Do you have a flat tyre? You will be able to learn how to safely and successfully use a tyre repair kit as well as how to change a tyre on a car using our videos and straightforward step-by-step tutorials.
If you’ve ever been driving and heard a noise similar to thwump-thwump-thwump-thwump coming from your wheels, you probably already know what it means: you have a flat tyre. Thwump-thwump-thwump-thwump-thwump… However, there is no reason to become anxious, and it is possible that you may not even want the assistance of a roadside assistance company because it is simpler than you might think to replace or fix a flat tyre.
What to do in the event that your tyre has been punctured
If you hit an obstruction or a pothole that was really ugly, the tyre may get severely damaged and lose air pressure very quickly. You will most likely feel a pull on the steering wheel, and you will most likely also hear it in the form of a bang or thud, which will be followed by a sound that goes “thwump-thwump” repeatedly. It’s possible that the steering will only feel heavier than usual or pull to one side if the tyre is deflating gradually, as can happen, for example, after driving over a nail.
In either case, you are going to have to pull over and stop as soon as it is safe to do so. If you can, do it at a location that is secure, such as a lay-by or a side street. Make every effort to avoid stopping on roads that are congested, fast, or have poor visibility.
If you are on an interstate, pull over to the left side of the hard shoulder as far as you are able to get. This will allow you to get as much space between you and the moving traffic as possible while still providing you enough area to work on the flat tyre. Stop the vehicle by turning off the engine, turning on the hazard lights, applying the handbrake, and putting the vehicle into neutral (or “park” if you have an automatic transmission).
Make sure that everyone has exited the vehicle and is standing a safe distance away from the roadway. If you have one, place a warning triangle on the roadway behind the vehicle. What you do next will be determined on whether or not your vehicle has a spare tyre or a tyre repair kit, both of which are becoming increasingly common in newer models of vehicles.
Repair kits are only effective on holes that are relatively tiny; thus, if you do not have a spare tyre and the tyre has a noticeable cut in it, you should contact a breakdown service. This will depend on the severity of the damage to the tyre.
The proper way to mount a spare tyre
There are some new cars that do not come equipped with a spare wheel. In order to cut down on weight and save money, several manufacturers now provide a tyre sealant kit with their products. If this is your situation, continue scrolling down the page to read our detailed instructions on how to use a tyre repair kit. To begin, locate your vehicle’s spare wheel as well as its tools, including the jack.
They are often located in the trunk of the vehicle, directly beneath the trunk floor. The next step is to identify the jacking point on the vehicle by consulting the owner’s manual and then grabbing it. It is possible that the manual has instructions on how to change a tyre as well. In order to remove the locking wheel nuts from your vehicle, you will also require the adaptor.
This is generally kept with the jack, but in case you’ve transferred it to a different location for “safe keeping,” it will be found here. If this is not the case, consult the instruction manual. Make sure that the handbrake is all the way on before continuing.
After that, lift the vehicle by positioning the jack so that it is beneath the jacking point that is closest to the wheel that needs to be changed. Turn the handle of the jack in a clockwise direction. As the car’s weight is transferred onto the jack, check to see that it is positioned correctly on the ground. As soon as the wheel that you are changing has been lifted off the ground, remove any trim that is covering the wheel nuts. Then, to completely remove them, use the tool that was provided as well as the adaptor for the locking wheel nut.
After you have removed the fasteners, you should now be able to remove the wheel that has a puncture and replace it with the spare wheel that you have. Caution is advised because the weight of an automobile wheel is typically rather significant. After you have reattached the wheel nuts, drive the vehicle down to the ground. After the automobile has been lowered, you should then tighten the bolts, preferably following a diagonal pattern.
If your vehicle has five nuts organised in the shape of a star (which is very typical), begin with tightening the first nut, then move on to the third, fifth, second, and fourth nuts, and finish with the fifth nut.
How long can I drive on a spare tyre?
Spare wheels supplied with cars are often ‘space savers’ – narrower than normal and with a low speed rating, which will normally be displayed on the wheel rim (typically 50mph) (typically 50mph). These tyres are only designed for emergency use, and won’t give the braking or grip that a conventional tyre will.
It’s advisable to get the damaged tyre replaced and a full-size wheel put back on your car as soon as feasible. Even if your automobile has a full-size spare wheel, we’d recommend visiting the garage anyway and getting the bolts re-tightened to the manufacturer’s recommended torque settings.
How to use a car tyre repair kit
Many cars are now marketed without a spare wheel and are instead furnished with an emergency tyre repair kit.
These often consist of:
Car tyre sealant – normally this is pressured liquid latex, which may come with a connector to link it to the tyre valve.
Car tyre pump — a compressor driven by the car’s 12V socket, which will progressively reinflate the tyre once the hole has been sealed. Using a repair kit is very fuss-free, but like a space-saver wheel, it’s merely a temporary remedy. Go to a garage to get your tyre fixed or changed as soon as feasible.
If you don’t feel comfortable replacing your spare wheel – particularly in a risky scenario like a freeway hard shoulder – tyre sealant kits and compressors are available inexpensively at both online and at automotive outlets, and are a valuable, less-labour intensive backup. We wouldn’t suggest using tyre sealant on a punctured space saver, however. Nor should you use a tyre repair kit if your car is furnished with ‘run flat’ tyres.
Even when deflated, these are designed to be driven on for short distances at modest speeds for a limited amount of time even though the sidewalls are reinforced. These can be recognised by marks on the sidewall, which may or may not be consistent from maker to manufacturer.
