Most of us have experienced running our cars on a slow leak. The hard part about it is trying to fix it in the middle of the road or during a long drive. It’s annoying and inconvenient especially when you are on the go.
People always take extra precautions to bring an extra tire, but frankly speaking, not every car owner knows how to change a tire properly.
You need a specific set of tools and experience to replace your tire with a spare one. It’s time-consuming and stressful to go through, especially for new drivers. Using aerosol repair such as Fix-a-Flat is a good way to start repairing your tire with slow leaks.
What's In This Guide?
Things You Need to Know
Fix-a-Flat was invented in the ’70s by Snap products. Fix-a-Flat aerosol sealant became a well-known brand because of its genius way to mend punctured tires. For over 50 years, it is still doing its job and has made huge strides in the automotive industry.
Even to this day, Fix-a-Flat has been able to compete with other brands in terms of mending vehicle tires. They have proven enough that they can help out vehicle owners with flat tires and slow leaks.
Before you start with the procedure, it is best to research how to apply Fix-a-Flat property to prevent any wastage and tire complications. Here is a quick list on what are the things to do and to observe before considering using the product.
While the serviceable life greatly depends on the severity of the climate and location, you can still make the most out of your winter tires’ value within their lifespan. In order to do so, you need to identify what makes it unique compared with regular, all-season tires, so you can apply appropriate care and maintenance specifically for these types of tires.
Repairing a Tire Using Fix-a-Flat Sealant
To better understand the situation, knowing where the slow leak is coming from is the top priority. It’s best to touch the tire and try to determine where the air is coming out from. That way, drivers will be able to check how many slow leaks are possibly there. Touch the treads and sidewalls. If the slow leaks can’t still be found, Applying water with soap on the tire will also be helpful. By dropping the water soap on the tire, It will be easier to know the area where the slow leak is by checking the bubbles.
Now that you have established that your tire has indeed slow leaks on it, you can now use Fix-a-Flat aerosol repair to mend your broken tire and get back on the road as quickly as possible. The good thing about it is you will instantly see the instruction at the back of the aerosol can.
Compared to the traditional way of changing tires in the middle of the road, Fix-a-Flat offers a more convenient way of putting your tire back together again.
Step 1: Check Where The Puncture is
Since we have already mentioned that it’s important to know where the leak is coming from, you now need to press on the punctured area of the tire by moving it to the bottom. You can do that by slowly moving your car up until the punctured area of the tire is on the bottom part. The reason why you need to do this is to minimize slow leaks when applying the Fix-a-Flat sealant aerosol.
Keep in mind that Fix-a-Flat can repair small punctures and cuts to the tread alone. It cannot be used for any sidewall punctures. If the punctures are found on the sidewall, not forcing to drive the vehicle would be the primary option. Use your spare tire or better yet, consult a mechanic for a more detailed and furnished repair.
Step 2: Check The Date Your Aerosol Sealant Was Manufactured
A very vital piece for the process is to know when was the sealant manufactured. Fix-a-Flat has a shelf life of 2 years. Using an expired one could result in a much more alarming state.
Step 3: Shake your Fix-a-Flat Can Well for 30 Seconds to 1 Minute
Make sure that all components of your Fix-a-Flat sealant are fully incorporated. To do that, you have to shake it well for at least 30 seconds to 1 minute before using it. This is a simple and very important part of the process.
Note that there were some reviews whereas the aerosol spray did not work because it was not shaken well before use. This could result in a critical error that would lead to an even bigger problem. Not following this crucial instruction may lead to product waste and the tire may possibly not get repaired.
Step 4: Attach the Hose on The Air Valve Stem
This is the time where you’ll apply the sealant to your tire. Attach the hose to the valve, remove the safety pin and press the yellow button to start putting air and sealant to the tire. Keep in mind that you will use the whole sealant can on your tire. Make sure that you apply the whole sealant to your tire to prevent any malfunctions. We will give you a quick guide on which size to use for every type of vehicle.
It’s easy to know if the procedure was done correctly. The tire rim should start to lift off the ground during the process. If you see that the white liquid stops flowing to the hose, that simply means that you’ve used up all the sealant from the can.
Step 5: Drive Your Car Afterwards
You do not want your sealant to sit on the bottom part of the tire. It will cause malfunction and imbalance to your car. You want to make sure that the sealant is completely flowing in the tire. To do that, you have to drive your car for about 5 to 10 minutes and check whether there are changes. After driving for 5 to 10 minutes, inspect your tire once again and see if there are improvements.
For some cars, TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) is a way to determine whether your sealant was effective. You can easily see the TPMS on your car dashboard. If the light turns on, it means that the procedure was able to fix the problem.
