Tire Repair & 12 v. Compressors

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by amelia, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. amelia

    amelia Well-Known Member

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    I'm putting together an emergency auto kit and am wondering if anybody has an opinion on the little 12-volt, 300 psi compressors that are sold at discount stores for $15 or so as a "quick fix" for getting a tire inflated long enough to drive it somewhere for repair. I've been reading that the pressurized cans of "fix it" foam basically ruin a tire, and so thought that a little compressor might be a good alternative if these actually work. Not that long ago on this forum we got a warning about the dangers of cheap compressors, so that was bothering me. Also, I was wondering how far I'd likely be able to drive after filling a tire with air if I had no means of plugging it at the scene. Thank you in advance for your thoughts.
     
  2. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    If the hole in your tire was much larger than tiny, the 12v compressor probably couldn't keep up with the leak. In other words, it would be pumping as much air into your tire as the volume that was leaking out....nothing would happen.
     

  3. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    I carry one allways, its not the best option but better than nothing, I also carry a tire plugging kit which has covered me a few times. A hose that screws into a spark plug hole also works.
     
  4. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    i agree wit moopups i carry the same in my trunk
     
  5. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ..............I don't understand the advertising of a "300 psi" air compressor when any car\light truck takes 80 psi at most . I'd do a google search and see if consumer reports has any listing of the Best small , emergency air compressors . Assuming your tire will hold AIR , the next item for consideration is to make SURE that the Powercord...is LONG ENOUGH...to reaCH ALL 4 TIRES when plugged to your cigge lighter . The one's I've seen come equipped with an Air hose that is so short that you have to have the valve stem on the wheel directly "on the Ground" to connect it up or the compressor is hanging by the air hose . Also , since all 4 valve stems will be at different positions on the "Clock" you will have to move the vehicle ...4...different times to airup all 4 tires before taking a trip . I wouldn't buy a compressor unless the hose was atleast 4 feet long . Messing around with a low tire in cold weather and a compressor with a short hose :eek: is an exercise in Few-tility , at best !..fordy :)
     
  6. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    I've used fix-a-flat (the canned stuff) many times. It does not ruin the tire as I had them repaired later. It is important to tell the tire guy that you've used it though. They need to know before the pull the tire.

    Jena
     
  7. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Fix-a-Flat has gotten better through the years. I carry a large can along with a plug kit. Some fix a flat is made with flamable materials so you'll want to tell the tire changer especially if theres a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. The last two portable compressors I have kept in the trunk haven't been strong enough to be any help. I'm sure its a case of you pay for what you get as that I got both compressors on sale. A good thing to remember on the road is that most farms have compressors. Some farms such as dairy farms have very early hours. I have several times had flats and breakdowns and sought assistance from farmers and have always been graciously helped. My job requres driving in the wee hours and when I go by dairy farms and see the lights on in the barn, I never feel alone. God bless our farmers!!
     
  8. Okie-Dokie

    Okie-Dokie Well-Known Member

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    We live way out in the country with miles of dirt roads and flat tires are a sure thing, Especially after the county blades the road. We carry one of those 12V compressors in every veh. we opperate and a couple cans of fix a flat also. The only problem we have ever had with the fix a flat is with the guy that does my tire work. The last time I took a tire in, he told me if I used that stuff again he was going to burn the tire ( I think he was just kidding). Befor he can apply a patch it has to be cleaned out of the tire with solvent. Some ot our comp. are several years old now and still trouble free. :worship:
     
  9. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Those compressers are worth what you pay for them......

    If you have a flat tire, why? Because it has a hole in it. The compressor won't be much help. The can of fix-a-flat will help seal many holes.

    The first fix-a-flats had pretty nasty stuff in them. The current one's aren't too bad.

    Check your tires before leaving, fill if they are low. That is all the little compressor would be good for, and you can do this while at home or a filling station with a real compressor.

    For emergency use, the can of foam would be much better I would think.

    --->Paul
     
  10. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Classic time vs money. The cheaper you go on the compressor the longer it will take to inflate a tire. I am guessing that the $15 compressor also has a warning notice not to run it more than filve minutes. If that is the case figure abotu 30 minutes to pump up a flat tire.

     
  11. Mastiff

    Mastiff Well-Known Member

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    I carry fix a flat... a tire plug kit and a little compressor. Plug kits as well as "fix a flat" have saved me many times.
     
