CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

A 'Fix a Flat' question

First time I used the product last week for my wife’s Suburban. Worked well (would have been great if I’d gotten the larger size).

After her flat was repaired, I purchased 2 X-Large (my Silverado and her Suburban) as standard equipment.

Question: There’s no way my wife would be able to hold down the top release button for the entire time required to release contents. Can you release the button and give your finger a rest or would that screw up the process in some way?

I emailed and called the company but they’re totally unresponsive.

Mark

If your pickup or Suburban has tire pressure monitors using ‘Fix-a-Flat’ can damage the sensors which are quite expensive. I would recommend not using such a product except in an emergency.

Both vehicles are too old ('09, 00). No problem. The tire just had to be separated from the rim so the interior could be abraded before patching.

I would think you could press the trigger, release it, press again and continue to inflate a tire. Eventually the air pressure in both can and tire will equalize. Unlike liquid, you can’t empty all the air from one unit into another unit.

1 Like

I’ve never used this product, but I see that they have a version where you attach the can directly to the valve and it automatically dispenses, so maybe that would be easier for her to use.

I’m not sure ‘automatically’ = automatic :wink:

Here’s their website products page:

All the cans except the first are identical in appearance to mine (I’ve got the last one)

Rod, this must be a newer version. It says on the can ‘tire sensor safe’.

You’re only partially correct

The 2000 model is too old for sensors

But the 2009 model almost certainly has them. It was mandated a few years earlier, as a matter of fact. We have GM trucks older than yours with tpms, in our fleet

If you’ve used fix-a-flat in the 2009, chances are you’ve already damaged the sensor

1 Like

Plus tire shop guys will hate you because it makes a godawful mess in there.

1 Like

The tire shop guys may hate you, but they won’t come out and get you for free either. Sometimes you do things because you have lousy choices, so you pick the one that works for you. Sorry, tire guys.

1 Like

Not something I would like to use. Last time the wife had a tire problem 15 years ago, the tire was shredded and fix a flat would have had no impact. A cell phone, road service, and a spare tire are still my preferred options.

And Yay the Rav4 has a compact spare, 1he 15 kia optima had flat fix and maybe a compressor. Surprising myself being happy to get a compact spare tire.

Fix-A-Flat won’t do any harm to TPM sensors.

Yes. You have to dispense the entire can for it to be effective.

Tester

This might work if you do have to use “fix a flat”

Yosemite

Many shops actually refuse to work on a tire that has been filled with that goop, as the work required to remove it is extensive.

Just a few days ago, I took my car to Costco to have a nail removed from the tread and to have the tire patched from the inside, and I noticed for the first time that the back of their receipt/invoice has verbiage to the effect of…We will not work on tires with sealant in them. So, even though free tire repair (or replacement in the event that a tire is not repairable) is included in Costco’s Road Hazard Warranty, customers effectively screw themselves out of that benefit if they use Fix-a-Flat.
:thinking:

The wife always has a can of FIX A FLAT in her car because she weighs 98 lbs soaking wet. She doesn’t have the strength to use the jack that comes with car let alone removing the lug nuts with the joke of a lug nut wrench.

It saved her butt a couple of times.

And when I removed the tire to fix the puncture, there was no GOOP inside the tire. Just a small amount of liquid that was easily rinsed out.

Tester

I tried the fix a flat stuff on a basketball that wouldn’t hold air. It stopped the leak, but the basketball was terribly off balance and dribbled like a bowling ball. Needless to say, I bought my son a new basketball.

I didn’t realize that about Costco and I intend asking them about that when I shop tomorrow.

I think, like the guy(s) who said Fix a Flat messes up the tire sensor, they’re going on older product performance and not the current stuff.

I drove her car to our garage ~2 miles away. I told the fellow that does their tire work about the sealant and specifically that it was Fix a Flat. He said no problem. The tire/car was ready to go in under 30 minutes and I’m not sure he went ‘right to work’ as soon as I gave him the key.

Can you ask her if she held the button for the entire time or released/rested her finger and depressed the button again to continue to completion?

I’ve never used any aerosol product that didn’t have a backflow preventer valve and didn’t allow for stop/start. I just want to be 100% sure before I introduce the can to my wife.

See my other message to you just now–

It’s not do you have to use the entire can, it’s can you stop/start along the way to rest the finger.

I’ll ask her when she gets home.

Tester