Approximately one-third or ⅓ of new vehicles today do not come with a spare tire. However, some of them like the ones manufactured by Ford come with Tire Mobility Kit. It will allow you to temporarily fix a flat tire without requiring a tire change. Consequently, we have created a quick guide, so you will have a trouble-free experience using the Ford Tire Mobility Kit for your flat tire problems on the road.
Most Tire Mobility Kit comes with a tire inflator and sealant kit. This kit gives you the capability to get back on the road as quickly as possible without the need for a jack or lifting of a spare tire. Using it will only take you a few minutes, allowing you to drive to a repair facility for inspection.
What is the tire mobility kit?
The flat tire problem is one of the most common tire problems that vehicle owners have to deal with on occasion. It will come in handy if you are prepared and know the necessary steps to take when a flat threatens to interrupt your smooth and comfortable drive to work or home.
Back in the day, this problem typically means that you would need to lift up your vehicle with a jack and switch out the flat tire with your spare. But thanks to the development of Ford Tire Mobility Kit, you will never again have to deal with the stress and strain that comes with having to change your tire with your best suit on, while parked on the side of the road.
A Tire Mobility Kit is a two-part tire repair system that comes with an air compressor and a bottle of tire sealant. This system allows you to repair most flat tires in just a few minutes, which can make a huge difference should you ever find yourself stuck on either a remote area or on the side of a busy road with a flat. The tire sealant works to seal up the hole or damage on your tire. You can then use the compressor to re-inflate the tire so that you can speedily continue on with your trip.
The standard sealant kit and tire inflator is typically stored in the rear cargo area, in a foam holder. It can sometimes be located under the driver or front passenger seats. The kit contains a complete set of air hose, sealing tubing, pressure gauge, and a bottle of sealing compound.
How do you apply tire sealant?
To use the Ford Tire Mobility Kit, the first thing you will need to do is plug it into your vehicle’s 12V power adapter. From there, you will have to attack the compressor hose to the valve stem of the tire. Once you turn the unit on, you will have to inject the sealant into the tire for roughly three minutes to make sure that the hole is fully sealed up or other damage that causes the tire to go flat.
According to experts, it is advisable that you slowly drive the vehicle a short way to aid the sealant to fully circulate around the tire and fix the damage. Finally, you will have to reconnect the air compressor unit to your tire’s valve stem, and then turn on to re-inflate your tire to the recommended pressure level.
Most of the time, this should be enough to continue your trip until you have time to take your vehicle in to have the damaged tire repaired. But it is important to remember that this tire repair kit cannot repair all types of tire damage.
Typically, experts recommend only using the repair kit for damages to the tire treads since the kit is not capable of fixing damage to the tire’s sidewalls. In addition, the sealant is typically only effective in repairing holes that are a maximum of 4 millimeters in diameter, anything bigger than this requires service. In this case, it may be necessary to get roadside assistance should your tire have a holve that is larger than the sealant can effectively repair or it has damage to the sidewall.
How does tire sealant work?
The tire sealant often comes as a sticky, fiber-rich liquid that runs through the interior of the tire also with the excess puddling inside. If the tire is punctured, the escaping air carries the sticky sealant out through the hole. It then creates a plug. Remember to check the pressure of the tires as well as the balance, once you have applied the tire sealant. It may cause imbalances when moving at high speed or over uneven terrain, if the sealant puddles in the bottom of the tire.
Tires sealants have limitations. Keep in mind that some sealants work only with tubeless tires and are not capable of repairing damaged tube-type tires.
What is the best tire sealant?
It is really common and inevitable to end up with a flat tire. Every driver is bound to encounter this problem occasionally. Whether by a screw rock, tiny nail, or some other type of road wear, you will need to address the problem. But you may not always need to bring it to a repair shop to patch it up. Having a high-quality sealant can save you time and money when you need it most. Here is a small list of the commonly used top-of-the-line tire sealants to help you prevent flat tires.
- FlatOut 20120 Tire Sealant (Multi Seal Tire Sealant with Kevlar)
This type of sealant is kevlar-infused, and is capable of filling punctures up to ½ inches in size, making long-lasting and strong.
When used as a quick flat tire repair on the side of the road, the manufacturer claims it can prevent 95% of flats. Another excellent feature is the sealant does not include adhesives or latex and it is non-toxic, non-corrosive, and nonflammable.
The valve stem removal tool is on the fragile side, and it suggests emptying the entire bottle on one tire as well. So you will need to buy multiple bottles ready if you intend to repair multiple tires.
- Slime 10011 Emergency Tire Repair Sealant, 16 oz.
This sealant is strong and fast-acting, capable of repairing ¼ inch punctures.