Instructions for repairing a hole in a car tyre, step by step
Follow the same approach for halting safely as outlined above. Grab your repair kit – it’s normally found under the boot floor. Follow any offered instructions. In most circumstances, utilizing it is simply a mater of attaching the bottle of tyre sealant to the valve on the wheel rim. Most bottles are pressured, so the latex will flow through the valve into the tyre. Once inside the tyre, the sealant should find and seal the hole.
Now, attach the compressor to the 12V socket. Start the engine, then the compressor, and pump up the tyre to the necessary pressure. If the hole does not seal quickly, disconnect the compressor and try driving the car forwards or backwards a few metres to spread the sealant across the inside of the tyre. Then reattach the compressor and try again.
Top tip: tyre repair kits often contain ‘best before’ dates, beyond which the sealant dries up and must be replaced.
A tyre repair kit may typically get you out of immediate danger but is no good for holes larger than roughly 4mm. If you have a serious blowout or have damaged a tyre sidewall, you will have to call a breakdown service. Check out our article on how to find good auto breakdown cover.
How to check your automobile tyre pressure
The simplest action you can do to maintain your tyres is to check that the pressure in each of them is set to the level advised by the manufacturer. Even if they are only slightly underinflated, it can have a negative impact, which can have a bad influence not only on your fuel economy, but also on your car’s braking performance. This will not prevent a puncture from occurring. Tires that have been inflated to their maximum capacity can experience uneven wear and may be more likely to sustain damage if they come into contact with kerbs or sharp stones.
How can I determine the correct tyre pressure for my vehicle?
You may find the recommended tyre pressures either in the owner’s manual for your vehicle or on a label located on the inside of either the driver’s door or the passenger door. This will typically include information on the appropriate tyre pressures to use depending on the load that you are carrying as well as the various wheel sizes that you have. Even while some newer cars come equipped with automatic tyre pressure monitors built in, we always recommend having your tyres checked manually on a regular basis.
Checking the tyre pressure in a variety of ways
It is simple to assess whether or not your vehicle’s tyres require inflation by using a hand-held tyre pressure tester, which can be purchased from a wide variety of stores, both online and offline, and normally costs less than twenty pounds. After removing the dust cap, all that is required to check the tyre pressure is to attach the pressure gauge to the valve on the wheel rim, press down evenly to establish a tight seal, and then read the measurement. Alternately, the tyre pumps that are generally found on the forecourts of gas stations will normally read the starting pressure of the tyres before you begin inflating them.
How frequently should I check the pressure in my tyres?
If you drive your car somewhat frequently, you should make it a point to check the pressure on your tyres once every two weeks at the very least. In addition to this, it is a good idea to verify before beginning any extended excursions. Check the tyre pressure while the tyres are “cold,” which means that they haven’t been driven on for at least two hours. If you need to go to a gas station to check the pressure in the tyres, select a station that is as close to your starting position as possible.
How can I get the air back into my car’s tyres?
In most cases, the simplest and quickest method for filling a vehicle’s tyres is to use the automatic pumps found at gas stations and garages. Typically, they are operated with coins, and a computerised display gives the operator the ability to set the maximum amount of pressure. It is important to pay attention to whether the data are given in PSI or BAR because these are the two different metrics that are employed.
You only need to hook the hose to your wheel; the pump will handle the rest of the process. The majority of these devices will even deflate a tyre if they determine that it is currently at a greater pressure than the user has set it to be. Inflating a tyre at home with a foot pump is a low-tech method, and it is also a pretty slow one. However, it is a really handy instrument. It is recommended that a tyre be inflated when it is cold, regardless of the method that you choose. When tyres get hot, the internal pressure rises, which might cause inaccurate readings of the tire’s pressure.
Advice on the care and security of automobile tyres
Reduce the amount that your tyres wear out.
The presence of bulges in the sidewall is an indicator that tyre failure is impending.
Make sure you inspect your vehicle’s tyres on a regular basis for excessive or uneven wear. Take out any pebbles or other material that has been lodged in the tread, and be on the lookout for any deep scratches or bulges. These are some of the warning indications that a tyre blowout is about to occur.
Check to see if any of your wheels have been damaged after hitting a kerb or a particularly bad pothole. If the rim is scratched, has this resulted in any edges that are jagged or rough? Any damage that is close to the sidewall of the tyre should be repaired as soon as possible, and after that, you should have the wheel rebalanced at a repair shop.
Check the depth of the tread on the tyres.
A minimum tread depth of 1.6 millimetres must be maintained in a continuous band across three quarters of the width of your vehicle’s tyres in order to comply with the law. The performance of tyres, however, begins to decline far before they reach the necessary minimum tread depth, particularly when the weather is rainy. This is due to the fact that the volume of the tread grooves are decreased, making them less effective at removing surface water from the road. If you are concerned about the condition of your tyres, you shouldn’t wait until the MOT test to find out. Make it a habit to perform routine inspections on your tyres, and if they are getting close to the legal limit, give some thought to replacing them.
Look after your spare tyre
The only thing worse than getting a puncture is when you attempt to fit the spare and discover that it has also gone flat. Check the spare regularly for pressure and condition, because if your spare is old, the rubber may begin to die, resulting in potentially dangerous fissures in the tread or sidewalls.
This is particularly essential if your spare wheel is stored on the outside on your car, as is the case with several large SUV models.