A flat tire is one of the most common malfunctions that can put you on the side of the road if you are lucky. They can also cause even more grievous accidents if you are not careful. Fortunately, you can take several simple actions to ensure that your tires do not blow out and ruin your day.
First. Have your tires rotated every five or six thousand miles as recommended in your owner’s manual. While your tires are rotated, a service technician can catch uneven tread wear.
Second, check your tire pressure every month to make sure that your tires are inflated to the proper pressure. Underinflated tires can cause a loss of gas mileage and could indicate a slow leak that must be dealt with.
Third, check your tread wear using a method called the quarter test. Find the area with the lowest thread depth and insert a quarter. If you can see the head of George Washington, it’s time to replace the tire.
Fourth, check the condition of your spare tire periodically. If, as with most vehicles, you’ve been given a temporary donut, consider purchasing a proper tire as your spare.
Fifth, have a technician balance your wheels every 15,000 miles, and have the alignment checked and adjusted every year.
If you do have a blowout on the road, proceed quickly to the shoulder of the road or to a nearby parking lot. Know how to change a tire. It can be a physically demanding task, but simple to master. After changing your tire, proceed as quickly as possible to a tire store to get the flat tire replaced. Getting a blowout with a spare tire can be inconvenient. Getting a blowout without a spare means summoning a tow truck and an immediate trip to the tire store which, if it happens after hours, can be aggravating indeed.
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