Have you ever asked yourself what to do if you have a flat tire? We all have experienced it in one way or another when the car stops working due to a flat tire. It is very annoying when one of the tires goes flat since it is not always easy to replace the tire itself.
If you are driving along and get a flat tire, you can’t simply decide to make some repairs yourself. It is important to recognize the problem right away, understand what went wrong, and apply the proper actions or call for help.
First, you should reduce speed and find a safe place to park, call for help if you can’t do anything, fix and replace with spare tire if you can do that and inflate using the a portable inflation machine.
So, if your car’s tire has gone flat, read this post till the end. I assure you that there are some things that you can do that may help you to fix it yourself without asking for an auto mechanic or hiring someone else to take care of the matter.
What to do if you have a flat tire?
So, there are many things you can do once you discover or notice you have a flat tire. Circumstances determine what you will do, and below, we will share some important ones with you.
1. Inspect it
If you have a flat tire, the first thing to do is inspect the tire. If the tire has a puncture, you’ll be able to see it. It may look like a nail or screw sticking out of the side of your tire, or it could be a small tear in the rubber.
If you find a puncture, don’t drive on it. You risk further damaging your car and possibly injuring yourself by driving on a flat tire. If there’s no puncture visible, check for signs of damage (if something got caught in your wheel) or for leaks (if something is leaking out of your tire). If you find any such damage or leaks, get off the road as soon as possible and call roadside assistance immediately.
2. Reduce speed and find a safe place to park – [This works if you are driving]
This aspect is only for those that experienced flat tire when the car is in motion. If you are driving and suddenly you notice that one or more of your tires is flat, the right thing for you to do is to pull over. You should reduce your speed and slowly move to the side of the road.
Driving at high speed will cause damages to the tire and the rim of the tire. However, if you have a run-flat tire, you can still drive some miles without any hassles till you find a way to fix the tire. But if you are using a non-run flat tire, you should pull over to call for help or fix the tire yourself.
3. Call for help
Calling for help applies to any situation if you don’t have the accessories to do anything. If you are on the road or in your home, and you notice a flat tire, you should call for help. Get in touch with your mechanic, and they will come over to fix the tire.
The truth is that most causes for the flat tire are beyond what you can fix, especially if it is beyond getting into the tire. So, you need an expert to diagnose the cause and provide a solution.
4. Replace with spare tire
If you experience a flat tire, you should replace it with a spare tire. It is the reason every driver must have a spare tire in their car. You need a jack to lift the car and a spanner to loosen the nuts to remove the tire.
Once you have done that, you can go on with replacing it with the spare. You can then get the flat one to a nearby shop to fix or get air into it.
5. Get an air pressure machine
You can easily inflate a flat tire once you have the air pressure machine in your home. You should get one from Amazon or any local store where you can get quality ones. You just need to use the machine the right way while it gets air into the tire to ensure it gets inflated once again.
3 ways to fix a flat tire without spare one
If you’re not carrying a spare tire, there are a few ways you can get your car back on the road.
1. Find the leak
If you can, turn off your car and put it in park. Make sure that you’re in a safe place before doing this. If you’re on a busy road, try to pull over to the side of the road or somewhere that’s safe. If you’re on a dirt road, make sure you won’t be stuck in mud when you step out of the car.
Once you’ve pulled over, turn off the engine and pop open your trunk. Look for where any fluid is leaking from your tire. It’s most likely coming from a hole in either one of the sides or from the middle of your tire.
If it’s coming from an inner tube or valve stem, that means that it has been punctured by something sharp (like glass). If it’s coming from an outer tube or sidewall, that means that something blunt hit your tire (like another vehicle).
There are different ways you can find the leak:
- Visual inspection
You need to remove the tire and check for areas with visible cut that could have caused the flat issue. Check out for items like nails, glass and any other sharp objects.
- Soap and water
It is the easiest way if you still have air in the tire. Just get soap in the water and pour on the tire. The areas with holes or puncture will give bubbles.
2. Use puncture sealant
If you find yourself without a spare tire, don’t panic. There are a few ways to get back on the road. The first thing you should do is check to see if your tire has a puncture sealant kit. If it does, follow the instructions on how to use it.
What you’ll need:
- Puncture sealant
- A tire repair kit (if you have one)
- Tire pressure gauge
- Make sure the tire is completely deflated and remove the valve cap. If it’s not completely deflated, let some air out before proceeding.
- Apply puncture sealant to the inside of the tire. Make sure not to put too much in or else it will spill out when you re-inflate the tire.
- Add air back into the tire until it reaches about 30 psi (or 2/3 of its recommended pressure). You should hear a hissing sound as it inflates—this is normal! Let it sit for about an hour before driving again to make sure that all of the puncture sealant has been absorbed by your tire.
3. Use tire plug kit
Sometimes, the best way to fix a flat tire is with a tire plug kit. A tire plug kit is a small box filled with items that can help you repair your tire without having to replace it.
It generally includes:
A patch kit, which is a rubber or synthetic material that’s strong enough to hold air inside the tire, but soft enough to be pushed into the hole caused by the puncture.
An installation tool and instructions on how to use it. This tool helps push the patch into place in your tire so it seals properly and doesn’t fall out over time.
An adhesive that helps seal the hole around your new patch so that air doesn’t leak out again later on down the road (even if you have a spare).
- Remove the wheel from the car and place it on a level surface.
- Use a tire gauge to measure the tire pressure. If it is lower than recommended, inflate the tire to bring it back up to normal pressure.
