Most of us motorists have had the unfortunate experience of getting a puncture, and it mostly seems to happen at the worst time. But suppose you compare the incidence of punctures today with what our parents had to put up with in the 1950s. In that case, one is most grateful for the tremendous technological advances made in tyre design and manufacture.1
What kind of punctures can you get?1
Some metal objects such as nails lying on the road can cause a slow loss in tyre pressure. Under-inflating tyres can make them more vulnerable to damage by foreign objects because the softer tyre is easier to penetrate. In addition, under-inflation is more dangerous than over-inflation because an under-inflated tyre experiences much greater friction, resulting in a more significant heat build-up. This, in turn, can affect the structural integrity of the tyre.
What should I do when experiencing a puncture?1
The moment you sense a puncture is taking place, avoid pulling over immediately and stopping. Preferably, it is safer for you to accelerate a little to improve traction, after which you can slow down and stop.
How to use puncture spray1
You can use puncture spray on a tubeless tyre. The challenge is to find the exact location of the metal object that is causing the puncture and remove it. After that, you can apply the puncture spray through the tyre valve and drive slowly to the nearest garage.
You can also change the spare wheel1
It may be easier to replace the punctured tyre with a spare wheel. Remember to monitor the spare wheel tyre pressure regularly, as the last thing you want is to have a flat spare wheel. To change the spare wheel, first ensure the vehicle cannot move and that it is on a flat surface. Loosen the bolts first, and then raise the car with the jack. Remove the bolts and replace the old tyre with the new tyre, followed by adding the bolts back and tightening them. Lower the vehicle to the ground and finally secure the bolts using a torque wrench. Many modern cars have a ‘biscuit’- type wheel as a spare tyre, which will restrict the speed you can use until you get to the nearest garage.
Final repair of the tyre1
It is always best to take a damaged tyre to a tyre dealer, who has much experience regarding its repair.
What about tyres made using run-flat technology?1
Most modern brands of cars have run-flat tyres, which Michelin originally introduced. The tyre works because the tyre’s sidewalls are so strong that the tyre can still act like a normal one despite it having a puncture. Speeds must be reduced to about 80 km/hr when experiencing a run-flat tyre puncture.
Not many South African motorists are insured and thus have no access to 24-hour roadside assistance, where your car would be loaded onto a flat-bed truck and taken away for repairs. So the above information is of paramount importance to those uninsured motorists who will be stuck on the side of the road unless they can change a tyre. But this inconvenience could all be avoided by finding out more about affordable car insurance products with PMD, including roadside assistance.
This article was prepared by Eric Sandmann in his personal capacity. The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. The views and opinions in the article should not be attributed to anyone but the author unless expressly stated. Nothing in this article should be relied upon as advice, this publication is presented for informational purposes only. No person should act or refrain from acting in reliance on any information found in this article, without first obtaining proper financial advice from the appropriate professional. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, or completeness, of any information linked from, referred to, or contained in this article. The author reserves the right, to edit and change the content of this article.
— Arrive Alive (@_ArriveAlive) October 26, 2018