Whether you’re driving around town running errands or going cross country to camp in your electric vehicle, a flat or leaking tire can happen at any time and can put a damper on your day. You could drive over a nail or other debris in the road, it gets embedded in the tire and voila – a flat!
In a perfect world, you will have a spare tire in your electric vehicle. We know that most of today’s vehicles come with a “donut” (not the good kind) but a small spare tire that comes with caution of “maximum speed of 50 miles per hour” and “to only drive a short distance.” We know that “short distance” is subjective, but speed certainly isn’t. If you want to get back on the road, drive a long-distance and drive at the speed limit, a tire repair kit in your trunk is your best friend when you’re on the road.
You can invest in a full-size tire, but you will need to find an ideal spot to store it in the vehicle until you need it. The cost of a tire can be up to $200 but you can put together your own tire repair kit for under $20 and it’s easier to stow away.
SEE ALSO: Top 5 tire pressure gauges for your EV
You may even have found that in your new Tesla or other electric vehicles that it’s not equipped with a spare tire. Many people don’t find that out until they need it! Many manufacturers leave the spare out to increase fuel economy (in gas and diesel vehicles) and to reduce weight. You may find your EV has a can of an aerosol tire sealant or a tire inflator – both of which have limited success and effectiveness. I don’t think I’d want to be stuck on a dark, deserted highway without a spare and with only an aerosol tire sealant!
As car enthusiasts, we think you’re better served to put together a do-it-yourself roadside repair kit to fix that flat tire. It makes sense to have a tire repair kit in your trunk because if a good Samaritan stops to help you, it will be even easier if you have all the tools necessary!
How To Build The Best EV Tire Repair Kit
You can buy a tire repair kit or you can make your own. We have put together the must-have list for your own do-it-yourself tire kit and a few options we found that we would consider putting in our own EV trunks.
You can invest in a tire repair kit that has everything you need – and probably more than you would ever need – from TECCPO. Its 100-piece heavy duty repair kit has its own carrying caddy, tools and even a pair of safety gloves. For under $30 this kit could be yours and in your trunk before your next trip.
Here’s what you need for your tire repair kit:
- A case or bag in which to stow the tire repair kit materials and tools
- Self-sealing strip tape
- A tool to increase the size of tiny holes
- A tool to push the tire repair plug strip into the puncture hole
- Tire pressure gauge
- Pliers to remove the cause of the hole (rock, nail, etc.)
- For safety’s sake, buy road cones or reflective safety triangles
You can buy Fix-a-Flat or a liquid that pushes a goo into the tire hole. We like plugging strips because they are more versatile and you can use it to fix any flat tire or fill any puncture hole.
The first steps to fix the flat are:
- Remove what caused the puncture in the tire. This is when your pliers will come in handy
- Use the tire patch kit probe and cover its tip with rubber cement.
- Insert the tip into the hole in the tire. Twist it from side to side to fill the hole to plug the leak.
- When you slide the probe from side to side then in and out of the punctured space you are also cleaning out the puncture, making it easier to patch.
- Take one of the repair strips from your tire repair kit and apply it to the tire puncture probe. Add a few drops of rubber cement.
- Carefully push the probe with the repair strip attached into the hole about one-quarter of an inch. The strip will be visible.
- Slowly remove the probe from the tire, making certain the patch strip remains in the tire.
- Trim the repair strip as closely as possible to the tire surface as you can.
- Now is the time to fill the tire. This could be tricky if you’re not at a gas station or repair shop but the tire needs to be reinflated. Check the pressure with your tire pressure gauge to ensure it’s inflated correctly.
- Now you should be safely back on your way. Don’t trust the temporary fix for too long – find an automotive or tire shop and get a replacement as soon as possible.
If you use items from your tire repair kit, replace them so you’re not caught with a flat and no way to fix it.