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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | Personals | Yellow Pages  March 5, 2004
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The 15-minute Smart Spair
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A flat tire stops you dead in your tracks. You're out on a quite road, no cell phone service, no help in sight. You don't have the strength to change the tire yourself. The 15-minute smart spair promises you don't need to. A bottle of slime seals the hole, and a portable air compressor inflates the tire to get you back on the road.

We enlisted the help of Steve Johnson, owner of Number One Tire and Service in Cranston to put pressure on the smart spair claim. He says he's seen patch-type products like this before and recommends them in an emergency situation.

First, Steve puts a nail in his own tire and lets the air escape. Right off the bat, this expert is puzzled.

Steve Johnson/Number One Tire and Service "That's not going to remove a core. I'm confused!"

Steve has trouble locating the tool needed for step one. Eventually he finds it, removes the valve core, and begins inserting the slime. Things seem to be moving along until...

Steve Johnson "It doesn't want to take any more"

Only a fraction of the 14 ounces that's recommended, has gone into the tire.

Steve Johnson "It doesn't want to take anymore."

Steve hooks up the air compressor anyway and begins inflating the tire. After nearly ten minutes...the tire looks good, but the compressor gauge isn't working.

Steve Johnson "Somebody untrained would have no clue as to what the tire was supposed to look like fully inflated...(and that could be dangerous?)...certainly could."

After all of that, Steve's tire was still leaking. He thinks this "15-minute smart spair" is anything but "smart". He says it's complicated, time consuming, and it doesn't work. When asked to rate this product on a scale of 1 to 12...Steve says "negative 2*

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