Tips For Preventing And Managing Flat Tires

Posted on: 1 March 2017

Flat tires tend to occur at the worst times, not that there ever is a good time for a flat. The following tips can help you avoid a flat tire, or at least make the process of getting back on the road easier if you do happen to have a flat.

Tip #1: Keep up with regular service

Tires aren't a "put them on and forget about them" auto part. You will need to make sure they stay at the correct pressure and that they all wear evenly. Get in the habit of checking your tire pressure at least once a month, perhaps while filling up the gas tank. The sidewall of the tire will inform you of the correct pressure. The tires should also be rotated and balanced every six months or so for even wear – check your owner's manual for the exact recommendation.

Tip #2: Never overlook your spare

It's not uncommon for a spare tire to be flat just when you need it most; this is why many road service trucks come equipped with air compressors when they are called out to replace a flat. You can avoid this situation by checking the air pressure in your spare tire monthly when you are checking the rest of your tires. A tire change only takes a few minute when your spare is in good condition.

Tip #3: Watch the tread

Another way to avoid a flat is to be proactive. The penny test is a popular method for checking your tire's tread – simply insert a Lincoln penny, head first, into the tread. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, then you need new tires. Check the tread on several different parts of the tire, as well, so you can make sure the tires are wearing evenly. If they aren't, have the problem checked out before it leads to a flat.

Tip #4: Try your jack

It can be frustrating to go to change your tire and then find you are unfamiliar with the jack. There are several types of jacks in use on modern cars. Instead of juggling a jack, spare tire, and owner's manual on the side of the road, take out the jack at home and read the entry in the owner's manual on how to use it. This way you know where to place the jack on your car as well as how to operate it if you ever need to.

Tip #5: Get roadside assistance

The simplest way to deal with a flat is to purchase a roadside assistance plan. This way you won't have to worry about trying to change the tire in the rain with a wobbly jack while dressed in your Sunday best. You can usually purchase service individually or through your car insurance plan.

For more help, contact a tire shop or a roadside assistance provider in your area.