Sunday, May 25, 2014

ATV Flat Tire

Gotta flat! Actually, it's the second one since I've owned the ATV. Same tire. There's a lot of old bits of barbed wire on this land and tires seem to find them. Most of the that the tires pick up a piece of barbed wire, the barbs haven't penetrated far enough to cause a puncture. 
I used a little soapy water to find the leak. By inflating the tire then wetting it with soapy water, you can find the leak by looking for the bubbles. I thought at first that the old repair site might be leaking but it didn't take long to find the new leak. The bubbles were just churning out one after the other. Close inspection showed a tiny piece of metal, most likely a broken off barb tip from barbed wire. I couldn't grasp it to pull it out, so I pushed it through. Next I retrieved the tire repair kit from the workshop. 
This kit is easy to use. It must be since even I can do it successfully! Thread a patch onto the tool, push it through the hole (the  most difficult part of the job), rapidly jerk out the tool, and wallah.....fixed! 
In this photo, the patch is the brown spot between the two tire knobs. I ran the ATV around the driveway once to seat the patch and make sure it wasn't leaking. Then I trimmed off the excess after I took this photo. 

Learning to make basic repairs to equipment is important to a small homestead. By doing it myself, the equipment isn't out of service for very long. In this case, just 10 minutes. It also didn't cost me much. The kit was less than $5 and is good for three repairs. 


  1. Good to see that the patch kit worked. I see a bit of curled rim (ouch!), but is that a tubed tire? You might get really lucky if you could find someone's old tube that they don't want, so you could cut out the inner third to create a "sleeve" that could protect a tube, should you be using one. Some tractor tires will get leaks from dirt/sand that gets down at the bead area and prevents a good seal there. If all else fails, there's the "green Slime" that can be resorted to, but it makes a mess if ever you go to put a new tire on. (If you shoot it full of foam, plan on getting a new wheel and tire, as that foam is nearly impossible to get off).
    You are right about that phenomenon of barbed wire staying sharp at the barbs while the rest of the wire rusts away to nothing. It's another corollary of Murphy's Law.

  2. Curled rim, yup! Happened last year when I stupidly decided to cut through an unmowed pasture. Dropped into a shallow puka and caught the rim on a lava rock. It hasn't caused me any problems to date. Guess I'm just lucky. Eventually it may cause the tire not to stay inflated.

  3. Wow! The repair seemed like a breeze. ATVs are really prone to have flat tires, especially as they trudge over almost all kinds of terrains, from muddy all the way to the rocky ones. It looks like fixing that flat tire was easy peasy for you. Haha! Kudos! :D

    Bobby Ladson @ George Town Shell

  4. Well, you can't have your ATVing day interrupted with a damaged tire! ~Affordable Tire Patches