How To Avoid Getting a Flat Tyre
Posted by: Lydia on 15/08/2018
Every driver has to deal with things they don’t like. From paying traffic tolls and annual insurance bills, to regularly filling up the tank once a week, there are tasks that every driver has to do. Often these tasks can feel like real chores, but at least you can anticipate them and plan ahead.
Then there are the events that can’t be anticipated. Whether you get in a car accident or you’re stuck in a traffic jam, sometimes problems crop up – and a flat tyre is one of the most common. They can lead to all sorts of trouble, from delaying you while you wait for a tow truck, to causing a serious accident.
As with most things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So read on for tips on how to prevent a flat tyre in the first place, and keep your car rolling smoothly along.
Keep tyres inflated
The first rule of avoiding flat tyres is to prevent their most common cause: underinflation. It may sound odd at first, as some people incorrectly believe that if a tyre is underinflated and has more ‘give’ it’s less likely to pop.
But in reality, an inflated tyre is strong and firm, while an underinflated one can more easily snag on sharp objects. That’s why keeping tyres inflated to their correct pressure is critical to avoiding punctures.
Rotate them regularly
The failure to rotate tyres is another common cause of punctures. You may have four tyres that you purchased at the same time, but each of them will experience wear and tear in a slightly different way.
That’s why it's essential to rotate your tyres regularly, to ensure one tyre (or more) doesn't start wearing out way faster than all the others. If that happens, the risk grows that it will be the weakest link and sustain a puncture the next time you drive over a rough patch of road.
Go easy on them
Tyres are made tough and ready to go over all sorts of terrain and through all sorts of conditions.
Despite this, they are not invulnerable. Over time, the roads you drive on regularly and the conditions you drive in can really accelerate wear and tear, increasing the risk of a puncture. That’s why being mindful of these factors is always a good idea.
Nobody is saying you need to alter planned routes each and every time you drive. But if you notice your daily commute has you regularly dealing with some rough-and-tumble roads, then it’s ideal to look at an alternative route. Even if it takes a few minutes more, avoiding a long road with nasty cracks and many potholes will help extend the life of your tyres and diminish the risk of a puncture.
Buy quality tyres
It may sound obvious, but this tip is one many motorists don’t follow. Then they regret it when it’s too late and they’re stranded by the side of road somewhere waiting for a tow truck.
All tyres may more or less look the same, but the quality of construction can vary widely. That’s why it’s always important to buy trusted brands from trusted suppliers.These tyres will always go through tight quality control and safety checks. Other tyres that may be imported, sold in certain stores, or come from other sources can be poorly made and pose a real safety risk. Using them increases the chances of a puncture, or, even worse, a serious accident because the tyre fails altogether.
Make regular inspections a habit
You may not be getting set to drive a Ferrari around the Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit this weekend, but you should still check your tyres before each drive, like race car drivers do. You don’t need to get out a magnifying glass and spend half an hour, but 20 seconds spent walking around your car with a quick look at each tyre is a really good habit to build. This is because the cause of punctures can often begin before you start driving.
You may have come to a stop on something that’s starting to get embedded in your car tyre, or you may have parked near a stray piece of glass, nail, or even a sharp rock. By making this quick check a habit before you drive off, you can give the hazard a quick flick out of the way with your foot and decrease the odds of a puncture.
Call it quits when one dies
Sometimes the best way to avoid the risk of a flat tyre is to be proactive about replacing them. If you have a tyre that has really seen better days, it’s time to swap it before it gives out. Any tyre that has worn out past its wear indicator, has cracks, or had a previous puncture that has been repaired can all really increase the risk of a blowout.
Beyond this, check out your tyres for any irregular wear, like a bald spot where one section of tread has worn down faster than the other parts of the tyre. If that worn-down spot is subject to a hard brake in future, there’s a greater risk it could puncture. So remember, if in doubt, swap it out.
It’s true that sometimes tyres going flat are just a part of life. After all, in the United States alone there are seven tyre punctures every second and 220 million each year. But there is a big difference between flat tyres that are unavoidable versus instances that can be prevented. By being proactive about maintaining your tyres, you can ensure the avoidable punctures do not occur.
So, be sure to keep your tyres inflated, rotate them regularly, avoid punishing roads, always purchase quality tyres, and be ready to retire your treads when the time comes. Do this and you can be certain to minimise your risk of a tyre puncture and enjoy peace of mind as you drive.
What other tips do you know of to avoid getting a flat tyre? Let us know in the comments below: