The non-committal answer is “Yes” and “No”. Now let me qualify that answer and explain my position. Because every situation is different. If you are in the “bad part of town” or “the wrong side of the tracks”; then “NO”, Fix a Flat is not bad for your tire…
It’s good for your life.
But if you’re in your driveway and you have a flat, then perhaps you should look for other options.
I am not an expert on Fix a Flat. I will use it, but only in cases of emergency. As, a general rule of thumb, I try not to use the stuff; I’ve seen what it does to the inside of tires.
However, I always carry a can with me. Because if I am stuck on the side of the road and a can of Fix a Flat is between me and a service station, you can bet I am going to use it.
I thought I would write about the pros and cons of using Fix a Flat. So you could best decide on what situations you would want to use it, if at all.
PLEASE READ: What to Do When You Have a Flat Tire for a complete guide on what to do if you indeed get a flat tire.
Is Fix-A-Flat bad for my tires? (The Pros)
Fix a flat has one purpose; to get you up and running again. Here are the Pros of Fix-A-Flat
Easy to use
The main advantage to these canned sealants is they are very easy to use. It only takes a minute to connect to your tire and another minute to apply the sealant. How big of a puncture can Fix A Flat seal? According to Fix A Flat.com, this product can seal a puncture that is ¼ of an inch in diameter. So if you picked up, let’s say, a roofing nail in your tire, Fix A Flat will take care of you…easily.
Economical (At the outset)
You can’t go wrong on the price. A can of Fix A Flat can be found at any automotive store, Walmart, or Target, for between five and ten dollars. If you are stuck on the side of the road and need to get going again quickly, that is a small investment.
And that brings our list of pros to a close.
Now some may not have a choice to use a tire sealant as we discussed before. For those who have no choice in the matter or for those who make a conscious decision to use Fix A Flat; please keep these next things in mind.
Is Fix A Flat Good for my TIres? ( The Cons..)
Before you decide it’s a good idea to bust out that can of Fix A Flat on your flat tire, please consider these things. And then reconsider your decision and get the tire fixed properly.
Nevertheless, here are some things to seriously consider before you inject a sealant into your tire.
Is Fix A Flat a permanent solution?
No. No it is not! As I mentioned in the pros; it is designed to get you up and running quickly. It will not keep you up and running. Fix A Flat is designed to last about 100 miles. After that, you still have to get the tire repaired properly or you may suffer the same fate. So ask yourself is it worth it? Can you get to a repair shop without spraying the inside of your tire with an adhesive that will need to be laboriously cleaned off before the proper repair of your tire?
Will Fix A Flat damage my TPMS sensor?
Do you know what your TPMS sensor is? That is the little orange horseshoe light that comes on when your tire pressure is much lower than it should be. Now, Fix a Flat frequently asked questions states that their product will not damage your TPMS sensor.
However, it needs to be cleaned by a tire professional before reinstallation. This will most likely cost you more money. Let’s use some logic here; you have just sprayed an adhesive inside of your tire. Where you have a specialized piece of equipment that measures your tire air pressure through a tiny hole.
The chances of plugging that hole with the sealant are pretty good; which will compromise your tire pressure monitoring system.
Then you have to have someone clean the sensor so that it works properly again. I don’t like cleaning Elmer’s glue off my kid’s science projects. Do you think they are not going to charge you for the time it takes to clean that goo off the sensor?
What if the sensor gets permanently damaged by the Fix A Flat? Now you will certainly pay. I priced how much it would cost to have the TPMS sensor replaced in my Chrysler Town and Country.
It was $60 for the sensor, which I didn’t think was too bad, and then another $70 to have it programmed for my car; for a grand total of $130 for one sensor.
So now, not only are you fixing a tire, but you are also replacing a valuable piece of safety equipment.
Your TPMS sensor may be perfectly fine or it may need to, at the very least, be cleaned and made sure it is working properly. Again it’s just something to think about.
Will Fix A Flat freeze and Can it be used in cold weather?
Fix A Flat will freeze and is not recommended in temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Well, that wipes out a large portion of the United States. I used to live in Maine, where it was often below 32 degrees and I have had my can of Fix A Flat freeze on me.
Fix a Flat’s FAQ page says you can thaw the contents of the can with your car heater. Well, I tried thawing my can and it didn’t spray quite right ( at all actually), so I had to throw my can away.
So, if you live in the North during the winter, Fix a Flat won’t do you any good.
The part that I found interesting is that Fix A Flat will also freeze after it has been injected into your tire. So if it happens to get very cold out on a night that you used Fix A Flat on your tire, it’s going to freeze and put a solid inside your tire. How do you think that is going to work out for you?
Fix A Flat’s recommendation is that you get it to a tire professional before it freezes in your tire and you need to have your tire repaired correctly.
Is Fix A Flat bad for my tires? Well, my cons list is a lot longer than my pros list so you can draw your own conclusions.
Would I use it? I have used it in the past and will probably use it again in the future. If it comes between me spending the night on the side of the road/ parking lot or getting me and my family to a hotel; then yes I am probably going to use it.
If I have a flat tire in my driveway or at work, I am going to do everything I can NOT to put that stuff in my tires.
Every situation is different and unique. Use your common sense and best judgment based on the situation you are in. If you are on the side of the road, in relative safety, and a tow truck can be there in fifteen minutes. Just wait. It will save you in the long run.