A flat tire is always a nuisance. At best, they are inconvenient. At worst, they are costly and potentially dangerous. However, there is an assortment of aftermarket emergency flat tire repair products that hold the promise of getting you back on the road quickly, without having to mount a spare tire or call a tow truck.
These types of products have been around for years. They work by pumping a sealant into a flat tire, plugging small punctures from the inside. Sealant kit popularity has been accelerating as they become common-place on new cars, where they are replacing the traditional spare tire for sake of weight and fuel consumption savings.
Pressurized-can sealers ($7.50 to $10), such as the ubiquitous Fix-A-Flat, are one-time-use products that have a dispensing tube that screws to a tire’s air-inflation valve. These sealers can both patch a hole and inflate the tire.
Tire-sealant kits ($20 to $80) combine a portable 12-volt air compressor and a replaceable container of sealant. More and more new cars supply this kind of kit in lieu of a spare tire.