A flat tire is a dreaded sight for car owners. However, it is not just annoying to have one, it can be dangerous too. Preventing a tire blowout can be done by following various maintenance procedures. But what really causes a flat tire? To help you prevent that from happening in the future, it is best to know what could be the possible causes of a flat tire. In that way, you can better avoid them or prepare for them.
The most common cause of flat tires is sharp objects. Although tires are made of durable rubber, when the tires are already a bit older or when the sharp object is at just the right angle, it can puncture your tires and cause a flat. Some of the most common sharp objects would include nails, broken glass, screws, and other sharp debris.
In order to avoid sharp objects from causing blowouts and flats, it is best to avoid areas where you’re likely to find lots of them. If you can’t find an alternate route, at least watch out for them. Constructions zones are likely to have those sharp objects and so are roads that aren’t maintained. However, you can also find sharp objects in the parking lots or in areas near garbage cans.
Poor Road Conditions
When roads aren’t properly maintained and there is high traffic over them, it is likely for them to be worn out. With such, you can expect potholes, debris, and uneven terrain. These do not only potentially cause a flat tire but they can also ruin your axle and the undercarriage of your vehicle.
The best way to avoid them is to take alternate routes. If there is no other road to take, then it would be best to slow down. Keep a distance between you and the car in front of you so that you can better avoid potholes. Those bumps and debris are also more likely to cause damage when you are running at higher speeds. So it is really best to slow down.
Wear and Tear
Having a flat doesn’t just involve a single cause. Most of the time, it involves a combination of factors. One of the most common factors that could increase your chance of having a flat tire is the wear and tear of the treads on your tires. When you notice that the treads are already flattening, it would be best to change your tires. Tires without worn-out treads are more likely to be flat because the material has already thinned down.
To prevent such cases, you should be observant about your tires. It can be easy to forget about your tires but make sure you take a close look at them every time you adjust the pressure or leave for a drive. Also, you can minimize the wear and tear of your tires by improving your driving habits. Make sure they are properly inflated and rotate your wheels regularly as well.
Valve Stem Leak
Sometimes, your tires can go flat even if it seems it wasn’t punctured. That may be due to a leaky valve stem. With this, the air escapes through the valve stem and not the actual tires. Sometimes, leaks can also be due to dirt that’s keeping the valve open.
The good news is that this can be avoided by simply having the tires regularly checked. If your valve stem is the problem, you just might need to clean it up or have it replaced. Whichever the case is, the shops can do it for you.
Over- Or Under-inflation
There is an optimal pressure in which the tires should be inflated. This is found on every car’s manual. Driving at the optimal pressure doesn’t only prevent flat tires but also improves safety. It can be more difficult to control cars that have either an underinflated or overinflated tire.
Avoiding such a cause is easy. All you have to do is to regularly check the tire pressure. Do this at least once a month. A tire pressure gauge is a simple tool that you can use.
Tires could be more prone to have a flat in the summer. This is due to the higher temperatures. Combine that with the heat that the tires produce due to friction while being driven and that would result in an increased risk of a flat tire. Due to heat, the air in the tires expands and that can cause the pressure to rise as well. This could either cause a blowout or a leak.
Once again, you can prevent this by checking the tire pressure. Make sure you avoid driving with overinflated tires. Also, when checking for the tire pressure, make sure you do it before you drive your car in the sun. This will produce a more accurate reading.