Tyre Repair, is it the best option?

By: Stewart Creaser

There are a lot of questions surrounding tyre repair, so here at Stoneacre, we are hopefully going to shine some light on this question

Types of Damage

Your tyres come under considerable pressure and are susceptible to a number of types of damage including:

Cuts

Cuts in your tyres are a result of driving over sharp objects and are a relatively common type of damage.

Punctures

Punctures are also quite common, and like cuts are usually a result of driving over an object. Unlike cuts when a tyre is punctured the object penetrates the tyre. The object often stays lodged in the tyre causing a slow leak that can often go unnoticed.

Irregular Wear

Irregular wear is when the tyre wears unevenly and can be the result of a number of problems. For example, if the tyre is underinflated then the outer edges take more load pressure and will wear quicker than the centre. Likewise, similar problems can be caused by overinflated tyres, as the middle of an overinflated tyre protrudes taking more of the pressure and wearing quicker .

Impact Damage

Impact damage is the direct result of your tyre having an impact with something. For instance hitting the curb can result in damage such as a bulge. Impact damage can also be a result of emergency braking as the tyres undergo a massive amount of friction which can result in direct damage or deflation.

The Dangers of Repaired Tyres

Tyres are the only direct contact the car has with the road so it’s vital that they are in full working order to keep you safe. Driving around on repaired tyres can put you at greater risk of having an accident. Even if the damage may appear simple to fix it’s difficult to assess the full extent of damage that has occurred to the internal structure of the tyre.

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Repairing your own tyres

Finding the damage

The first step to repairing your own tyres is to find the damage and there are a number of steps you can take to enable this:

•Make sure the tyre is inflated to the correct tyre pressure. Inspect the tyre looking for any visible damage if you don’t spot anything try listening for a hissing sound. Again if you do not hear anything try locating the leak by feeling around the tyre.

•If you’ve still not discovered the leak you can try spraying the tyre with a soapy mix. The area where bubbles start to form is where air is escaping and your leak is located.

•Alternatively, you can remove the tyre and fully submerge it in water, as above bubbles should form around the leak.

How to repair

There are a variety of different ways and means of repairing your tyre.

Sealant and Tyre Inflator Pack:

Many newer cars now come with a sealant and tyre inflator pack instead of a spare tyre. This is a quick fix for punctures and has been designed to enable you to get safely to a garage. They are easy to use and simply require you to inject the sealant and compressed air into the area. It re-inflates the tyre and creates a seal to prevent further deflation.

Plug and Rubber String:

Plug and rubber string repairs can provide a more comprehensive repair for deeper punctures. The first step is to remove any lodged foreign bodies and clean the puncture site out. Then you simply need to thread the plug tool with the rubber string and penetrate the puncture with the plug tool. Remove the plug tool leaving the rubber string in place. If desired you can apply an adhesive to the rubber string before inserting to ensure it sticks better.

Combi Patch & Plug:

Recognised as best practice within the motoring industry, a combi patch and plug is the most comprehensive type of tyre repair.

1.The tyre should be removed so a full inspection of the tyre can also take place. If the tyre has no evidence of internal wall damage and is otherwise in good condition then the repair can go ahead.

2.The location of the damage should be marked and any foreign body removed.

3.The puncture should be cleaned out and repaired working from the inside of the tyre out.

4.An area of around 10-20mm should be cleaned around the damage site on the inner side of the tyre. The patch should be held in place and marked around this area. Remove the patch and buff the tyre where the patch will lie.

5.Insert the combination tyre repair patch and plug into the puncture channel from the inside of the tyre

6.Apply the patch over the area where you have inserted the plug to fully seal the repair on the inside of the tyre and buff the area down so the patch lies level with the tyre.

7.Remount the tyre and re-inflate. Then simply trim the stem of the plug flush with the remaining outer tyre tread.

While you can repair punctures yourself we would always recommend getting a repair carried out by a reputable garage.

Run Flat Tyres

What are they?

Run flat tyres are fitted on most modern vehicles as they prevent the need to carry a spare wheel. Run-flat tyres have specially reinforced sidewalls that you can continue to drive on at a limited speed over a limited distance, after getting a puncture.

How they work

The strengthened sidewall keeps the tyre intact for a limited period helping you to maintain control over your vehicle.

One of the benefits of run-flat tyres is that you don’t need to change your wheel at the side of the road. Another bonus is that you don’t need to carry a spare wheel which increases boot space. It also reduces the unladen weight of the vehicle which can improve fuel efficiency. Run-flat tyres should only be used on cars with a tyre pressure monitoring system. This system alerts you when a tyre is not at full pressure. Without it, you may not notice that your tyre has been damaged and you may continue to drive on a damaged tyre.

You should never travel more than the stated distance on your run flats once they have been damaged. Doing so can put you in increased danger as well potentially causing damage to your wheel, which would result in a more costly replacement than a simple tyre replacement.

You should never replace run-flat tyres with non-run flat tyres unless you plan to carry a spare wheel.

Tyre Repair Law

In accordance with British Standards (BSAU159) only the central three quarter treaded area of the tyre can be repaired. However, even repairs to this area of the tyre can only be done if;

•The tread depth is over the legal minimum of 1.6mm

•There is no evidence of previous repair where the puncture exists

•There is no side wall or shoulder damage to the tyre

•There is no run-flat damage which would affect the tyres structural make-up

•There is no evidence of ageing or deterioration of the tyre rubber

•There is no secondary damage

•There is no bead damage

•No cords are exposed

•There is no evidence of faulty or poor previous repairs on the tyre

•There is no indication that the internal sidewalls have been subject to over-heating

Alternative to repaired tyres

Instead of putting yourself at greater risk by repairing tyres we recommend replacing a damaged tyre as soon as possible. We understand you may be concerned about tyre repair cost, however, at Stoneacre, you will find tyres to suit all budgets from basic budget tyres to premium tyres.

In addition, all tyres supplied by us are covered under the Stoneacre tyre guarentee. Meaning if any tyre supplied by us is found to be faulty or gets accidentally damaged then we will replace it either free of charge or at a heavily reduced price. Our guarantee lasts the life of your tyre or until there is less than 3mm of tread remaining.

Please note we record all our calls to ensure that we give you the service you deserve.

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