Best tire sealant?

Now I believe in having a car tire used on the highway patched the proper way, but I am talking about temporary repairs to limp in or those for non-road equipment. I have always heard that Fix A Flat is a nightmare and to NEVER use this product unless you are about ready to scrap the rim and junk the tire it is going into. I seem to always have a flat tire on my riding mowers and such and was told to use the Green Slime product you can buy at most auto parts stores and such. This seems to work well overall and have seen no negatives. The nice thing is that the slime continues to seal future leaks as it doesn’t dry out or setup.

What is the opinion here?

I just have a plug kit and have used it on lawn mower tires with great success. I just use the spare when my car tire went flat.

I travel with a plug kit and a mini-compressor in the car so if a puncture is in a repairable spot I fix it , if not I put on the spare.
I use tire slime in my riding mower tires from 1978 but I wouldn’t use it on the highway.

Fix a flat and other similar products are OK for a temporary emergency. However, once you get to a safe place, the tire has to be dismounted and dried out before it can even be repaired. If that is not done soon after using, the water will cause corrosion of the rim and may cause some deterioration of the rubber in the tire.

Its one of those things that can be useful as long as you know all the hazards and how to mitigate them.

Any tire sealant that is non-flammable should work well enough. Some are better than others for cleanup, but as long as you use a formula that isn’t flammable, you should be fine.

I’ve used tire sealant to make it home, but once you make it home, even if the equipment never goes on public roads, you should learn how to install a tire plug. You can still buy tire plug kits that come with everything you need, including the tool.

Tire stores don’t rely solely on plugs anymore. Most patch and plug a leaky tire before certifying it safe for use on public roads again. However, a competent DIYer can still install tire plugs on his own without patching the tires.

Best for a lawn mower is just putting a tube in it for $5. Had a front tire on a Snapper that would lose air all the time. Put a tube in and it was ok for a while then lost air again. Put a new valve core in the tube and appears to be fine now.

The problem that ive encountered with plugging my tires is that after awhile the steel belts inside the tire start to separate and the tire develops cupping and bulging. What I normally do now is I just push the screw or nail all the way in so the head is below the tread then put some fix a flat seems to work good the belt doesnt separate and the tire holds air.I`ve had tires that last for years by doing it this way.

if i use fix a flat i will use a paint stick and write fix a flat on the inside of the tire, so anyone servicing the tire will be aware

I recommend carrying Fix-a-Flat to everyone. Getting off the side of the rode and hopefully to a safe location, home if possible, might be worth destroying a tire. My tire store friends hate it and charge a lot more to repair a tire that has that junk in them but that’s OK. I have bought dozens of cans and never used one on my own car but have often gotten stranded people off the shoulder and hopefully to a safer place with it. My late wife was a sucker for a car load of stranded kids and gave away most of the cans that I bought. She knew how to operate the can and was always proud when she got someone going.

I’ve only used fox-a-flat once. All other times, I’ve put the full sized spare on and drive to a tire shop. Fix-a-flat makes a helluva mess for the tire guys to fool will. They really appreciate you not using it. Some will charge extra just to clean up the mess.

In view of the new reality of no spare tire (!) on some newer cars, I am wondering if the car manufacturers utilize a better-quality tire sealant in the tire repair kits that are being supplied in those cars in lieu of a spare tire.

Does anyone know what types of sealants are being provided with these new cars?

Or you can do what my ex-wife did once on a brand new tire. Just drive home on the flat and destroy the tire (and damage the rim).

I have included a picture of one of the most popular spare tire replacement sealant kits for new vehicles. Get ready to be surprised. Fix a Flat even states that a sealant kit is better than a can of sealant. I still use plugs for my vehicles and Slime tire sealant for my riding mower tires. I didn’t pick Slime…it’s just that my brother uses it in his boat trailer tires and he gave me a can.

the tire guys don t like to be surprised, I had a tire guy tell me once to always make sure you let the tire guy know about the inflator product. I don t know if its still the case, but I believe some fix a flat type products were , and maybe still are, flammable.

so I make sure any tire I add it to is marked clearly

The earliest versions of fix-a-flat used butane. Needless to say, a spark while working on a tire filled with butane could be a problem. Professional automotive journals often had warnings regarding the butane threat for several years. Quite a few shop personnel were injured and a few killed. I recall a photograph of a wheel that went through the roof of a shop in one of the warnings.

As for Slime, a local tire store has photographs of tire pressure sensors damaged by Slime and warns against using any sealers. But honestly, who would insist on jacking up a car and changing a tire on the side of a busy highway when in less than a minute the car could HOPEFULLY be drivable and able to get to a safer location?

What surprises me is that using this stuff doesn’t unbalance the tire. Some even sell it as a way to balance the tire. How’s that work?

people with big offroad tires and hard to balance wheels sometimes put ball bearngs or some kind of round BB type things in their tires to make them ride better on the road.

they apparently help balance the tire at speed

Re balancing, centrifugal force throws liquids out to an even coating on the inside diameter of the tire. Too much liquid will throw the tire drastically out of balance and cause the wheel to wobble severely but if speed in increased enough the liquid will level out.

That is a good point on the corrosion aspect of the green slime. It is water based so I could see it rusting out steel wheels from the inside out. I know some of the liquids used to add weight to tractor tires and such for traction do much the same.

That being said, I figure some of my mowers and such are destined to just get flats about every mowing with the stupid black thorn locust trees we have here. I think replacing a rim every few years is a better option for me with this situation. I have been cutting down and burning as many of these as I can.

Living in a rural town in NH, I wouldn’t use the stuff.
If I had to drive through the Bronx, or Roxbury, or LA, or Newark every day I’d never leave home without it. Pumping a can of green slime into a tire is one heck of a lot quicker and safer than changing the tire. In dangerous areas, that difference can save one’s life. My philosophy is to make whatever compromise is necessary to stay safe, and work about the wheel afterwards.