Whether you’ve experienced it yourself or have seen it happen to someone else, we’re sure you’re familiar with the situation; one minute you’re driving along minding your own business and for whatever reason, your car signals a problem. After coming to a grinding halt, you exit the car to the smell of burning rubber; the tyre is flat.
It isn’t until something like this happens that we realise how much we rely on our vehicles. Without transport, our day-to-day lives are undoubtedly interrupted and the ability to carry out even the simplest of tasks goes out the window. So what can we do to ensure flat tyre prevention? Luckily, there are a fair few ways in which we can protect our vehicles, not to mention bank balances, against flat tyres.
Easy Ways To Ensure Flat Tyre Prevention
It doesn’t take a lot to prolong the life of our tyres and prevent potential problems. You may have experienced a slow puncture or a complete blow out with wheel damage to boot; either way, it’s definitely worth taking steps towards protecting your tyres. Anyone who has experienced a flat tyre will know that the costs soon rack up; from tyre and wheel replacement to towing your vehicle home, it can turn into a bottomless money pit.
Follow our simple guide and make small checks to make sure you’re never faced with any of these problems. We promise you that your tyres will thank you for it!
Check Your Tyre Pressure
Probably one of the most obvious checks you can carry out in order to prevent flat tyres – the pressure should always be at the correct level to ensure optimum inflation. You may think that tyres with too little pressure may be the only issue to pose a problem, but it does, in fact, go both ways.
When tyres are not adequately inflated, the lack of air pressure causes an increase in friction which leads to excessive heating. The low pressure will then cause tyres to wear faster and leave them open to holes and blowouts. Over-inflated tyres make for a bumpy ride, as less of the tyre is touching the road, making the car more likely to bounce around while being driven. Tyres in this condition will eventually lose traction due to loss of shape from disproportionate air pressure, making it easier for them to become damaged.
Either way, you can see that it’s vitally important to regularly check the pressure of your tyres. Firstly, take a look inside your car’s door for a manufacturer sticker displaying the correct tyre pressure levels for your particular car. We’d then recommend using a tyre pressure gauge to make sure that they are all at the right levels. The Tyre Equipment Company have a range to choose from, allowing you to make these checks on your own driveway. The Car People suggest checking that your tyres are correctly inflated every two weeks to keep them in their best working order.
Avoid Hazards While Driving
This one is sort of obvious, but worth going over. We all know to dodge potholes when we see them in the road, but what other hazards should you be looking out for?
While sometimes they are unavoidable, construction zones and road works are best to be averted. Due to building materials and associated components, such as nails, metal, rocks and glass, your tyres will be put under unnecessary strain and left wide open to damage. As mentioned above, potholes can cause absolute havoc to tyres, so if at all possible, try and avoid regularly taking routes that are covered in them. Cold weather particularly, can cause potholes to become increasingly precarious, as they become coated in ice, making edges sharp.
Common sense plays a big part in this one, but it never hurts to be well prepared and go over your route before a long drive especially. This way you can avoid road works and pothole-ridden country roads. The newly developed app, Roadzwork, provides real-time updates on construction works that you may come across along your journey – a great resource for any driver.
This should be a given, as we all strive to be sensible drivers! It is however worth bearing in mind when thinking about your tyres, as well as the safety of those in and around your car. Along with avoiding areas that could cause damage to your car, as mentioned above, your tyres will undoubtedly last longer if you also drive as carefully as possible. Heavy acceleration and hard stops, for example, will without a doubt cause your tyres to wear faster.
Another factor to consider in relation to sensible driving is the weight that your car may be carrying. As well as being against the law to overload your car, excess weight will cause considerable strain on your tyres. Not only will your insurance be void should you be involved in an accident while driving in an overloaded vehicle, but your tyres will most likely buckle under the weight and could blowout. Travel blogger Mapping Megan goes into more detail on this, listing the reasons why overloading your car is a bad idea – and yes, excess strain on your tyres is on there! If you aren’t sure on the maximum load that your car can take, consult the vehicle manufacturer’s guide to find out.
Rotate Your Tyres
By rotating your tyres, you’ll be spreading out the wear placed on them and ultimately, be prolonging their life. It’s a fact that front tyres suffer the most wear and erode faster, so by changing them regularly, you’ll get the most out of each tyre tread. It’s a good idea to check the tread of each wheel to assess the wear and whether rotating them would be beneficial. This can be easily done by using a digital tyre tread depth gauge, which can be bought from places such as Zoro and like the pressure gauge, used at your own home or wherever you may need it.
If the tread on your front and rear wheels are different, it may be worth rotating them. While you can ask a mechanic to do this for you, it’s easy enough to carry out by yourself. We recommend checking your vehicle owner’s manual before rotating your wheels and making sure you are confident on the process before you begin. For some great tips and rotation advice, give this article from Blackcircles.com a read.
It’s important to remember that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to servicing your car, having said that, we recommend getting your car serviced at least once a year. This way, you can be sure that your car and components are in tip-top condition, from your tyres to brakes. During a service, tyres will be checked for any cuts, bulges or tears, to ensure that any potential problems are picked up on before irreparable damage occurs. For thorough car servicing in Milton Keynes and surrounding areas, call one of our team who will be able to get you booked in at a time suitable to you.
What Should I Do If I Have a Flat Tyre?
No matter how careful you have been, you may still find yourself with a flat tyre and if you do, don’t panic! We’ve listed some of the top things to remember should you find yourself in this situation –
- Ensure that all passengers are well away from the vehicle in a safe place.
- Place a reflective hazard warning triangle a good distance away from the rear of your car, to warn oncoming traffic.
- If you are in need of assistance from a garage, call one once the above steps have been completed.
- If you know how to change a tyre yourself, wear a high visibility vest to keep yourself visible to other traffic and safe.
It’s a good idea to have the items mentioned above in your car at all times, just incase you do break down for any reason. The Safety Supply Company offer basic reflective warning triangles at a great price, while hivis.com have a selection of cost-effective high visibility vests. It may seem like an expense that you don’t need, but you’ll be grateful for them should you find yourself on the side of the road with a flat tyre!
Prevent Flat Tyres And Stay On The Road
Don’t let negligence result in your tyres become flat and defective. With the help of these useful tips, your tyres will last for the maximum amount of time possible. We hope through this article, we’ll have saved you some money on unnecessary tyre repair costs and have helped keep your car in good health. If you have a flat tyre or slow puncture, or are in need of any other car repairs in Milton Keynes and the surrounding area, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
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