There are many reasons why your tire may become unseated from the bead. Potholes, rough terrain, and inexperienced mechanics are just a few common suspects.
Whatever the case may be, you shouldn’t drive your vehicle when it has this issue. But don’t panic just yet.
The steps for how to set the bead on a tire are simple. But if you’ve never done it before, it can seem difficult. Here, we have the supplies list you’ll need and the best practices you should know. Read on to learn how to set the bead on a tire.
What Does a Tire Bead Do?
The tire beads sit at the edge of the inside of the rubber. Their purpose is to hold the tires to the wheel or the rim. They prevent the rubber from going out of place from the rim while driving.
The beads need to be set into the groove of the wheel to set properly. They also need to be sealed tightly.
If the seal isn’t air-tight, then your tires may fail when you need them most. With tire failure causing many car accidents, you want to be as careful about your tires’ care as possible.
What Is Setting the Bead on a Tire?
Setting means fitting the bead of your tire into the grooves of the rim. There are different techniques for doing this, but they vary in simplicity and safety.
For example, using explosions for how to set the bead on a tire has been popularized by viral videos. However, setting the bead via explosion is not the safest method and can lead to more damage.
To properly and safely set, we will be explaining the strap and air pressure method. This method is not only simple and reliable but only requires tools that you probably already have.
If these tools aren’t in your toolbox, you can’t get them for cheap at your local hardware store.
How Do You Seat a Bead on a Tire?
Here’s what you’ll need for how to set the bead on a tire:
- Lubricant (or dish soap)
- Ratchet strap
- Air compressor
Once you have gathered all your supplies, it’s time to get started. Follow these steps for the best setting method:
- Lubricate the beading edge and rim. While this step is not required, it will make the process as easy as possible.
- Release a little air so you can easily apply pressure via the ratchet strap.
- Place the ratchet strap around the wheel’s center, then tighten until it’s applying some pressure to the rubber.
- Apply air to the valve with your air compressor at a high-pressure level.
- Continue supplying air until you hear a pop on both sides.
- Remove the ratchet strap, and you’re ready to go!
How Do You Set Beads with Starting Fluid?
The starting fluid method isn’t as safe as the above method. But if you don’t have ready access to an air compressor, it’s good to know your options.
To perform this method safely, make sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand. And make sure you keep any flammable objects out of your work area.
You will follow the similar step of placing the ratchet strap. But instead of applying air pressure, apply starting fluid to the edge of the wheel. Spray a minimal amount of starting fluid around the tire’s edge. Instead of covering the entire circumference, spray at points about 3-4 inches apart.
Next, ignite the starting fluid with a lighter or match. Back away quickly to avoid injury. The heat should allow the setting process to occur automatically.
How Do You Seal Tire Beads?
When you set beads either via the air pressure or starting fluid technique, you seal the tire beads. Both of these methods will ensure the seal is air-tight and free of leaks.
You can also find bead sealers for tires to purchase. Apply the sealer to the edge of the rim wherever there is a leak. It may take a while to set in, so follow the product’s instructions to avoid damage.
Try It at Home Today
You don’t need to go to an auto shop to seal your tire beads. With the air pressure method, safely and easily set your tires’ bead at home. A ratchet strap, air compressor, and some dish soap will get the job done in minutes!
As a last resort, consider the starting fluid method. Follow our instructions closely and only take this route if you feel comfortable. If you don’t, you can always take it to a professional.
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