Is fix-a-flat bad for tires? This is a question that many people have asked, and the answer is not always clear. While fix-a-flat is okay to use in a pinch, it can cause problems too.
So to help provide clarity to you, we will explain exactly how useful fix-a-flat can be and when you should or shouldn’t use it.
Is fix-a-flat bad for tires?
Fix-a-Flat is a short term tire sealant that you can use to plug your tire when you find yourself with a flat tire. It will coat the entire inside of your tire. The sealant will ruin the inside of your tire and will mean that your tire will need to be cleaned and repaired by the tire shop before it can be used again.
However it is very labour intensive to clean fix-a-flat from the tire once it has dried. Because of this most shops will not offer this service as it is not worth the time and you will need to clean your tire yourself if you want to put it back on your vehicle.
For this reason we would only use it as a last resort.
What is fix-a-flat?
Fix-a-flat is an emergency use sealant for flat tires. It contains both a chemical sealant and a small amount of air. If you’re stuck with a flat in the middle of nowhere and you can’t change to a spare, then fix-a-flat can be a fantastic emergency option to get you out of this sticky situation.
How does fix-a-flat work?
When you use fix-a-flat on your tires, the way it works is that the air propels the sealant into the tire. The sealant is a liquid when in the can but becomes a gas when propelled into the tire allowing a small can to inflate your tire even when its much larger.
The gas inside inflates the tire back to a useable state with a latex emulsion foam fills in the leak, sealing the tire.
It’s a remarkable invention that allows you to quickly get back on the road without having to change your tire.
However, while fix-a-flat can be useful, it’s not a perfect solution and there are some drawbacks that you should be aware of before using it.
When should I use fix-a-flat?
Fix-a-flat is bad for tires and as it is not a comprehensive solution, you should only be using it in certain, emergency situations. There include:
When you haven’t got a spare available
Perhaps you haven’t had a chance to replace a spare tire or you just simply don’t have one.
When it isn’t safe to change your tire
If you’re on the side of a busy highway or in an area that isn’t well-lit, then it may not be safe for you to change your tire. In this case, fix-a-flat can help get you to a safer location.
When you can get a tow tuck out to you
If you’re not in an emergency situation, then the best option is to get a tow truck out to you. This way you can avoid using fix-a-flat and damaging your tire further.
When you don’t have much time
If you’re in a hurry and can’t afford to wait for a tow truck, then fix-a-flat can help get you back on the road quickly.
What are the risks of using fix-a-flat?
But while fix-a-flat can be useful in these emergency situations, it’s not without its risks. In fact, fix-a-flat can actually be bad for tires in some cases. Here are a few reasons why:
It can mask the real problem
If you have a nail in your tire, then using fix-a-flat will only cover up the hole and won’t fix the underlying issue. This means that the hole will continue to get bigger and could eventually cause a blowout.
It’s a temporary solution:
While fix-a-flat can help you in an emergency, it’s not a long-term solution. You’ll need to get your tire repaired or replaced as soon as possible after using fix-a-flat.
It can damage your tire:
Because fix-a-flat contains a chemical sealant, it can actually end up damaging your tire if you use it too much. The sealant can eat away at the rubber in your tire and cause long-term damage.
It isn’t as effective in colder temperatures
in colder temperatures, the sealant in fix-a-flat can actually freeze and become less effective. This means that you’re more likely to have your tire go flat again if you use it in cold weather.
It can clog your TPMS
If you have a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), then using fix-a-flat can actually clog up the sensors. This means that you won’t be able to tell when your tire pressure is low in the future and could end up causing more flats.
For these reasons, it’s important to weigh the risks and benefits of using fix-a-flat before using it on your tires. While it can be a useful emergency solution, it’s not without its risks and so you should only use it if you have no other choice.
How long can you drive on a fix-a-flat tire?
Once you’ve used fix-a-flat on your tire, you should only drive for a short distance before getting your tire repaired or replaced. The reason for this is that fix-a-flat is only a temporary solution and so the longer you drive on it, the more likely you are to have your tire go flat again.
However, at a push, you can drive on a fix-a-flat tire for up to three days.
Alternatives to using fix-a-flat
If you’re looking for a more permanent or safer solution than fix-a-flat, then there are a few alternatives that you can use. These include:
Tire plugs are small, rubber plugs that you insert into the hole in your tire. They’re relatively easy to install and can be a more permanent solution than fix-a-flat.
Patch kits are small patches that you can use to repair holes in your tire. They’re similar to tire plugs but are a bit more difficult to install.
A spare tire
A spare tire is the best solution for a flat tire. If you have a spare available, then you can simply change your tire and be on your way.
Fix-a-flat can be a great option if you are in an immediate emergency situation. However, in just about every other situation, we wouldn’t recommend using it as it can cause real problems.
So, is fix-a-flat bad for tires? Yes, it will likely cause internal damage to your tire, but if you stuck in the middle of nowhere with a flat, it can be a real lifesaver.
We hope you enjoyed this article and found it informative. If you have any questions then please leave a comment below or get in touch via email or through social media and we will read and respond to every comment, email or question. Thanks for reading!