Tyre Puncture Repair Guide for your Vehicles
A tyre puncture occurs when your vehicle's tyre has a hole causing air to leak out leading to a flat tyre.
A flat tyre has a lowered level of air pressure, either it no longer has any air or does not have enough air in it. A flat tyre effectively stops the tyre from moving and can cause permanent tyre damage. It can also be extremely dangerous and make you lose control of your vehicle.
What causes flat tyres?
Tyres can get ripped off the metal wheel
Tyre Valve damage
They get weakened and damaged by road debris as well as exposure to the weather.
Over and Under-inflated tyres cause blowouts due to internal tyre overheating
Wear and tear
Like all things, tyres have expiry dates. They can't go on forever and using driving in them day in and out will cause them to weaken and degrade.
This is the most common cause of flat tyres. Your tyre gets stabbed, weakening its external tread and internal structure and causing air to leak out.
What Causes Punctures?
- Road debris like nails, wires, sharp rocks and more
- Thinner tread due to wear and tear
- Wrong air pressure which makes tyres more vulnerable to sharp objects.
How do you know your tyre is flat while still driving?
Many drivers report hearing a booming sound before their tyres go flat. This is usually the case with a blowout. Sometimes there is no sound at all. Your car will feel like it is struggling and sluggish despite heavy acceleration. It might also start to slow down like someone stepped on the brakes. When your car starts to veer off to one side, it means you have a flat upfront.
What to do when you get a flat tyre?
Immediately slow down, head to the side of the road and stop completely.
DON'T keep going - even if you happen to know a gas station is down the road. You could lose control of your vehicle if you continue to run flat- cause a deadly accident
Once you have stopped, turn your car off and pull up the handbrake and inspect the tyre.
If you have a spare tyre and a jack and tools, we recommend replacing the flat immediately. Drive to the nearest tyre service station to get your damaged tyre checked right away.
If you don’t have a spare, determine if the flat tyre should be repaired or not.
How do we know if a tyre should be repaired?
There is an Australian Standard that regulates the repair materials used and the total number of repairs to be carried out on a tyre, based on the tyre size and location of the puncture.
It states that tyres with any of the following conditions SHOULD NOT be repaired:
- Tread depth is below the legal limit of 1.6mm
- Compromised structural integrity
- Tread punctures are larger than 6mm
- Worn out, deteriorated rubber
- Any sign of previous faulty repairs
In case you are uncertain about whether your car tyre should be repaired, seek expert advice.
Before starting your repair, be guided by the 3 main principles for tyre puncture repair -
Evaluate the damage the object has caused, Reestablish an airtight seal of the tyre's inner liner
and completely fill the path the object took through the tyre with a patch.
NOT ALL TYRES CAN BE REPAIRED.
You need to check what the repair and warranty policy is of your tyre's manufacturer.
Some run-flat technology and commercial tyres, for example, can’t get repaired.
What are the different tyre patching methods?
You can choose from a plug-type, patch-type and a plug-and-patch combination. The plug-type method does not need you to check inside the tyres. The patch-type and combination-type do because, with these methods, you need to also repair the tyre from the inside. Using a mushroom-shaped patch and plug combination repair kit is the best method for a puncture. You should also have a tyre repair kit handy.
What you need to repair your tyre's puncture
- Car jack
- A lug wrench with socket and pry bar edges
- Tyre Puncture Repair Kit
How to repair punctured tyres
1. Take the tyre off the car.
Never repair a tyre while it is still attached to your vehicle. Not only does the tyre need to be removed from the car but also from the wheel to access its inner surface.
2. Examine both inside and outside the tyre
Without inspecting the inside of the tyre for hidden damage, any repairs made might be incomplete. Checking the tyre internally can show where the puncture can be sealed from both sides.
3. Remove what caused the puncture
Find the spot where your tyre was punctured and remove the nail, wire or other foreign objects that pierced the tyre with a pair of pliers. Do this carefully to prevent further tyre damage. The hole needs to be cleared out completely and nothing gets left behind.
4. Completely fill the hole or puncture path
When repairing a puncture, the path, cavity or hole left behind by the foreign object needs to be totally filled up. Otherwise, moisture can seep in from the opening of the puncture to reach the steel belts and even the tyre's casing cords. Exposing the tyre to moisture can cause rust and further compromise the structural integrity of the tyre. Use a suitable vulcanising material or rubber stem to fill the injury and keep moisture out.
5. Treat the inner tube
The tyre's inner-liner needs to repair done as well. It should be cleaned, buffed, cemented, patched and coated and sealed to prevent air loss. Make sure the tyre is off the car when accessing the inside of the tyre.
6. Do a final check on the tyres
Before returning the tyre to the wheel and vehicle, make sure that the patch is completely dry.
Remember any repair work on punctured tyres is a temporary, stop-gap measure. We recommend you bring your tyre to a professional repair service centre as soon as possible.