  12. raymilosh

    raymilosh Well-Known Member

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    definately get a tire plug kit. and get a good one rather than a cheap one. It will cost you about $7 or $10. there is no need to take the tire off the car or even to jack it up, either. the whole job takes about 1 minute and the repair is permanent. those little compressors work fine but take longer than it does to pump it up with a bicycle pump.
    the main problem with fix a flat is that you basically pump 12 or 16 oz of liquid glue into your tire and it never solidifies except where it leaks out and seals the hole. You're left with a tire that's way of balance, so it'll shake as you drive. If you're driving an old truck, you'll never notice, but if it's a smoother riding vehicle, you will notice.
    No matter how you decide to fill the tire up, though, put in enough air to listen for the leak. When you find the leak, rasp the hole with the little rasp tool and plug the leak with the gummy worm and the fat sewing needle tool and cut off the ends of the gummy worm left sticking out first. they you can fill the tire up with air and drive as far as you need to...i have had those patches last as far as 40k miles until i wore the tire out. no kidding.
     
  13. amelia

    amelia Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all for your input. I knew you big strong guys would come to the rescue!
     
  14. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ..............We , ALL carry our Spare tire :haha: around with US , so we don't need no Stinking Aircompressor... :eek: fordy.. :p
     
  15. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    I've had a couple of the little compressors. Neither one were that great. The smaller one was good for airing up ATV tires out in the woods but it would have taken forever and a day to air up my truck tire for instance. The other compressor is one of those that is built into a jump start battery. I had a slow leak that left my tire flat and it took that little compressor around an hour to fill that car tire. I can't even figure it with my truck tire.
     
  16. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

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    Yup, I got one of them lil compressors, works ok, also got the manuel pump too. A better plug kit is one I made up myself. Short aluminum screws with a coarse thread. Got different size diameter ones. I find the offending nail or whatever, pull it, goop up the screw with some rubber cement, put a tad in the hole and run a nail in to lube it up, then just screw in the fixer screw. The head wears off but she does the job.

    The first line of defence is your spare tire. The lil compressor is good for topping off its pressure, if you have gotten a bit careless and not checked it for some time. Also want to do the regular maintenance to include pressure checks on all the tires say every three months. On longer trips I always carry an extra full sized spare tire, can of gas, basic tool kit and a fair amount of cash. A good working tire pressure gauge is a must too. I have a tote tray with all the common tools that is always in every vehicle.

    Often thought about trying to get a patent on the screw idea. Need to have a aluminum core with rubber threads. Can't believe something like that is not on the market. The tire plugs work but sometimes they can tear a worn thin tire and ruin it so the patch is no good. My method never has the problem and is pretty foolproof, even on the sidewall where plugs are very tricky to install.

    The one case where no on scene air source will help is if you break the seal on the rim. They just don't have the balls to overcome the leakage and make the tire grab the rim again. Better always have good spares handy. I hate them doughnut tires. Gods worse invention since bifocals.
     
  17. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    You're right about screws Cosmic. I got tired of messing around with tire plugs with my ATV tires and started using screws. I used the short sheet metal type with a hex head. Worked just as good if not better than messing around with a plug. Find the hole and just run a screw in it. Took a couple of seconds and you were good to go. I got so I wouldn't even use sealant.....just run the screw in and call it done. The head sticking out might have added a bit of traction too. Sometimes I got ambitious and took the tire off the rim and fix the holes right but with a low pressure ATV tire those screw would have probably lasted as long as the tire did. The new more rugged ATV tires are much more puncture resistant and filling them with tire slime makes them pretty much puncture proof.

    I do think there is a commercial screw type plug out there. I remember seeing one somewhere.
     
  18. Emily Nouvertne

    Emily Nouvertne Well-Known Member

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    If I were going to do anything to make tire repair easier on the road would be to buy a rachet/socket to fit the lugs for that vehicle. Hubby and I have tire changing down to approx 3 minutes. It takes me about 15 minutes alone....an important number when you have a life expectancy of about 20 minutes beside an interstate road.
     
  19. Helena

    Helena Well-Known Member

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    I agree with changing the tire if you are able to do this. I have always done this myself also but it seems as though I am on my last lug nut when some one comes to my rescue...just as I'm finishing up !! My husband always taught our girls how to do this when they began driving. I would hate to have to depend on some "questionable" person to come to my rescue in this day and age. But...I have also used the fix a flat. Coming home from work at 1 AM on a dirt road and you end up with a flat. boy...the noises you hear coming from the woods at that time of night make you remember every horror movie you ever saw as a kid...and Fix a Flat is your best buddy on those nights !!
     
  20. Wilbur

    Wilbur Well-Known Member

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    If you are in an area with lots of dirt roads that get graded often (and kick up all those nice sharp rocks that eat tires) it may make sense to get some of this stuff:

    http://www.gemplers.com/a/shop/product.asp?T1=G64511&UID=200502260928001562731858

    I don't know how well it works but they also have a version that will plug holes up to 1/2 inch. It was developed for the military (like so many things) to keep tires inflated that have been shot. Good luck!!