How to prevent a flat tire

Don’t let a flat tire ruin your day. Here are precautions you can take to reduce the chances of getting a flat tire.

Inspect Tires Regularly

At least once a month, check for your tires for signs of  by uneven wear, damaged spots, and low tread depth. To measure tread depth, try one of the following ways: use a tread depth gauge (which can be purchased at any auto supply store), check the wear indicator bars on the tire itself, or use ‘the nickel test’. Insert a nickel upside down into your tire’s tread with Queen Elizabeth’s crown facing down. If you can see the top of the Queen’s crown your tire is below 2/32” and will need to be replaced.

Check Your Tire Pressure

Low tire pressure can make your tires prone to flats, so be sure to check and fill your tires as needed. To find the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure for your car, look for a tire pressure sticker located on the driver’s side door jam or in the owner’s manual. A good rule of thumb is to check tire pressure every month or with a 10 degree change in temperature. If your car has a built-in tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), a dashboard light will illuminate when your pressure is low.

Have Your Brakes Serviced

Maintaining your brakes can also protect your tires from uneven wear, and thus reduce the risk of a flat. Make sure your brake pads are changed out as needed as worn brake pads will damage your tires by rubbing them unevenly as you brake.

Rotate Your Tires Often

Regular tire rotation is one of the best ways to prolong the life of your tires and avoid flats. Have your tires rotated every other time you bring your vehicle in for an oil change. Doing so will ensure that each tire is evenly worn. While you’re there, have your auto shop check your tire balance as well.

Avoid Construction Sites

Loose nails, sharp rocks, and other debris from construction sites can puncture your tires. If possible, avoid known construction sites on your daily commute. This applies to both road construction and local building construction.

Getting a flat tire is a huge inconvenience , but by taking some minor precautions, you can protect your tires and prolong their life in the process. It is also important to keep a spare tire, jack, and tools in your car should you need to change a flat. For added peace of mind, make sure you have a roadside assistance policy in place. Talk to your Sussex Insurance agent about adding Roadside Assistance to your existing policy.