Flat tires are inevitable, and they always seems to happen at the most inconvenient time. But, there are things you can do to reduce the frequency of this occurrence. Even better than avoiding the inconvenience of a flat tire, you can avoid potential injury caused by losing control of your car when the tire goes flat. The following 9 tips will help you prevent a flat tire and prepare you for handling such an event.
Keep Tires Inflated
Keep your tires inflated at the right pressure. Too much tire pressure can not only make your vehicle more difficult to handle, it can make for a rough ride. Too little pressure can make your tires wear faster—and more unevenly. If you’re not sure what the correct pressure for your tires is, check the vehicle manufacturer’s instructions.
Check Your Spare Tire
Check your spare tire occasionally to make sure it has the required air pressure and that it has no defects. If you find that your spare tire is defective and needs replacing, don't wait to replace it. When examining it, check it for small cracks in the sidewall which could be dry rot.
Check Tires for Uneven Wear
Check your tires regularly to make sure they are in good condition and that they are wearing evenly. The tire tread can become thin from fast starts, hard stops and from city driving where you are required to make frequent stops and starts.
Look for Good Tread
When purchasing new tires, look for a thick tread which is puncture resistant. Consider buying tires with longer wear warranties. Compare not only the initial cost but the cost of replacing a tire that wears out faster.
Avoid Streets Near Construction Sites
Stay clear of streets and surfaces near construction sites such as a new housing development where your tires can pick up sharp objects such as nails, screws, glass, etc.
Use Caution when Driving on Your Spare Tire
If you do get a flat tire and need to use your spare tire, avoid driving on it for extended distances. Keep driving speeds below 50 mph, the maximum safe speed for driving on a spare tire.
Check your Vehicle's Brakes
Check your brakes regularly. Brakes that are worn or that are not adjusted properly can create uneven wear on wheels where brakes are more tightly adjusted.
Keep a Can of Compressed Air Handy
Keep a can of compressed air in your car or trunk to have on hand if you should happen to get a flat tire. If you don't have access to compressed air, keep a tire pump in your car. Also, in the event that you need to change a flat tire, make sure you have a car jack, lug wrench, and a tool to remove the wheel hub cap. Learn how to use these tools.