Keeping your tires in good condition is important for the safe handling of your car. Yet, even if you routinely check your tires, driving over a rough road or debris can create a puncture. When that happens, you’ll probably be investigating how to fix a flat tire correctly. Instead, bring your car to Havoline® Xpress Lube of Kernersville.
Risks Of Driving With Low Air In Your Tires
You’re driving down the road and suddenly your dashboard light illuminates. It’s your tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS).
Since 2008, automakers have made TPMS standard on all vehicles. When this symbol lights up, your tire pressure is dangerously low. You must remedy the situation as soon as possible to avoid uneven wear or worse, a blowout. Driving on low tires has risks:
- Faster tire wear
- Poor traction
- Lower fuel economy
- Decreased hauling and towing capacity
- Increased risk of a blowout
Generally, tires lose a very small amount of air per month. Usually, replacing the lost air remedies the problem. However, if you’re refilling your tires frequently, you probably have a leak.
Often, leaks can be hard to find especially if there’s no obvious damage to your tire. Sometimes, you can even have multiple leaks.
Common Repairs To Fix A Flat Tire
In the early days of automobiles, driving along roads was an adventure. Poorly surfaced byways often created flat tires for their passengers. Often, car repair stations were many miles away and tow trucks were sparse. Many car owners learned to fix flats to avoid becoming stranded.
Today, both towing and auto repair shops are plentiful. There’s no longer a need to learn how to fix a flat tire.
Even though qualified technicians exist, you’ll still find many big box stores selling repair kits:
- Combination plug/patch
Usually, these solutions make it seem very easy to fix your flat tire. However, with so much riding on fixing your tire correctly, always choose a professional repair.
DIY VS. Professional Repair
One of the most common reasons for getting stranded on the side of the road is a flat tire. Yet, even driving a short distance with a flat tire can severely damage the sidewall. Thus, keeping a sealant and compressor kit in your car in case of emergencies is a good idea. However, using this remedy is not permanent and you need a proper repair.
So, what constitutes a correct repair? The Tire Industry Association recommends completely removing the tire from the rim. This allows you to inspect the inside to ensure there’s no interior damage to the sidewall. Then, use a plug/patch combo. The plug fills the hole and the patch seals the inner liner.
Moreover, before you run out and buy a DIY kit, remember that an improper repair may void your tire warranty. And what if you have more than one leak?
3 Reasons You’ll Need A New Tire
Sometimes when you have a leak, your tires will be too damaged to repair. When this happens, you’ll need to buy new tires:
1. Size Of The Puncture/Gash
Once you find the source of the leak, you’ll need to measure it. According to industry guidelines, no one should repair a hole large than ¼ of an inch. Larger holes compromise the strength and durability of a tire requiring replacement.
2. Location And The Angle Of The Puncture
If an object penetrates the sidewall or shoulder of your tire, you’ll need to replace it. Both these areas undergo extreme pressure and flexing. Any attempt at a repair will be short-lived and may cause a blowout.
3. Age And The Quality Of Your Tire
Occasionally, your tire may be too worn to repair. Shallow tread, sidewall damage, or irregular wear all indicate it’s time for new tires. Additionally, tires over 10 years old need replacement even if they look in good condition.
How To Fix A Flat Tire FAQs
Before you Google, how to fix a flat tire, consider the risks. An improper DIY repair may cause more problems. Here at Xpress Lube, we want the best for you and your car. Therefore, we’ve answered a few commonly asked tire questions below.
What Should I Do When I Have a Flat Tire?
One thing you should never do is to keep driving. Doing so can cause further damage to components.
When you’re driving and suspect you’ve got a flat, pull over as soon as it’s safe to do so. If your tire is indeed flat, you’ll need to replace it with your spare. Alternatively, you can use a sealing/compressor kit to temporarily fix your tire.
Can I Do Anything To Avoid A Flat?
Typically, performing routine tire maintenance can help extend the life of your tires and avoid flats. You should check your tire pressure, and get your wheels aligned and rotated regularly. Of course, you should replace old, worn tires as soon as possible.
How Much Does A Tire Repair Cost?
Generally, fixing flat tires are an inexpensive fix. Yet, repairing your tire incorrectly can end up costing you much more in further damage.
Accordingly, bring your vehicle to Havoline® Xpress Lube of Kernersville. We’re an independently owned and operated full-service repair and maintenance facility. Our 4 ASE-certified mechanics and 5 technicians can perform many repairs on both domestic and foreign vehicles:
It’s simple to make an appointment! Call us at 336-993-7697 and one of our welcoming staff members will take care of you.