Fix-It Chick: Patching a tubeless tire

At some point in time, it seems every car tire will eventually wind up with some foreign object stuck into the tire tread. Even if the tire does not immediately start leaking air from the puncture wound, the offending object will compromise passenger safety and ultimately cause irreparable damage to the tire. Taking the vehicle to a tire shop and having the puncture wound professionally repaired is the right thing to do. Sometimes that is not an option, and in those situations a quick and easy temporary repair can be made with a tubeless tire repair kit.

Step 1: Move the vehicle to a safe flat location where there is easy access to the punctured portion of the tire tread. There is no need to remove the tire from the car, but make sure the vehicle is shut off and the safety brake is set before proceeding.

Step 2: Open the tubeless tire repair kit and separate one of the repair plugs from the packaging.

Step 3: Insert the end of the repair plug into the eye of the needle tool.

Step 4: Pull half the plug through the needle tool so the plug is centered within the eye of the tool.

Step 5: Place the needle tool in a safe and easily accessible location, within reach of the punctured tire.

Step 6: Use a pair of pliers to remove the sharp object from the tire tread. Do not be surprised if air begins to suddenly escape from the tire.

Step 7: Insert the rasp tool, from the repair kit, into the puncture wound on the tire.

Step 8: Twist the rasp tool slightly back and forth while pushing and pulling it in and out of the hole. Abrade all sides of the wound thoroughly.

Step 9: Remove the rasp tool from the hole and insert the needle tool and patch into the wound. Press the needle tool down through the hole until two thirds of the patch material is no longer visible.

Step 10: Once the patch material is inserted in the hole, pull the needle tool straight up and out of the hole in one quick and self-assured motion.

Step 11: Cut away the excess patch material with a knife and dab some rubber cement around the patch.

Step 12: Inflate the tire to the recommended pressure and check for leaks around the patch.

— Have a home improvement question for Fix-It Chick? Email it to Linda Cottin at