Step 6: Seek Help From Professionals
As soon as you were able to fix your tires using Fix-a-Flat, it is highly recommended that you seek help from tire experts to check the condition of your tires. You would want to make sure that the tire is properly checked and fixed. That being said, Fix-a-Flat is a very effective tool to fix your tires for an emergency. But you need to make sure to cross out every possible factor as to why your tire had a slow leak. Consulting from experts and securing spare tires, and another Fix-a-Flat can is most helpful.
You only have to resort to aerosol sealants when there is an emergency at hand. Depending on this, every time you have tire trouble will result in unexpected tire replacement and could cost you more money.
Step 7: Measure The Pressure Of The Tire Using a Gauge
It is very well proven that having a gauge can serve as a huge help whenever you have tire problems. By measuring the PSI of your tire, you would be able to determine whether the aerosol worked or not. Keep in mind that the standard pressure of the tire should be around 30 to 35 PSI. If the PSI still falls behind the recommended range, it is most likely that the slow leak issue has not been solved yet.
What Fix-a-Flat Can Size Should I Use?
Every vehicle has a different tire size. Surely, an SUV vehicle has a bigger tire compared to a sedan. Subcompacts would have the smallest tire size while trucks have the biggest ones. It is imperative to determine your tire size before availing Fix-a-Flat. That way, you will be sure that you have enough, not less sealant for your tire whenever you get a slow leak.
We will list down different sizes of Fix-a-Flat sealant and tell what size of the vehicle is it best used for.
- Pick-up trucks have extra-large car tires. You need to have the x-large can. (#S60369)
- For SUVs, You can also get the x-large or large. (#S60369 or #S60430)
- For crossover vehicles, getting a large can is more than enough. (#S60430)
- Wagon vehicles can get either large or standard size. (#S60430 or #S60420)
- For mid-size sedans, getting a standard size is enough. (#S60420)
- Compact vehicles can use either standard size or the smallest size available. (#S60420 or #S60410)
- Subcompact vehicles can use the smallest size of Fix-a-Flat sealant. (#S60410)
If ever you have a larger size for a smaller vehicle, it’s best to consult tire experts on how to proceed with the method. Alongside this, you can also monitor the fixing by using a tire pressure gauge to check the tire’s air pressure.
Risks and Conditions
You can see tons of reviews from the internet whereas they say that Fix-a-Flat indeed works. However, there are also reviews that state that it did not help at all. It is hard to argue about the matter, that is why it is important to keep in mind that Fix-a-Flat is not a permanent solution
Aside from that, we have to remember that Fix-a-Flat can fix small punctures such as nails or small shards (1/10th of an inch or lower). However, there is not enough evidence that FIx-a-Flat can mend broken tires with large holes (a quarter of an inch or higher).
Slow leaks are frequently associated with pinch damage to the sidewall, particularly on the inner sidewall where these are not apparent. These are results from low-pressure collisions with curbs, potholes, and railroad tracks. These usually cause a bubble on the sidewall between the layers of the case, which might subsequently burst more forcefully. Even if the source of the initial leak is fixed, sealants will not be able to repair this sort of damage.
Even with tiny punctures, tire sealants may react differently with the tire, preventing a proper fix and may result in a tire replacement.
There were reports that Fix-a-Flat does not seem to work well in cold regions. The reason behind this is that sealant gets frozen quickly and causes the tire to have an imbalance movement when on the go.
Keep in mind that by using any sealants, the tire is at risk for a long period of damage. It may not manifest quickly but if not treated right away, it can cause the tire to be inefficient and be subject to replacement.
Lastly, Improper use of any sealants can disrupt the detection of TPMS for vehicles. That is why it is highly recommended to follow all the steps precisely to prevent this from happening.
How Long Can Fix-a-Flat Be Effective?
Fix-a-Flat sealant can be effective for as long as 3 days or 100 miles of driving if the sealant is applied correctly. Knowing that this is not certainly a permanent solution to slow leaks, it is better to get your tires repaired and consult the experts whether it needs a replacement.
Can I Use Fix-a-Flat on Quiet Tires?
No, Quiet tires have treads that are coated with foam. If any sealant is applied, the sealant may absorb all the foams from the tires resulting in strong vibration and unwanted noise. Since there is no way to remove the foam, this will lead to tire replacement.
Are There Any Other Sealants That Are Also Proven Effective?
Yes, there are. But what makes Fix-a-Flat aerosol sealant stand out is its household name. Primarily, its reputation in fixing small punctures has been tested and proven by many car owners. Aside from that, Fix-a-Flat has by far, the easiest and quickest method for mending slow leaks.
Whether the reason for having a slow leak is a rough road or a nail on the road, we proved that there are ways to mend our tires easily and quickly. However, we have to remember that aerosol such as Fix-a-Flat is only as good as a bandage. Learning how to replace a flat tire, and determining whether a tire has a slow leak is important for us to be able to decide on which best route to take.