Tire repair work requires the right equipment, tools and materials to ensure a quality job. Let’s look at some of the essentials for performing tire repair work.
Lifting equipment –- Repairing a flat or damaged tire properly requires that the wheel assembly be removed from the vehicle and tire demounted from the rim. Depending on where the damage happened and how far the driver dared travel, a vehicle jack or lift is used to get the vehicle off the ground and the tire/wheel assembly off the vehicle.
Proper lighting –- Always inspect tires internally and externally prior to performing any repair. Talk to your equipment supplier. A minimum of 200 foot-candles of lighting is required (300 foot-candles is recommended) at the surface being inspected. That includes the tire’s internal cavity. A hand-held inspection light can help ensure that these conditions are met.
Bead spreader (aka tire spreader) –- To inspect and repair the tire properly, it is necessary to have the right equipment to spread the sidewalls to get a good look and access to the inside.
Leak detection spray -- Slow air leaks can be inspected and detected with a soapy solution applied to the tire surface using a spray bottle. While liquid dishwashing soap and water can do the trick, an easier and more consistent option is to use tire leak-detection fluid.
8-inch blunt awl –- In order to perform a quality repair, a blunt awl can be used to “get in there” to probe the puncture area, to determine the extent and angle of the wound and to remove any debris that may be trapped. The blunt tip helps prevent damage to the cords while making repairs.
Innerliner scraper, cloth and cleaner –- The inside of a tire can be contaminated by mold, lubricants, sealants, liquid bead lubricants, balancing compounds and more. Using an innerliner scraper, cloth and pre-buff cleaner will help remove those contaminants prior to buffing the repair area. Failing to clean the innerliner properly can cause immediate repair failure.
Electric or air-powered drill -- Some repairs recommend the use of a powered drill (1,200 rpm max.) fitted with an appropriate sized carbide cutter.
Tire crayons –- Paint sticks or tire marking crayons help the technician mark and later locate areas requiring attention, such as leaks and injuries, for tire repair.
Tire repair materials –- Tire plug kits, patch kits, string plugs, inserts, and sealants are engineered to make it easy for technicians to perform quality tire repairs. It is important to not mix products from different repair material manufacturers.