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Don't Get Stranded: Tips for Preventing Flat Tires and When to Call for Help


A man using OEM folding tire wrench
A man using OEM folding tire wrench

Picture this scenario: You're driving down the road, and suddenly, you hear that unmistakable sound – a flat tire. It's a situation that every driver dreads, but the good news is that flat tires can often be prevented with proper care and maintenance. In this blog post, we'll share valuable tips on how to prevent flat tires, what to do if you experience one, and when it's time to call for roadside assistance. By following these guidelines, you can reduce the chances of getting stranded and navigate through such situations with confidence.


Part 1: Preventing Flat Tires


1.Maintain Proper Tire Pressure


One of the most common causes of flat tires is driving with underinflated or overinflated tires. Both can lead to premature wear and damage. To prevent this, regularly check your tire pressure using a tire gauge and ensure it matches the manufacturer's recommendations, usually found on a sticker inside the driver's side door or in your vehicle's manual. Proper tire pressure not only extends the life of your tires but also improves fuel efficiency and handling.


2.Inspect Your Tires Regularly


Frequent tire inspections are crucial for spotting issues before they become severe. Look for signs of wear, embedded objects like nails or screws, cracks, bulges, or any abnormalities in the tire's surface. Address these issues promptly to prevent them from causing a flat tire down the road.


3.Rotate Your Tires


Rotating your tires at regular intervals helps distribute wear evenly, extending their lifespan. Consult your vehicle's manual for the recommended rotation schedule, but a common rule of thumb is every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. This practice prevents uneven wear and the risk of flat tires due to overused treads.


4.Avoid Potholes and Road Hazards


Potholes, sharp debris, and road hazards are common culprits for flat tires. While it's not always possible to avoid these obstacles, try to drive around them when you can, and reduce your speed when driving through areas with a lot of debris. Keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you allows you to see and react to hazards more effectively.


5.Be Mindful of Your Speed


High speeds generate more heat in your tires due to increased friction, making them more susceptible to damage. Stay within the speed limit and avoid aggressive driving habits to reduce the risk of tire blowouts.


6.Don't Overload Your Vehicle


Every vehicle has a maximum load capacity specified by the manufacturer. Overloading your vehicle can strain your tires and lead to increased wear and potential flat tires. Ensure that you're not carrying excessive weight, and consult your owner's manual for load capacity guidelines.


7.Use Quality Tires


Invest in quality tires when replacing or upgrading them. High-quality tires are less likely to puncture or fail prematurely. Remember that while it might be tempting to cut costs with cheaper tires, you could end up spending more in the long run due to frequent replacements.


Part 2: What to Do When You Have a Flat Tire


1.Stay Calm and Pull Over Safely


If you notice a flat tire while driving, stay calm and follow these steps:

  • Gradually reduce your speed.

  • Activate your hazard lights to alert other drivers.

  • Find a safe place to pull over, such as a parking lot or the shoulder of the road.

  • Park your vehicle as far away from the traffic as possible.

2.Keep Your Vehicle Secure


After pulling over, ensure your vehicle is secure:

  • Engage the parking brake.

  • Turn off the engine.

  • Place wheel chocks behind the tires to prevent your vehicle from rolling.

3.Locate Your Spare Tire and Tools


Most vehicles come with a spare tire, jack, and lug wrench. Locate these tools in your vehicle. If you're not sure where they are, consult your owner's manual.


4.Change the Flat Tire


Follow these general steps to change the flat tire:

  • Use the lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts, but don't remove them yet.

  • Use the jack to lift your vehicle off the ground. Refer to your owner's manual for the correct jacking points.

  • Once the vehicle is off the ground, remove the lug nuts and take off the flat tire.

  • Install the spare tire and hand-tighten the lug nuts.

  • Lower the vehicle with the jack and then use the lug wrench to fully tighten the lug nuts in a crisscross pattern.

  • Double-check that all lug nuts are properly tightened.

5.Don't Drive on a Spare Tire for Too Long


Spare tires are designed for temporary use and have limitations. They are usually smaller and less durable than regular tires. Drive to the nearest service station or tire shop to get your flat tire repaired or replaced as soon as possible.


Part 3: When to Call for Roadside Assistance


While changing a flat tire is a useful skill to have, there are situations when calling for roadside assistance is the safer and more practical option:

  1. No Spare Tire: If your vehicle doesn't have a spare tire, calling for assistance is your only choice.

  2. Inability to Change the Tire: If you lack the physical capability or proper tools to change a flat tire, it's best to call for help.

  3. Unsafe Location: If you're stranded in an unsafe or unfamiliar area, calling for assistance ensures your safety.

  4. Damaged or Missing Tools: If you can't locate your spare tire, jack, lug wrench, or if these tools are damaged or missing, roadside assistance is necessary.

  5. Multiple Flat Tires: If you have multiple flat tires, it's a sign of an underlying issue that requires professional attention.

  6. Complicated Situations: Some vehicles have non-standard tire setups, like run-flat tires or spare tires located in hard-to-reach places. In such cases, it's wise to leave the job to professionals.



Flat tires are an inconvenience, but with proper maintenance and awareness, they can often be avoided. Regularly inspect your tires, maintain the right tire pressure, and drive cautiously to minimize the risk of experiencing a flat tire. If you do find yourself with a flat tire, stay calm and follow the proper steps to change it safely. However, in certain situations, don't hesitate to call for roadside assistance. Remember, your safety should always be your top priority when dealing with flat tires on the road.



Who To Call For Tire Change Or Replacement Services In Indianapolis?


Mr.Quickpick
Mr.Quickpick

Mr.Quickpick Roadside Assistance is open 24/7 and is happy to service Indianapolis and the surrounding area. We have everything needed to get you back on the road safely and within the fastest time possible. If you need a tire change/replacement job completed, you can bet we will be there in no time, fully equipped to handle your needs. Call our dispatch team at (317) 342-0887 or submit a form and we will call you ASAP.


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