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Guide to tyre puncture repair

Most motorists will have experienced a tyre puncture at some point. You’ll often feel the steering begin to pull, the car start to wobble, and an odd sound clanging underneath the vehicle. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a careful and attentive driver; punctures have a habit of striking at the worst possible time. The good news, however, is that there’s usually a simple fix—our technicians are used to handling all manner of car tyre punctures, so you can get back on the road.

We’ll discuss some of the common questions we get asked about punctures below.

How do I know if my tyre is punctured?

When you pierce the tread or sidewall of your tyre, the air inside escapes and pressure begins to drop. It might be evident at a glance, but if it happens while driving, you’ll notice:

  • The car pulling unusually to one side.
  • A shudder, sway, or wobble throughout the vehicle.
  • Steering becoming harder to control.
  • A ticking noise if something is embedded in the tyre, e.g., a nail.

The onset of these signs is usually rapid. So, if you’ve noticed a gradual decrease in performance over time, it could be that you’ve got a leaky valve, or your tyre pressure has naturally dropped. Either way, pop into your nearest Halfords garage, and we’ll happily help you out.

Can my tyre puncture be repaired?

If you’ve got a puncture then, you’re probably wondering if the tyre is salvageable. After all, it would be a shame to replace a tyre that’s otherwise in good condition.

Most punctures can be easily repaired, though there are a few instances where a quick fix isn’t possible.

We can repair punctures to car tyres if:

  • The puncture point is in the middle three-quarters of your tyre’s width.
  • The tyre hasn’t had previous repairs.
  • The puncture is less than 6mm in diameter.
  • There’s no damage to the sidewall and shoulders.
  • The tyre is in good shape with a tread deeper than 1.6mm and no significant deterioration to the rubber.

A punctured tyre cannot be repaired if:

  • The side wall or outer tread of the tyre is damaged
  • The tyre tread is worn or the rubber is aged/cracked
  • The tyre has been damaged by driving on it while flat
  • If any of these conditions apply, the tyre will need to be replaced.

Can I do my own puncture repair?

You can, but only temporarily. Nowadays, many vehicles come with an emergency tyre repair kit, so you don’t have to lug a heavy spare around in the back. It typically comprises a sealant to plug the hole and a compressor to reinflate the tyre. These should get you moving far enough to consult an expert.

Unfortunately, repair kits only tend to work on minor punctures. So, if the situation is severe, you’ll need roadside assistance. That’s why we provide a mobile tyre-fitting service. As the name suggests, we’ll come to you with replacement tyres of your choosing—whether that’s the office car park or outside the school gates.

Are tyre puncture repairs safe?

Yes, if you go to a trusted and experienced professional. Repairing your tyres might not take long, but it’s a technical process and one that takes skill. As such, regulations for tyre repairs are set by the British Standard BS AU 159, and any qualified technician will work to these stringent guidelines. Once our technicians have inspected the damage, they’ll let you know whether a repair is safe and suitable.

What about run-flat tyres?

Run-flat tyres use clever technology that enables you to keep driving after a puncture – albeit for a limited number of miles and at lower speeds.

Run flats tyres have a reinforced sidewall that’s able to support the weight of a vehicle after a tyre’s deflated, without further damaging the wheels or compromising safety. So, there’s no need to dig out a spare wheel or crank up your car, nor will you need to fuss around with a repair kit. Instead, the tyre’s unique construction retains pressure even when its walls are pierced. So, you can drive on safely at a reduced speed limit for a set range of miles—just enough to get you home or to a local garage. All run flat tyres come with recommended guidelines on how many miles or at what speed you can drive on them after sustaining a puncture.

The downside of run-flat tyres is that they can’t be repaired. This is because the composition of the run flat makes it impossible to assess whether the sidewall of a run flat tyre has been damaged. So, we recommend replacing run flats after a puncture. Not carrying out a repair is the only way we can guarantee a driver’s safety. As such, we would always advise you to purchase a new run flat tyre rather than repairing it.

What if I can’t repair my tyres?

Then it’s time to replace! Fortunately, we stock an enormous range of tyres across hundreds of locations in the UK.

And remember, it’s always best to change tyres as pairs. An imbalance or uneven rolling resistance can cause more headaches down the line.

How do tyre sealants work?

Tyre sealants are an increasingly popular way of keeping you moving after a puncture has occurred. Inserted into tyres, the sealant helps plug any holes in the tyre, and there are two types of sealant commonly used:

Pre-puncture sealant

These are injected into the tyre ready for if a puncture should occur. When one does, the sealant will get to work, plugging the gap to minimise the loss of air. By keeping the tyre inflated, the sealant allows you to drive to safety before getting the tyre repaired. However, you need to inspect the tyres regularly as otherwise, you may not notice that a puncture has occurred.

Post-puncture sealant

Injected into the tyre after a puncture, post-puncture sealant will seal over the puncture hole. You can then reinflate the tyre and drive to a safe location to get the tyre fixed.

Both sealants can be useful, but neither should be considered a permanent fix. If you get a puncture, the sealant is there to help you drive safely to a location where the tyre can be repaired or replaced.

Tyre puncture repair law

The only contact point between our vehicles and the road, our tyres are vital for performance. They affect handling, grip and ride quality, so it’s no surprise that there are stringent guidelines in place to ensure that punctures are repaired correctly and safely.

These repair guidelines are set out in rule BSAU158 of the British Standards Institution, and you can rest assured that all our technicians are fully qualified and will conduct repairs to the expected standards.

Tyre puncture repairs with Halfords

Our tyre repair services ensure you never miss out on the big moments—whether that’s making school runs, sprints to the office, or family days out.

You can book a puncture repair at one of our 600+ UK garages. Simply pick a slot, and our technicians will take care of everything. If your tyres a suitable for a fix, we’ll get the job done there and then. If not, we’ll provide well-matched replacements, with your tyre repair given for free if you buy two or more. Either way, you’ll leave our garages on a healthy set of wheels.

Picked up a puncture and can’t make it to our autocentres? We’ll come to you. Our mobile tyre repair or replacement service sends a technician to your location. They’ll bring both a replacement tyre and repair equipment along with them so that you can determine the best course of action under their guidance.

Introducing the Halfords Motoring Club

Don’t miss out! Join the Halfords Motoring Club today to access a range of amazing benefits and discounts that are designed to keep you moving, keep you safe and keep you saving.

It’s free to join and you’ll receive money off your MOT, a free car health check and a welcome voucher that can be spent on any Halfords product or service.

Or choose our Premium membership for a small monthly fee (or a one-off payment) to unlock exclusive member pricing on all motoring products and services online and across our stores, garages and Halfords Mobile Experts, as well as a variety of other benefits that will help you to keep moving for less.

With so much to enjoy, this is too good an opportunity to miss!

Join the Halfords Motoring Club today at www.halfords.com/motoring-club.

Join the Halfords Motoring Club