Flat tires happen often and can inconvenience any car owner. They are inevitable, and most drivers detest flat tires and will do anything to avoid them.
One of the ways to temporarily fix flat tires is using fix-a-flat. So, how long can you drive on a tire with fix-a-flat? You can drive your car for about two or even four miles when using the fix-a-flat.
However, it is advisable not to use it for too long because it can damage the tire when used longer or even harden and corrode the rim. So it would be best you use the Fix a flat for driving to the repair shop nearby.
Fix-a-flat is one of the best emergency tools for repairing flat tires. It is durable, easy to use and very affordable.
Do you want to learn more about Fix a flat? Read on
What is Fix-a-Flat, and How Does It Work?
Fix-a-flat is an aerosol that seals tire holes quickly hence preventing any air leakages from the tire. It acts as a sealant for the tire by using liquid fuel to inflate the tires without using the traditional pump.
A can of Fix-a-Flat has a small amount of air and liquid sealant composition. Fix- a-Flat is a form of one push spray that uses the polymer latex component to create a thick foam for hardening the tire’s inner wall, preventing leaks.
— Fix-a-Flat (@fixaflat) April 8, 2021
Also, it is essential to note that the size of the hole matters when it comes to Fix-a-flat. It can only seal about a quarter-inch hole without tire repair tools.
Unless your tire has severe damages, fix-a-tire comes in handy to save your situation and is very reliable.
You only need to push a button on the fix-a-flat, and it will immediately inflate the tire, and you can drive your car safely.
Does Fix-A-Flat Really Work?
Fix-a-tire often works but mostly when the damage is not severe.
For instance, fix-a-tire will give you a temporary solution if your tire has a small hole from something like a nail or your tire is leaking around the rim.
The can of Fix-a-flat contains some liquid and air injected into the tire; it hardens the tire’s inside walls, hence covering up any small holes. However, it is not a permanent solution but just a way of helping you reach home or take your car to the mechanic for proper repair.
It is important to note that Fix-a-flat does not work for every tire.
For instance, if you get a deep cut on the sidewall of your tire or your car has severe damage, Fix-a-flat will not help you.
There are also other limitations of using fix-a-flat you should note;
- The components of fix-a-flat freeze below 32 degrees. So, if you reside in icy areas and you have stored it in the trunk, you will need to cuddle the can in the passenger’s compartment for about an hour or even more until it gets back to fluid.
- Also, note that the can does not have additional air. Thus, if your tire goes very flat is almost to the rim, the fix-a-tire will not be able to provide you with adequate air to keep driving.
However, to address this problem, always keep a little compressor in your vehicle, since it is powered by your car, it will help you although very slow.
Therefore, if you wonder whether Fix-a-flat works, it does. However, note the key points that might limit its performance as listed above.
Conversely, if you have to use Fix-a-flat, make sure you don’t use it to drive for long but only for an emergency before getting to the mechanic.
How Long Can You Drive On a Tire with Fix-a-flat?
According to the manufacturer, you can drive for 100 miles or three days. However, some people reports using the fix-a-flat for a longer or shorter duration.
Fix-a-flat is a temporary solution and is mainly helpful for an emergency to help you get the road mobility back. Since it does not require a traditional pump to inflate your tires, you should not use it for more extended periods.
So, how long can you drive on a tire with a Fix-a-flat?
The longer you will drive using the Fix-a-flat will depend on these three factors;
1. Type of Tire Damage
The extent of tire damage determines if the Fix-a-flat will be adequate to inflate and seal your tire to assist you to keep driving.
Here, you should note that the fix-a-flat can only seal a quarter-inch hole.
So, if your tire has been damaged more extensive than that, it will only be closed temporarily, and the distance you will cover will be pretty small.
Sidewall damage is also difficult to seal effectively.
Therefore, Fix-a-flat is ideal for small punctures that create easily traceable holes like nails.
2. Amount of Sealant Used For Repair
Using the right amount of sealant is crucial in determining how long you can drive on a tire with fix-a-flat.
When you use too much sealant, you will destroy the inside structure of the wall. Conversely, if you use inadequate adhesive, it will not work effectively.
Therefore, using enough sealant ensures it seals the holes, and your tire will drive even and stay long enough.
3. Weather and Road Conditions
Fix-a-flat can easily puncture on a lousy road or uneven roads with sharp objects. Therefore, avoid such highways after having a fix-a-flat until you get a repair.
Freezing weather also decreases the sealant’s effectiveness because it causes an imbalance in tires when the adhesive is frozen. So it would be best to avoid using it in winter.
How to Use Fix-a-Flat Safely
- Gather the suitable materials– to use fix-a-flat, you have to buy a can of one.
- Park your vehicle in a safer location– if driving, pullover to a parking or a safe place
- Identify the source of leakage– when you notice your tire has lost air, inspect it to know where the leak is coming from and repair it.
- Locate the tire with damage- when your tire has an impairment, it will appear deflated compared to others.
- Identify the hole or tear– it will be obvious to find the spot. However, it should not be more significant than ¼ inch because fix-a-flat may not be effective for severe damage.
- Open the tire valve– you should open the tire valve cap and keep it somewhere safe because you will need to return it after the repair.
- Get ready to seal the tire– here, shake the fix-a-flat can to prepare it for use.
- Attach the fix-a-flat nozzle– connect the fix-a-flat nozzle to the tire valve and ensure it is secure. You will start hearing air inflate the tire when you have secured the nozzle on the valve completely.
- Close the tire valve– after emptying the can fully into the tire, open the nozzle and put back the valve cap on the tire.
- Drive the car immediately– ensure you drive your vehicle immediately to increase the tire pressure and make sure the sealant distributes evenly on the tire. Drive for up to 2 or 4 miles.
- Inflate the tire to the recommended psi level– it is advisable to inflate it after using Fix-a-flat to reach the manufacturer’s psi (pounds per square inch) level. (source)
- Drive your car to the nearest gas station– you should drive to any gas station to get an air pump.
- Fill the tire– pump air into your tire up to recommended psi level and ensure you check it often using a tire gauge.
However, using a fix-a-flat is a temporary solution, and you will need to get your tire repaired by a mechanic.
It is also crucial to let your repairer know that you have used fix-a-flat so that they understand your tire has a seal of aerosol gases. The information will help them handle it carefully.
Final Thoughts on Fix-a-Flat
Flat tires are inevitable for car owners. Fix-a-flat comes in handy to help in case of an emergency. Now, the concern of every car owner is the period they can drive after fixing the Fix-a-flat.
As mentioned earlier, you can go for about 2 to 4 miles. For the fix-a-flat to work appropriately, it is essential to drive your car immediately after using it to increase the tire’s pressure. When you drive immediately, it will help distribute the sealant evenly inside the wall of the tire.
However, this method is not a long-term solution, so do not drive longer to avoid more damage after fixing. You should only use Fix-a-flat to enable you to get to the mechanic or the nearest tire repair shop to help resolve any leaks from your tire permanently.
Also, you should note it might not work in every flat tire. It might fail when the damage is severe, like massive holes in bad roads or freezing weather.
Therefore, use the fix-a-flat to get to the mechanic, and if your car has severe damage, contact a professional mechanic to fix the issue.
Hi I’m Marshall based in 1478 Doctors Drive Santa Monica, CA. I’m your DIY Car Repairman with more than 5 years experience in automobile repair, a skill I learned from my old man.
I started this blog to share my experience on both simple and technical aspects of your car.