How to Avoid Flat Tires and Blowouts

February 15, 2017 | Tires

check tire pressure

There are very few things as frustrating and inconvenient as being stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire or blowout. But since it is bound to happen to all of us at one point or another, we might as well recognize its inevitability and accept the fact that there isn’t anything we can do about it. Or is there? Here are some common causes of flat tires and blowouts, along with some solutions to (hopefully) keep it from happening to you.

Overloading

Most people don’t consider the fact that a tire can only hold so much weight before it will give out. This is similar to how a balloon can only take so much pressure before it will pop. It is particularly important to remember this when traveling or carrying large loads in your vehicle. Those who overload their vehicle will likely suffer the consequences of their decision sooner rather than later.

Solution: Know how much weight your car can handle and don’t overload. If you are unsure, play it safe. It is always better to be safe than to be sorry.

Note: The psi listed on the sidewall of a tire identifies the max inflation pressure that specific tire can hold. The maximum pressure listed is not always the correct pressure for your vehicle.

Underinflation

It is somewhat common for individuals to believe that overinflation is what generally causes a tire blowout. Although overinflation can lead to this, it is more typical for this to happen because of underinflation. The lack of proper air pressure causes a tire to bend beyond its designed limits, which weakens the tire and can eventually lead to a blowout or flat.

Solution: Check your tire pressure with an air gauge at least once a month. The inside jamb of the driver door will often have the recommended psi for your tires, though you should also take the weight of the vehicle and other factors into account. If you are unsure how much to inflate your tires, look at your vehicle’s owner manual or check with a tire shop or other similar vehicle maintenance location.

Potholes

Nobody wants to hit a pothole, especially because of the damage it can do to a tire. It is important that you check your tire to make sure it is okay if you do happen to strike one on accident.

Solution: Watch the road! Although it is impossible to miss every single gash in the road, you can still make a conscious effort to be careful where you drive. You can also avoid roads that you know are not in good condition.

Construction sites

Similarly to holes in the road, objects like bolts or screws can quickly damage a tire and leave you desperately calling out for help. Construction sites are infamous for causing flat tires and can even lead to blowouts. They should be avoided at all costs.

Solution: Find an alternate route; there is almost always another way to get from point A to point B. This will serve you well in the long run, even if it prolongs your journey by a few minutes.

Time

Regardless if you are careful on your tires and follow these suggestions, time will eventually wear them down. You can’t always control when you will have a flat tire, even when you try.

Solution: Do a routine check of your tires to make sure there is no noticeable damage that could lead to flat or blowout. Some tire shops offer free pre-trip safety inspections (to those who have purchased tires there), which is always a good idea when you are traveling further than your typical commute. Be sure to also examine the tread of your tires with the penny check, and look for cracking or bulges.

Check out this previous blog post to know if it’s time to replace your tires.

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