You’re getting ready to head out and enjoy the sights around Wilmington, Delaware. But when you get to your car, you notice that it’s sitting at an awkward angle. Yes, you have a flat tire! It was fine last night when you parked the car, but now you’re down on the rim. You figure you must have picked up a nail or something somewhere along the line, and a small leak now has you grounded. Good thing you bought a can of Fix-A-Flat, right?
Only if you’re going to head right to the tire shop. You might think that tire repair with FixAFlat is a savior in a can, but if you plan to carry on with your driving, here are the top 5 reasons why tire repair with FixAFlat is not smart:
#1 Tire Repair With FixaFlat Is Not Permanent
Fix-A-Flat is not permanent tire repair. It’s only meant to keep you rolling so you can get the tire repaired properly at a tire shop. To get to a tire shop. It will not help you in a “blow-out”, which usually involves separation of the tread from the tire and large, gaping holes in your tire.
#2 It Can Cause Uneven Tire Wear
Although Fix-A-Flat uses centrifugal force to fling the chemicals around the inside if your tire, it cannot guarantee even distribution. It can have heavier sections form inside of your tire and throw the balance off. The uneven weight will result in uneven tread wear which can create dangerous driving conditions, especially in rain or snow.
#3 It Can Damage Your Tire Pressure Monitoring System
If your car has a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), Fix-A-Flat is probably the last thing you want to use unless you have a few extra bucks to get it repaired. The TPMS works by sensing the air pressure in your tire via a tiny hole. Fix-A-Flat will cover this hole, plugging it up for good. If you’re lucky, our mechanics at one of our locations can clean it out, but since you’ve already had a flat tire, you might not want to rely on luck.
#4 It Can Damage Your Tire Rim
Fix-A-Flat comes out as a liquid but hardens into a very stiff, dry foam. It will, get all over your rim, and cleaning it off is a very labor-intensive process. At Paul Campanella’s Auto and Tire, we don’t even offer to clean the tire. It’s too expensive. We can’t guarantee that the tire repaired with FixAFlat will seat correctly. Rather than risk an unsafe mounting, we remove the damaged tire, clean the rim and add a new one.
#5 It’s Can Be Corrosive
FixAFlat uses R134A, the same thing your car’s air-conditioner uses, as a propellant. Fix-A-Flat is water based. When R134A and water mix, they become corrosive. The result is quite capable of eating away at paint, aluminum, and rubber. In fact, a slight corrosion of the rubber is how the sealant chemical adheres to the tire. Your tire’s strength is compromised, albeit slightly, by this chemical. If left on the rim for too long, your rim’s integrity will be eventually compromised.
If you find yourself with a flat tire due to a small leak and you have to choose between a can of Fix-A-Flat or a tiny little “space-saver” tire, use the tire. Like Fix-A-Flat, the space-saver is designed to get you to a tire shop, not down the highway on your day-trip, but at least the space-saver won’t compromise your safety or your warranty. Fix-A-Flat has its place, and if you wind up having to use it, your place should be the tire shop.
What’s Paul Campanella’s Position on Fix-A-Flat
We consider the tire damaged when inflated with Fix-A-Flat, this is especially true if the compound has dried on the rim and tire. Our way to remedy the problem is by installing a new tire. If your rims have tire pressure monitoring systems, we will repair them as well. We clean the rim, fix the TPMS sensor, and re-mount a new tire. Restoring the tire by removing the liquid takes too many man hours. We feel it’s not cost effective for you.
Tire Repair With FixAFlat Does Have Value
Make no mistake, if you get stuck in a bad place with a flat tire and you need to get away and fast FixAFlat will be invaluable.
Also, there are rumors about technicians seeing flames erupt from the rim when he breaks the old tire down to install a new tire on the wheel. This rumor is simply not true and unfounded. So yes, keep a can in the truck. It’s better than driving on your rims.
If you’re in Wilmington Delaware and you need help with your tires, contact us. We will help. Also, we would like to hear about your experiences with FixAFlat. Do you agree with our opinion on why tire repair with FixAFlat is not the right thing to do? Let us know.