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How To Fix And Prevent An ATV Flat Tire

How To Fix And Prevent An ATV Flat Tire

Getting a flat tire on an ATV is a fairly common occurrence, and if you’re not prepared for it, it can be a huge hassle too.  Ideally, you’d encounter a flat tire near your home or vehicle, but more often than not, it happens miles away on the trails. Without the right tools, it can quickly turn into a major inconvenience and even pose a safety risk. But don’t worry, this article has got you covered!   

Here is a quick guide: To fix and prevent ATV flat tires, it’s important to be prepared.

Carry a tire repair kit with essential tools like a tire plug kit, tire pressure gauge, and portable air compressor. If you experience a flat tire, assess the damage by removing the tire and checking for punctures or leaks. Use the tire plug kit to fix small punctures by inserting a plug into the hole. Inflate the tire using the portable air compressor and verify the pressure with the tire pressure gauge. 

On the other hand, to prevent flat tires, regularly inspect your tires for wear, cuts, and debris. Maintain recommended tire pressure, avoid riding over sharp objects, and consider using puncture-resistant tire liners or tire sealants for added protection. 

By being prepared and taking preventive measures, you can keep your ATV tires in good condition and avoid the frustration of unexpected flat tires during your rides. This comprehensive guide will provide you with a step-by-step walkthrough of everything you need to know. Read on.

How To Fix And Prevent An ATV Flat Tire

The last thing you want is to be miles from home with a flat tire you can’t fix. You’ll have to ride on a flat tire, which could cause even more damage to your machine, or worse, you could have to push your few hundred-pound machine with a flat tire all the way back. Trust me, you want to prevent a scenario like this.

It happened to me before, I got a flat tire a couple of miles from home and had no flat tire repair kit with me. I still drove the quad back home with a flat tire, but that ended up banging my rim up pretty badly and shredding my tire up. What started out as a simple flat tire fix turned into me needing a whole new tire and rim, it was a bad day.

I highly recommend at least keeping a small Tire Repair And Inflation Kit found here on Amazon on your machine for emergencies.

How To Repair A Flat ATV Tire

When dealing with a flat tire on the trail, the quickest and most convenient solution is to use a tire plug. With a tire plug and inflation kit, you can plug the tire without having to remove it, which is especially beneficial in trail situations. The kit also includes CO2 cartridges to inflate the tire and get you back on the ride swiftly.

Here is a step-by-step of how to fix a flat on an ATV

  • Find the puncture and clean the area around it.
  • Clear debris and chap the edges of the hole by inserting the jagged tool through the puncture.
  • Scratch up the area around the puncture
  • Apply cement to the area around the puncture
  • Thread a plug through the eye of the insert tool
  • Insert the plug into the puncture and remove the insert tool
  • Cut the ends of the plug that are sticking out after the cement had hardened (not required)
  • Use the CO2 cartridge to inflate the tire
  • Check for leaks, and keep riding

Plug Kit

Having a Tire Pressure Gauge (found here on Amazon) comes in handy. If you don’t keep one on your ATV, take a slow easy ride back to camp to get your tire properly inflated. You can bring a pump with you on your ride, but they tend to be too big. I don’t carry one with me on the quad, but the CO2 cartridge is usually enough to at least get me back home or to the truck.

Once back to my truck, I am golden. I keep this Slime Power Spair (link to Amazon) in my truck at all times. This kit comes with enough plugs for years of punctures and has all the tools you need to fix a flat tire. If we go on long group rides, we usually just bring this with us on one of the ATVs. It connects to a 12v ATV battery using alligator clips and really is the easiest way to go.

When you plug a tire, the integrity of the tire is compromised a little. It is recommended to replace a tire that has been plugged in, but I usually have good luck just riding on it until I replace the tires from normal wear and tear. You are more likely to get a flat again, but for me, it doesn’t happen all that often, so I figure why waste the money buying new tires?

