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Tyre Information: Repairing Punctures

When can you make a safe puncture repair?

Cuts, breaks and abrasions to a tyre casing can penetrate deep into the inner fabric of the tyre and prove extremely dangerous, especially if you are driving at speed.

However, damage to the tread caused by a nail, shard of glass or metal can often be safely repaired.

When can you safely repair punctures?

A flat tyre repair should be carried out in accordance with BSAUl59 regulations.

The British Tyre Manufacturers’ Association only condones tyre repairs which are carried out in accordance with the recommendations of this British Standard. It’s up to motorists to ensure that repair works to their vehicles are carried out within these guidelines.

For a puncture repair, only a special vulcanised plug patch should be used if it’s to meet the required standard.

Don’t let anyone attempt to repair your tyre to a lesser standard as it could prove fatal when driving at speed.

A tyre must be thoroughly inspected before repair and this must not be attempted in any cases where:

  • The tread depth is below the legal limit of 1.6mm across the tyre's circumference.
  • The structure of the tyre is broken or damaged by a foreign object in an area other than ‘T’ labelled above.
  • The tyre is worn out, aged or deteriorated rubber.
  • Cords are exposed.

We always recommend that you visit a trusted garage when you suffer a puncture.

How many punctures can be repaired on one wheel?

There is no limit to the number of repairs that can be carried out, as long as the puncture repair patches do not overlap.

However, you should never fit an inner tube with a tubeless tyre except on a tube-type wheel.

If your vehicle requires a puncture repair outside of this area labelled T on the diagram, it is deemed too close to the sidewall to guarantee a safe and lasting minor repair.

Can you repair a tyre with a nail in it?

If the nail is within the central area of the tyre, and the puncture isn’t wider than 6mm in diameter, then a nail puncture could be repaired. If the puncture diameter is larger than 6mm, and has been caused by a bolt or a shard of glass, then it is not safe to repair the punctured tyre. A puncture larger than 6mm in diameter could cause a tyre blowout if driven on, and therefore it is safer to have the tyre replaced.

How long will my tyre last with a nail in it?

If the nail is in the central area of the tyre, you may be able to drive a short distance before experiencing air pressure loss. You should drive no further than 10 miles with a nail in your tyre, so this should be long enough to get you to a garage for a repair or replacement.

If the nail is located near the tyre sidewall, you should not drive any further. The nail may cause a tyre blowout, which could result in a large accident and further damage.

How long will a tyre patch and plug last?

If a tyre patch and plug is correctly fitted, the tyre could last its normal lifespan. You will need to continuously monitor the tyre, in case the PSI drops. If the PSI is dropping, then you will need to replace the tyre, as the patch isn’t preventing the air from escaping.

Run-flat tyres

In the event of a puncture, a run-flat tyre will allow you to drive a short distance in order to have the tyre repaired or replaced. This is thanks to the structure of the tyre sidewall, which is reinforced in order to support the weight of the vehicle if that tyre loses air pressure. To see our full range of run-flat tyres, click below.

Run-Flat Tyres

Expert advice

If you need a new set of van tyres or you’re after the latest car tyre deals, browse our range of tyres online. If you need advice on how to repair a puncture, you can contact our technicians at one of our fitting centres.


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