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You can’t drive far if you have a flat tire. Without your tires properly inflated and balanced, you are more at risk for a flat tire. If you ever find yourself needing to change a flat, here is what you need to know.
What Causes a Flat Tire?
There is no convenient time to get a flat tire. Unfortunately, they happen. Your tires go through so much on the road — over potholes, through construction, over curbs, and more. While tires are strong and can typically endure most of the wear and tear, sometimes you might experience a flat tire. Common causes of a flat tire include:
- Under-inflation of the tire. When a tire is un-inflated, it can flex more in the sidewall as you’re driving. Unrestrained flexing of the tire sidewall can cause the tire to heat up much more than it typically does. Excessive heat can lead to the degradation of the tire rubber. When this happens, your tire can explode due to rapid loss of air pressure in the tire.
- Poor road conditions. Where you drive matters. The quality of the road is directly related to the amount of damage your tire will sustain. Driving over potholes, uneven pavement, and driving over debris on the road can cause flat tires.
- Driving in the heat. Even though you can’t control the weather, driving in the heat can cause a flat sometimes. The hot weather causes the air inside the tire to expand, increasing the internal pressure of the tire. With the rise in the air pressure, you risk a blowout or flat tire.
- Irregular wear due to mechanical troubles. Misalignment of tires or damaged suspension of the wheels are some of the primary causes of a tire not wearing out evenly. When your car is not aligned it can wear the tires on one side of your can unevenly, eventually leading to a flat tire.
- Leakage in the valve stem. Flats can also be a result of valve stem leakage. For the uninitiated valve stem is the part that we unscrew when adding air in the tire. Accumulation of dirt or any kind of damage in the valve stem can result in a leak and cause the tire to rapidly lose air.
- Regular wear and tear. While the incidents just discussed are the cause of flat tires most of the time, sometimes wear and tear of car parts can also adversely affect the tire. Constant driving on different kinds of roads can gradually wear down the tread on the tires, making them more vulnerable to flats.
How to Fix a Flat
It’s important to know how to fix a flat so you don’t get stranded on the side of the road. You should be fully equipped with what you need to change a tire with and follow these tips from Good Year:
- Safely park your car so you’re away from traffic and on a flat surface.
- Brace the tires. Place bracing material (such as pieces of wood or bricks) behind an infant of a tire that will not be lifted by the jack to prevent rolling and increase stability.
- Identify spare tire and jack. Use your owner’s manual to locate your spare tire and jack.
- Lift your car. Using the jack, begin to jack the car up while keeping pressure on the ground (without lifting the car entirely).
- Remove hubcaps. Remove any hubcaps or center covers so that you can access the lug nuts.
- Loosen lug nuts. Using the lug wrench, turn the lug nuts counterclockwise to loosen them.
- Remove the tire. Next, after making sure that the jack is stable, jack up the car enough so you can slip the tire off with ease.
- Attach the spare. Put the spare tire on the wheel and place the lug nuts in the correct positions.
- Tighten the lug nuts. Tighten the lug nuts with your tire wrench, this time turning clockwise. Make sure the lug nuts are tight, but don’t use too much force and knock your car off the jack.
- Check the lug nuts after driving. After you drive a few miles, it’s a good idea to stop and make sure that the lug nuts are still tight.
Call Scott’s Auto
After you change your flat, or if you need help, call Scott’s Auto. We can help you replace your tire and get you back on the road quickly. We’re here for you!