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All you need to know about tyre repairs

  • All you need to know about tyre repairs

Discover the circumstances under which a tyre can be repaired

Most motorists have had the misfortune to experience the cost and inconvenience of a puncture, whether the offending item, such as a nail, is still embedded, or whether the completely flat tyre gives it away. When we head to a repair centre, we hope that it’ll simply be a case of tyre repair and not a replacement — but when can you get away with just a repair? 

In this article, we’ll be looking at the circumstances under which a tyre can be repaired, and whether you can carry out the repair yourself. 

How do you know if you have a puncture? 

If your car suffers a puncture, it might make itself known by causing the car to shudder or pull to one side whilst driving, and it may gradually become more difficult to steer as it slowly deflates. This is known as a ‘slow puncture’. You may even be able to hear the object embedded in the tyre as it rotates against the road! 

Driving on a tyre that’s already flat is extremely dangerous, not to mention damaging to your car. The car will be difficult to control, and the risk of skidding will be high. 

When can a tyre be repaired? 

A tyre can only be repaired if the site of the puncture (that’s the hole made), is less than 6mm in diameter, and in the middle quarter of the tyre tread. Any puncture that occurs outside of this central part of the tyre is considered unsafe to repair, due to its proximity to the sidewall. 

The tyre also needs to be in good condition to be considered for repair if the picture falls within that middle quarter. This means that the rubber should not be distorted or cracked, and no bead wire should be visible. The tyre should not have had a repair carried out to it before, and the tread should be no lower than 1.6mm, which is the legal limit in the UK for tyre tread. 

What can cause repairable tyre damage? 

Debris such as nails and screws can cause damage that may be repairable, but larger objects such as bits of metal or bolts. Anything that causes a split, gouge or cut will force you to bypass a repair and instead get a whole new tyre fitted. 

Can run-flat tyres be repaired? 

Run flat tyres provide around 50 miles of driving on a puncture, allowing you to get to a repair centre close by. Run-flat tyres can buy you some time, and avoid greater inconvenience. These tyres are reinforced in order to make them ‘run flat’, and it’s because of this that they are, unfortunately, unrepairable. 

Can I repair a tyre myself? 

If you have the correct tyre repair kit on board, you may temporarily repair your tyre until you’re able to get to a qualified tyre specialist. A tyre repair kit consists of sealant to plug the hole, and means to inflate the tyre to get you on the road to head towards that repair centre. 

British Standard BS AU 159 applies to those who are able to carry out a tyre repair, so permanent resolution must be sought from a repair centre familiar with these standards. A DIY repair won’t cut it for more than a dash to a garage.