Why Car Tyres Go Flat!
Most drivers have experienced flat tyres at some point and know all too well how frustrating it can be. Anyone who has been in this situation understands that sinking feeling seeing a flat tyre and it almost always happens at the most inconvenient of times.
While a flat tyre is one thing, blowouts can occur at any time and pose a serious risk to driver safety. When it happens on the road late at night or in hazardous weather conditions it can become even more problematic. There may not be a sure way to prevent a flat tyre but you can minimise the risk through general tyre maintenance and knowing some of the underlying causes.
Common Reasons For Flat Car Tyres
Why Car Tyres Go Flat: For some reason, a flat tyre always seems to come out of nowhere and they’re often unavoidable. However, being aware of the main causes of flat tyres could help keep you and your family safe on the road whether driving to and from school or weekend getaways.
Sharp Objects Or Other Debris
One of the most common causes of a flat tyre is due to a puncture from a sharp object. This can be anything with sharp edges from nails and screws to rocks or glass. These objects can cause a puncture that will slowly leak over time or cause a blowout while driving. You can avoid puncture blowouts by driving around debris in the road and not driving over it.
Damaged Tyre Valve
Damaged or malfunctioning tyre valves can also cause a multitude of problems. A damaged or corroded tyre valve can cause an air leak which will make your tyre go flat. The same applies to a loose valve or if it’s clogged up with dirt.
Worn or Ripped Tyres
A worn or ripped tyre can be dangerous for you and for other drivers so be sure to always check your tyre for any signs of wear or damage. This includes deep scuff marks, worn areas or uneven wear on one side of the tyre. Many motorists are unaware of the real risks associated with worn tyres. Not only does it result in poor handling but fatal accidents could occur.
Related article: ‘The Real Dangers Of Part-Worn Tyres’
Tyres Leaking Air From The Bead
In some cases, air can leak from the edge of the tyre that rests on the rim, also referred to as the tyre bead. This leak can cause tyres to go flat over time and proper tyre maintenance should be taken into account. To check the tyre bead, spray your wheels and the valve system with soapy water. If you notice a steady stream of tiny bubbles, you more than likely have a leak.
Over or Underinflated Tyres
Driving on over-inflated or under-inflated tyres can cause premature tread wear and even total tyre failure. Over-inflated tyres wear on the centre of the tyre which decreases grip and the ability to absorb road impact. Under-inflated tyres can cause sluggish response, increased fuel consumption, excessive build-up of heat and tyre overload with tread wear on the outside edges.
Know How To Check Your Tyre Pressure
Considering all the risks associated with worn tyres and the inevitable flat tyre scenario, drivers must regularly check the condition of their tyres. This includes tyre tread, tyre pressure and physical damage like punctures and uneven wear.
Not taking good care of your vehicle and tyres could potentially cause breakdowns and even collisions. For that reason, we should all take better care of our tyres so they can help keep us safe on the road. To make things a little easier, we’ve put together a quick guide on how to check your tyre pressure.
Checking Tyre Pressure Yourself
If you don’t have time to visit a service centre, you could check tyre pressure yourself. Simply follow these instructions and you’ll be back on the road before you know it.
- Most petrol stations offer free air but some do charge a small fee
- If you need to pay, remove your tyre valve caps beforehand as you only have a limited time
- Set the compressed air machine to the right tyre pressure and put the hose end over the valve
- The machine will indicate what the current pressure of that tyre is and inflate accordingly
- It will beep when done and you can release the hose and move on to the next tyre
Don’t forget to reset the required pressure on the machine if your front and rear tyre pressures are meant to be different.
Why Is The Correct Tyre Pressure So Important?
One of the main reasons tyres go flat or need replacing is due to uneven tread wear. Under-inflated and over-inflated tyres can affect handling and grip, making your car unstable while increasing braking distance. Low tyre pressure can wear out your tyres faster resulting in increased rolling resistance, poor fuel economy and more emissions.
When Should I Check Tyre Pressure?
While some might think it depends on how often you drive, tyre pressure can drop even when the car is not in use. To improve safety, ride comfort and improved fuel economy, experts recommend checking your tyre pressure at least every week. Another top tip is to always check the pressure when your tyres are cold. That means getting it checked before making any journeys because warm or hot tyres could give inaccurate readings.
Don’t forget to also check for visual tyre damage, tread depth, bulges, punctures or cuts. If you see a nail or screw lodged in your tyre, do not remove it as air could escape and you’ll be left with a flat. Instead, visit any of our Elite Garages for a FREE tyre check and we’ll even fix or replace it while you wait.
General Tyre Safety
Why Car Tyres Go Flat: Too many vehicle owners neglect tyre safety and fail to understand its significant impact. Worn tyre tread affects nearly all aspects of road safety and should be taken far more seriously. There’s not much you can do as tyres wear out over time but drivers must replace them before they get worse. Knowing what to look out for in terms of flat tyres and worn tread, it’s vital to inspect your car regularly.
If you suspect that your car tyres are faulty in any way or have uneven wear, get it checked immediately. At Elite Garages, we offer a FREE tyre safety check while you wait which usually takes about an hour. Our experts will make sure the pressure and tyre tread depth are at the recommended levels and check for any signs of damage. Not sure where the nearest Elite Garages is? Here’s a closer look at where you can find us.