Nothing is more aggravating for drivers than realizing you have a flat tire. Of course this always seems to happen when you are late for an appointment, work or school. Unfortunately due to wear and tear, road conditions, leakage from the valve stem or tire bead, and of course West Texas heat, flats are inevitable. How can you tell if your tire is flat? A visual inspection might work but if you are driving and the car is slowing down for no reason that is a sign. A big indicator of a flat is the steering. If a car is pulling to one side or you feel unusual vibrations, that can be the sign of a flat. Of course noises such as a grinding or groaning sound would be a good reason to check your tires. Many of us have also experienced other drivers waving at us to let us know that we need to pull over to check the tires.
What do you do when you discover your tire is flat? If driving, pull over to the safest area possible. At that point if it is safe and you have a spare tire, you can put this on the car safely then drive to an auto repair company to have the original tire repaired or replaced. Due to numerous roadside fatalities each year and upgraded tire pressure monitoring systems in vehicles, many newer cars may not include spare tires. Of course most individuals now have cell phones and can call for assistance. Many companies such as The Flatland’s have service trucks to assist stranded drivers.
It is very important to address any potential flat tire as soon as possible for safety and to prevent further damage. For many drivers, once the car is at the automotive shop, they will simply let the experts take over. It is actually very important however, to make sure proper standards are met when your tire is being evaluated and repaired. Of course all of us would like to avoid replacing a tire, but sometimes repairs are not a safe or cost effective option and replacement is necessary.
To repair or not to repair, that is the question. Of course all of us prefer the repair option, but sometimes this is not possible. The following are some guidelines regarding when flat tires can and cannot be repaired:
- If a puncture occurs in the sidewall or shoulder, a tire should not be repaired.
- Repairs are usually acceptable when the injury is limited to the center of the tread.
- Size matters. If a puncture injury is greater than 6mm or ¼ inch in diameter, the tire cannot be repaired.
- Repairs that overlap are not acceptable.
- Do not repair a tire if the tire is worn to 2/32-inch remaining tread depth in any area.
As you can tell from the guidelines listed above, it is vitally important to make sure the automotive repair facility you are using has staff that are truly qualified to assess your tires properly and follow proper procedures. While safety is always the primary concern, proper care and adherence to industry standards will prevent future problems and save money in the long run. The Flatlands is a company with experienced staff totally committed to quality and safety above all else when it comes to handling tire repairs or replacements. Experts are always available to answer questions, address concerns and serve the customer in any way possible.