Have you recently had a puncture? Are you wondering if a tire repair is possible and how to do it? Find out our answers in this article.
How do I know if a tire repair is possible?
The first thing to know is that it depends on where the tire is punctured.
In the tread area :
The tire is repairable in most cases. Unless the puncture is too large, tire repair is usually possible. However, it is important to remove the tire to ensure that it is not marbled and/or damaged by driving at low pressure.
In the shoulder area :
A tire puncture repair in this area is not possible. The tire must be replaced.
In the sidewall :
The tire is generally not repairable, there is a high risk that the puncture has damaged and weakened the overall structure.
There is one exception:
If the speed rating on the sidewall of your tire does not exceed the T rating, the sidewall is repairable if the hole is 3mm or less in diameter. Beyond this index, tire repair is strongly disadvised to avoid any safety risk.
In what case a tire puncture in the tread area is not repairable?
When a tire puncture occurs, there is a more or less long run-flat phase until the vehicle comes to a complete stop. When driving with a flat tire or with low pressure, the tire can suffer damage to the overall structure (mottling, chattering, tire dislocation).
How does it work?
When you drive at low pressure or with a flat tire, the sidewall crushes.
This causes deterioration in the overall structure of the tire which can lead to several problems:
- Mottling of the tire : the tire is marked on the inside after being crushed due to lack of air (low pressure).
- Chattering of the inner rubber : pieces of rubber heat up and break off.
- Dislocation of the tire leading to its bursting.
If the carcass has been damaged, your tire is too weak and cannot be repaired, even if the puncture was in the tread.
Tire repair: 3 methods
There are three ways to repair a tire:
- With a PRP, also known as a "mushroom": this tire repair, carried out by the professional, is the most qualitative. He dismantles the tire, examines the inside to check for damage, taps the hole, inserts the PRP from the inside and glues it in place so as to obtain a complete seal.
- With a wick: it is inserted into the tire from the outside. This type of tire repair is strongly disadvised because it does not involve a check of the inside of the tire after a low pressure or flat tire ride and assessing any damage that may have occurred.
- With a patch: this is a similar process to that used to repair a bicycle inner tube. This type of repair is also not recommended because it will seal on the inside, but not between the tread and the inner rubber. There will therefore be a risk of water infiltration and oxidation of the (partly metallic) layers. If this damage occurs, it can lead to the tire bursting.
Tire repair kit: can it effectively repair a tire?
A tire repair kit generally consists of a puncture repair spray that fills a hole by injecting foam into the tire, or a drill to fill the hole from the outside.
Michelin does not recommend repairing your tire permanently with these methods because no check of the inside of the tire will have been made, which may expose you to the risks mentioned above.
In the event of a tire puncture, it is also advisable to change the wheel and then take the punctured tire to a professional for examination.
If you do not have a spare tire or if it is not usable, call a breakdown mechanic to take your vehicle to the nearest garage.
If neither is possible, then use your tire repair kit as a last resort. This type of repair can only be temporary so that you can drive to the nearest garage where the professional will then
Tire repair by a professional
Effective tire repair is a technical operation, and professionals are trained to do it. They know how to examine the inside of the tire and determine whether it is repairable.
After locating the exact location of the puncture, the foreign body is removed.
The area is cleaned inside the tire and a product is applied to the affected area.
A "mushroom" is inserted into the hole from the inside out.
Then the protruding part is cut off. The hole is filled in and the seal is optimal.
Is it safe to repair a punctured tire?
Can all types of tires be repaired?
Some tires have been designed for specific needs. They have specific features that may raise the question of their reparability. There are three types:
1 - Acoustic tires :
They contain a special foam that reduces the noise of the tire when it is running. This type of tire can be repaired in the same way as a standard tire.
2 - Self-seal tires :
These tires are self-repairing only in the tread area. In the event of a puncture, a self-obstructing rubber plugs the hole. This type of tire can be repaired in the same way as a standard tire. If self-seal tires are available in the dimensions specified by the manufacturer for your vehicle, you can choose to fit them.
3 - Runflat tires:
These tires make it possible to continue driving to the nearest garage after a puncture without damaging the inside of the tire. At Michelin, runflat tires are marked ZP (Zero Pressure) and/or EMT (Extended Mobility Tires). Runflat tires can be repaired once.
Please note that runflat tires are mounted on a specific rim adapted to a certain category of vehicle. They cannot be mounted on a normal rim.