Pros & Cons of Tyre Slime
As vehicle owners, we’re all too aware of the possibility of ending up stuck on the side of the highway or in the middle of nowhere with a slow leak.
But what happens when you reach for the spare tyre and the tow services are beyond reach.
Thankfully, some very clever people have created tyre sealants to get us out of these sticky situations.
What is a tyre sealant?
Usually supplied in pressurised cans, these products work by spraying the ‘slime’ or ‘foam’ into the tyre, which inflates and coats the inside of the tyre, plugging the punctures and leaks.
Just like magic.
Some of the benefits of having tyre sealant on hand are:
- A fast, convenient and affordable DIY solution to a small puncture
- Tyre sealant, if used proactively, can be used to prevent flat tyres on off-highway vehicles
- An excellent alternative to using your spare tyre
How to Apply Tyre Slime Sealant
Step 1: Position the Tyre
Insert slime into the valve stem. You can do so in any position, but it works best if the valve stem sits in the top half of the tyre.
Step 2: Remove the valve core
Take the valve cap off your valve stem.
Inside, you’ll see a metal cylinder in the centre; this is the valve core. You’ll need to remove this to add the slime. Slowly twist the tool counterclockwise to remove the metal cylinder. You can remove the core using the black cap on your bottle of Slime.
You have successfully removed the valve core when you hear the air hissing.
Step 3 Deflate your Tyre
Your tyre needs to be as flat as possible to inject the slime. Slowly let the air escape and set aside the valve core.
Step 4: Remove the puncturing object
Locate the puncturing object that has caused your tyre to go flat.
Step 5: Inject slime tyre sealant
Remove the white seal and re-attach the white cap. Remove the clear tube from the side of the bottle and attach it to the top of the lid. You can now insert the slime in a controlled manner.
You can use the chart on the back of the bottle to figure out the correct amount of slime you need for your specific tyre and vehicle type. There is also a Slime calculator.
Step 6: Reinstall the valve core
Using the same black tool (cap) you used in step 2, turn the valve core clockwise into the valve stem until tight.
Step 7: Inflate your tyre
Using your tyre inflator, inflate your tyre back to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. If you don’t know this, you can look in your owner’s manual, typically located in the glove box.
Step 8: Rotate tyre
You’ll want to spread the sealant around the inside of the tyre and drive for at least 0.2miles to make sure it has maximum coverage inside the tyre. Double-check that the sealant you’ve applied has plugged the puncture and that the air pressure is holding.
We recommend that you promptly see your local mechanic for a professional repair. For highway vehicles, the tyre sealant is only meant as a temporary fix.
If you have a small puncture, a can of tyre slime can be just what you need in your sticky situation. But we wouldn’t recommend it as a permanent solution.
It can also damage the sensors inside your tyre, keeping the pressure constant. This means if the tyre pressure becomes low, you won’t be alerted inside the car.
Think of tyre slime as an alternative to using a spare tyre.
Because of the unreliable nature of the liquid plug, driving for more than 15-20 minutes on sealant is not recommended. In emergencies, like on the side of the highway, it can help remove you from harm.
To put it simply, yes.
The purpose of tyre slime is to patch small punctures on a tyre causing a leak. However, tyre slime is not a permanent solution but rather a ‘quick patch up’ until you can drive to a mechanic for a more permanent fix.
There are a variety of tyre slime products depending on your tyre type. For highway vehicles, only use the yellow label tyre slime. Alternatively, you can use one of the three types depending on your preference for off-highway tyres:
- Yellow Label: Designed for all highway vehicles in emergencies. This should not be left in your tyre as it could risk a wheel misalignment.
- Blue Label: Apply proactively before you have a slow leak on any of your recreational vehicles. Lasts up to 2 years.
- Black Label: The 2-in-1 Tyre sealant works on all off-highway tyres and tubes.
- Red Label: Explicitly designed to stop flats in tyres with tubes.
The slime tyre sealant is specifically designed with rust and corrosion inhibitors that protect the integrity of your wheels after you have applied the Slime to your tyres. However, it’s recommended that you remove the sealant and repair your damaged tyre within three days.
Tyre slime is non-toxic, non-flammable and easy to clean up with water. Designed to be non-corrosive, the tyre slime is unlike other sealants. It’s safer for your tyres and wheels and much easier for your mechanic to remove from the tyre after application.