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5 Steps for Dealing with a Flat Tire

It finally happened. You are cruising down the road when you hear an odd pop. Maybe the tire pressure warning light on your dashboard flips on. But the problem is made unmistakable by the flump flump of your deflating tire. A deflating tire is sometimes unavoidable. So here are some tips to help you stay safe and resolve the problem if it happens to you.

  1. Keep Calm and Stay Safe
If you are driving at high speeds and blow a tire it can be extremely dangerous. Don’t slam on your breaks, or this may cause you to lose even more control of your car. Instead take your foot off the gas to slow down gradually. Always hold the steering wheel with two hands, and make your way to the shoulder of the road. When you have slowed down safely, gently apply the brakes to come to a complete stop. Make sure you give yourself as much space as possible between you and oncoming traffic. If you are on the freeway it is best to pull off on a larger shoulder or off the next exit to a gas station. Take into account visibility and weather conditions before deciding where is best. Also, try to park on a flat surface and turn on your hazard lights.
  1. Inspect the Damage
Now you can safely exit your car and check things over. You want to determine if the tire can be repaired of if it needs to be replaced. Any puncture larger than a quarter inch in diameter is too big to be repaired with a tire plug. And you cannot repair a puncture on the sidewall, otherwise it will be liable to blowout. If the cause for your flat tire is obvious (like a nail or tear in the wall) replacing it with a spare is likely your best option.
  1. Remove the Flat Tire
First use the tire iron to break the seal on the lug nuts. There will probably be a great deal of resistance, so practice caution when using your bodyweight for leverage. Once you break the seals, use a car jack to prop up your vehicle. Your owner’s manual will indicate the proper jacking point. If you are on soft ground, use a flat plank to widen the base beneath the jack. That will help ensure it doesn’t sink. Once your car is a few inches off the ground you should be able to fully loosen the lug nuts and remove the flat tire. Examine it for holes or foreign objects. You might as well be thorough. Mark damage with some chalk or tape. Then place your flat tire under your car near the jack. This can help reduce your risk should the jack unexpectedly fail.
  1. Put on the Spare
For just these situations you always need to have a fully inflated spare in your vehicle. That is why it is important to regularly check and maintain the spare in your car. Place your spare on the hub, checking to align the holes with the bolts. Now loosely place all the lug nuts on the bolts, but don’t fully tighten any in place. Instead follow a star pattern, tightening down one nut one full turn and then move to the one across from it. Work your way around in this pattern several times until all the nuts are fairly tight and the tire is balanced.
  1. Get Back on the Road
Now remove the flat tire from under the vehicle and lower the jack. Now you can use your bodyweight to securely tighten the nuts. Pack up the rest of your things and return to the road. You want to get your flat tire replaced as soon as possible. For honest and reliable auto repair in Ortonville, MI contact Holly Tire. Call (248) 634-9011 or visit 15140 N Holly Rd Holly, MI 48442.


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