When you think about it, we place a lot of trust into the strips of rubber filled with pressurized air under our cars. We’re talking about tires, of course. From rusty nails to poorly paved roads, a lot can happen to your tires. With just one little puncture, it can feel like your entire life has been derailed until you can get it fixed. But not all tire punctures are the same. In fact, there are some that you may be able to repair yourself.
When that scary orange light comes on, the first thing to do is to assess the kind of damage you might be dealing with. If you have a puncture on the sidewall, you’re out of luck. Sidewall damage is less likely than tread punctures because the side of the tire isn’t the part that makes contact with the road. But it can happen, and if does, the entire tire needs to be removed and replaced. If you patch it, the tire still won’t be safe to drive on. Damage on the tread, however, might not be as big of an issue depending on the puncture. You can take it to a tire place, but in some cases, you can simply repair it yourself.
There are many tire kits you can buy from auto shops that will help you get your car rolling again, but we found some great ones below. It’s the kind of thing that’s worth having because you never know when you’ll get a puncture. If you’re taking a long road trip or driving at night, it’s not like you can just pull into the shop and get your car worked on. Plus, a DIY approach can help you save money. Even if you’re a little apprehensive about handling those kinds of repairs yourself, many of these kits come with instructional booklets. The kits below are designed to be used on tubeless tires, including cars and off-road vehicles. With that in mind, these are the kits to get you moving.
1. Boulder Tools – Heavy Duty Tire Repair Kit
This tire repair kit from Boulder comes with printed instructions featuring images, so you can easily do repairs. The kit consists of 56 pieces, which are organized in a hardshell plastic carrying case. Included are valve caps, valve extenders, heavy-duty long nose pliers, repair cords, and a t-handle insert and spiral tools.
Pros: Complete kit includes 56 pieces, including a tube of lubricant, and 30 heavy-duty repair cords. Instructions are included.
Cons: Handles on tools can come loose and may need to be tightened.
2. Tooluxe Universal Tire Repair Kit
Another option for tubeless tires is this 35-piece kit. There are T-handle insert and spiral probe tools, a sealing lubricant, and 30 pieces of cord plugs. It also comes in a molded case with slots for the tools. It doesn’t have as many tools as the others cases; there are no pliers or knives, but the most essential tire repair tools are included.
Pros: Highly accessible kit, includes T-handle tools for easy ergonomic use in repairing tubeless tires.
Cons: No instructions included.
3. BETOOLL Tire Repair Kit 67 Pcs for Car
Another affordable option is this 67-piece kit. Included is a guide with pictures and text for easily figuring out how to use the tools. There’s a pressure gauge, extension valves, lubricant, a valve stem tool, and 40 repair plugs.
Pros: Complete kit for a highly affordable price. Includes instruction guide.
Cons: Tools are not the sturdiest.
4. AUTOWN 75-Piece Tire Repair Kit
This tire repair kit from AUTOWN is professional-grade and made with the highest quality refined steel and kits equipped to repair the toughest tires on the road. It’s got a tire puncture repair set complete with flexible tools with adhesion and shock absorption that you can count on. This kit includes 75 pieces including a t-handle rotation rotation device and premium pliers. The tools are ergonomically designed and designed for power and comfort as you repair all tires on cars, motorcycles, ATVs, tractors and even RVs and trucks.
Pros: Easy-to-use, ergonomically designed tools, comprehensive kit, equipped to repair all types of tires.
Cons: The kit has a strong chemical odor that may take a while to go away.
5. Stop & Go 1075 Tire Plugger
This tire plugger from Stop & Go has everything you need for a quick tire plug on the side of the road without a lot of muss or fuss. It comes with a tire plugger gun, 25 mushroom-shaped rubber plugs, and a vinyl zippered pouch to keep it all secure and inside. If you’re not looking for a bunch of tools you have to lug around or sort through while cars go whizzing by, this simple kit is a great option. The mushroom end of the plug sits on the inside of the tire, securing the hole and sealing off any air from escaping. The kit also comes with reamer tool and retractable blade in case you need them.
Pros: Simple kit with straightforward tools, high-quality and easy to use and effective in sealing off a hole.
Cons: May only be a short-term solution in some cases of extensive tire damage.
6. Slime 50107 Smart Spair Tire Repair Kit
This tire repair kit has two core components to it — a tire inflator that can pump new life into your tired wheels instantly, and the Slime emergency tire sealant to secure that hole shut. The inflator is tire sensor safe, so you won’t accidentally over fill your tires, and is perfect for standard car tires in need of a repair in a flash. There’s no jack needed or other tools you have to lug around and store, just a pump and some sealant to apply and get you on your way. The sealant can repair punctures up to 1/4-inch in diameter, and the inflator plugs easily into your car’s 12-volt accessory power outlet.
Pros: Can inflate your flat tire as well as repair it, plugs directly into your car, compatible with tire pressure sensors.
Cons: Only designed to pump and repair standard car tires.