Preparing for a Flat Tire
Preparing for a Flat Tire
At some time in life, just about every driver faces a flat tire. Whether it happens on your daily commute or while traveling to an unknown destination, flat tires are one of the most inconvenient things that can happen during your day. Preparing for a flat tire, however, can make this situation much easier to handle. There are several strategies to consider in learning how to prepare for a flat tire.
Preparing for a Flat Tire with the Right Tools
Preparing for a flat tire properly means carrying the right tools in your vehicle. These tools are important to have at all times. Inevitably, your flat tire will happen at a time that seems incredibly inconvenient, so you need the ability to replace it quickly and safely.
A tire jack is essential for lifting your vehicle off the ground allowing you to replace the damaged tire. Most vehicles already have a tire jack in the trunk, but you should check to make sure your vehicle has one that's working properly. If you are unfamiliar with how a jack works, then spend some time practicing on a day when you don't have other pressing needs. A little practice can go a long way when you need to replace your flat tire on an extremely hot or cold day, or when you're in a hurry.
You will also need a tire iron to remove the lugs that keep your tire secure. Check near your tire jack to confirm that you have a properly sized tire iron in your vehicle. Again, preparing for a flat tire means practicing a few times before an emergency arises, so make sure you know how to use the tire iron.
A flashlight is indispensable when you have to change a tire at night. Check the flashlight at least once every six months to ensure it works and the batteries are charged.
Of course, you also need a replacement tire. Many people carry spare "donut" tires as replacements. If you carry this type of tire, then you will need to purchase a full-sized tire as soon as possible. Spare tires are not intended for driving any more than necessary, so head to a dealership as soon as you can to replace your flat tire.
Preparing for a Flat Tire with Roadside Assistance
Even if you know how to change a tire, you can still find yourself in situations where it makes more sense to call a professional. Heavy trafficked corridors, for instance, could make it dangerous for you to get out of your vehicle. You may also find that the lugs are extremely difficult, or even impossible, to remove, so you need a professional with a hydraulic tire iron to remove them for you. There are plenty of roadside assistance programs that can help you stay safe, even when you are on the side of the road.
Preparing for a Flat Tire with a Warranty
Preparing for a flat tire also means knowing how you will pay for your replacement. Warranties often pay for replacing your tire within a certain amount of time (typically up to a year after you buy the tire). After that initial period expires, the warranty might cover a percentage of the replacement cost. Replacement costs, of course, should include the services needed to make sure your tires have been properly installed so that you are completely safe when you get back on the road.