Tire Maintenance

How to Repair a Tubeless Tire


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There are several ways to repair a tubeless tire. Tubeless tires are used for wheelbarrows, lawn mowers and other tools. These tires can easily be repaired without having to replace the tire. Normally a nail or other implement will have punctured the tire. Basically, the inner part of the tire is filled with air and is lined with a butyl wall. The tire itself is impermeable and air tight. The repair is actually quite simple and there are several repair kits available that will contain everything needed to repair the tire.

Tools & Materials:

  • Probe
  • Needle
  • Plug
  • Cement
  • File
  • Repair Strip

1. Locate the Hole

If you know where the hole is then don’t worry about deflating the tire. However if the hole is not easy to find pour some soapy water on it and look where the bubbles form. Air leaking out of the tire will form bubbles.

2. Prepping the Hole

A repair kit will have everything you need. If not, get a probe and file down the inside of the newly discovered hole. Then coat this hole with cement. Take the plug and thread it through a needle tool. Before actually sewing up the hole, put another coat of cement on the hole.

3. Fixing the Hole

Take the needle tool and poke it into one part of the plug and then into the tire hole. Don’t pull the plug entirely through hole but leave about ¼ of an inch protruding from the hole. Now the hole is plugged but the needle is still left in the tire which can cause issues.

4. Remove the Needle

Twist the needle a bit, which in turn loosens the plug. Pull the needle through and the needle will come out without pulling out the plug. If you have not done this properly then chances are the plug will fall out and it will be necessary to try again.

5. Finishing

Clip off the exterior of the plug and put a coat of tubeless tire sealant over it. Once the cement is dry inflate the tire again. Do another check for leaks using soapy water.

6. Patching It

Instead of plugging the leak patches can be used. There are ready made patches available and the surface around the hole needs to be filed down.  A rough surface will allow the patch to have something to stick to.  Apply an adhesive and then place the patch over it.

7. Fill it

The best method is to fill the hole and is one of the best methods as it provides the strongest seal. Repair strips are used to deal with the hole. First the steel cords in the tire will need to be displaced using a probe. A filler repair tool is used to place the tubeless tire seal in the correct position. A needle and T shaped tools are required to match up the torn outer area and then an adhesive will ensure that the repair strip stay in place. The main advantage of the filler method is that it is not necessary to take the tire form the rim.  

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