Did you know that in the U.S., a tire is punctured every seven seconds on average? Flat tires might not happen that frequently for individual cars, but sooner or later, they are an experience most drivers will have. In most cases, flat tires are cause by sharp objects puncturing the wheel, though valve stem leaks and tire bead leaks are also fairly common. What can you do so that you are less likely to have a flat tire, and better able to respond if it happens anyway? Here are three tips for responsible drivers.
1. Take Care of Your Tires; Check Them
Did you know that tires should have a tread at least 4/32 inch deep, in order to be safe? Once the tread is thin, it’s easier for sharp items on the road to work their way in. An easy way to check? A quarter placed between your tire grooves. The tread should reach past Washington’s head, or it’s time to switch tires. You can also make regular air pressure checks; when tires are under inflated, they produce more friction. This friction can turn into excessive heat that blows out your tire.
2. Custom Tire Covers, Tools
When a flat does happen, you want a spare nearby. This will allow you to change your tire quickly and easily so that you can get on your way, and not be stuck on the road. Why do tire covers help? If your tire will be exposed to the elements, this will help prevent wear and tear that leads to cracking. UV exposure can actually affect the longevity of your tires; jeep tire covers can help prevent this from occurring. What tools should you have with you? A tire wench and a jack will be essential tools for this task.
3. What Happens After I Replace the Flat?
In most cases, your spare tire will not be something you want to use for more than 50 miles, or the distance recommended by the manufacturer. Most spares provided by manufacturers are now fairly narrow and compact in order to reduce weight and space. As a result of this, they are only a temporary solution and need to be changed out, ideally right way, or within several days. Tire strength ultimately comes from the plies, or layers of polyester and steel underneath the rubber, and spares have a minimal amount of plies.
Do you have spare tire covers and tools in your car? Let us know in the comments!