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If you use a vehicle every day, you should also know how to repair it in an emergency, or at the very least, know how to patch it up and get it back on the road temporarily. Most of us are well aware of how to swap out a flat tire with a spare tire, but surprisingly few know what to do if that spare fails. As the saying goes, two is one and one is none — don’t rely solely on your vehicle’s spare tire. A good tire patch kit goes a long way to fix a flat, and may even last the life of your tire if applied correctly.

This video from Indefinitely Wild outlines the basics of applying a tire patch in the middle of nowhere. It’s easy enough with a patch kit from any auto parts store, although it will require a separate 12-volt air compressor if you want to inflate your tire away from civilization. Otherwise, you can re-inflate at most gas stations.

In addition to the off-the-shelf patch kit, it’s a good idea to have some rubber cement or glue to coat the patch (shown in the video, but not mentioned by the narrator). As a third fall-back plan, you could consider buying a can of tire slime or foam, although it generally makes a mess and isn’t as effective as a patch. And if worst comes to worst, you can usually drive a short distance on the flat at slow speeds (i.e. below 5mph on the shoulder) in an emergency.


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