Feeling a little run down or flat? Most people get a car tyre puncture at one point or another. Punctures are easy to fix, with a little know-how, and a car tyre puncture repair kit. This article will talk you through how to use a car tyre puncture repair kit and offer some essential tips to have you back on the road quickly and safely.
How to use a car tyre puncture repair kit
For those of you who are ‘old school,’ you might have opened the boot hoping to find a jack and a space saver, only to find a small can, or as car manufacturers call it; a ‘puncture repair kit’.
The good news is that they are pretty easy to use, the downside is that you have to know how to use a car tyre puncture repair kit. Here’s our step-by-step guide to using a car puncture repair kit:
This should be your overriding thought, above all else. If you are on a motorway, call a professional breakdown organisation. Kneeling, with your back to 20 tonnes of HGV whizzing past isn’t good for anyone.
For non-motorway situations here’s what to do:
- Make sure everyone is out of the vehicle and a safe distance away.
- Ensure your engine is off and the handbrake is on.
- Make sure your car as visible as possible. Use the hazard lights.
- Make sure you are highly visible (consider using a hi-viz vest).
- Locate your puncture repair kit.
- Place a warning triangle a suitable distance away.
Locate and inspect the puncture
You may need to move the car a foot or so forwards or backwards to see the puncture. Once you have located it, assess whether there is serious damage. Here are some things that mean a car tyre puncture repair kit should not be used:
- Large cuts or cracks.
- A hole greater than 4mm in diameter.
- Damage to the tyre sides or shoulder.
- If the tyre has detached from the rim.
Using a car tyre puncture repair kit
It is vitally important to read the instructions located on the can. There are generally two types of puncture repair kit. One is a standalone sealant that will require a separate compressor or pump to reinflate the tyre. The other is a pressurised can that injects sealant and reinflates the tyre simultaneously. Once you know the type here’s what to do
- Move your car gradually to ensure that the puncture is at the top of the wheel.
- Connect your container to the valve and insert the sealant.
- For ‘all in one’ types the sealant will be pushed towards the puncture and the tyre will inflate at the same time.
- You’ll need to inject the sealant and then attach the compressor to reinflate the tyre for separate sealant and compressor systems.
- Some systems allow you to connect the compressor through the sealant container, others require that you remove the sealant container from the valve, before attaching the compressor.
- If applicable, read the gauge on your compressor. This will tell you when your tyre is inflated.
Driving after you have used a puncture repair kit
Here’s our guidance on driving after using a tyre puncture repair kit:
- After you have used the kit, try and see if it has actually worked. If there is still air leaking from the tyre, it may be time to call for some roadside assistance.
- Some puncture repair kits require you to drive a short distance to spread the sealant evenly. Make this short drive, and then reassess if the puncture will hold long enough to get you to a garage or tyre specialist.
- The key point to remember is that a repaired puncture is a temporary fix, designed to get you to safety or somewhere you can have the tyre replaced. It isn’t a long-term solution. To drive further than you need to is dangerous (especially at speed).
If you have a small puncture, then you may be able to have it repaired—however a word of caution... Many garages will refuse to repair a tyre when the owner has used a puncture repair kit. If this is the case, then you may have to invest in a new tyre.
In addition to this by driving with a flat, there is a chance that you have caused damage to the tyre that makes it irreparable….
When it comes to car tyres, it doesn’t pay to take chances. After all, they are the only thing keeping you in contact with the road. Knowing how to use a car tyre puncture repair kit is a useful temporary fix. However, when it comes to tyres and safety, if there is doubt, then there is no doubt. An investment in a new tyre is an affordable option so enter your registration number and postcode now and find the right tyre for your car.
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