Plugging a tire this way won’t work if you get a sidewall tear or a large puncture in the tire. If you get a major blowout, the only way to fix it is to replace the tire or get an inner tube. I don’t use inner tubes because of how much extra work they are. If you ever need to fix an inner tube, you have to remove the wheel and tire, no thanks.

How To Prevent An ATV Flat Tire

The first, and easiest, step is knowing what kind of terrain you will be riding on and adjusting your air pressure accordingly. To learn more about ATV Tire Pressure, check this article. But the short of it is to aim for around 5-6 psi, a little less for sand or loose terrain.

However, if your tires are over-inflated and you plan on riding through rocky terrain, you’re greatly increasing the chances of a flat tire. Do not over-inflate your tires, you are a lot more likely to get a flat.

Avoid sharp obstacles that could puncture or tear the sidewall of your tire. Fallen logs and sharp rocks are the most common things to look out for. Some rocks and stones have razor-sharp edges. When you ride over rocks, give extra attention to where you’re putting your tires. Maybe skip on the aggressive driving when you’re in rugged terrain. The faster and harder you ride, the more likely you’ll get a flat because of something you didn’t see.

Finally, you could put some Slime Tire Sealant (link to Amazon) in your tires. This won’t work well for bigger punctures (1/4 inch) or sidewall tears, but it will prevent small holes from giving you a flat tire. You simply put the Slime in your tire and it will help prevent you from getting a flat or repair small leaks your tire may already have. When you do get a small leak, you can see the green goo seeping out of the tire, sealing it.

Next, I will go over some other tire flat prevention techniques. Before I begin though, I want to point out that I don’t use any of these methods. I simply make sure my tires are at 5 psi, maybe have some Slime in them, and have a Tire Repair And Inflation Kit stored on my ATV. I can’t recommend any of these methods because I have not used them myself.


Get Thicker Tires

If you are really worried about getting a flat tire, you could always get thicker-walled tires for your quad. Most stock ATV tires are 4 or 6-ply, but you can get up to 12-ply tires. They will cost you a pretty penny and they weigh a lot more than standard tires, but are very resistant to punctures.

You may have heard of run-flat tires, well that’s what this is, it’s a thick enough tire to still be usable even if it does get a puncture.


There are many types of inserts out there. You basically put some kind of rubber or foam in between your tire and wheel to keep the tire from going flat. The problem with these is the hassle of dealing with them. 

You have to take the tire off the rim every time you want to replace one. If you’re racing for competition, this is an excellent way to avoid losing a race because of a flat tire. But for the average trail rider, this is too much work for what it’s worth.

Tire Balls

Tire balls are just these little oval-shaped urethane balls that fill the gap between your tire and the wheel. Similar to inserts, I wouldn’t use these because of the hassle. For racing though, they work great.

In fact, many racers use products like these and win races doing it. The idea here is that even if you get a major puncture and a ball fails, you have many other balls in the tire so you can still finish the race.

Tire Blocks

Yet another form of tire insert is the tire block. Tire blocks are high-density foam blocks that you put in your tire. They are lightweight and made specifically for your tire size. 

The cool thing about these is that the fit is so snug that you don’t even need air in your tires at all. The foam is flexible and provides cushioning over bumpy terrain. They don’t feel quite like a standard air-filled tire, but you could get a puncture with these and not even know it.


Dealing with a flat tire on your ATV can be a significant inconvenience and even a safety risk if you’re unprepared. You must carry a tire repair kit with tools like a tire plug kit, tire pressure gauge, and portable air compressor to fix flat tires quickly. 

Additionally, you should regularly inspect your tires for wear, maintain recommended tire pressure, and avoid sharp objects to prevent flat tires. You can also consider using puncture-resistant tire liners or tire sealants for added protection. 

By following these steps and being prepared, you can keep your ATV tires in good condition and minimize the chances of encountering unexpected flat tires during your rides.

Thanks for reading to the end! 

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