How to Know When to Repair or Replace a Tyre

By David Sholicar

British Tyre Manufacturers’ Association sets standards for tyre repair and replacement. There are limitations regarding the size of rupture, the location of the damage and the number of repairs that a tyre can undergo.

Repair or replace tyre

Before a tyre undergoes any repairs an external examination of a tyre needs to be performed. If any of the following issues are found then the tyre will need to be replaced:

  • If the tread depth is below 1.6 mm. The tyre is not safe and is illegal to drive on.

  • If the tyre has substantial damage from potholes, kerbs or any sharp objects on the road.

If you have a punctured or damaged tyre, it’s essential to get expert advice as to whether the tyre should be repaired. At your local Protyre garage, you’ll find fully-qualified fitters who will be able to assess the tyre and advise you whether it’s suitable for repair. It’s not just the type of damage on the tyre that matters, it’s also the location, and the type of tyre.

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“Runflat” tyres are designed to allow the car to be driven even after a puncture. But don’t drive far, and don’t drive at your usual speed. Luckily, we have local garages in many locations, so you can bring your vehicle straight to a local Protyre.
There are complex criteria determining when it is and isn’t safe to make a repair. Protyre are always fully up to date with the latest tyres and their repair guidelines so we’ll never put you or your family at risk. But we will always make a tyre repair if it’s safe to do so.
Some tyres, such as Pirelli, have a “self-seal” system, which can repair a tyre rupture made by an object up to 4mm. And tyres such as some Bridgestone models will continue to drive well, even after a puncture. However, with these and other types of tyre, your vehicle’s tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) should alert you to the fact that the tyre has been damaged and you are losing air pressure. Don’t ignore these alerts.
It’s also important to check the physical condition of the tyres regularly. It can be difficult for a driver to assess whether the tyre needs repair and how urgently it needs to be done. So why not visit your local Protyre garage where you can benefit from our many years of experience in assessing tyres? You’ll get impartial advice from our skilled fitters and can benefit from Protyre’s hands-on expertise with all makes of tyre, including Sumitomo, Falken, and of course, Pirelli and Bridgestone.

Still unsure? Ask the experts

If there is any doubt, a tyre professional can guide you on whether or not you need to repair or replace your tyre. With garages all over the UK let Protyre give you the expert advice that you need.

There is no hard and fast rule for when to replace a tyre based on age. There are a lot of contributing factors to the life of a tyre including maintenance, speed, temperature, conditions of storage, load, pressure and driving style.

Replace your tyre if there is:

  • Widespread cracking or deformation of rubber

  • Numerous previous repairs

  • Visible steel cords from the inner layer of the tyre

  • Bead damage. The bead is the edge of a tire that is in contact with the wheel

  • Uneven tyre wear in the centre or at the edges. Uneven wear indicates incorrect tyre pressure or misalignment of the wheels or suspension.

If you observe any of these problems then, contact a tyre professional immediately. As a precaution, make sure your wheels are balanced and aligned by a professional.

The Location of the Puncture on the Tyre

The British Tyre Manufacturers’ Association requires should only get tyre repairs if the damage is on the central ¾ of the tyre. Any puncture too close to the sidewall will not ensure a lasting or safe repair.

Punctures and Run Flat Tyres

It is not advisable to repair run flat tyres. It can be difficult to assess the damage to the structure of Run Flat tyres. Furthermore, there is a chance that the punctured tyre was driven for an extended duration of time or at a speed higher than 30 mph.

Consistently checked tyres last longer

Your tyres, along with the spare, should be checked on a regular basis. Check your tyre pressure monthly and before going on a long journey.

Regularly rotating the position of your tyres can even out the tyre wear.

After five years, your tyres need an annual examination.

If a tyre hasn’t been replaced for ten years after its manufacturing date, then you must replace it with new tyres immediately. Even if the tyres that show no apparent signs of wear or damage.

If you are concerned about internal tyre damage which is only visible when the tyre has been removed from the wheel consult a professional at Protyre who can guide you on whether or not you can still use the tyre.

If you know that your tyre needs replacement more helpful information is available at:

How to Understand Your Vehicle's Tyre Markings

What Tyre Size Fits My Car? A Guide for Purchase

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About the author

Article Author Photo
By David Sholicar
David is the National Retail Operations Manager for Protyre. One of David’s areas of responsibility and expertise is dealing with the DVSA and MOT’s for Protyre. As the Authorised Examiner Designate Manager ( AEDM ) David deals with applications for changes to the many Vehicle Testing Stations ( VTS’s) including managing the growth of the Number of MOT testing stations that Protyre operate, allocating MOT tester roles, and monitoring the MOT Test logs to ensure that Protyre MOT standards are maintained as the best in the industry.
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