When we talk about flat tires, the most common image that pops in our head is having a flat tire in the middle of the road while driving. While it is true that you can have a flat tire when you drive over something sharp on the road, it is still possible to discover a flat tire while it is parked. Sometimes people already have their tires punctured but are still able to drive it and after some time while it is parked, the tire deflates. This makes the flat tire more obvious and visible. If you ever find your car with a flat tire, you should know how to fix them.
Causes Of A Flat Tire
When you discover a flat tire, the first step to fixing it is to find out what could have caused the flat tire like protruding objects, slow punctures, or a leaking tire valve.
Check for obvious signs at first. See if there are any protruding objects like nails or broken glass on the tire. You can gently run your hand over the wheel to try and feel any protruding object. However, do this carefully as you can cut your bare hands in the process. A better alternative is simply to look closely and use a flashlight to aid your search.
If there are no obvious protruding objects. You should also look for slow punctures. These are the ones that aren’t easily noticeable until its too late. Sharp glass is a common cause of slow punctures. As it goes through roads, the heat from the asphalt causes the tire to expand. This is bad because this also means that the tears are widened. The tires will lose air at a much faster rate with this.
You can easily check for slow punctures at home. All you need is a bucket of soapy water. Pour some of the soap over the tires sparingly. Do this at different sections of the tire at a time. If you see bubbling on a particular spot, that can be due to the air escaping.
Another test would be to listen to a hissing sound. However, for this test, you have to remove the tire first. Once the tire is removed, you can refill air into the tire and listen for any hissing sound. Rotate the tire to inspect it fully.
A Leaking Tire Valve
Car tire valves can also cause a flat tire if they are leaking air. A faulty tire valve can be a result of old age or if someone has tampered with it. Kids can play with the car tire valve and accidentally release air. If they do this all the time, a leaky tire valve can be the result.
You can test this by using a soapy solution too. Just pour it over the valve stem and observe for some bubbles forming or accumulating at a certain spot.
Repairing A Flat Tire
Having a flat tire doesn’t always mean that it is the end of the life of your tire. In some cases, the tire can still be repaired. However, that will depend on whether you have the experience to fix a flat tire, you have the tools to fix it as well as how damaged the car tire is.
The Cost Of Fixing A Flat Tire
If you have the tools required to fix the flat tire, then you won’t have to spend more on fixing it. On the other hand, if you don’t and plan too, you better prepare a budget for it. A car jack would range from $40 to $100. Some car jacks are more expensive because they are bigger and are used for other vehicles like an SUV. The most affordable wheel spanner costs about $20 so it is fairly affordable and every car owner should own one.
If you can’t fix the flat tire on your own, you can always bring it to the shop to have it fixed. You can bring your flat tire and use your spare but if you don’t have a spare, you’d have to call a towing service to bring your car to the shop and have the tire repaired. However, you’d also have to pay for that towing service but if you include roadside assistance to your car insurance, that may be something you won’t have to worry about. Once in the shop, they can determine whether the car tire can still be repaired or if it has reached the end of its life. The cost of the tire repair will depend on how damaged the tire is.
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