March 31, 2015

Puncture Repair Kit for Car Tyres

Some modern cars come with puncture repair kits instead of spare wheels. There are three main reasons for this:

  • Save space (meaning a bigger boot)
  • Save weight (improves fuel consumption)
  • Save money…

Here’s a quick overview of how car tyre puncture repair kits work (the kit pictured is from a 2008 Ford Focus):Puncture repair kit from a 2008 Ford Focus

  1. Plug bottle of latex gloop into hole in machine

  2. Connect air hose to wheel

  3. Plug compressor into cigarette lighter/12V socket in car

  4. Sit back and wait while it seals and inflates the tyre

  5. Five or ten minutes after you start, you can drive away…

These kits really do work and they are certainly easier than changing a wheel. However, they do have a number of disadvantages over a full-size spare wheel and are not even as good as a space-saver spare wheel, in my opinion.


  1. It’s much quicker, cleaner and easier than changing a wheel – anyone can do this, no physical strength, tools or skills are required.


  1. Unlike a full-size spare wheel, the repaired tyre isn’t as good as new and you will need to replace it ASAP.
  2. If the tyre has a large hole, a cut in the sidewall or a complete blowout, the puncture repair kit probably won’t work – meaning your car needs breakdown recovery to a nearby garage.
  3. You will be limited to a lower speed than usual (perhaps 50mph or less) and even once you have had the tyre replaced, you will need to get a new bottle of ‘gloop’ for your repair kit (they don’t seem to be standardised, so often have to be bought from main dealers). Until you do this, you won’t be able to fix another puncture, unlike with a real spare wheel.
  4. Finally, these repair kits are a bit wasteful and expensive. Not only do you have to buy a new canister of ‘gloop’ once you’ve repaired a puncture (often £30-£50), but many tyre places don’t like to repair (plug) tyres that have been sealed and insist on replacing them, instead. A new tyre is much more expensive than having a tyre plugged (although not all punctures can be plugged, anyway).


  1. anthony davis says:

    yes must agree with comments made on here, used kit on ford galaxy ( old galaxy had spare tyre ) garage wouldnt fix puncture . had to purchase new tyre and need to find out how to remove old “gloop” canister from compressor and where I can buy new “gloop”.

  2. Glyn Evans says:

    This repair kit and gloop seems to be an almost cynical “cost-cutting” device by car companies and quite frankly is a scandal. Money is saved by the manufacturers while at the point of sale we are unlikely to be advised that there is no spare tyre and when we discover this for ourselves we are NOT advised that once the ghastly gloop has gone in we are going to have purchase a new tyre straight away!
    What we have done is to buy a cheap old wheel and a used tyre (both in good nick) – total cost £50. So we now have a get u home spare, and once the damaged tyre has been REPAIRED it goes straight back on the road.

  3. Keith Skinner says:

    i have tried to get support from Chester trading standards without success to get tyre repair kits declared UNFIT FOR PURPOSE and in desperation asked Watchdog to take up the case.My personal problem was to incur a puncture on a remote mountain road with no mobile phone signal and a puncture which exceeded the very minor parameters of the gloop/compressor solution. My Kia car was two weeks old at the time and landed me with a £150 bill.Please support attempts to get back to the sensible spare wheel solution by contacting your Trading Standards office and Watchdog.

    • Hi Keith,

      I think the problem is that cars are not required by law to have a spare wheel and so car manufacturers are free to substitute alternative puncture solutions if they wish. Driven by a desire to cut costs and CO2 emissions, removing the weight and cost of a full spare helps them in this way.

      It’s also true that within its limitations, a puncture repair kit is easier and probably quicker to use than a spare wheel. Many drivers don’t drive far from home or off the beaten track, so not having a spare wheel won’t cause them any problems.

      I agree that for ‘serious’ travel, a spare wheel is essential, but punctures are not that common these days, and no doubt some drivers complained when manufacturers stopped including tool kits with cars…

      Don’t get me wrong: personally I think that all cars should at least have a space saver spare wheel, but I don’t think there is a fitness for purpose issue unless car manufacturers are making unrealistic claims for their puncture repair kits.



  4. i recently bought a 2008 galaxy and wasnt informed that that there was no spare i had issues with the car and took it back to swap it
    i then told the garage i wouldnt purchase another vehicle from them unless they supplied a spare wheel for the vehicle [apparently this is aptional at the point of origanal purchase]
    they did supply a spare wheel and now i have another issue i have nowhere to store the spare wheel although the boot can be made bigger by folding the seats it defeats the purpose of buying a 7 str
    does anyone have a solution to this

    please dont comment on the fact that i didnt ask about the spare wheel when i bought the vehicle [hindsight is a wonderfull thing]
    and i a am sure that all the other vehicles including a 2008 mondeo 2 x 2007 rangers and every other car i have bought in the last 22 years have all come with spare wheel as standard

  5. Keith Skinner says:

    Watchdog are featuring the “NO SPARE WHEEL PROBLEM” Wednesday next BBC 1 @ 8pm 17/10/12.

  6. H Drofekaw says:

    My question is, how can a space saver wheel be within the law? the fact that you are informed the maximum speed with this type of wheel is 50mph because of the way the vehicle handles when it is in use must become a safety hazard for other road users as well as yourself.
    It is a safe as using a tyre that is past it sell by date, I had the experience of damaging a tyre beyond repair at 2 AM with children in the car, it cost me over £50 for a taxi to get them home, all because of not having a spare wheel.
    On the other hand if I could have made use of the primitive repair kit the cost would have been £145.00 for a new tyre, not because I required one but because it would have rendered the tyre not fit for purpose, the total cost then would have been about £245.00. £100:00 being the value of the damaged tyre.
    I would like to ask these clowns who decided not to provide spare wheels, Is this really what they call progress, If it comes down to not polluting the planet or carrying a spare wheel I certainly know what I would choose.

  7. I have an issue with Toyota UK.

    They will not supply a spare wheel for my GT86. The car has a wheel well and the thread to take the clamp for the spare wheel. It comes with a jack and wheel brace and that junk they supply to inflate the tyre. These kits are next to useless most of the time. America and probably some others get a space saver wheel, Russia and probably others get a full size spare, Australia also had a full size for the first six months. I think these tyre repair kits should be banned and at least a space saver should be supplied with every car! Has anybody started a campaign?

    I am awaiting an answer from Toyota as to why they will not supply a spare wheel for one of their cars that is obviously designed to take one.

    • I feel your frustration — making a wheel optional is (arguably) reasonable, but refusing to supply one at all seems a bit unreasonable.

      The most pragmatic solution might just be to buy one yourself from a third-party supplier — I’m sure you can find a suitable full-size or space saver wheel for your car — is probably a good bet. Although obviously you won’t get a matching OEM alloy wheel, if that’s what you’re after.

      It’s interesting that you highlight how spare wheels are still supplied in countries where distances are greater and rural isolation much higher. I suspect many UK buyers don’t realise it’s not the same outside the EU…

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