Road Emergencies Made Easy: All About Car Tyre Patching

all about car tyre patching

A screw or nail on the road can lead to a flat car tyre – however, this is not such a big problem. If there are just minor damages with a nail embed or puncture in the tread area, the car tyres can be patched easily. Let’s go through a detailed analysis on how are car tyres patched, the basic steps to patch car tyres and how to assess if they are 

Steps to Patch Car Tyres

all about car tyre patching
Patching is important for the safety, long life and road-worthiness of car tyres

Having a flat tyre on the road is never always an inconvenience, especially if there are no auto shops or mechanics nearby. That said, if the tyre is otherwise in good condition, it can be patched easily by following these necessary steps:

  • Step 1: Find the Leak
  • Step 2: Remove the Flat Tyre
  • Step 3: Patch the Tyre
  • Step 4: Reinstall the Tyre

Let’s go through the steps to patch car tyres in detail.

Step 1: Find the Leak

steps to patch car tyres include finding the leak
To get started with a tyre puncture patch, you have to first find the leak

To find the leak, you’ll have to go through this process:

Inflate the tyre

To locate a leak in your tyre, it is important to first ensure proper tyre pressure. Start by inflating the car tyre with air till it reaches the manufacturer’s recommended pressure level. This can be found in your car’s manual – usually in PSI. This step is necessary to identify the leaks before beginning the process of car tyre patching. 

Visually inspect the flat tyre

Carefully inspect the damaged car tire, and if you observe any cuts, holes, or objects sticking out from the tire, you have successfully identified the source of the leak. Here is a step by step guide to plug a leaky tyre.

Aside from the tyre, properly observe the rims. In case of any damage or bent tyre rims, seek professional assistance and get it fixed.

Listen for a hissing sound

Even if the issue isn’t immediately visible, you might be able to detect it by listening closely. If you hear a hissing sound, it’s a distinct indication that air is escaping from your car tyre. This helps to pinpoint the location of the leak.

Feel the air around them

Gently run your hands over the tyre’s surface to check for air leakage. This way, you may be able to detect the leak, even if it is not audible or visible.

Mix soap and water

If you followed the steps and they did not work, just prepare a soap and water mix. Apply a small amount of soapy water or window cleaner to the tyre’s surface. If you observe any bubbling at any point on the surface, you have successfully identified the location of the leak.

Cover the tyre with the water and soap solution

Apply the soap and water solution to the car tyre’s surface. You can either use a spray bottle to spray the mixture or simply pour the solution over the tyre. 

Watch for any bubbles

The air escapes the tyre and experiences the soapy water to make soap bubbles. If there is bubbling soapy water on any part of the tyre, you’ve located the leak. 

Step 2: Remove the Flat Tyre

steps to car tyre patching involve removing the flat tyres
Remove the flat tyre from the vehicle or take your car to a professional auto shop

The second step for tyre puncture patch is removing the flat tyre. Here’s how:

Loosen the nut

Start by loosening the lug nuts. Use a lug wrench (tyre iron) or impact wrench. Do this before jacking up the vehicle. Keep the vehicle’s weight on the wheels. This prevents them from dangerous rotation when turning the lug nuts.

Jack up the vehicle

Jacking up the vehicle is important in the process of how is car tyre patching done
It is important to jack up the vehicle after loosening the lugs

After loosening the lugs, it becomes necessary to jack up the vehicle to remove the wheels. This procedure should be carried out on a level concrete or another hard, level surface. Here are some essential points to consider while jacking up the car:

  • Consult your service manual for recommended jacking points
  • The typical method for elevating the car is by using a floor jack. Here is how to properly jack up a car. 
  • To ensure stability, use jack stands. 
  • Using a hydraulic lift will also save you time during the process.

Take out the lug nuts 

Remove the lug nuts and extract the wheel from the hub. At his stage, the lug nuts might be loose enough to be removed by hand. If not, remove them with a lug wrench or impact wrench.  Once the lug nuts are off, carefully pull the wheel away from the wheelbase. 

Use pliers to pull out protruding objects


car tyre patching process also involves using pliers to pull out protruding objects
Pull out any protruding objects from the car tyres with pliers

If you notice any protruding object, use a pair of pliers to carefully pull it out. Remember to mark this area with a marker or chalk. This can likely be the source of the leak. If there are no protruding objects, go through the previously mentioned steps to locate the leak and then mark it accordingly.

Extract the valve stem core

Remove the valve stem core with a valve stem core remover. This is a specialised two-pronged tool. With this tool, unscrew the valve stem core from the centre of the valve stem and pull it out. This action will release the tyre pressure, allowing you to break the bead. Here is a list of other important car tyre changing tools.

