How to repair a tyre - in simple steps

How to repair a tyre - in simple steps
Stranded at the side of the road with a flat tyre and no spare wheel? Don’t panic it can most likely be repaired.

If you have a flat tyre we will help you get moving again as quickly as possible, with our simple instructions on how to repair a tyre.

If you aren't confident enough to try to repair the tyre yourself  and need assistance you can call the RAC on 0330 159 1111 whether you are a member or not.

You can also get immediate breakdown cover, which could work out cheaper if you aren't already a member.

It's important to note you should never try and change a tyre if your personal safety is at risk.

UK Breakdown Cover for just £8

Whatever car you’re in, driver or passenger, you’ll be covered for just £8 a month**.

Safety advice

Find a safe place to park. It’s better to drive further and risk damaging the wheel rim than stop somewhere dangerous – such as on a narrow road.

Leave your hazard lights on when you park. Put on your reflective jacket if you have one, and position your warning triangle to alert oncoming drivers.


How to repair a flat tyre in five steps

Using a tyre repair kit is very straightforward. Here’s our five-step guide:

1. Prepare the car

Apply the handbrake and remove all passengers from the car. Take the can of sealant and compressor out of the boot.

2. Locate the puncture

Examine the tyre carefully to find the puncture, bearing in mind the notes above on tyres that can’t be repaired.

If you spot a nail or piece of glass in the tyre, leave it there; removing it may simply make the hole bigger.

3. Connect the repair kit

Screw the bottle of sealant onto the compressor.

Remove the dust cap and attach the compressor to the tyre valve.

Then plug the compressor into the cigarette lighter or 12v socket inside your car.

4. Pump up the tyre

Check the car is in neutral, then start the engine and switch on the compressor.

It should re-inflate the tyre in around 10 minutes, automatically filling it with foam as it does so.

5. Replace the tyre

Once the tyre is inflated to the recommended pressure, drive to the nearest garage or tyre fitters.

Do not exceed the maximum speed detailed in the car’s handbook (and usually also on the repair kit itself).

How long will a repaired tyre last?

A repair like this is only a temporary measure and you should replace the damaged tyre – and the can of sealant in the repair kit – as soon as possible.

Driving on a repaired tyre for longer than necessary could put you in danger, and in trouble with the police.

READ MORE: 30 ways to save money on your motoring

According to a recent Which? survey, more than half of new cars come with a tyre repair kit rather than a spare wheel.

The reasons for this include weight, fuel consumption, space and cost, but the upshot is that you’re less likely to get back on the road after a blowout.

That’s because repair kits – which use foam sealant to temporarily plug a hole – aren’t suitable for all types of punctures.

If you have a rip in the tyre sidewall, a hole over 4mm in the tread or the wheel itself is damaged, the kit is unlikely to work.

If the tyre is beyond repair, call the RAC’s mobile tyre-fitting service on 0800 096 6320.

My car doesn’t have a spare tyre or puncture repair kit

Repair a tyre

If you don’t have either of the above, help is at hand. Find a safe place to stop, then call the RAC  on 0330 159 1111.

Tyres from £31.99 with FREE fitting

Choose from top brands including Michelin, Continental, Goodyear, Toyo, Pirelli, Dunlop and Bridgestone.

**Personal based roadside only on a monthly continuous basis. New members only.

Free next day fitting offered on the majority of orders, earliest fitting time will be listed on site at time of selection, delivery is subject to stock and stock location.