Getting a flat tire is an unexpected hassle during your day. Whether you’re driving to or from work or heading to a doctor’s appointment, a flat tire disrupts your plans and causes you to scramble. Thankfully, there are some things you can track before you have an issue with your tire though. Looking out for these warning signs that your tire is about to go flat can save you from being on the side of the road and keep you in the driver’s seat.
Tire Warning Light
First, if your car is new enough, you can keep an eye on your tire pressure by being aware of your tire pressure indicator light. This is your Tire Pressure Monitoring System or TPMS. If the TPMS light activates, it likely means you need to fill your tires to their specified capacity.
Low Tire Pressure
Even if you don’t have a TPMS light, you can still check to see if your tires are low on air. Low air pressure places undue and uneven stress on the tire and wears out the outside of the tread faster than normal.
Tires deteriorate over time, and you should not expect them to last for the full life of the car. Because of this, car owners should keep track of the metric used to assess tire health—tread depth. One tried and true method to do this is the Penny Test. This involves placing Lincoln’s face upside down into the tire tread. If the tire covers his head, there is more than 2/32 of an inch of depth, and thus more tread life to your tires. But if his head is visible, its time to replace your tires.
Cracked or Cut Sidewalls
Your tires can sustain physical damage just like any part of your car. If they appear cracked or cut, then these weak spots are vulnerable to blowing out or going flat. These could appear after hitting a curb or some other solid object and may even be signs that your tire has already been leaking air.
Another similar weak spot that could develop is a bulge in the tire. Bulges extend the tire material beyond where it typically lays, appearing to bubble outward irregularly. This can be a sign of a coming flat tire if not addressed.
An additional, lesser-known warning sign that your tire is about to go flat is excessive tire vibration while driving. Sometimes tires become unbalanced or out of alignment to the degree that they begin to shake forcefully. This vibration increases the risk that a sudden impact does significant damage to the tire or indicates another problematic issue with the tire. If you notice one of these warning signs on your vehicle and want to get ahead of the issue, consider RNR Tire Express in Colorado Springs. Our experience-driven advice will help you determine whether you need new tires and if so, we provide excellent tire service.