Flat tires can be a real pain. They never happen at a “good” time. As a matter of fact, a flat tire almost always happens when you are in a hurry, in a remote location, or on a busy highway. But what do you do when you get a flat tire, and how do you know if your tire can be repaired or if it needs to be replaced? If you have a flat tire, here are the next steps to getting your car back in working order.
Have the Equipment You Need
If you’ve ever had a flat tire, you know that the whole process is easier if you have the right tools in your car. Make sure that your car has everything that you might need to safely and correctly change a flat tire. What does this mean? Here is a basic list of necessary items for changing a tire:
- Your spare tire – in most cars, this is the funny little tire tucked in the trunk. It’s often called a “donut,” because it’s so much smaller than your other tires. Having your spare tire makes no difference if it’s flat. So periodically check to see if you’re spare is properly inflated.
- A Jack – Again, these are usually standard equipment with most cars. If you don’t have one, Car Guys Auto Center can help you find the right one for your car.
- Lug Wrench – Your standard issue jack usually has a lug wrench included. Or if you want something more substantial, find one at your local auto parts store.
- Something to kneel on – Make your life easier and more comfortable by keeping an old blanket or towel in your car to protect your clothes and knees.
- Safety Equipment – This includes hazard lights and triangles, a reflective vest and even a flashlight. These are important if you should get stuck on the side of the road.
- Inflation equipment – This might be a portable air compressor or a can of fix-a-flat. Either way, this could save you a call to a tow truck, if your spare is flat.
- Tow Company Number – Sometimes this is the only answer. Make sure you have a tow company number or your insurance roadside assistance number handy.
Repair or Replace Your Tire?
Once you’ve got your flat tire off and your spare tire on, it’s time to determine if your tire can be repaired or replaced. Most people aren’t sure of the best answer, so make sure that you bring your tire to a quality tire repair center like Car Guys Auto Center. Our tire experts can look at your flat tire and recommend the best next steps.
- Repair the tire: This is your option if your tire still has plenty of tread and the flat was caused by something like a nail or a screw. In these instances, we can generally fix the flat, inflate your tire, and send you on your way. However, if your tire tread is getting low, it may not be safe to repair your tire.
- Replace the tire: No one wants to hear that their tire is damaged enough to be replaced. However, there are times when replacing the tire is the only answer:
- Sidewall damage
- Blown out tires
- Not enough tread
These are the types of damage that will necessitate tire replacement. If your tires are low on tread, the best solution is almost always to have all four tires replaced. This is an expensive solution to a minor problem, but it can be the difference between a safe car and an unsafe car. If your tires have good tread you may only need to replace two tires, but you should never replace just one tire. This can cause your car to ride poorly, cause alignment and wear issues or damage wheels.
If you have been hit with a flat tire and need a quality and reliable garage to repair your tire, Car Guys Auto Center is your Fraser, MI tire experts. We can fix your flat, or help you find the right tires for your car. Call us today at (586) 285-4444 to schedule an appointment, or learn more about our complete car repair and maintenance services.