Separate the tyre from the rim 

Remove the tyre from the rim by breaking the bead that seals them together with a tyre spoon and a hammer. It’s essential to break the bead on both sides of the tyre to completely remove it from the rim.

Besides, if the car tyre keeps deflating, it maybe because of a bent rim. Go through these symptoms of bent tyre rim to identify various tyre problems. Also, explore these common car tyre changing FAQs.

Step 3: Patch The Tyre

car tyre patching process is necessary for your vehicle’s safety
After finding the leak and removing the flat tyre, patch it

Follow these steps to patch the car tyres:

Clean the Hole with an Air Die Grinder 

Clean the hole with the air die grinder. Choose a pointy bit that fits into the hole where the leak is located. By doing so, you will roughen up the sides and clean the area thoroughly, ensuring the patch will bond correctly upon installation.

Swap the bit on the die grinder for a grinding stone bit

Apply a pre-buff cleaner spray on the tyre’s interior where the patch will be placed. Utilise the grinding stone to clean and roughen up the area around the hole, ensuring an approximately two-inch diameter is roughened. This will provide the patch with a clean and receptive surface to securely bond with the tyre in the process of car tyre patching.

Spray compressed air into the area

This eliminates dirt or debris resulting from the buffing process. Ensuring a clean surface is vital for the patch to achieve a strong and reliable bond when patching car tyres.

Apply vulcanizing cement 

Appling vulcanizing cement is an important part of car tyre patching
The application creates a barrier preventing water from entering the hole

Coat the buffed inner surface of the tire with vulcanizing cement. This application creates a barrier to prevent water from entering the hole and seeping into the tyre’s tread. Allow the cement to stand until it becomes “tacky” to the touch.

Peel off the protective plastic 

Remove it from the adhesive side of the tyre patch. This is the side that will make contact with the inside of your tire.

Insert the pointy part of the patch through the hole

insert the pointy part of the car tyre patch
This makes sure the patch goes through the tyre effectively

This ensures the patch goes from the inside of the tyre and comes out through the outside. Employ a pair of pliers to grasp the pointy side of the patch and pull it outward from the tyre’s tread. This will securely fasten the sticky part of the patch to the inner side of the tyre.

Apply rubber patch sealant to the inner side of the tyre

In the car tyre patching process, this ensures you cover the entire patch and extend it over some portion of the surrounding tyre area. This thorough application guarantees a leak-free seal, providing optimal protection against air leakage.

Allow the applied sealant to dry

The sealant dries in just a few minutes. While waiting for the drying process, use a pair of side cutters or scissors to trim the stem of the patch until it is levelled with the top of your tyre tread. Here is everything you need to know about tyre tread patterns.

Step 4: Reinstall the Tyre

after patching the tyre, reinstall it
Reinstall the car tyre after patching it

After the car tyre patching process completes, reinstall the tyre. Here is how:

Apply lubrication to the tyre bead

The bed of the tyre is the inner ring responsible for sealing the rim. Use dish soap to lubricate the entire circumference of the bead.

Gently slide the tire back over the rim

This can be done with tyre spoons. Carefully pry open one side of the tyre with the spoons and slide it onto the rim. After successfully fitting the first side, repeat the same procedure for the second side of the tire.

Install a new valve stem core

For best practice, avoid reusing the old valve stem core and instead, replace it with a new one every time it is removed.

Pressurise the Tyre 

Inflate the tyre and fill it up to the correct pressure. The level is specified on the sidewall of the tyre or in your owner’s manual. This pressure will force the tyre into the correct place on the rim and seal the bead.

Reinstall the wheel 

This can be done by sliding the wheels back onto the wheelbase. Thread the lug nuts on tightly enough to keep the wheel in place while the car is still supported by the jack stands.

Remove the jack stands 

This can be done using the floor jack to lower the vehicle back to the ground.

Tighten the lug nuts

After the weight is restored on the wheels, use a lug wrench or impact wrench to tighten the lug nuts to the specified torque. This is outlined in the service manual. Remember to tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern to ensure an even distribution of force.

Besides, if the tyre is not in a condition to get fixed, do not let a flat tyre sit for a long time. Replace it with another. Here are the common places to buy tyres in Dubai.

Drive your car

You can now drive your car confidently. Assuming the patch was done correctly, the repair should last for as long as your tyre remains in use. 

That is all about car tyre patching. Please note that it is a requirement by the tyre safety rules in the UAE to change car tyres every 5 years. Go through these car tyres for sale in the UAE and select the ones that best suit your driving requirements. 

Stay tuned to dubizzle’s car blog for more on different car parts.