Flat tyres soon thing of past? Please, please, please

Since coming to France fifteen years ago I think we’ve had about a dozen flat tyres. Narrow country roads, gulleys, hidden obstacles in the grass verges. On a couple of occasions both tyres on the kerb side (what kerb?), front and rear, blown out.

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I have runflat tyres on my car and, although incredibly convenient if you happen to have a puncture, I was horrified to discover they can’t repair runflats as they can with regular tyres after a puncture :scream:. A very costly two new front tyres, all because one had a puncture! Now switching out to regular tyres as the runflats wear out!

Normal tyres are normally much more comfortable too - I had runflats on a mini countryman, and the ride was very tiring after a while, especially on country lanes.

I take it that these don’t work very well in the snow, ice and heavy rain ?


If you have a puncture at speed on a normal tyre then you aren’t repairing that either.

The problem is with the more typical slow puncture which they won’t repair - the usual excuse is that they can’t tell if the tyre has been run at too low a pressure and damaged the side wall. But, really, they could say that for normal tyres as well - it seems to be more “conventional wisdom” than anything else.

That said I did manage to get the tyre place I use regularly to do such a repair by pointing out that the car had pressure monitoring and that was how I’d picked up the problem… Although I could see that the tyre was losing pressure at no time was it run underinflated.

Then, as you have discovered, French tyre repairers are very reluctant to put just one new tyre on an axle. Sometimes this reluctance extends to the whole vehicle :frowning:


We had the option on our Skoda but OH refused them and got the spare instead - thank heavens!


As we discovered in February. One of our tyres had a large hole in the sidewall - fine, but the other was just 3 months & 3000 miles old, yet absolutely HAD to be replaced at the same time. :frowning: Had I not been under pressure at the time I’d have asked for the good tyre back & kept it as a spare.

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Since coming to France 30 years ago, I have driven my old Rover Coupé, my old BMW motorcycle, and 3 Renault Cleos, the current Cleo reaching nearly 193,000 kms, and haven’t had any punctures, on the similar roads to you.

The nearest sort-of puncture was when a disgruntled neighbour had taken to letting down the pressure of my tyres, and I, not checking one day, drove off and very soon after had to change one of the wheels.

Even when I drove into a hidden hole on the verge and came to a very sudden stop, the tyres were ok.

Maybe I have magic tyres.

I found that the way to get round the" got to have both tyres done at the same time" was to take the offending tyre to the garage tell them what make I wanted saying it was the spare.


And definitely your neighbours vehicle also - just in case!

My wife tends to drive close to the edge of the road almost all the time, where I normally drive much nearer the middle on country lanes and further out in the carriageway on other roads. Over the years she’s had quite a few burst tyres and even dented rims where I have had just the odd puncture, even though for a long time our cars had exactly the same size and type of tyres.

It my be that you position yourself such that you successfully avoid most of the pot holes etc

Where did you get them? I want some. :grin:

You’re probably right. I’m very conscious of that line where tarmac meets grass. Two tyres on tarmac and the other two on grass, and lose control?

It frightens me when cars come over the centre line on a narrow bend, forcing me so close to the grass. Happens too often.

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And then meet a neighbour coming round the corner at 80 kmph on the crown of the road as well - no thanks.

And it’s not just me. OH the same. And not just the LHD Skoda or the RHD merc but both of them. In fact I prefer the merc because I can see how close I am to the verge.

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I’ll have word with the magic tyre fairy.

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In fact I also do prefer driving my rhd car versus lhd car for that very same reason, especially given that there are some very very deep ditches around here - one of which I visited many many years ago, to my utter shock - fortunately it had been a great party :partying_face::partying_face:

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Our roads are quite twisty and narrow, with quite broken edges, not helped by certain householders living outside the village who sometimes deliberately park with 2 wheels on the road in the middle of a set of blind bends. I can therefore sympathise about not wanting to meet oncoming vehicles travelling at national speed limit in the middle of the road. It’s more a case of staying out of the gutter on the straight bits, particularly in the places where the road is badly broken.

Something which certainly helped was ditching low-profile tyres on big rims for much less sporty looking but better cushioned types on a smaller wheel. We’re both running deeper section tyres now, where previously the mini was on 185s (from memory) which looked great but offered no buffering room between the edge of the hole and the rim.

Interesting point - I’ve always thought the Skoda tyres seemed more vulnerable than the mercs. I’ll discuss with OH.

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I had that once, in London but not ‘let down’ with the valve - punctured thru’ the sidewall with a drill. The car had been parked in this particular spot for some time, coming and going. A stretch of road where a parked vehicle could not possibly be an irritation to anyone of sane mind.

I had to limp very slowly to the nearest tyre shop and get new all round. Fortunately nothing too extreme on the Silver Dragon.


When I reported this incident to my pals who had very recently moved from the house opposite the junction of this road they said, “Yes. That’ll be X. Well known prat and arsehole”

Other than that, I can’t recall the last time I had a puncture, in many years and a variety of vehicles from 3.5 tonne Renault Master to a whole slew of ordinary cars. In fact, when I did call in at Kwik-Fit because of a slow leak, instead of a faulty valve, my #1 suspect or a puncture, suspect #2, the Kwik-Fit fitter correctly identified a build-up of crud on the inside of the wheel rim. He cleaned up all four and the leak was gone.

Chapeau to Mr Kwik-Fit fitter!

Reminds me of the quip by a Lotus engineer. The motoring jorno taking an Elise for a test drive asked the Lotus man in the pax seat why Lotus had gone to so much trouble to get the Elise to handle so very precisely.

"To avoid the TVR coming the other way in the middle of the road … "