With more and more vehicle manufacturers choosing not to fit spare tyres to their cars and instead install a puncture repair kit, motorists are having to get to grips with how this affects them.
The Sunday Times tackled the subject in its motoring supplement ingear this weekend.
MF, from Bingley, West Yorkshire, put this question to the Car Clinic panel: “After suffering a puncture, I discovered my BMW X3 has no full-size spare tyre, or even a space-saver tyre, but instead uses a tyre-weld kit. This happened on a Saturday afternoon, and I couldn’t get a replacement tyre before Monday. What are the guidelines for driving after using such a repair kit?”
Tim Shallcross, panel expert and Institute of Advanced Motorists advisor, replied: “Temporary aerosol repair kits are becoming increasingly common on new cars. Partly this is because full-scale tyre blowouts are becoming less common, so a temporary fix to a punctured tyre is considered acceptable by car makers. It is also cheaper for them than fitting a spare wheel, and saves space in the vehicle, which is a good thing.
“The punctured tyre will need to be repaired – or possibly replaced, depending on the damage – but it will be good for a few hundred miles at least. You should however, take a few precautions once you have repaired the tyre.
“First, drive the vehicle immediately for 20 minutes in order to seal the puncture. Then check the tyre’s wire pressure as soon as possible, and correct it if necessary. It is important to stick to the speed limit specified on the repair can; this will be 30mph for some products and 50mph for others – follow the instructions. If the car suddenly feels unstable, stop and check the punctured tyre.”
Denna Bowman, Head Office