Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Travel On Gravel

Here is an important skill to have if you drive on gravel as much as we do. Gravel gives you lots of flat tires, usually from old nails that are lurking on the surface. I have found that if I hold my speed under 40 MPH I have fewer flats; over 40, one of the rear tires will take a hit on a weekly basis. That is why I tend to putt along like an old man.

Pull the nail out of the hole with pliers or Vise Grips, use the probe from your plugging kit to make sure the hole is open all the way through. Thread a plug into the applicator tool, push and wiggle the plug into place, pull the applicator out, and air up your tire. You can plug a tire without removing it from the car if you can spot the nail and remove it. You can also plug the tire while it still has air in it, if you notice it getting low as you drive.

Go to a tire shop and have the tire patched properly as soon as possible. Tire plugs are great to get you going again, but they can cause air to go between the layers in your tire, delaminating them. In the slide show above, this tire was worn out, but was needed as a spare until we could get to town for a new pair on the rear axle.

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