Tag Archives: tire repair

Prepper Life Skill (PLS): Tire Repair & Getting Out of A Sinking Car

28 Mar

This PLS is a lot like the PLS about wheel alignment.

If you’re prepping for short-term emergencies, it’s a skill you won’t need. If your tire fails, pull out the spare tire-wheel assembly, change it, and be on your merry way. But, if you’re forced to leave paved roads and multiple tires suffer damage, likely you won’t have more than one spare tire. How do we repair a tire and what tools are needed?

If you’ve repaired your own bike tires, you might think you can just replace a tire tube or patch it. Some smaller tires use tubes, but modern automotive tires do not. The rubber of the tire seals to the rim. To repair a puncture, you need to remove the tire from the rim, patch the tire so that it will hold air, remount the tire to the rim, and (somehow!) fill the tire with air, getting the tire “bead” to seal.

A temporary fix is just using a plug that is applied from outside the tire. This is not considered a permanent repair. But it might see you through till you reach a service station. A patch with plug as describe below is considered a permanent fix.

This video from one of my favorite automotive do-it-yourself channels talks about replacing a tube in a tire. Much of the information, like getting the tire off the rim, is similar to what you need for a tubeless tire.

Here is another tire-change video. (Youtube)

This video talks about replacing the tire’s valve stem.

This video has a nice close up showing how the valve stem fits into the rim. You should purchase a special tool for this job. You should own tire irons and not use a big screwdriver, too!

Now that you have a basic grasp of how to get the tire off of the rim and put it back on later, we can focus on the main topic:

Here is a video showing you how to patch a tire.

Getting the bead to seal can be a bit tricky, especially if it’s your first time. Because most preppers already have way too much interest in things that go bang, we won’t recommend the common lighter fluid-starter fluid trick to sealing a bead. It’s not particularly safe and can’t be good for the tire. Use the ratcheting strap trick described in the following bead sealing discussions:




In short, if you have trouble getting the bead to seal, bounce the tire around a bit and apply a strap around the tire to force the sides of the tire out to encourage the bead to seal. If your rim is old, you might want to purchase a bead sealer to apply to the rim and tire.

If you’re trying to locate a small leak in a tire, you can submerge it under water or use the soap trick  I described in the book for finding natural gas leaks through black iron piping. Same concept, different application.

If you have an old tire and rim, you might want to give this a go as a prepper exercise. For not much money, you can learn a new skill that can keep you off-roading even after your last spare tire has blown.

Charlie Palmer -Author The Prepper Next Door

On the news there was a good story about how to escape a car that has crashed into water and is sinking.

Here is a similar news story (Youtube):


Many people will instinctively roll up the window to keep the water out and try to dial 911. Just get your seat belt off, get your window down or break it, and get out immediately. If the car has sunk too far, you won’t be able to open the door because of the force of the water pushing the door closed. Good stuff to know.

Here’s a great video by TheLordHumungus about preparing for everyday life. I highly recommend you check out his Youtube channel. The zombie apocalypse likely won’t happen, but each of us will be subject to numerous emergencies and lesser disasters throughout our life. We should aim to be prepared in everything we do!

We’ll file this one under “don’t make your situation worse.” A Texas lady ran into a problem with a snake in her house. She tossed gasoline on the snake and set it ablaze. Snake’s revenge: It crawled into a wood pile and burned down the lady’s house. Lesson: She should have read the child’s story “The Little Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly.”

Many law enforcement agencies have reported an ammo shortage over the last few months.

Ammunition might become the new cigarettes. Many states are proposing new taxes on ammunition.

Among the proposals: A 5 percent tax in New Jersey and a whopping 50 percent ammo tax in Maryland. Congress is actively pushing tax legislation to force the national collection of sales taxes online. This means an online ammo seller in Texas would be subject to the tax collection authorities in a place like New York. It will allow states to reach across state borders to enforce their tax laws on sellers located in other states.

Most preppers have heard about the financial melt down in Cyprus.
It’s the same old story: Banks close, people can only get some of their money. Companies have no money to meet payroll, so workers go unpaid. Stores lack the money to get new product. Few stores accept credit cards, because the store feels it won’t be paid. People with money are rushing to the stores to get food.


Russia is offering to bail out Cyprus in exchange for the country’s offshore oil and natural gas drilling rights.

Closer to home: In America, record numbers of people are now on Federal disability paid by Social Security taxes.
These people don’t appear in the unemployment numbers and most will never return to work. I was surprised to learn that children are on worker disability too. If they can’t do well in school, they’re considered disabled and they get money.

It’s estimated that the Social Security disability trust fund will be “exhausted” by 2016.

Lesson: Never consider any source of income absolutely secure. Things change, times change.