My Car Has a Puncture, Can You Repair It?

We’ve written previously about the death of the spare wheel and how many cars today are delivered without a full size spare wheel. This means that many customers worry about getting a puncture more than ever, so here are some of the top questions we are asked by visitors to our workshops looking for tyre puncture repairs in Darlington when they come to us with a car tyre puncture.

Can punctures still be repaired today? Sometimes. It may sound evasive when we say, “it depends” but it really does. The two most common reasons why a car tyre puncture cannot be repaired are the position of the initial damage, plus how long afterwards the car continued to be driven before the puncture was spotted.

Do You Use Inner Tubes? Very, very rarely. More modern puncture repair methods such as the ones we describe below are the most common method of successful puncture repair

When Can a Tyre Be Repaired and When is it a Write off? Tyre puncture that are most successfully repaired are those involving simple damage holes from screws and nails. As long as the damage is a certain distance from the shoulder, or edge, of the tyre and is in the main tread part, then we can look at repairing it. Then we need to remove the tyre from the wheel and inspect the interior for hidden damage. Tyres with damage to the sidewall can never be repaired as this is a critically important part of the tyre construction.

tyre puncture repairs darlington
The position of the puncture is an important factor in repair assessment

You Say That Tyres Are Damaged If You Continue Driving On Them, Should I Stop Right Away? Only if it’s completely safe to do so. Never, ever stop in a dangerous place simply because you’re worried you may have to buy a new tyre. Continue driving at a slow pace, with hazards engaged if appropriate, until you and your passengers are safe. Then stop and assess your options, whether it is tyre foam, a wheel change or calling a driver assistance company such as The AA or RAC.

Tyre damage to the inside must be checked before a repair
Tyre damage to the inside must be checked before a repair

It I’ve used tyre foam, is my tyre a write off? Sadly, very often yes. Some of the modern tyre foam products out there can be cleaned out, but very often the tyre foam can has been sitting waiting for it’s moment for a long time and many of the older formulas create such a mess that it’s difficult to create a good seal in the repair process.

How do you repair punctures? Firstly, we look at the position of the puncture. If it’s in a place on the tyre were it’s a possible repair, we remove the tyre from the wheel and inspect the inside for damage. This can occur if the object creating the damage was jagged, such as metal, or if you had to continue driving with a flat tyre. Driving with a tyre flat or badly under inflated causes damage to the sidewall that is irreversible. If everything looks OK, we use a technique of plugging the hole, then vulcanising the area, which un effect welds the plug into position. Then we clean the wheel rim, fit a new tyre valve and remount the tyre, before checking once more that it stays inflated.

I’ve just bought a new car, it has TPMS fitted. What does this mean? All new cars sold th Europe since November 2014 have Tyre Pressure Monitoring System as standard. The system monitors your tyre pressures and warns you if they are falling low. It’s a very useful system, but doesn’t take the place of a regular manual tyre check, nor will it put air back in as one customer recently thought!

Most often, car tyre punctures are just plain bad luck. Many people drive literally for decades without ever having a puncture, while other seem to go through a period of bad luck. If you’re not sure about your car tyres, feel free to drop into our workshops in Darlington for some advice, we’re happy to help.