There’s nothing worse than having your journey interrupted by a puncture, slowing you down, providing you with worry and preventing you from reaching your destination on time. If you do encounter this issue whilst on the road, there are a few simple steps that you should follow quickly and safely, whilst also taking the correct measures to reduce the chances of it happening again. Before you begin the repair process, if it is a more serious tyre blowout, you should call a mechanic straight away. It is important to check your on-board repair kit and pressure of your spare tyre regularly to ensure you are well prepared should you encounter a puncture whilst on the road.
How to tell if you have a puncture
There are two main ways that a puncture may become apparent to you whilst driving. If these occur, you should keep your speed to a minimum and pull over in the nearest safe place to assess the damage and plan your next steps.
1. If you have a newer car, you may see a dashboard alert warning you of a loss of pressure in one of your tyres.
2. Your steering will begin to feel off-balance, lightly pulling the vehicle to one side.
The steps to take if you encounter a puncture
1. Ensure you are able to pull over in a safe place, away from any sharp bends or junctions. A well-lit, clear area would be best to reduce the risk of danger to you and other road users.
2. Turn on your hazard lights and place your warning triangle at least 10 paces away from your vehicle to alert other drivers of the oncoming hazard.
3. Ensure your handbrake is engaged before you begin and then decide whether to carry out the repair using a puncture repair kit or spare tyre, depending on which one you have in your vehicle.
How to use a puncture repair kit
1. If you are using a puncture spray, you will need to locate the exact spot where the air is escaping from the tyre.
2. It is important to clear any dirt or debris from the tyre before spraying the sealant into the breached area, so that it is completely unobstructed.
3. If your repair kit has a compressor, you can then attach this to the tyre valve and plug in to the 12v socket of your car to reinflate the tyre. Your vehicle handbook will give you more specific instructions depending on what type of kit you have and the pressure your tyres require.
4. Once inflated to a safe level, drive at a safe speed to the nearest mechanic to have a professional repair or replacement carried out.
How to fit a spare tyre
What you’ll need:
Spare wheel – The tyre should be inflated properly, and you should check the pressure and condition of your spare regularly to ensure it is ready to use.
Jack – Should be specifically designed for your vehicle to lift it off of the ground easily.
Wheel wrench – You should check to make sure this fits the bolts of your wheels.
Locking wheel nut key – If your car has locking bolts, you will need a key to undo these.
Wheel wedges – These should be included in your spare tyre kit and will hold the wheel in place whilst you remove the bolts.
Car handbook – This will provide you with tyre replacement instructions in relation to your specific vehicle.
1. Loosen the bolts of the wheel on which the puncture has occurred.
2. Use the jack to lift the car off the ground, and finish loosening the bolts until you can remove the wheel.
3. Place the spare wheel on and tighten the bolts as firmly as possible until secure, then lower the car back onto the ground, checking the bolts once more.
4. Safely drive home or to the nearest mechanic to replace the spare tyre. Do not take any sharp turns and keep your speed lower than 50 mph.
5. It is important to note a spare tyre should only be used as a temporary measure and should not be used as a replacement for a sustained period of time. You should replace the spare if it shows signs of wear, or you have driven over 50 miles on it.
For any repairs or tyre replacements, or to arrange a service for your car, be sure to get in contact with us at Double Dee Autos. Call 020 8460 3040 or email us at [email protected] to see how our expert team can help you.