Self-sealing tires: a marketing spin or do they really work?

Self-sealing tires have been on the market for quite a while already, and they have both fans and critics. The fans of such models are chiefly the users of these tires, while the critics are those who get the lovely job of repairing them. There are still people out there who, discovering the mysterious substance inside the tire, are clueless about what they are supposed to do with it…

Sealant in a tire
Sealant in a tire

The idea is simple and effective enough. On the inside, the tire is covered with a viscous sealant layer that instantly repairs punctures up to 5mm wide.

An animation of how the sealant works in a tire
An animation of how the sealant works in a tire

Special attention must be paid to storing these tires. Due to the fact that the sealant is very sticky, dust and dirt easily stick to it. If you store such tires off-rim, you must have them covered.
And not with plastic bags!


In spite of the tire’s capability to independently repair punctures up to 5mm wide, you must still assess the damage, as well as the quality of sealing. The tire still provides for classical repair that includes pre-cleaning, and stretching the sealant back to its original place after the tire is fixed.

Instructions on repairing the puncture
Instructions on repairing the puncture

Not all the people in the tire industry welcome this technology.

The reason for that is that the technology is out there but no one is saying how to service this type of tires. And this is a serious shortcoming for all of the manufacturers who make such tires.

We can name at least two major manufacturers that contradict each other on the issue of repairing tires, in which this technology is used. These are Michelin and Continental.

As we can see in the Continental manual, it is recommended to buff off the area where the repair is required, and after plugging the standard mushroom in the tire, you need to stretch the surrounding sealant substance over the mushroom plug.

Michelin recommends doing exactly the opposite: «Never mind the sealant, just insert the mushroom plug over the sealant layer.»

At the same time, there are plenty of unhappy tire repair specialists out there who cannot insert the mushroom plug in either case…

The very idea is, of course, seriously cool. However, considering the information vacuum that the tire makers have plunged us into, purchasing the tires with the magic «SEAL» in their name, be prepared to explain the people at your tire service how exactly you think they should repair these tires.

Who makes ’em

This technology is, after all, extremely interesting, and recently it has become widespread not only among the major tire makers but also among the Korean and even Chinese brands. Their proprietary technologies are getting similar names: Kumho self-seal and Hankook sealguard

Tire labeling signifying the presence of the self-sealing feature
Tire labeling signifying the presence of the self-sealing feature

Available sizes

Below we have gathered a list of major tire manufacturers who offer such tires in 2020.
We would like to specifically mention the tires from Continental, whose offer includes three tire models that feature both ContiSilent and Contiseal technologies. Quiet and safe.

Diametr Size Name brand
15 195/65R15 Continental  ContiEcoContact 5
  185/60R15 Michelin Primacy 4
16 205/60R16 Continental  ContiPremiumContact 2
  205/55R16 Continental  ContiEcoContact 5
  215/60R16 Continental  ContiPremiumContact 2
  215/60R16 Continental EcoContact 6
17 205/50R17 Continental ContiEcoContact 5
  215/55R17 Continental ContiEcoContact 5
  215/55R17 Continental ContiPremiumContact 5
  215/55R17 Continental EcoContact 6
  215/65R17 Continental AllSeasonContact
  225/50R17 Continental ContiPremiumContact 2
  225/55R17 Continental ContiEcoContact 5
  225/55R17 Continental ContiPremiumContact 5
  235/45R17 Continental ContiSportContact 5
  225/55R17 Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3
  215/55R17 Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-2
  235/45R17 Pirelli Cinturato P7
  215/55R17 Pirelli Cinturato P7
  215/55R17 Pirelli New Cinturato P7
  215/65R17 Pirelli Scorpion Verde All-season
  215/50R17 Michelin Primacy 3
  215/55R17 Michelin Primacy 4
18 225/45R18 Continental ContiSportContact 3
  225/45R18 Continental ContiSportContact 5
  235/40R18 Continental ContiSportContact 5
  235/40R18 Continental SportContact 6
  235/45R18 Continental ContiSportContact 5
  235/45R18 Continental EcoContact 6
  235/55R18 Continental EcoContact 6
  235/55R18 Continental ContiSportContact 5
  235/55R18 Continental AllSeasonContact
  235/60R18 Continental ContiPremiumContact 6
  245/45R18 Continental ContiSportContact 5
  245/45R18 Continental ContiEcoContact 5
  245/45R18 Continental AllSeasonContact
  245/45R18 Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3
  235/40R18 Pirelli Cinturato P7
  245/45R18 Pirelli New Cinturato P7
  235/45R18 Pirelli New Cinturato P7
  235/45R18 Pirelli Cinturato P7
  225/45R18 Pirelli Cinturato P7
  235/55R18 Pirelli Scorpion Verde
  235/55R18 Michelin Latitude Sport 3
19 235/35R19 Continental ContiSportContact 3
  255/45R19 Continental ContiSportContact 5
  255/50R19 Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5
  215/50R19 Goodyear Efficientgrip Perfomance
  245/40R19 Pirelli P-Zero Luxury Saloon
  235/40R19 Pirelli Cinturato P7
  255/45R19 Pirelli Scorpion Verde
  235/50R19 Pirelli Scorpion Verde
20 235/45R20 Continental ContiSportContact 5
  255/40R20 Continental ContiSportContact 5
  255/45R20 Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3
  235/45R20 Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 SUV
  215/45R20 Goodyear Efficientgrip Perfomance
  245/35R20 Pirelli P-Zero Luxury Saloon
  255/40R20 Pirelli Scorpion Verde
  235/45R20 Pirelli Scorpion Verde
21 255/40R21 Continental ContiSportContact 5
  255/50R21 Continental ContiSportContact 5 (ContiSilent)
  285/35R21 Continental ContiSportContact 5
  285/45R21 Continental ContiSportContact 5
  285/35R21 Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5
  255/40R21 Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5
22 255/40R22 Continental ContiPremiumContact 6 (ContiSilent)
  255/45R22 Continental ContiSportContact 5 (ContiSilent)
  285/40R22 Continental ContiSportContact 5

Hope you found this article useful.