Yet another puncture!

I’ve lived in rural France now for 12 years and the number of punctures I’ve had over the years must now run into double figures.
This morning’s was the same as most of them - front right hand side, nearest the roadside (we don’t have kerbs round here).
OH doesn’t have nearly so many and I think it’s because I am “chicken” on our narrow country roads and I’m the one who moves over and into the verge and long grass - so I’m then catching the tyre on something.

Just so frustrating - does anyone else have this problem? or is it just me???

And another thing that frustrates, I know exactly what to do to change a wheel but I don’t have the strength to do it. So I always finish up calling MOH, or relying on the kindness of passing strangers. How do older women manage to change a wheel these days if they are not champion weight lifters?

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They don’t. Wheel nuts are put on with a pneumatic thingy.
Hard luck on the punctures.

Men have nut trouble too (no jokes please) - I’ve generally had to use my feet.
But no - we’ve only had 1 puncture in 8 years in France - less than we had in the UK.
However, I think we do have faster tyre wear.

Checking tyre inflation pressures once a week is the best way to avoid punctures. A correctly inflated tyre is much less likely to become punctured.
Regarding the wheel nuts, the answer is to loosen the nuts at home, and then tighten them using the wrench that comes with the car and only your left hand (assuming that you are right handed). That way, when you are out on the road and need to change a wheel it should be much easier.
You could also carry a 2 foot length of steel pipe in the boot, of an internal diameter commensurate with slipping it over the handle of the wheel wrench, so that it acts as an extension bar to give you more leverage. However, only use this to loosen the nuts and never to tighten them.
Of course a correctly adjusted torque wrench is better when tightening wheel nuts, but as most people don’t have one, the above method is a fair substitute for most cars.
A small amount of high melting point grease applied to the thread of the stud or bolt is also a help, but only use a small amount.

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Failing to find the wheel nut spider recently to change a wheel I asked a neighbour for a loan of his. Astonished, he said "Just call your insurance, they will do it.’ I did, and within 15 minutes a garagiste from a neighbouring town arrived and did it effortlessly. He was gone almost before I could thank him.

My policy premium has not changed.


You need a telescopic wheel nut wrench. That gives you a 50 cm lever. I have never failed to release a wheel with mine. But it works better if you pull up instead of pushing down.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone.
Our best help came from 2 gendarmes, 11pm at night. We were struggling to get the spare wheel out of its cage under the car. They pulled up, gently moved us out the way and sorted it in 10 minutes.

Having one weak arm as well as being an older woman, I would be calling for help if I was on my own.

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You could buy one of these, not exactly cheap though,

It’s not just the wheel nuts though - if you lack physical strength jacking the car up and handling the wheel - especially getting it in the boot and/or back into the wheel well are going to be challenging.

Mind you the cordless impact wrenches you can get these days look very nifty.

We’ve not had any punctures in 12 years (please don’t let this tempt fate🤞🏼), but we do check our tyre pressure regularly so perhaps that’s what’s made the difference? I am a bit obsessive about the health of our tyres.

But the danger is that the nut doesn’t move and you end up spinning round!

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but does that assume you have the “at home” policy @Peter_Goble or is that applied globally? I thought some policies only cover you nn km from home? (ours is at home - thanks to @fabien and his good advice).

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I check the tyre pressure quite regularly. While no obvious puncture I am finding the pressure seems to be dropping more often,in the last couple of months :thinking:

Or you could buy a can of tyre-weld.
If you can undo the dust cap and hold down the aerosol button you’re sorted.

Or, ‘slime’ your tyres from the off-set.

Be warned - this will render the tyre irreparable.


Yes but it get’s you home and safe

Yes, it would be better than being stuck in the middle of nowhere with no options.

But, apropos previous discussions - if French tyre centres are obliged to put a new tyre on because the punctured one is full of tyre weld goop, they are quite likely to insist on putting another new on the other end of the axle so it could all get a bit expensive.

cheaper to have the appropriate insurance cover in that case then…

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Checking your tyre pressures regularly is good practise but does little to avoid punctures. My last puncture was over 10 years ago in my car that doesn’t have a spare. The tyre was beyond being pumped up and repaired using the kit provided so it had to be put on a tow truck and removed from the A10 at about one in the morning. Ever since that incident I’ve carried one of my winter wheels as a spare but have not ever had to use it. (touching lots of wood as I say that) A lady friend’s BMW not only came without a spare wheel, it didn’t even have a jack or a wheel brace.
Paul made the point that I was going to make; many punctures in tubeless tyres can be easily repaired but that is impossible if any of the magical temporary repair potions are used first. A friend found that out the hard way, he discovered a flat tyre on the car while it was outside his holiday home. He fixed it using the compressor and sealant provided and drove to Roady. There he was told that they could not repair the tyre because of what he had done. They couldn’t get a replacement quickly either and he was booked on Eurotunnel 36 hours later. As the tyre hadn’t gone down at all and his car can had a very fancy tyre pressure display inside he decided to risk the long journey back to Manchester. It lasted without losing any pressure all the way home and for the best part of a week afterwards.