Slow car punctures are hard to spot until you find your car’s tyres too soft. However, instead of fixing them, most people will choose to keep pumping the tyres every time they cannot comfortably control the steering wheel. This may be because they need to get to their destination quickly and stopping to fix the tyres holding their feet quite a long time. For a few people, they would keep driving with gradually flattened tyres as they almost get home and they can fix it later without wasting time fixing them.
Car punctures are very dangerous.
Nevertheless, both re-pumping and keep driving when having a slow puncture are not the best option for you, even in some cases, this could be the worst decision you’ve ever met. Why? As you may know, tyres are one of the most vital parts of the car that ensure your safety on the road. And in some cases, good tyres can literally grant you a second life. Therefore, it’s important that you must know exactly what to do if your car is facing a slow puncture (or many). If you still don't know, don’t worry because IndianAuto is here to give some tips and advice about such troubling situation.
Remember to check the tyres every time you start departing
If you had taken and passed the driving test before, you should know the basics of visually inspecting the whole car before departure. Indeed, checking the tyres are one of the basics. To have a quick inspection of the tyres, go around the car to see if there is any tyre that happens to be in different shape of the rest. For example, when you see a tyre that is sagging, that’s the sign of either a slow car puncture or an under-inflated tyre.
It's very easy to notice a sagging tyre.
If you find no trace of nails, needles or sharp objects lodged in the sagging tyre, well, you can be relieved as it is unlikely a puncture. Then, all you need to do is pump the tyre to the recommended pressure by using a gauge; if you don’t have one, just pump until the tyre is hard enough but not too hard. However, when examining, you suddenly see the foreign objects lodged in the tyres, it’s time to fix! Additionally, in some cases where you cannot see any trace of damage, but the tyre keeps losing its air as you drive, there is a 99% likelihood that your vehicle has an invisible puncture.
Check the tyres immediately when you find it hard to control the wheel
Whether you have no time checking the tyre before departure or there is no damage found in the beginning, there is no guarantee for the tyres’ condition except your faith. However, you can notice if there’s any problem with the car’s tyre once you are unable to comfortably control it. To be specific, whenever you find your vehicle tend to lean either the right or the left side on a good asphalt road, mostly, you are facing one or more car punctures and you need a puncture repair kit.
It's absolutely not a good idea to drive with a flat tyre.
Furthermore, you might know if there's any problem with the tyres if you listen carefully to the unusual ticking noise from the wheels. At the time you experience one or both of the cases, stop your car and start inspecting for any car puncture or under-inflated tyre. If nothing happens, you can continue to drive. Nevertheless, keep in mind that a sudden puncture on the road is nothing to a tyre burst. When a tyre burst happens to your vehicle, try not to panic and follow our guide How to Handle and Prevent A Tyre Burst or Blowout.
Handling a Car Tyre Burst
If there is a car puncture, how to repair it?
The possibility of repairing a car puncture depends very much on how much damage the tyre takes. The best method to fix it is to bring to a tyre specialist or a garage. However, you can follow our DIY guide: 5 easy steps to fix a flat tyre if you are skilful enough. Additionally, your car punctured tyre cannot be saved or it may cost a lot to repair if you try to continue driving. In other words, the attempt to drive on a slowly losing-air tyre due to a puncture can create more damage to it, which makes it impossible to repair and you have to purchase a new one.
Besides being over damaged, a tyre cannot be repaired if there is severe damage at the sidewalls or the edge of the thread. However, the worst thing is that you will find it difficult to drive with a punctured tyre, and it will become more difficult when the tyre is flat. And when you try pressing the gas pedal to move faster, you may end up in an accident as you will have a high chance of losing control over the car.
Here is how a run-flat tyre looks.
Fortunately, there is a type of tyre named run-flat tyre that is designed to be driven 80-160 kilometres more when being flat. Because of stiffer than normal tyres, they give tyre dealers difficult time to determine which part of the tyre receive damage, and many dealers refuse to repair. Additionally, if driving for too long, exceeding its limit, a run-flat tyre still suffers severe damage, and the chance to repair them decrease more.
Maintenance is the best way to prevent a future car puncture
“It's better to prepare than to repair”, John C. Maxwell. Therefore, you should let your tyres always stay in their excellent state if you don’t want costly and time-wasting repair. To maintain the tyres, you’d better check the below tips and advice:
1. Make sure you have good tyre valves
In rare cases, faulty valves can create air loss by letting dust and debris into it. This problem can often be solved easily by removing the tyre from its rim in order to replace the defective valve.
2. Damaged rims are likely to create car punctures
When hitting kerbs or large potholes, the rims might be harmed and holes may appear at where the tyres are attached to them. This can also be fixed with ease by repairing the rims replacing them with new ones.
Damaged rims are dangerous in many ways.
3. Keep in mind that tyre sealants are not for permanent repair
Tyre sealants are the saviour on highways when you are facing a puncture; however, it is not recommended to make use of it to repair permanently. That is because car puncture repaired by tyre sealant is prone to be broken again. Therefore, try to bring your car to tyre dealers for better repair.
4. Old car tyres should be replaced
An old car tyre just makes your repair less effective and more costly because time is the killer of almost everything. However, the lifespan of each type of tyres is varied; therefore, to learn more about it, you should take a look at our informative article When to Replace Your Car’s Tyres.