We’ve all been there, and if you haven’t, the time will come when a puncture strikes and you have to face the dilemma of whether to change it by the roadside or wait for assistance. However, with many modern vehicles coming minus the spare wheel these days, could the supplied puncture repair kit save the day?
Here we take a closer look at the pros and cons of the puncture repair kit, and whether they will ever fully replace that trusty spare wheel that many of us simply have no clue how to fit!
What types of puncture repair kits are available?
There are a selection of sealants and inflator packs accessible to the modern day motorist, many of which boast about being the ultimate replacement for the spare wheel. These sealants tend to be categorised as pre-puncture and post-puncture.
As the name suggests pre-puncture sealants are used as a preventative measure and are injected into the tyre valve to minimise air loss in the event of a puncture. However, when using a pre-puncture sealant you may be unaware of when exactly a puncture has struck, meaning more significant damage will be created over time. It is recommended that you check your tyres every time you are due to go onto the road when using a pre-puncture sealant as even the smallest screw or nail could result in catastrophic failure.
Post-puncture sealants are injected after a puncture has occurred and a compressor is then used to re-inflate the tyre.
Do repair kits provide a permanent solution?
Unfortunately as the tyre will have to be removed to determine the extent of the damage, puncture repair kits (both post- and pre-puncture) can only be used as a quick fix to get you home and/or to your nearest garage for a more permanent repair. Whilst the use of a puncture repair kit may help you avoid a lengthier roadside repair, full replacement should always be the final solution.
The dos and don’ts of repairing a puncture
Whether you are utilising a puncture repair kit or going the whole hog with a full wheel change, it is important to follow the golden rules below to ensure maximum safety…
- Never change a wheel or complete a repair on the hard shoulder of a motorway or the roadside, instead find a safe place away from traffic if at all possible.
- Even if your spot seems safe, wear a high visibility jacket while you work, just so people can see what you’re doing before they drive too near to you.
- Always put a warning triangle up behind your vehicle, again to encourage other road users to slow down and be aware of you. The recommended distance is at least 45metres to give other drivers time to brake.
- Avoid changing a wheel on uneven ground
- Ensure all passengers vacate the vehicle when completing a repair
- Don’t work under the vehicle when a jack is in use.