Our Experience Using a Mobile Tire Repair Service in Mexico

I was more than just a little annoyed when I walked out of a business in Playa del Carmen yesterday and noticed that my rear passenger tire was flat. I thought the car felt a little off when I was driving into town, but at the time, I attributed it to the wind.

There I stood in 90 degree heat, staring at the tire and debating if I could limp it to a gas station or tire shop without having to change it myself.

That’s when I remembered a friend telling me about a mobile tire repair business that he discovered when he had a flat in Playa a few months earlier. He said that they don’t just change tires, they actually remove them from the rim and patch them on-scene.

He added they were fast and affordable — two words that any thrifty retiree with better things to do likes to hear. I decided to give them a try and contacted him for their number.

Let’s Give This a Try

I called the business, Vulcanizadora Panchito, and they answered immediately. I really like that.

I told the gentleman who answered that I had a flat and gave him my location. He said he would be there shortly — which in Mexico often means just the opposite. I prepared myself mentally for a significant delay.

As soon as I hung up, I added the business phone to my contact list and the familiar icon for Whatsapp appeared next to it. I decided to increase my chances of being successfully located, so I sent my GPS location and a picture of my car via Whatsapp (+52 984 745-7504).

To my astonishment, the tire repair truck arrived in less than four minutes!

The two occupants exited the vehicle quickly and got to work as if they were trying out for a NASCAR pit crew. I was impressed.

As I mentioned in the previous section, these guys don’t just change tires, they repair them. The truck was equipped with a tire changer, a machine that helps mount and dismount tires on the rim. Until then, I had only seen these used at actual tire shops.

Although I didn’t time it — looking back, I really wish I had — I would estimate that they were done in about 10 minutes and I was back in business.

What Does Something Like That Cost?

The price surprised me more than the speed at which they worked.

Tire Repair: $220 pesos, or about $11 USD

Of course, I threw in a tip too. It was worth every peso!

Let’s Wrap This Up

I’m not sure what a service like this would cost in the U.S., because I’ve never seen one. Sure I’ve seen tow trucks respond and change people’s tires, but I’ve never seen a service that patches tires on-scene like this. It was very impressive.

Well, that’s it for today! Now that our vehicle is roadworthy again, we have places to go and things to see!

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About the Author

Qroo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico (qroo.us) to share their experiences, as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

22 Comments on "Our Experience Using a Mobile Tire Repair Service in Mexico"

  1. I love that truck too. The large semi truck horn, but Especially Tweety. LOL!! Great article. Hope I never need to dig it out again though.. I DO save them all.

  2. Do you know if they have the same type of service in Cancun?

  3. Paul,

    This experience and others are invaluable information! I wish we had someone like you in the La Cruz/Bucerias area where I am..about 46 minutes north of PV.

  4. I have added them to my What’sApp, hope to not need them but good to have just in case. Thanks!

  5. In the event that a tire is non repairable any idea if they can bring a new tire with them if they know the size?

  6. Frank DeStasio | September 7, 2019 at 9:19 am | Reply

    Unbelievable Reason #3078 to move to Mexico.

  7. Great info – adding to my WhatsApp too! Thank you!

  8. Glenda Gabriel | September 7, 2019 at 9:47 am | Reply

    I’ve been using them for years — for tire repair; dead battery and lock out situation. I use them so much, they recognize my voice.
    My only problem is that if you’re in PLAYACAR, they need a folio to enter. If it’s after hours or the weekend, you’re out of luck. Can you imagine? It says emergency right on the truck with a litany of contact info.

  9. Linda L Gosslin | September 7, 2019 at 9:49 am | Reply

    Panchito Vulcanizador is one of the very best things you can know about living here. Over the years he has rescued me from Puerto Aventuras, the side of the road on Juarez at 35th in Playa, and even from the edge of the jungle in Paamul, when our golf cart tire went bad. He also found us a new set of the oversized cart tires we needed when ours was unrepairable. He’s never failed to show up as fast as humanly possible when I’ve called. One time my car was in front of my home in Paamul. He repaired the leak, remounted the tire, and wasn’t satisfied that it was holding air right. He took it back off, unmounted it again, repaired another spot, repaired the wheel rim in a couple of places, put it all back again. The price was still extremely low. He is a treasure.

  10. I have used them twice. Both times they arrived within 10-15 minutes. Once on the carretera federal and once in my condo complex. What a great service!

  11. I had the first flat tire I ever on my new little VW Cross Fox a few weeks ago on the Periferico in Merida. Did manage to get it off and the spare on in short order, but would I have paid $220. MP for someone else to do it? Oh Heck Yes!!! I did a Google Search for such a business in Merida and came up with Servico Llantera 24 Hrs 999 601 2219 is the # in Merida and they too have Whatsapp. As you say, good sign. Reviews looked OK too. I have their number in my phone now, so hopefully, it will Never Happen Again, but if it does, I am prepared. Thanks Paul

  12. Linda Hungerford | September 7, 2019 at 10:41 am | Reply

    Omg. Fantastic one! Unbelievable. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Love this! Yes I agree, another reason to move to Mexico! There is always a way to make a living, and they are providing a much needed service….Way to go amigos!

  14. Thanks for this Paul. It’s a shame if they actually are not available 24/7, but I’ve adde their WhatsApp # to my contacts!

  15. Great topic, nicely articulated.

    r

  16. Daniel Ryan Lucero | September 8, 2019 at 2:12 pm | Reply

    Gotta love México!

  17. Excellent, and nice to hear that I was not the only person to drive on a flat tire…LOL

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