long run.
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Old 09-27-2013, 01:28 AM
483 posts, read 1,559,707 times
Reputation: 1454
Just know that if you use fix-a-flat on your tire, the TPMS (low air pressure) warning on that tire will probably not work anymore, until a shop removes the tire and cleans or replaces the TPMS sensor. The fix-a-flat will plug up the sensor.

Fix-a-flat is supposed to be an emergency, temporary repair not a permanent, lazy man's fix
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:09 PM
Location: Hot Springs, Arkansas
389 posts, read 1,219,187 times
Reputation: 460
Originally Posted by Suncc49 View Post
ugh found a screw in my sidewall this morning... removed it, plugged it, but I think I will be picking up a new set of tires later.
That tire is unsafe and should be replaced.

I would add that it is best to get the problem repaired ASAP. Don't even think about changing a tire by the side of the road. Just read of two more people who were killed doing this upstate.
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:28 AM
4 posts, read 92,354 times
Reputation: 12
So im guessing fix a flat id not a good idea for my rim bent from one of the million potholes around and i have to pay the $250 (cheapest around) to get it fixed. Heres my question. Can i buy a rim the same size that doesn't match the other off internet to save at least $100. I dont care about the look. Im loosing about 5 psi every few days. Its a very slow leak but i dont want to mess up my sensor. I have aluminum rims
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:30 AM
4 posts, read 92,354 times
Reputation: 12
Any input would be appreciated. Im a women and while i can do most diy thing myself its the little details im not sure of
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