Some drivers, if not all, have had a flat tire at least once in their lives. It can cause a lot of trouble, especially when you are in a hurry to get somewhere.
But flat tires aren’t just annoying. They can also be dangerous.
Do you know why your tires go flat? And what can you do to prevent flat tires in the future?
Read on to know the 5 most common causes of flat tires. We’ve even added some tips on how to avoid each situation.
What causes a flat tire
Flat tires are caused by both things you can control and things you can’t control. Let’s take a closer look at the most common causes of flat tires:
Sharp and pointed objects
These are the most common reasons for a flat tire. Sharp objects on the road like a screw, broken glass or nail can easily puncture your tyre.
This can be avoided by avoiding debris on the road whenever possible. Watch out for debris or trash on the ground if you ever drive in a parking lot.
Drive carefully when you are on a bad road or near a construction site.
Poorly maintained roads
Rough roads or potholes increase the likelihood of a flat tire. Aside from your tires, these can also damage your undercarriage and axles.
Avoid this situation by being extra careful when driving on bad roads. Be sure to reduce your driving speed to leave some space between your car and the car in front of you.
This gives you more reaction time and allows you to maneuver if necessary.
Normal wear and tear
This is something you cannot control. Daily driving will slowly wear down the tread on your tires, making them more likely to go flat.
You can minimize this by not starting and stopping abruptly. It can also help to regularly align your wheels, maintain the recommended pressure, and rotate them regularly.
Leaking valve stem
If your tire shows no signs of a puncture, there may be a leak at the valve stem. A damaged valve stem is one of the causes of punctures.
What you can do is go to an auto repair shop and have your car’s valve stem checked. You can have it replaced for you if it gets dirty or too old.
Incorrect tire pressure
Correct tire pressure is important for a safe journey. Failure to do so can result in internal tire damage, which can result in serious injury on the road.
That’s why it’s important to have your tire pressure checked every month. You can do this yourself with a tire pressure gauge or have your mechanic do it for you.
Change flat tire
Why wait for roadside assistance when you can change a flat tire yourself? Replace your flat tires with these simple steps:
- Park your car on a level surface – This is to prevent it from rolling away. When driving, park as far away from traffic as possible and turn on your hazard lights.
- Put your car on “brake” and put it in “park” position – Engage reverse gear or first gear on vehicles with manual transmission.
- Look for a heavy object – This can be concrete or a stone. Place it in front and behind the wheel, you will change.
- Grab the jack and the spare tire – Position the jack under the frame of the tire to be changed. Make sure it is in contact with the metal part of your car frame.
- Pump the jack until it supports (not jacks) your vehicle. – It must be placed firmly under your car. You know you’re ready to take the tire out when you see a light between the tire and the ground.
- Turn the wrench counterclockwise to remove the hubcap and loosen the nuts – There is a wrench that comes with your car when you first bought it – this is the one you use. However, be careful to only break the resistance and not take the nuts off completely. Because the wheel is still close to the ground when you loosen the nuts, you can be sure you’re turning the nuts and not the wheel itself.
- Pump the jack even more until the wheel is off the ground – Make sure it is high enough so that you can take out the flat tire and replace it with the spare tire.
- Remove nuts completely – Turn the nuts counterclockwise until you can remove them completely.
- Remove the flat tire
However, it may stick due to rust.
If this happens, take a rubber mallet and hit the inner half of the tire. You can even hit the outer half with the spare tire to loosen it.
Also put the flat tire under your car. So if the jack fails, the flat tire will catch your vehicle to hopefully prevent injury.
- Place the spare wheel on the hub – Make sure to align it with the wheel bolts. You can install the lug nuts once they are aligned.
- Tighten nuts hand-tight – Use a clockwise direction. Then use a star pattern (one nut over the other) with the wrench to tighten the nuts as tight as possible. Do not fully tighten them all at once. Work in a star pattern, giving each one a full turn until they are all equally tight.
- Lower the jack without fully releasing your car – Once your car is lowered, tighten the nuts one last time.
- Get your car completely on the ground and finally remove the jack – Make final adjustments to the nuts and replace the hubcap. Put all your tools and the flat tire in the trunk and go to a mechanic to have your flat tire replaced.
As a driver, a flat tire is almost inevitable. Hopefully we have taught you tricks to prevent punctures or at least minimize the risk.