Taking proper care of your vehicle means many things: driving safely, following the manufacturer’s schedule for service and maintenance, and knowing how to address any issues that might arise. Today, many Ford models come with a Ford Tire Mobility Kit instead of the familiar compact spare tire. While a serious blowout or sidewall damage requires that you contact Ford service near you, this kit allows you to temporarily repair punctures to the tread area without needing to change the tire. Notice we said “temporarily” – this is not a permanent fix or even a long-term solution, so you still need professional service.
Using a Ford Tire Mobility Kit is not particularly difficult, but it’s important that you use it properly, and there are some precautions you should be aware of. Let’s take a look at what’s involved with using one of these kits, where you’ll find it in your vehicle, and what you need to know before and after its use. It’s better to go over all of this in advance rather than try to watch a video or flip through your owner’s manual in the middle of the night when you’re on the side of the road.
Precautions – When You Can and Can’t Use a Kit
Before we even think about how to properly use a Ford Tire Mobility Kit, let’s take a moment to discuss when you can use it and when you can’t. For the most part, this kit – also called a “tire inflator and sealant kit” – can only be used in certain situations where your tire has sustained minor damage. Specifically, you can use this kit if there is a relatively small puncture to the tread area of one of your tires.
If the damage is significant, then you should not use this kit. Instead, you should contact a Ford service center near you immediately for assistance. Similarly, this kit cannot be used if there is a puncture or damage to the sidewall of your tire (that’s the part that does not come into contact with the road). If the sidewall is damaged, then you need to call for assistance. Don’t try to use the Ford Tire Mobility Kit because it won’t fix your problem. Finally, if there’s an object in your tire, like a nail or a screw, don’t try to remove it – leave it there for a professional to deal with.
Precautions – Preparing to Use the Kit
Assuming you’re in a situation where it’s appropriate to use the kit, then you need to make sure you can do so safely. First, pull over to the side of the road and make sure you are clear of any traffic. Next, turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers that you’re there (investing in some road flares is a good way to provide additional warning). You’ll need to leave your engine running, so make sure you aren’t parked in an enclosed space – you can only use the kit safely outside. Also, set your parking brake to ensure your vehicle does not move unexpectedly while you’re working on your tire.
Now, you’ll probably find your Ford Tire Mobility Kit in your trunk, underneath the padding, where you’d commonly find the spare tire. However, some models have the kit located under the driver’s seat or a passenger seat, so check there if you don’t find it in your trunk. Once you have the kit located, be sure to follow proper instructions and safety guidelines for its use in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. This is only a general guide to help give you an idea of how to use it – follow the instructions from the manufacturer!
How to Use Your Ford Tire Mobility Kit
Once you have the Ford Tire Mobility Kit ready, remove the valve cap from the valve on your tire, just like you were checking its pressure. Unwrap the clear tube from the compressor housing of the kit, remove the tube cap, and fasten the metal connector of the tube to the tire valve on your tire – turn clockwise to tighten it. Make sure it’s tightly connected.
Plug the Mobility Kit’s power cable into the 12-volt outlet of your vehicle while the engine is running (if you turn the engine off, you may drain your battery and find yourself stranded on the side of the road). Remove the warning sticker on the canister of the kit and place it on the top of your Ford’s instrument panel or center dash as a reminder. Now push and turn the dial on the kit counterclockwise to the sealant position and activate the kit by pressing its power button.
When the sealing compound first starts going into your tire, you might notice a spike in the tire pressure – this is normal. Fill the tire until it reaches the recommended tire pressure (this is listed on the driver’s door jamb and in the owner’s manual), then turn off the kit by pressing the button again. Once it is off, disconnect it from the tire valve and the power outlet. Replace the valve cap on your tire valve, place the tube cap on the metal connector of the kit, and place the kit back in its compartment.
Now that you’ve refilled the tire, you want to immediately and carefully drive a short distance, which helps distribute the sealant properly within the tire. Don’t go faster than 50 mph during this time and only go four miles. If you notice any strange vibrations or noise while driving these four miles, stop and call for assistance. Otherwise, after four miles, pull over again safely and check the pressure on your tire to make sure it’s still good.
Drive Cautiously to a Ford Service Location
If all is well, then you can safely and cautiously continue to drive your vehicle. There are two very important things to note – first, never drive faster than 50 mph on your sealed tire, and second, do not drive more than 120 miles on it. However, that is the absolute maximum, and you should have your tire checked by a specialist as soon as possible. Your sealed tire is not a replacement or a permanent fix.
You now need to get to a tire shop or a Ford service location near you as soon as you possibly can. If it’s the middle of the night and you can safely get home and wait until the morning, then that’s fine. But don’t drive a week on a sealed tire or go a long distance – that’s a recipe for disaster that can result in far more damage to your tire, as well as the potential for a serious accident. The tires on your vehicle are very important, so you need to have that tire properly repaired or replaced as soon as you can.
Kings Ford Quick Lane is Here for You
Here at Kings Ford Quick Lane, we’re proud to help with anything you need. Whether you’re looking for routine service and maintenance, need a new tire or other replacement, or simply have questions about things like your Ford Tire Mobility Kit, we’re here to help. Call or come visit us today to find out more and make sure you’re staying safe and in control on the road.