There’s nothing more annoying than getting a puncture, especially when you’re on a journey. A tyre can lose pressure for a number of reasons, the obvious being that a nail, thorn or foreign object has punctured it. It can also be a faulty valve or the rim that’s leaking air that causes a tyre to go flat.
Every year our branches repair 1000’s of punctures. Whether a tyre can be safely repaired depends on a number of factors:
Where the puncture is located
If the puncture is in the middle of the tread of the tyre then it can usually be repaired, the British Safety Guidelines we adhere to BSAU159 recommend that punctures within the central ¾ of the tread can be considered safe to repair. If the location of the puncture is near the edge or on the sidewall of the tyre then unfortunately we aren’t able to repair this and you will need a new tyre.
How big is the puncture?
Punctures larger than 6mm in diameter are not able to be repaired
The condition of the tyre
We always check the general condition of the tyre prior to carrying out a puncture repair. If the tyre has bulges, cuts, has cords exposed or is close to the legal limit of 1.6mm of tread and so near the end of it’s life we wouldn’t repair the puncture. Whilst some tyres with low tread could be repaired, it wouldn’t usually be cost effective to do so and we would recommend the tyre to be replaced.
Has the puncture been driven on?
Unfortunately, drivers sometimes have no choice but to drive on a punctured tyre for a short period of time. This often results on the tyre’s sidewall becoming damaged which means that the tyre wouldn’t be safe to repair. We often don’t detect this damage until the tyre is removed from the wheel, it’s at this time that our technicians can detect the internal damaged caused by the tyre being driven at low pressure.
Run Flat Tyres
Runflat tyres are specialist tyres with reinforced sidewalls, meaning in the event of a puncture they remain inflated ensuring the driver can carry on driving until they get to their nearest garage. They are commonly found on BMWs and Minis although are occasionally fitted to other prestige vehicles.
Whilst runflat tyres have obvious safety benefits, one of their drawbacks is that they cannot be safely repaired in the event of a puncture. This is because due to the technology of the runflat tyre it’s very difficult to see if any damage has occurred to the tyre structure or for how long it’s been driven on with the puncture. Whilst some garages will offer to repair runflat tyres we would never recommend it is safe to do so.
We will only ever repair a puncture if we know it is safe to do so; whilst it’s annoying if you have to replace a punctured tyre your safety has to be the top priority. When we carry out a puncture repair, we also replace the valve and balance the wheel ensuring a complete and professional service.
If your tyre is losing pressure due to a rim leak we can usually remedy this by taking the tyre off the wheel and thoroughly cleaning the wheel rim, ensuring any corrosion is removed and the wheel is in a good enough condition for the tyre to seal properly onto it and not continue to lose air. Occasionally with very badly corroded or old wheels we cannot do this thoroughly enough for the wheel to be restored to a serviceable condition; in this case we will endeavour to recommend a local specialist that can help.