Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.
Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is a product that if you don’t have it in your car, well, you are wrong. I almost never say anything like that but when it comes to how cheap this product is and how much of your ass it can save, I’ll say it.
The item is the Victor Tire Repair Kit (we just really call these a plug kit). These things will fix a flat tire, or going flat tire, 90% of the time or more. The only thing they won’t fix are holes in the side wall or completely torn, cut, etc. tires.
For instance one day on the Dallas Tollway I hit a piece of angle iron and it cut about a 4 inch slice in my tire, I had to put a spare tire on, at rush hour, about 50 feet from the toll both in August when the car thermometer said it was 114 degrees. NOT FUN, and quite dangerous due to other drivers (aka idiots).
Had it been a nail or something more common, it would have been pull out nail, put in plug, air up tire with my portable compressor enough to get to an exit, then fully air up tire. Total time about 2 minutes, vs. the 15 doing the spare took. In other words 13 less minutes risking being killed by an idiot.
Tire plugs are very reliable and surprisingly effective. My uncle and I one time got a flat in his jeep. We found the leak and an odd black thing about the size of a big man’s thumb in it. Puzzled we looked at each other and he pulled it out with a pair of pliers. It was a screw driver, with the handle almost all the way in the tire. We pondered it, tried a plug and it held.
I have some experience with tire repair, you see my father ran a tire business for 20 years. I broke down and fixed a lot of tires as a kid. My dad would sell a person a replacement, or do a patch or do a plug. But when he got a flat he would always just plug the tires on his own car. Now the best practice is to go to a shop afterword and see if a proper internal patch can be applied.
But here is the thing, most tire shops are now run by liars, or people trained by so many generations of liars they don’t know they are lying any longer. They will say the tire can’t be patched and you need a new one, why, well to sell you a new one. If I was faced with driving a plugged tire when my set had say 10,000 miles or a bit more on it before I replaced them all anyway, or buying one expensive tire, well, I’d be driving with a plugged tire.
The key is with a plug kit you can get going again fast. Oh and if you have a lawn tractor and live where thorny things grow, these are an absolute requirement. Ask me how I know. Finally the kit I recommend on Amazon is a good low cost option, the truth is though they are all good really. There is really only one way to make a plug kit. I don’t care where you get one of these but have one and learn to use it. For what it is worth though Victor Tire Repair Kit is a top quality kit that is cheap enough to keep one in the garage and one in every vehicle.
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