Is a tyre repair possible? Maybe not.

Australian tyre repair regulations can be confusing, especially when you learn it could be illegal to use your spare. We’re going to show you when to get a tyre repair, when not to and how to avoid a fine.

Did you know it could be illegal to perform that tyre repair? You may even face penalties for using a spare tyre. But don’t worry—we’re here to give you all the info you need.

In this guide to Australian tyre repair regulations, we reveal your responsibilities as a car owner, including when you need a replacement, not a patch up. You’ll even discover the ins and outs of using a spare tyre, such as when it’s legal to do so. 

When in doubt, it’s always best to seek advice from your local tyre centre to ensure you’re meeting all current regulations. Plus, it keeps you, your passengers and other road users safe and sound while you’re out on the road.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

How Tyre Repair Regulations in Australia Impact You

The Australian Design Rules (ADR) are a set of guidelines created and regulated by the Australian Government to ensure a consistent and safe approach to vehicle safety, anti-theft and emissions. According to the ADR, a vehicle must always be fitted with a label showing the correct specification of your car’s tyres, including its:

  • Size.
  • Capacity rating.
  • Speed rating.
  • Inflation pressure.

This helps you when you’re replacing, repairing or topping up the air in your tyres to meet your car’s specifications.

Along with your vehicle’s label, each tyre must clearly display its specifications on its sidewall, including its:

  • Size.
  • Construction type.
  • Speed rating.
  • Load rating.
  • Date of manufacture.

Your tyres must also have a minimum of 4 tread wear indicator bars, equally spread apart on your tyre. These are used to quickly judge if your tyre tread area has fallen below the legal height of 1.6mm. If your tread falls below this legal limit, you’ll be required to replace the tyre as soon as possible, as it has become unsafe to use.

Frequently Asked Tyre Repair Questions

Can tyres be repaired?

Yes, tyres can be repaired, but it depends on the severity and location of the damage. You should always take your vehicle in for a complete inspection by a professional if you think you have a puncture. A tyre technician will be able to assess the damage and advise you if your tyre can be repaired or if a replacement is needed. 

Your tyre can be repaired if:

  • The puncture is smaller than 6mm.
  • A small object, such as a nail, has caused the puncture. This will cause what is called a slow puncture and while it may not seem serious, it can lead to a blowout when driving at high speeds.
  • If the puncture is on the flat section of the tyre (where it has contact with the road), it may be repairable.   

You’ll need to definitely replace your tyre if the:

  • Inside of the tyre has been damaged due to a puncture, which can result in the tyre becoming too weak to be repaired.
  • Tyre has been punctured on its sidewall, which will require an immediate replacement. A tyre’s sidewall is important for its performance and structure.
  • Damage to the tyre is so bad a puncture repair is not possible.

When is a tyre repair illegal?

In Australia, tyre plugs are an illegal way of repairing a tyre and have been for some time. The reason behind this is how modern tyres are constructed. 

Modern tyres use steel belts, which sit under the tread of the tyre, giving them strength and stability. When a tyre plug is used to repair newer tyres, the steel belts can slice through the tyre plug making the tyre unsafe to drive on.

Can I use my spare tyre?

There are two types of spare tyres—a normal-sized tyre and a space-saver tyre.

Space-savers (temporary-use spare tyres) are illegal in Australia due to them being a different width, diameter and tread than your other ‘normal’ tyres. While the fine for driving on a space-saver tyre is normally around $75, a police officer may waive the fine and issue with a yellow defect notice if you’re driving to have the tyre replaced.

However, if it’s noticeable that you’ve been driving on the tyre for more a few hours or so, they may decide a red defect notice is more appropriate. This will require you to immediately cease driving the car and having it towed to a tyre shop.

Your best bet is to keep a normal-sized tyre as a spare, so you don’t need to worry about dealing with any space-saver drama. Then, if you know how, you can change the tyre wherever you are, if you know how and have the right equipment.

How to change your tyre by

3 Top Tips for Keeping Your Tyres in Good Condition

Keeping your tyres in tip-top condition will help ensure your car is safe for both you, your passengers and other road users. To help you do this, we’ve put together our top tips for keeping your tyres in good shape, minimising the need for repairs while maximising safety.

1. Complete tyre service once a year when your tyres reach 5 years old.

This will not only give you peace of mind you’re driving on safe tyres but will also ensure your tyres are working efficiently, saving you money in the long run.

2. Wheel alignment every 20,000km or every 12 months (whichever comes first).

Just like above, having your wheels correctly aligned will help ensure your car is safe to drive and running as efficiently as possible.

3. Replace your tyres every 10 years.

After ten years, tyres will have lost tread through natural wear and tear. This is to make sure your vehicle is safe for you to drive, as well as keeping others safe on the road around you. 

Disclaimer: This article for your general informational purposes only. Localsearch nor the author are responsible for any misuse of this information, and we recommend you always seek professional advice when you have any tyre queries.

Again, when in doubt about tyre repairs in Australia, contact your local technician.

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      Luke Davidson

      Digital Content Specialist

      Luke Davidson is a Digital Content Specialist at Localsearch, his professional journey ranges from startups to international digital agencies working in content for a wide variety of clients, big or small. When he isn't deep diving content, data and SEO, Luke is an avid guitarist, surfer, coffee nut and gamer. As a digital content specialist and lifestyle fanatic, Luke provides valuable insights on lifestyle musings on the Localsearch Blog.