Let's go ahead and say it: flat tires stink. But if you routinely drive a car, you're bound to need flat tire assistance at least once in your lifetime. The key to getting through the inconvenience, in the least amount of time and with the least amount of trouble, is to have a plan for when your tire blows out.
Will you replace your own flat tire or do you want someone to do it for you? If you plan to change the tire yourself, be sure you keep the proper tools in your car at all times. The Minnesota Department of Motor Vehicles recommends, "Besides the crucial jack, wrench, and spare tire, you might also want to consider placing these tools in your trunk to make a tire change much easier and more comfortable:
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Check Your Air Pressure Regularly
"Underinflated tires with too little air pressure—are one of the most common causes of blowouts and flats. Underinflated tires produce more friction, which in turn causes excessive heating that could lead to a blowout. They also make driving more expensive, because they hurt your fuel economy. Overinflated tires, on the other hand, are more prone to damage from bumpy roads and potholes."
Keep an Eye on Your Tire Treads
"Even tires with half their tread may be risky. Pay attention to the wear bars on your tire. Wear bars are indicator marks located between the tread pattern of your tires. When the wear bar is level with your treads-when the tires have worn down and become even with the wear bar—you know it’s time to get new tires."
Rotate Your Tires When You Change Your Oil
"Because your vehicle’s weight is distributed unevenly, it places a different amount of stress on each wheel. In order to avoid uneven wear patterns and tread failure, you should regularly rotate your tires."
Avoid Driving Near Construction Sites and Other Hazardous Roadways
"Sharp rocks, nails, metal shards, glass, and large potholes can all cause punctures and flats. Whenever possible, avoid driving on the highway shoulder, which can be full of sharp rocks and debris from car accidents."
Don’t Overload Your Car or Truck
Know the maximum load rating of your vehicle and don't overload it. "Overloaded tires undergo more heat and friction and are far more likely to fail."
Be on the Lookout for Tire Recall Information
"Tire defects are relatively uncommon, but tires with defects can cause tread separation, where the tread becomes separated from the tire base. A good way to avoid becoming the victim of a recalled tire accident is to sign up for NHTSA’s Tire and Vehicle Recall Information email alerts." Simply enter your tire brand and if that brand issues a recall, the NHTSA will email you.