- Use a screwdriver to remove the valve cap from your tire.
- Unscrew the valve core with a wrench, and then pull it out with pliers or another tool that has curved edges to remove it without damaging the inner tube of your tire.
- Use a piece of cloth to wipe away any dirt or grime from around your valve stem so that you can see what type of plug kit you need for your car and which size will fit best into your kit’s packaging (it should be listed on its label).
- Insert one end of each plug into its own hole in your kit’s packaging until all four pieces are visible; then squeeze them together tightly so that they form one solid piece inside their packaging–this will make them easier for you to insert later on during this process.
4 Causes of flat tires
Flat tire can be caused by one of the following:
This is the most common cause of a flat tire. This can happen when you drive over a nail, glass or other sharp object.
This is another common cause of flat tire. This happens when the air pressure in your tires is not enough to hold up against the weight of your car, especially on high-speed roads.
This type of blowout happens when the sidewall of your tires gets damaged due to too much pressure or heat generated from fast driving on hot asphalt roads during summer months.
Damaged valve stem
A valve stem breaks off inside the wheel, which causes air to escape from the inner tube and results in a flat tire. This problem is usually easy to fix at home by replacing the valve stem or removing it with pliers if it has broken off completely inside the wheel rim hole.
Is it illegal to drive on a flat tire?
It is not illegal for one to drive a flat tire. Well, I think one should focus more on the state of the tire and not if it is illegal or not. I have never witnessed or heard of anyone getting arrested or paying a fine for driving on a flat tire.
There is a worse thing that could happen than getting arrested. It is damaging your tire and the wheel or rim. So, it is never advisable or the right thing for you to drive on a flat tire. So, if you ever have a flat tire, you should try to move slowly and find a way to fix than continue driving the car.
Signs of a flat tire
Flat tires are one of the most common car problems. If you experience a flat tire, make sure to stop driving immediately and call for help.
Here are some signs that you may have a flat tire:
- A vehicle that vibrates or pulls to one side
- The steering wheel shakes when you apply the brakes
- A low tire pressure warning light appears on your dashboard
- You hear a hissing sound from the tires
Can I drive my car with a flat tire?
Yes, you can drive your car with a flat tire. It all depends on the distance, the type of tire you have in your car, and when you intend to fix it. If you have a run-flat tire in your car, you can drive a longer mile without having to worry about your rim.
They come with the ability to handle flat conditions and get you through to some miles. It is never the same with a non-run flat tire or regular tires. You can never do the same. If you have a regular tire in your car, it is never advisable to drive a flat tire.
Driving your car with a regular flat tire will damage the rubber and the rim of the tire. It is never a good thing to do. So, you should never drive a car with a regular flat tire.
What do you do if you have a flat tire and no spare?
If you ever find yourself in such a situation, you have just two options. The first is to call for help, and the second is to drive the car slowly to a mechanic shop. If you are within network reach and you can call for help, it is right.
However, it is more than the right thing but the best thing to do. But if you find yourself in a place where the network is restricted, and you have no means to call for help, you just need to keep moving.
In this condition, you have to move slowly as you can. You don’t have to run while ensuring you do all it takes to keep the car in a balanced straight position while moving. You should avoid moving around or moving on the rough or coarse surface.
Who can I call if I have a flat tire?
If you ever encounter a flat tire when driving and have pulled over somewhere safe, you should call for help. You should call on the emergency tire service or roadside assistance center to get the tire fixed.
You can hop on google to get some nearby to your location. It is the best way you can find one closer to you. Just search for any emergency tire service near me or flat tire assistance near me. You should find any and call for help.
How long can a car seat without being driven?
You need to know that it is not a good thing to leave a car idle for more than a week. If you are not driving the car, you should at least do all it takes to keep the engine in good condition by warming the car at all times.
Also, a car sits for a month, and sometimes the surface of the floor impacts the tire. Some tires will get flat once they sit in a car for too long. So, if you have a car parked for more than three weeks, you might have to check the tire before driving.
What to do if you have a flat tire at home?
Whenever you have a flat tire at home, you should reach out to your air pressure machine to inflate the tire. It is an important tool for anyone with a car to own. So, with the tool, you can easily inflate a flat tire in your home.
Also, if the cause for a flat tire is beyond getting air into the tire, you might have to remove the tire and check what is wrong with it. If it is something you can fix, you can go on. If not, you might have to replace it with a spare one or a new tire.
What to do when you get two flat tires?
When you have two flat tires, you just need to call for help. However, you can do the task yourself if you have the resources. You need two lift jacks to withstand to remove the two tires if need be. However, if the two just need air, you can use your air pressure machine to get air into the tires one after another.
But in the situation that you need to remove the two tires, you need to get one lift jack with two stands to get the task done. Lift one side of the car where you want to remove the tire with a jack, and then use one stand there.
Then you should go on with removing the tire. You should then repeat the same for the second tire and then get the replacement in the car.
How to tell if the tire is flat or just need air?
You can only detect the tire by inflating it and watching it for some minutes to see if it gets deflated again. You can pour water on the tire to observe if it leaks somewhere. If it leaks, you get to see bubbles in the area, and then you get to know it needs more than air.
However, if it doesn’t leak, it is an indication that it just needs air to get back in good shape and condition.
A flat tire is a common everyday inconvenience for you or anyone else who drives a vehicle. Several safety hazards come along with a flat tire, resulting in additional problems, such as a driver losing control of the vehicle.
So, this page on what to do if you have a flat tire thus help to show you all that you need to know and do with flat tire if you ever experience any.