If you’re a driver, you’ve probably experienced having a flat tire, which is both inconvenient and pricey.
Plus, getting a flat tire sometimes means having to wait hours for a tow truck to arrive, which is a waste of your time, too. Simply put, flat tires are a big annoyance.
While it’s good to know how to fix a flat tire, it’s even better to know how to prevent one from happening.
In this post, we share 5 ways to help prevent a flat tire.
What Causes Flat Tires?
There are many reasons why a tire might burst, from inclement weather to vandals deflating your tires to debris on the road.
While there’s no sure-fire way to stop a flat tire from happening, it’s best to practice general tire maintenance.
Related: Vehicle Maintenance Tips To Save You Money
It also pays to be aware of any underlying causes that may lead to flat tires.
1. Sharp Objects
One of the most obvious causes of a flat tire is a puncture from sharp objects like broken glass or a nail.
To prevent puncture blowouts, be vigilant and avoid driving through debris in parking lots or on the road.
2. Ripped or Worn-Out Tire
A ripped or worn-out tire can present you and other drivers on the road with a dangerous situation, so make sure to check your tires regularly and look for worn or highly scuffed areas. Another thing to check for are areas of uneven wear and tear on any side of the tire.
3. Valve Stem Damage or Failure
The valve stem (the small protrusion on your tire used for tire inflation) can cause air to leak out of the tire when it gets corroded or damaged, leading to a flat tire.
A loose or clogged valve stem may also cause your tire to lose air, so be sure to keep it in good condition.
4. Leaking Tire Beads
There are times when air might leak from the tire bead (the edge of the tire resting on the rim), causing your tire to deflate over time.
If this happens, check your tire by spraying your valve system and wheels with soapy water. You’ll be able to tell if you have a tire bead leak if you see a stream of small bubbles.
5. Tires That Are Over-Pumped
Surprisingly, too much air in your tires can lead to a flat tire, too.
An over-pumped tire can become a dangerous situation quickly, as the build-up in pressure can cause a blowout. Be sure to research how to properly check your tires so you can keep yourself and your passengers safe.
How Do You Prevent Flat Tires?
Blowouts are likely to happen when your tires are in bad shape. Luckily, applying preventative measures can help reduce the odds of getting a flat tire.
Here are a few things you can follow to ensure your tires are always in good condition.
1. Take Note Of Your Car’s Weight
While your tire pressure may be just right, an overloaded vehicle can initiate a blowout. Refer to your car’s manual for the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of your car’s make and model before loading your vehicle and driving off.
2. Perform a Regular Tire Check
Tires that are underinflated can heat up at a faster rate, cause premature wear, and use more fuel.
Meanwhile, an overinflated tire can be more vulnerable to hazards on the road.
Checking your owner’s manual or looking at the tire pressure sticker inside your car door will help you determine the right amount of pressure your tires need.
3. Check Your Tire’s Tread
There are many ways to check the depth of your tire tread, but one easy way involves using a penny.
To perform this test, simply insert a penny into the tire’s tread groove, making sure that Lincoln’s head is upside down, facing you. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it means that your tread depth is lower than 2/32 inch, indicating it’s time to have your tires replaced.
4. Check For Debris and Other Sharp Objects in the Tread
If you happen to find anything in the tread, head over to your mechanic and ask if your tire will need to be replaced or if it only needs a fix.
5. Rotate the Tires According to the Manufacturer
To help your tires last longer, be sure to rotate them regularly. A visit to your auto shop will be able to help since they will be able to check for signs of damage, as well as wear and tear.
What Should I Do If My Tire Has a Slow Leak?
If you spot a slow leak on your tire, it’s best to have it professionally repaired as quickly as possible. You may also get a patch kit for your tires, which is easy to use and can help contain the air in your tires until you are able to go to a repair shop.
However, should the leak be caused by a damaged mounting surface, surface repairs may not work and you may need to have the whole wheel replaced.
Flat tires can certainly be a huge hassle for anyone, especially when on the road. However, you can minimize the chances of getting one by following simple processes and regularly checking your tires.
By following the tips above, you’ll hopefully never have to suffer from a flat tire again.
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