Clermont-Ferrand, France – Michelin has launched an emergency tire repair product – Michelin Tire Sealant that comes in a 500ml can.
In a press release on 14 Dec, the French tire-maker said the sealant, part of Michelin car care range, repairs and re-inflate the tire to a safe pressure for motorists to continue their journey until the tire is checked by an expert.
Michelin said its “user-friendly” sealant is suitable for all car tire sizes up to 245/55 R17.
The sealant, it said, “enables the motorist to repair the puncture effectively and allows them to be on their way quicker and more safely than changing the wheel in a hazardous location such as on a motorway”.
Motorists, Michelin recommended, are able to drive at up to 50mph/80kmh after using the sealant and should have the tire checked over by a professional as soon as possible.
According to the tire-maker, the sealant leaves a sticky residue inside the tire which can be washed off with warm water.
“This makes it more likely that the puncture can be permanently repaired,” it added.
“Motorists simply apply the sealant through the valve, confident that the tire will inflate to a safe level, even if the puncture has been driven on for a considerable distance,” said Simon Bates, marketing and communications manager for Michelin Lifestyle Europe.
Michelin said that it had conducted internal tests on the product which involved a nail (4mm diameter, 50mm long) puncturing a 205/55 16 tire which was then run for 100km, 200km and 400km.
At each of these points the nail was removed and the tire sealant was applied.
According to Michelin, the product effectively sealed the hole and re-inflated the tire to 0.9 BAR after 400km. Safe driving pressure, said Michelin, is deemed to be 0.8 BAR.
Michelin has said that the product could specifically help the growing number of motorists without spare tires or with a space-saver tire.
By contrast, a recent editorial piece by US roadside assistance company AAA urged car makers to re-introduce spare tires in their new models, calling inflator kits as “high-cost alternative” with limited functionality.
The US body called on car-makers to to “put consumers first”, saying that the decision to eliminate the spare tire could leave more than 30 million US drivers vulnerable at the roadside.