Flat Tire service
Towing Flat Tire roadside service
A flat tire or tire blowout is a common reason for calling a towing service or roadside assistance. Everybody hopes they will never get a flat tire. Especially when they are far from home, at night, when it's raining, snowing, or very hot or very cold outside. Many people believe that we can avoid getting a flat tire by not letting their tires get too old or too worn. But even brand new tires can run over a nail in the road or some other sharp object and go flat. Eventually, the odds catch up with us and we get a flat tire when we are far from home or late for an appointment. Research data says that there are about 220 million flat tires every year in the United States. That is around 7 flat tires every second.
When that flat tire finally catches up with you, Eden Prairie towing and roadside service will be ready to respond to your call and fix or change your flat tire. Although there are times when you have no choice but to change a flat tire yourself, It's not a safe to try and change a flat tire by the side of a busy road. Changing a flat tire on a busy road even in the day and in good weather is dangerous. But changing a flat tire at night and in bad weather is especially dangerous. The if you are not parked on level pavement but the pavement is icy or has snow or wet mud on it the vehicle-jack could slip out from under the car while you are trying to change the flat tire. And if you have come to a stop on grass or dirt the surface may be soft or unstable. Changing a flat tire on a vehicle parked on wet or snowy grass or dirt is even more dangerous because the ground could be too soft to support the weight of the car or SUV without the jack sinking in and tipping over.
Another reason changing a flat tire on the side of the road is dangerous is because when you are trying to change a flat tire on a busy road you are at risk of getting hit by another vehicle.
If you have absolutely no choice and must change a flat tire by yourself, then you need to use the correct safety equipment and road hazard signaling devices so that you and your vehicle will be visible to other drivers.
We can't stress this enough, when you are outside of your vehicle to change a flat tire or for any reason you must wear a reflective safety vest and and correctly position some orange reflective triangle road hazard signs. This is especially critical at night and when the weather makes visibility on the road for other drivers poor.
There could be a situation when you are out in the middle of nowhere and cannot get a roadside assistance to help you. In this case you have no choice but to change the flat tire yourself. We have provided some basic safety tips below. Following these steps and using the proper road safety devices will lower your risk of harm. They will not guarantee your safety but they will reduce the risk of being hit by another car.
Lower the risk of getting a Flat Tire
Before we get to the safety tips and steps for changing a flat tire by yourself on the side of the road, let's look at a few ways to lower your risk of getting a flat tire in the first place.
First, you to reduce the risk of getting a flat tire by having your tires Inspected regularly. You can inspect them yourself by just looking at the tire tread surface. The part of the tire that makes direct contact with the surface of the road. Take note of the tread depth and measure the tread depth with a tire tread depth gage or if you don't have a gage you can use a penny as a crude gage. We will explain how in a minute. Another part of your tires you should look at are the side walls. Inspect the side walls for cracks in the rubber. If there are cracks have your tire checkout by a professional at a tire shop like Discount Tire Center. Many car engine oil change services will inspect and rotate your tires for you as a service.
If the tread depth on your tires looks shallow and your tires look worn it's time for new tires. Have your tires checked with a tread gage or check them yourself. If you inspect your tires on a regular basis, you will notice when the tread depth looks too low or you may spot a nail, screw, or other sharp object stuck in your tire.
If you don't have a tire tread depth gage you can use a copper Lincoln penny. Place the Lincoln penny with the top of Lincoln's head down in the tread. If you can see the top of Lincolns head, then your tread isn't deep enough and you probably need new tires. Driving on tires with shallow tread depth or bald tires increases your risk of getting a flat tire. Getting a flat tire at highway speeds is particularly dangerous. When there is very little tread on your tires they cannot grip the road as well as they did when they were newer and they can channel aways water from under the tires. When water build up under the tires this is called hydro plaining and a layer of water beneath the tires makes them lose contact with the road. When your vehicle is hydro plaining you will notice that your steering will feel very light and the car won't go where you are point the wheels just like as if you were on a sheet of ice. You are at much greater risk of getting into an accident on dry or wet roads when your tires are worn and no longer grip the road adequately. Driving on worn tires in the rain or snow is especially dangerous.
Safety kit and Safety tips for roadside flat tire
Before you ever get a flat tire on the road you should prepare by buying putting together a road emergency safety kit. Keep your road emergency safety kit in the trunk of your vehicle. The road emergency safety kit should have everything you need to handle changing a flat tire on the road under any conditions.
Your road emergency safety kit should include a flashlight with extra batteries. Dayglow Orange or yellow reflective safety vests, and a set of three orange reflective triangle road emergency hazard signs. Check your vehicle and make sure you have the proper jack for the vehicle and that you have the correct tire lug nut wrench. Most cars come with a short handled lug-nut wrench also known as a tire iron because they are more compact and fit neatly under the spare tire. However, a longer handle lug nut wench has better leverage and will make getting the lug nuts off much easier. Over time the lung nuts can get stuck on the wheel studs pretty tight from corrosion. The longer the handle the easier it will be to loosen tight lug nuts. You do not want to be struggling to get lug nuts off especially on a cold dark, rainy, or snowy night.