It is capable of repairing tires from trucks, SUVs, Jeeps, ATVs, and RVs. Plus, it is really convenient to take it anywhere, thanks to its small size.
It could cause rusting. Another downside to this sealant is that you’d be restricted on how fast you should drive with the tire sealant on.
- Fix-A-Flat S60420 Aerosol Tire Inflator with Eco-friendly Formula, 16 oz.
This compact canister sealant is capable of quickly repairing the punctured areas to get you back on the road.
It can fill punctures up to ¼ inches in size and is fairly easy to attach to any tire nozzle. It is non-corrosive, non-flammable, and non-toxic, making it eco-friendly.
Your capabilities of using the tire sealant effectively is restricted. Also, the plastic tubing may leak formula, so you’ll have to be cautious when busting it.
Benefits of Tire Sealant
- Keep you on the road longer. There are times when you have no choice but to keep on driving. Having a good tire sealant will keep you on the road until you can stop to change your problematic tire/tires. You can quickly apply the sealant to patch a hole to keep more air from leaking out.
- Save time. Having a tire sealant saves you time because you do not have to be in a shop. It may be a temporary fix, but using it to fix a hole or a puncture can give you more time to drive on your tires. Though it is not recommended to drive on a tire that has sealant for long, it gives you more time to think about what is best for you: to get to a service shop or to find a replacement tire.
Tire Sealant Cost
$10 to $20 – This price range includes bottles and containers starting at 16 oz that have more solution for more usage or bigger tires.
$20 to $60 – There are tire sealants that you can find starting from 64 oz to one gallon or more in this price range. This ideal if you want a large supply of tire sealant.
Even if you have the best tire sealant available, you will still need to find a way to fill your tire back up with air. This can be hard when you are on the road. To help guarantee that you don’t drive on a tire that does not have enough air pressure and risk causing further damage, you should consider buying an air compressor or pump to serve as an inflator. If not, visit a gas station and use their free air pump.
Other Things to Consider
- Frequency of Use – Prior to purchasing a particular tire sealant, you should consider how often you may need to use it. Remember that tire sealant can be used several times before it runs out. This is important to note if you have several tires that needed to be patched or if you plan on resealing the same puncture multiple times.
- Bottle Size – If you have no choice but to continue driving on a punctured tire, going for a larger bottle size or several bottles is a good solution. Tire sealants are just a temporary fix and will eventually begin leaking again. This is why you will need to use a lot of the sealant and may require more compound if you cannot swap out tires for a while.
- Vehicle Type – Not all tire sealants are made for every vehicle. There are those specifically formulated to seal the rubber on dirt bikes, lawnmowers, ATVS or mountain bikes. Keep this in mind when you are buying a type of tire sealant.
Why does one of my tires keep losing air?
You noticed that one of your tires is a bit flat, so you filled it with air and drove away. Unfortunately, within just a couple of days or maybe after a week, you found your tires flattening again and needed more air. You got a slow leak. You visit a service shop or a tire shop, but they can’t find any problem.
There are several reasons for your tires losing air. They are as follows:
- A hole in the tread, probably from something sharp in the road like a nail.
- A hole in the sidewall, probably from something shard on the road.
- A tire valve that is loose or not properly functioning.
- A poor seal where the tire connects to the wheel, letting air escape.
- A repair that is now acting up again.
What You Can Do
The proven method to find leaks is to spritz the tire with soapy water (try 20 percent detergent to keep it a little more thick) and watch for bubbles, especially in the probable problem areas listed above. Try this while the tires have full air pressure and are still heated from your driving. You can also try to remove the wheels and submerge them and the tire set in a water bucket to reveal the leak.
There are instances when your slow-leak might only lose air when you are driving your vehicle. You probably have a pinhole puncture that is so tiny that it does not even widen enough to let air out till your tire heats when driving on the road. That temporarily increases the size of the pinhole and also increases the tire air pressure to push out with added force.
If your tire is not properly set on the wheel, grit or sand might find its way in between your tire and wheel which creates a tiny opening that lets air out. However, same as the pinhole situation, a leak can be intermittent and hard to locate.
Likewise, if a tire installer fails to insert a new valve with the new tire, it is more likely that it will leak air. In fact, the valve is most of the time the source of a slow leak and something that is highly recommended to be checked with soapy water.
Sometimes it is hard for even a tire expert to locate the source of the leak. If your tires are old, and leaking in many areas, it is best to just replace them.
It is quite convenient to have a tire mobility kit handy. You just have to know how to use the tire repair kit and your trip should be hassle-free. No need to get your hands dirty every time you do emergency repair on your tires.