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Fix-A-Flat Aerosol Tire Inflator

Available at: PartSource, Walmart, Canadian Tire

Price: Standard tire, under $9; large tire, under $11

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It's raining, it's dark and you just discovered a flat tire. Ack! What do you do? Get your good clothes mucky while attempting to use the questionable spare? Call a tow truck? Or use that aerosol can in the back? A good temporary fix is the aerosol but it might come with baggage.

Fix-a-Flat Aerosol Tire Inflator may be the cheapest and quickest way to repair a flat but a word of caution comes from Byron Bell of Fountain Tire in Calgary.

"If you are going to use an aerosol inflator make sure it is safe to use in your tire," Bell says. "Make sure it says it's tire sensor safe."

Most new vehicles have sensors attached to the valve stem to warn you when tire maintenance is due. The liquid in some aerosols eat the plastic on the sensor which costs more than a new tire. Fix-a-Flat is tire sensor safe.

You also have to consider that the aerosol not only plugs the puncture – it conceals it so extra effort and cost goes into the repair. And be careful about voiding the tire manufacturer's warranty. Some will not honour a warranty if a sealant or other filler material other than air or nitrogen is inserted in the tire.

If you have questions about driving or car maintenance, please contact our experts at globedrive@globeandmail.com.

Follow us on Twitter @Globe_Drive.

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