Preventative Maintenance: Can you spare a minute for your spare tire?

Paying Attention Pays Off!

As I was leaving work the other day, I noticed a shiny spot on my tire and groaned. Who has time for this? I had no choice but to spare a minute for my tire! My fellow co-worker’s were able to help me with my tire and I was eventually able to head home.  During my drive home, I had time to think about how lucky I was that I had randomly “happened” to notice the nail head in my tire. I could have easily been looking in any other direction, gotten into my car and headed to the Interstate.

My day could have gone quite differently had my tire gone flat on I-25.  Tires that go flat at Interstate speeds could be dangerous. I felt so thankful to work at an automotive repair shop! Do I even remember how to change a tire, safely? Could I even get the lug nuts off? I got lucky this time but I have been left thinking of my spare tire and how important it is!

There Are Several Reasons Why Tires Can Go Flat

Tires can occasionally be defective and in some situations, the life of the tire could be overextended. Punctures or improper tire inflation could also contribute to a flat tire.

Aspen Auto Clinic’s tire experts advise that a tire with a sidewall puncture should never be repaired.

Sooner or later, we all face the blown out tire. The question is how prepared are we to handle the situation? Are you aware that many newer vehicles are not even equipped with a spare tire? According to AAA, nearly one third of vehicles made in 2017 don’t include a spare tire as standard equipment. In 2016, AAA reports that they assisted over 450,000 of their members who had a flat tire and no spare in the vehicle. What do you have if your vehicle is newer and doesn’t come equipped with a spare tire? These vehicles are generally equipped with a D/C powered compressor and a container of sealant.

What Can You Do To Be Prepared For A Flat?

  • When you are buying a new car, ask to see the list of standard equipment.  You can ask if a spare tire can be added to your package. 
  • Its a good idea to read through you vehicle’s owners manual.  If your car does not come equipped with a spare, there will be directions on how to set up and operate the D/C powered compressor in addition to directions on adding the container of sealant.
  • Be sure that your spare tire is aired up. Every other oil change, ask to have the technician assigned to your vehicle to take a minute to check the spare for correct tire pressure.  (As a kindness to your technician, don’t forget to tidy up your trunk!)
  • Make sure you are equipped with the correct tools to remove the tire yourself. A piece of PVC pipe is always helpful for the ummpph it takes to remove lug nuts!

What Tools Are Necessary When Removing A Tire?

  • Keep a pair of gloves in your trunk for this task
  • Lug Wrench
  • Jack
  • Reflective Triangles and flares
  • Wheel wedge
  • Small board to put under the jack, in the case that the ground is not solid
  • Flashlight

Please know that driving on a flat tire is never recommended. Driving on a flat tire can be dangerous and can do damage to other parts on your vehicle. Slow down and stop in a safe, flat spot. You should take care in changing a tire and if you are unsure, seek the assistance of someone with experience.

How To Prevent Flat Tires

  • Take care of your tires. Check frequently to be sure they are inflated properly
  • Have your tires rotated every other oil change
  • Keep an eye on the amount of tread your tires have (you will also be able to catch any uneven tire tread wear)

Just In Case:

It never hurts to be informed. Check out the Department of Motor Vehicles web page. You will find instructions on how to safely change a tire on your own.

You can also go to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration site to see about any tire recalls, safety issues and complaints. 

Tires are one of the most important safety items on your vehicle. Is your vehicle due for a tire rotation? Have you run over a nail or punctured your tire?  Aspen Auto Clinic offers tire repair at each of our locations.  If your tire can be repaired, our Service Advisor’s will guide you through the process.

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