Roadside Tube Repair

Another roadside repair that can be mastered with some practice is tube patching. Patching tubes when possible extends the usable life of a tube and saves you the cost of a replacement. There are many kits available but glue and patches are a sound choice.Described here is the process for application.

To fix a flat, first locate the hole in the inner tube. If possible, re-inflate inner tube to at least twice the normal width. Inspect for air leaks by holding tube close to the sensitive skin of lips near your ear to listen for a leak. Rotate the tube around so that its entire circumference passes by. If you find one hole, continue looking in case there are more. Inspect inside the tire for sharp objects or glass. Also inspect the rim strip that sits in the rim and protects the tube. Watch for holes in the rim strip or other material stuck to the rim strip. Once you have located the hole, mark it and deflate the tube.

Locate the hole marked during inspection. Using fine emery cloth or sandpaper, prepare the area to be patched by lightly abrading the area around puncture. Sand an area slightly larger than the patch to ensure proper adhesion of the whole patch. Excessive sanding or heavy pressure often causes scoring marks to develop on the surface of the tube and this is best avoided for the stability of the patched area. If you have a small alcohol swab available, clean the tube surface where the patch is to be applied. Allow it to dry completely before applying glue.

Open glue tube and puncture seal. Apply a thin coat of glue and spread it evenly but lightly all over the area to be patched. Spread glue just beyond the patch size evenly in a thin layer. Do not apply too much glue. Glue layer should not appear lumpy or thick. Allow glue to dry. This may take several minutes. Test by touching only perimeter area of glue, not where the patch will come in contact with the tube.

Select an appropriately sized patch for the tube and puncture. A very narrow road tube may not take a patch well. Patches come in several sizes ranging from 10mm to 15mm.The patch must be separated from its foil covering before application. Handle the exposed gluing surface as little as possible and only by the edges. The adhesion of your patch depends on it. Peel patch from patch backing. Handle patch by the edges only. Center patch to hole and lay patch on tube. Center patch to hole and lay patch on tube. Apply even pressure to patch to assure seal. If possible, maintain pressure for several minutes. Leave clear plastic cover on patch. Pulling it may result in dislodging the patch. Install the tube and tire on the rim and you are ready to go.



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