Check and inspect your spare tire to make sure that your spare tire is inflated and in good condition. Many people do not know that spare tires have a shelf life. A spare tire is typically good for 7 to 10 years depending on the environment. When as a tire ages the rubber dries out and the tire rubber cracks and leaks and loses it's ability to support the weight of the vehicle.
If your vehicle is seven or more years old, and you have never replaced your spare tire, then you definitely need to inspect your spare tire to make sure it is still good before you need to use it when you have to change a flat tire. If you spare is 7 or more year old a better idea is to just replace it to be on the safe side. Because you don't know how long it will be until you get a flat tire.
Make sure you have all the tools you will need to change a flat tire. At a minimum you should have the following. You must have a lug nut wrench, preferably with a longer handle than what came with the vehicle. But keep the short one too that came with the vehicle because it has a double use has the handle for the vehicle jack. Make sure you have the vehicle jack that came with the car. If not make sure the jack you do have it compatible with the weight of your vehicle. You should have a couple of tire blocks or wedges to put under your tires to prevent your vehicle from rolling off the jack. If your vehicle is stopped on an incline or hill your vehicle could roll off the jack while you are trying to get the flat tire wheel off. The vehicle jack must be place properly under the vehicle in the a spot specified in the owner manual or the vehicle could fall off the jack while you are working on trying to get the tire off or trying to put the new tire and wheel on.
It's a good idea to practice changing a tire at home in your driveway at least once so you have experience changing a tire. if your driveway is on a hill or not level, or gravel, grass, or dirt, then change the in front of your house if the street is level. If neither your driveway or street are level with stable surfaces for changing the tire then try a big empty parking lot to test your skills at changing a flat tire.
Your first attempt at Changing a flat tire should not be on the open road or even worse at night and in the rain. In many countries around the world demonstrating that you know how to change a flat tire is part of the road test in order to get a drivers license.
Basic preventive maintenance can help you avoid a flat tire. Preventative maintenance for tires includes checking the tire pressure regularly. Make sure the tires are inflated to the recommended pressure and that the tire pressure is equal on all four tires. The tire pressure is specified in your vehicle owners manual and on a sticker on the drivers door jam. Check your wheel rims for damage. Frequently running over potholes or scraping the curb when parallel parking can bend your wheels out of shape. It only takes a very tiny bend, dent, or deformation in your metal wheel rim lip where the edge of the tire creates an air-tight seal around the wheel to cause a slow air leak. Driving on under inflated tires will make your tires wear wear out faster and unevenly. Look for cracks and punctures from nails and screws in your tires. Any damage you find should be fixed immediately by an auto tire shop.
Preventative measures to avoid a flat tire
The front tires wear down faster than the back tires because the front tires are used for steering and the weight of the engine is on the front tires. The front tires also take more of the load when braking and steering. This is because when the vehicle is coming to a stop the weight of the vehicle on the front tires is increased by the vehicles momentum and inertia. Front tires on front-wheel drive vehicles wear out even faster than on rear wheel driver vehicles because on a front wheel drive car in addition to friction wear from steering the front tires are the tires that transfer the power or torque to the pavement grinding away at the rubber on the front tires. Tires should rotated every 6-months or 6,000 to 8,000 miles whichever comes first so that they wear more evenly and last longer. Rotating the tires will make not only them last longer but it will improve your safety on the road. Read your owner’s manual for the recommended tire rotation intervals for your vehicle.
Step-by-Step guide how to change a flat tire
The best way to handle a flat tire is to call Eden Prairie towing for roadside assistance. But when calling us is not an option and you get a flat tire and must do it yourself, here are some steps that you should follow to lower your risk of get injured.
One signal you have a flat tire is that you will hear noises and feel vibrations through the car and if your flat tire is a front tire you will feel it coming through your steering wheel. Your ability to steer will feel more difficult or you will notice that the steering doesn't feel right. These conditions or signs mean you probably have a flat tire. Driving on a flat tire is dangerous. It is not safe for you and for other drivers because you have less control and stability and could cause an accident. If you drive on the flat tire too long the tire could come completely off the metal wheel and cause much more expensive damage.
Therefore, as soon as you feel your vehicle has a flat tire, you should turn on your emergency hazard flashing lights. Apply the brakes gently to Slow down. Do not slam on the brakes because that could cause your vehicle to skid and spin. Move over off the road out of the way of traffic as soon as possible. Then come to a stop in a safe and hopefully level place with firm solid ground under the tires.
Steps for changing a flat tire safely:
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