Slow Punctures | Harmless or a Hidden Danger?

By: Saoirse McClure Fisher

What’s a Slow Puncture?

A slow puncture is when air escapes from a tyre gradually over time when it is structurally compromised. They can be caused by tiny holes, sidewall damage or cracks that have developed over time.

They are difficult to spot as they allow air to escape gradually. Therefore they don’t cause any immediately noticeable effects such as a a sudden distinctive pull or adverse handling characteristics.

What’s a Slow Puncture?

A slow puncture is when air escapes from a tyre gradually over time when it is structurally compromised. They can be caused by tiny holes, sidewall damage or cracks that have developed over time.

They are difficult to spot as they allow air to escape gradually. Therefore they don’t cause any immediately noticeable effects such as a sudden distinctive pull or adverse handling characteristics.

Slow Punctures | Warning Signs

There are several clues that you might be able to spot, provided you are aware of them. Here are some ways that a slow puncture can be identified

TPMS warnings
Most modern cars are fitted with a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. It is triggered when air pressure drops below a certain level and will cause a light to illuminate on your dashboard.

Tracking issues
Over time you may notice that you need to hold the steering wheel in a given direction to keep the car straight. A likely cause may be an impending flat tyre.

Needing to top your tyres up constantly
As a responsible road user, you should ensure that your car is always roadworthy. If you find you are spending a lot of time reinflating your tyres, or one, in particular, suspect a slow puncture.

Are Slow Punctures Dangerous?

Slow punctures can be dangerous. A slow puncture means that your tyre is structurally compromised. This could eventually lead to a catastrophic failure. If it occurs at speed, then it isn’t good news.

Is it Possible to Repair a Slow Puncture?
Slow punctures can sometimes be repaired if they are identified early. The longer you drive with a slow puncture, the less likely it is that you will be able to repair your tyres.

Driving on structurally unsound tyres only amplifies any damage.

Tyres with slow punctures in the sidewalls cannot be repaired, and a replacement is the only option.

Slow Puncture Solutions
It is sometimes possible to repair a slow puncture. Inspect your tyres regularly, and you might be able to spot damage just in the nick of time (or nick of tyre). A car health check is always a great idea.

A far better option is to replace the tyre completely. After all, who knows how long you’ve been driving around with wheel damage.

Most of us will encounter a slow puncture at some point during our vehicles lifespan. Replacing the tyre doesn’t have to be expensive. Often companies offer cover (yes, even for things like ‘wear and tear’), and often you can get cover immediately for the same day.

 

 

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