Flat tires can be a nightmare and have the power to ruin a perfect day in only a matter of seconds. A flat tire can bring a day full of ambition and productivity to a halt by preventing you from getting where you are going. Or the simple fact that you may have to sit down and do some tedious extra budgeting to get it fixed when you don’t have the extra money laying around.
For many people, protecting their tires isn’t something on their mind in this busy life, until they get a flat tire and realize how expensive the repair is. It is important to realize that most car insurance companies won’t cover tire damage because it is categorized as traditional wear and tear. However, with some maintenance and precaution, there are several ways that you can prevent the costly annoyance that is a flat tire.
Here are the 5 things that you should always be doing to prevent a flat tire:
1. Check the tire pressure regularly
Having low tire pressure can be extremely dangerous, affecting the ability to brake at certain distances and providing less responsive steering and handling. It can also cause under-inflated tires, which not only reduces fuel economy, but damages the tires over time. To know what the exact tire pressure for your car is, check the vehicle’s owner manual to find all the information you need about tire inflation.
Tips for Tire Inflation:
- Check your tire pressure at least once a month and always before a long road-trip
- Check the pressure before driving when tires are not hot and have been at rest
- Know that it is normal to see an increased pressure reading when the tires are hot (when you have just been driving)
- Always follow the vehicle’s tire information in the manual
2. Stay Aware of the Weight of the Vehicle
Tires have a maximum weight that they can carry. You can find this information in the vehicle’s owner manual. Make sure to keep this number in mind when packing your car for a road-trip or if you are moving a lot of things somewhere else. Having a heavy car can harm the wheels, leading to broken tires.
A good way to prevent this is by loading your car evenly throughout, as well as increasing your tire pressure if you are transporting a heavy load.
3. Rotate your Tires when Necessary
When you own a car, it is very important to consistently rotate tires when needed. This is done by changing their position on the vehicle from front to back and/or side to side. Also, rotation can preserve balanced handling and help maintain traction, as well as help prolong tire life and even out tire wear and tear. By allowing every tire to work in each of the vehicle’s four positions, you’ll promote even wear across the tire tread pattern.
Tips for Tire Rotation:
- Tires should be rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles, even if there are no signs of wear and tear.
- Tire rotation can be a great way to inspect your tires for any damage and uneven wear, check the pressure and overall tread depth, and remove any stones or debris from between the treads.
4. Make Sure your Brakes are in Good Shape
The possible longevity for your tires and brakes are intertwined, so adjust your brakes correctly to prevent your tires from wearing out (or have a mechanic do this if you don’t know how). When a vehicle has poorly adjusted brakes, it creates uneven wear and tear on the wheels. It is very important to take care of your brakes so that the tires and the brakes can work together and not get damaged during a short stop or sharp turn.
5. Avoid Hazards and be Cautious while Driving
A common cause for flat tires is a puncture in your wheels by nails, screws, or anything else lying around. The best way to prevent punctures is to avoid hazards on the road, as well as avoiding areas with a lot of broken glass and debris. Also, the curb can be your worst enemy, so keep your distance from it while driving and parking.
A lot of times, it can be hard to see hazardous objects such as potholes, nails, sharp rocks, or glass. Yet, when you know there is an active construction zone, make sure to avoid the area to prevent unwelcomed punctures in your tires. Also, be aware of your surroundings and follow the rules you were originally taught to drive by. Always being cautious and alert will only have positive effects on your driving and your car, not to mention, it could save your life!
You cannot anticipate a flat tire, but you can follow these tips to help prevent it. Make sure to treat your car right by prioritizing maintenance and avoiding possible danger zones like construction areas, rather than convenience. It is best to frequently check your tires and make sure they are functioning properly in order to protect you and your cars wellbeing. When done consistently, all of these tips should help your tires last longer and not get damaged or ruined so easily.