Here's An Incredibly Sketchy Way To Fix A Flat When You Don't Have The Right Equipment

It is said that the mother of all invention is necessity. The second you need something to work, that’s the exact moment that you’ll come up with a plan to make it work. However, sometimes the solutions you come up with, given a lack of resources, is less than optimal. Here is one of those times.

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Whenever you approach the subject of street fixes of the automotive variety, especially in a developing nation, you can’t really weigh it against the standards that you’d see in an SAE-certified mechanic’s shop because the scarcity of resources isn’t the same, even if both populations are just as educated and ambitious.

Within poorer rural populations that don’t have public transport available to them, they need to utilize whatever they can to up their mobility, this includes fixing the cars as cheaply as possible with good enough repairs that will last them until their next unscheduled stop, as evidenced by this video of a street-side mechanic in the Philippines fixing a chronic case of nail-in-tire.

Instead of using a tire machine to break the bead, the roadside mechanic uses a torque-multiplying long-ass bar and his own body weight, takes out the nail with the business end of a pair of broken scissors, and patches it using heat by lighting a fire and putting what I’m guessing a strip of rubber down and melting it along the tire’s inner lining.

Illustration for article titled Here's An Incredibly Sketchy Way To Fix A Flat When You Don't Have The Right Equipment

Other than using the method of doing everything in sandals and using fire to seat an adhesive, the actual procedure isn’t really that different than what you’d see at any tire shop in America.

The fix wasn’t done on the tire’s sidewall and I assume the tire was pressure tested afterwards. It was also installed using the big-ass-pipe-on-tire-iron method of adequately torquing down the lugs to spec, so again, good enough is good enough.

Illustration for article titled Here's An Incredibly Sketchy Way To Fix A Flat When You Don't Have The Right Equipment
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While this may look incredibly sketchy, I think it may actually be a viable way of fixing a flat in a country that is low on resources but abundant with skilled tradespeople.

In any case, this street-side fix is in stark contrast to the method of making old tires look like new, which was clearly an insane and dangerous scam. That shit cray.

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For the record, we do not recommend you do this. Ever.

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Tavarish writes and makes videos about fixing and modifying cars on the internet. Sometimes they actually run.

DISCUSSION

cobrajoe
CobraJoe

This will make me sound like an old guy, but there used to be patch kits that used fire to vulcanize the rubber and adhere the patch. (My dad told me about them).

As for this:

Instead of using a tire machine to break the bead, the roadside mechanic uses a torque-multiplying long-ass bar and his own body weight

$50 at Harbor Freight.

It’s the best way to break a bead when you don’t have a tire machine.

(Seriously, you need a “tire machine” to patch a tire?)