Saturday, June 02, 2007

4 flats

I have now had 4 flat tires in about a 1 week spam.

1) left rear on VW. mom and dad got it when they borrowed the car and did 2,000 miles to colorado and back in a few days. they let some friends borrow the car and the promptly went out and bought a brand new diesel jetta. VW: you owe me some advertising money. they made it back home and the tire had very slow leak. took it to less schwab and tread to low, for liability they won't touch it. I know its not legal, but how I drive its got 10,000 miles left in it and so dad helped me plug it with monkeygrip. really quick and easy to do, and you can do it without dismounting the tire. i was a little skeptical, but its holding fine.

2)drove motorcycles down from bend. front tire of a yamaha 225 had slow leak in it. put fix-a-flat in it (your not suppose to do that, but we didn't have alot of options. shops were closed, and we needed to keep moving). did over 200 miles on it, and its still got 32lbs of air in it. the fix-a-flat (tire in a can some call it) is nasty, terrible stuff, and tire shops hate it. this is a very much LAST RESORT solution. i would not use it again unless i had no other options.

3) screw in front right tire of VW. I was carpooling with a friend to work and he spotted it on friday afternoon when we left. luckily, i had checked the spair not to long ago and it was all aired up and ready to go. we did the tire change in 10 minutes flat (pun intended). my plan is to take this to walmart and see if they will repair it. it has legal tread depth on it, so they should (i bought the tires from them, and paid for roadhazaard)

4)a 2.5" twisty nail in the rear of the BMW motorcycle. I have at least 3,000 miles left on this tire and this was a very disappointing find today. motorcycles are dangerous enough without doing half-baked repairs to them, so i'm cautions of anything i do on this thing. first thought was to try fix-a-flat, but remember my advice from #2.. only as a last resort. so I opted for monkey grip. amazingly, the metzler tourances are steal belted, so not much different than a car tire, and i am running tubeless in the back. doing the repair it was obvious that the compound is much softer on these tires than it is on the VW's douglas touring tires. i'll keep a very close eye on this thing and see if I can finish the tires off. i'll have the front and rear change when I do the 18,000 mile service, probably at the end of july. since the tubless are so easy to 'temporarily fix' i'll ask the dealer and see if they'll let me run the metzler tourances tubeless in the front.

*updated: the twisty nail is 2.25". i know people are bad at estimating so I wanted to double check myself and see how i'm doing. I kept the nail and measured it with my crappy $15 harbor freight digital caliper (everyone should have these in the junk drawer). accounting for the bend in the nail and the fact I wore alot of the head off on the street, its a 2.25". heres a picture, except mines rusty.


conclusions:
* those cheap $5 kits work. may not be the best thing, but truley useful and quick to use to get out of any situation.
* there are mushroom tire plugs available for motorcycles. i will look into this for future use on the motorcycle. i would have preferred to use this style for this repair, and I probably still can if I so choose. i've read its not to hard to pull the monkey grip stuff out if you need to.
* I think a complete kit with CO2 filler is going to get installed under my motorcycle seat in the not to distant future.

links:
proper way to plug a tire

$4.49 monkey grip
$8 bell motorcycle kit
$30 kit tube/tubless (non plug) from BMW retailer
$45 kit, tubeless plug style from bmw retailer<---

8 comments:

palegreenhorse said...

i definately agree with the kit & co2 filler for your bike. you ride a lot of miles by yourself on that thing and need something to help you out of trouble.

k2h said...

jen: i measured the nail....

Keith said...

i took the tire to walmart, they guy wouldn't work on it until I went inside to get paperwork. the computer systems of automative departments of walmarts are not tied together so i had to try and remember which store I got them from. after 10 min or so of watching a very stressed out lady bark at people they finally found it. by the time I got outside with my paperwork, the guy had finished the repair, and they did it correctly (mark tire to rim orientation, dismount, plug on inside, remount to mark so don't need to rebalance, and test for leak)

the only part i disagree with is they assume the tire is already balanced, but its been about 40,000 miles since i've had the tires rotated at walmart because they are to slow, i just do it myself. the one thing i'm not equiped to check is the balance so I had hoped they would have done this with the flat repair... oh well.

palegreenhorse said...

i'm so glad you found a use for those calipers... i love calipers and short of measuring the size of carrots i couldn't think what i could use them for.

at least wal-mart fixed it and the lady did actually track it down. that was nice of her to find the paperwork.

forkev said...

one of my rear tires goes flat in less then 10 hours occasionally. slow leak, but it looses about 5psi a week. If I don't keep it above 30psi, the next morning I usually find it flat. at least it keeps me on my toes. It's on the crapper, so i'm not too interested in fixing it. The crapper went from 30mpg with the winder fuel and low oil, to 35mpg when I changed the oil and the fuel changed to the summer stuff (more energy). Then I changed the air filter and am getting over 39 mpg on the last tank. maybe spark plugs will push me over 40...

k2h said...

kev: make dish soap solution and slosh it on the iffy tire

see if any small bubbles appear.

you can fix the tire on the car. the kit is $5. you should give it a go, unless the hole is the sidewall.

mari said...

i fear flats. is was so glad keith was around when my jeep had two flats. now i think i will need to keep a spare real tire for my mini in the garage. it has no spare but has run flat tires that give an audible sound if one goes flat. but who has repairs for fun flat tires. if there is one in the garage at least my sister or nephew can come and help me. my tire jack is very tiny and in a nice vinyl zippered bag. i don't think it has ever been used.

k2h said...

wow... the minicooper is one of only a few productiong vehicles currently equiped with runflat. your lucky! (i wonder how much a tire change will cost you though)