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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Atkinson

Spare Wheel Vs Tyre (Foam) Repair Kit

Many car manufacturers are now opting to provide a tyre repair kit as opposed to a spare wheel - with spare wheels now listed as optional extras when purchasing a new vehicle. However, this poses a question... If you're stuck with a puncture which is better? A spare wheel or a foam sealant tyre repair kit.

Why Use A Spare Wheel

While it is no longer a legal requirement to carry a spare wheel and a jack in your car, for many it is still the preferred option. Having a spare wheel can be a sense of comfort for some motorists, knowing that with a swift tyre change they can be on their way to finishing their journey.

The Downsides Of A Spare Wheel

The biggest disadvantage to having a full-sized spare tyre and jack is the space they take up within your vehicle. As manufacturers move to hybrid and electric cars, the space available within vehicles has become more precious.

With the increase in popularity in mobile tyre fitting, run-flat tyres and repair kits, many people opt not to fit their sense of comfort after a puncture. According to Continental, this could be as high as 70%.

Spare wheels must also be maintained, ensuring they are safe and legal to be on the road when they're required. Including ensuring they have adequate tyre pressure.

Space Saver Spare Wheel

As the namesake suggests, space saver spare wheels were introduced to cut down on the amount of space the spare wheel takes up in a vehicle. However, space savers should not be thought of as a conventional spare tyre. If you have a puncture and which to your space save, you should not exceed 50mph and should not travel more than 50 miles before having your tyre repaired or replaced and refitted to your vehicle.

Run-Flat Tyres

As run-flat tyres and their self-supporting sidewalls become ever more popular, the requirement for a spare wheel diminishes. Run-flat tyres are designed to withstand a puncture and get you to a garage - or home to call your favourite mobile tyre fitter - without changing over to a spare wheel or using a tyre repair kit.

If you have a puncture in your run-flat tyre, you shouldn't travel more than 50 miles or over 50mph. You should have the tyre changed as soon as possible.

What Is A Tyre Repair Kit

A tyre repair kit is generally made up of sealant foam and a compressor, however, it is now becoming more popular for the sealant foam to be within a compressed. The kit is designed to temporarily repair a puncture to enable you to travel to a garage - or home to call your favourite tyre fitter - to permanently repair the tyre or change the tyre if required.

When Can You Use A Tyre Repair Kit

A tyre repair kit is designed to plug a puncture in the tread of the tyre. If your puncture is in the sidewall the sealant probably won't work.

How Does A Tyre Repair Kit Work

Using the compressor, the tyre sealant foam is pumped into the tyre. In theory, as the pressure increases within the tyre, the sealant is forced into the puncture and temporarily provides an air-tight seal.

Once you have used a tyre repair kit, you should drive your vehicle straight away to circulate the sealant within the tyre.

Does A Tyre Repair Kit Provide A Permanent Puncture Repair

A tyre repair kit is a temporary repair to the puncture in your tyre. If you use a tyre repair kit, you shouldn't travel more than 50 miles or over 50mph.

Can A Tyre Be Repaired After Using A Tyre Repair Kit

This is dependent on the type of sealant used, but in most cases, the foam sealant can be washed out of the tyre and a permanent puncture repair is undertaken. Please bear in mind that this will be dependent on the tyre passing an inspection by the tyre fitter to ensure it is still safe and legal to be on the road.

Why Use A Tyre Repair Kit

The biggest advantage of using a tyre repair kit rather than a spare wheel is the space it saves within the vehicle. The removal of the spare wheel also has the side benefit of reducing the weight of the vehicle.

Grangetown Tyres Opinion

We believe it just comes down to personal preference. We understand the nostalgia and comfort related to having a spare wheel available and can we can appreciate the benefits of having a tyre repair kit instead.

Self-Sealing Tyres: The Future or Sci-fi

While still uncommon, self-sealing tyres are a brilliant innovation. The tyres are manufactured with an air-proof layer inside the tyre. The theory is that the layer will then seal any punctures within the tyre without you even knowing about it.

The only thing holding back self-sealing tyres is the price tag when compared to the budget and mid-range tyres available on the market. However, we believe that these types of tyres will become more popular in the future.

For more information on self-sealing tyres, check out this post from Continental.

Where To Buy Tyre Repair Kits

Tyre repair kits can be bought from leading automotive retailers such as Halfords, Euro Car Parts or Car Parts 4 Less. The kits have also become popular within the automotive sections within supermarkets such as ASDA & Tesco or can be found on Amazon.

Need a tyre change in Sunderland or the surrounding areas? Give us a call for a no-obligation quote. Best of all... We'll come to you!!

Blog article by Matt Atkinson, SME Geek Ltd


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