How to repair a car tyre puncture
While we typically recommend having a qualified technician take care of your vehicle’s needs rather than DIY, it’s valuable to have an arsenal of skills that you might need in a car crisis.
Today we’re going to talk about car tyre punctures, including:
- How car tyre punctures happen
- How to know whether you have a puncture
- How to repair a tyre puncture yourself
- The cost of tyre puncture repair
- How to prevent car tyre punctures
How do car tyre punctures occur?
Tyre punctures can occur for a variety of different reasons; the most common can be attributed to small but sharp obstructions on the road, like nails and glass, that penetrate the rubber and cause air to escape.
Issues can also arise if a part of the tyre other than the rubber is damaged. The valve stem is the small vessel through which you inflate your tyres; if it is loose, clogged, or corroded, it can cause leaks. The tyre bead is the edge of the tyre that sits on the rim and can leak, leading to a flat tyre.
Other causes of punctures are:
- Excessively worn tyres;
- Over-inflated tyres;
- Collisions that lead to the tyre and rim separating;
- Other hazards on the road, like potholes and very uneven roads.
How do I know if I have a car tyre puncture?
Most drivers fear the dreaded and unmistakable sensation of getting a tyre puncture while behind the wheel: one side of the car feels distinctly sluggish and hard to control. Depending on the puncture, the tyre might immediately lose all its pressure, or slowly deflate over a longer period. Your car will likely be difficult to steer, and will drift in one direction more than the other.
How do I repair a puncture myself?
As recommended as it may be to have a mechanic resolve any car troubles, there are many scenarios that would put you in the position where you would need to fix a tyre puncture on your own. Perhaps you’re in a remote area with no phone reception, or your phone is dead—no matter the situation, knowing how to repair a tyre puncture is an invaluable skill, and it’s a good idea to carry a tyre sealant and compressor in your car just in case.
Still, don’t forget that DIY repair is only a temporary measure. Do the job as best you can, but always take it to the nearest mechanic for further assessment. Indeed, if the afflicted area has created a tear bigger than 4mm, a repair kit is unlikely to work*.
If you have a puncture and you need to fix it yourself, follow these steps:
- Drive your car safely off the road and apply the handbrake;
- Remove the wheel to locate the puncture (this is in accordance with Australian standards)—if it has been caused by glass or another sharp object, do not take it out (it will create a bigger hole);
- Follow the sealant/repair kit instructions (they all vary slightly) if the tyre can be redeemed (otherwise replace the affected tyre with the spare);
- If the tyre has been replaced, make sure your vehicle is in neutral and switch on the engine, then start the compressor and inflate the tyre to the correct PSI*.
How much does car tyre puncture repair cost?
The silver lining with tyre puncture repair is that taking it to a mechanic won’t cost you much more than a DIY job would. Some punctures are so easy to fix that they cost as little as $26, with higher prices sitting in the $55 range*. Be mindful that these numbers don’t account for labour/travelling costs*.
How can I prevent car tyre punctures?
While tyre punctures often come down to a stroke of bad luck—like hitting an invisible, sharp object on the road, or vandalism—there are a few things you can do to try and prevent them. Before any long drive always check that your tyres are properly inflated, and rotate them regularly to avoid uneven wear and tear. Avoid hazards as much as you can, and be sure to increase your tyre pressure if you’re carrying a heavy load*.
A punctured tyre doesn’t have to be a major inconvenience—if it’s located quickly it can be an easy, quick fix with minimal impact on you and your passengers. Use DingGo’s quick quotes service to find a mobile tyre repair today.