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How to fix a puncture

Charl Grobler
February 13, 2018

 How to fix a puncture.jpgPicked up a pesky nail in your new tyre? Don’t despair, you can follow these simple steps to pull it out and plug the puncture.

You’ve just bought a new set of tyres for your 4X4, and while you’re out on an adventure, you pick up a nail from a construction zone. It’s Murphy’s law. Upon examination, you notice that the damage isn’t too bad and breathe a sigh of relief - you won’t have to replace the tyre. We’ve all been here. Time to get out the puncture repair kit.

First of all, it’s important to know where to drive to avoid a puncture.

  • Construction sites - these are rife with nails and other items that could damage your tyre. Read our post about how to drive safely through a construction zone here.
  • Accident scenes - in general, bits of broken glass and metal are best avoided.
  • The centre of an intersection - through driving patterns, bit of debris tend to gather at the centre of a busy intersection, including sharp pieces of glass from past accidents. Rather drive around this clutter.
  • During rain fall - you might not realise this, but it’s better to drive closer to the white line. This is because during a storm, all the road debris will be washed down the curb, so rather stay away from anything that might damage your tyres.

It’s important to note that if your tyre is punctured in or near the sidewall, the tyre will need to be replaced.  As Kwik Fit says, “So why can’t the sidewall of the tyre be repaired? The sidewall is the part of the tyre which sustains the most load when the tyre is in use. When a tyre undergoes a minor repair, the damaged area is prepared using an air drill. While perfectly safe when used in the minor repair area of the tyre, the process could potentially weaken the structure of the sidewall. The sidewall also endures the most flex in the tyre which means a repair patch applied to this area is far more likely to detach as a result of this increased movement, leading to tyre failure.”  

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Luckily it’s not the end of the road for your new tyre. Unluckily, you’ll need to mentally prepare yourself for some elbow grease. . .

How to fix a puncture

What tools will you need for the job?

To safely fix a puncture, you’ll need the following items:

  • A decent quality puncture repair kit 
  • A wheel spanner 
  • A wheel chock 
  • A warning triangle 

It’s a good idea to keep all of these items in your boot with you at all times - you never know when you’ll need them.

How to fix a puncture (in 7 easy steps)

1. Identify the source of the puncture (if it’s still wedged into your tyre, pull it out).


2. From your puncture repair kit, grab the tube of rubber cement and the reamer. Squeeze the cement onto the hole, and work it in and out of the puncture with the reamer (this will clean and widen the hole).


3. Next, take out a plug and the plug insertion tool from the repair kit. Pull the plug through the needle-eye of the inserter and squeeze some more rubber cement onto the plug itself.


4.   Push the plug into the puncture, leaving about 1cm sticking out of the tyre.

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5.   Turn the inserter approximately a quarter of the way around, and then remove it as quickly as possible.

6. Using a blade, slice off the excess bits of the plug sticking out (flush with the surface of the tyre).

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7.   Inflate the tyre and, if possible, pour some water over the hole to check for leaks (it will bubble if there’s a leak).

It’s a good idea to keep a puncture repair kit in your car for emergencies. If you’re not sure where to get one, you can read SA 4X4’s Puncture repair kit buyer’s guide, which will help you choose a decent quality kit.

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Stuck in a bind? If you find yourself without the right tools to fix your punctured tyre, don’t worry - just give us a call. Your new Suzuki comes with a comprehensive, three-year roadside assistance plan which includes changing tyres! Read more about the Suzuki philosophy, and our ten care commitments to our Suzuki family.

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