Tire repairs are an unfortunate, but common part of life when you own a vehicle. Whether we’re cyclists, motorcyclists, or drivers, we’ve all had to deal with problems with our tires. Things like nails, glass and other debris can cause all kinds of problems for drivers on the road. One of these problems is punctures and slices that can cause flat tires. While understandably this can be a pain, it is important to always seek thorough repair or replacement, for your own and everyone else’s safety. However, when faced with a puncture you may need to make remedial repairs until your vehicle to a repair shop, so in this article, we’ll be looking at how to repair the tire of your car should you be faced with a sudden puncture.
Repairing a Puncture for Cars
In order to make sure your car is running in tip-top shape, it is essential you practice correct and thorough maintenance when it comes to the wheels of your car. This means you should always make sure that your tires are in full working order and are safe to use. When you are faced with a puncture or damage, unless your tire is repaired by a professional mechanic, any fix you make should be temporary, as it would be unsafe and irresponsible not to do so. Tires greatly contribute to the safety of your vehicle, if your tires are not safe, then your car shouldn’t be on the road until they are. Most of the time when tires are repaired they have weak spots which mean that they will need to be replaced as soon as possible.
Get a Tire Repair Kit
To repair a flat tire, the first thing you will require is a tire repair kit. If your car is new, then you should have received one of these as a standard addition to your vehicle. If you did not receive one with your car, it is a good idea to consider buying one online or at a store. Contained within this kit is a tube of sealant and a compressor, and the repair process is relatively straightforward.
2. Prepare Your Vehicle
To begin you’ll have to ensure your car is correctly prepared. There should be no passengers in the vehicle and you should most certainly ensure that the handbrake is on. You don’t want any extra pressure on the suspension, which in turn will add extra pressure to the tire potentially making the hole larger or harder to repair. You also don’t want to end up calling an ambulance as well as a recovery truck should your vehicle start to move, either! As an extra precaution, you may want to consider putting wheel chalks under each tire that you are not repairing.
3. Assess the Damage
Next, you should assess the damage to your tire. If the hole is too large, extensive, or spreading across the sidewall of the tire then there is little point in wasting your time with a repair kit as it would be unsafe to do so. It simply won’t work and you’ll need to seek vehicle recovery and tire replacement. If the hole contains debris from the road such as a rogue nail or shard of glass, you should leave it in place, as trying to remove it will likely increase the size of the hole, reducing your chance of successful repair.
4. Use the Sealant
Now it’s time to dive into your repair kit. The first thing you will require is the sealant. This does exactly what it says on the packet, and will temporarily close up minor holes or punctures, allowing the tire to maintain the desired pressure for roadworthiness. When using the sealant, ensure you follow the instructions of the kit closely, as different manufacturers may require different applications for their kit to be successful. Ensure you leave adequate time for the sealant to dry as well before you move on to the next step. Failing to do so could render your attempt useless as well as messy, and tire sealant is not easy to clean up.
5. Inflate Your Tire
Your final step is to use the compressor to re-inflate the tire. Typically these compressors are attached to 12v socket of your car, though some may have their own limited power supply. With the car in neutral, inflate your tire to the correct pressure for your vehicle. Once the inflation is complete wait a few moments to check your repair job is holding. You should listen carefully to make sure that you don’t hear any air escaping, as well as get a visual check to make sure that your tire isn’t losing any air.
Once your repair is complete you can hit the road once more. Remember, you should most definitely be seeking a full tire repair and/or service as soon as it is practical for you to do so! As a driver, it is your responsibility to ensure you driving and your vehicle is as safe as possible. You really don’t want a fine or points on your licence or far more serious consequences, simply because of a flat tire.