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What Happens If I Drive on a Flat Tire?

Tire pressure is so important. It can mean the difference between a road-ready tire, an under or over inflated tire, and a flat tire. While a slightly low or under-inflated tire isn’t the same as a flat tire, it certainly needs your attention. A tire that is perpetually low, despite your efforts to keep it properly inflated needs your attention as well.

Drive on a Flat Tire?

So, what happens if I drive on a flat tire? A flat tire is an immediate concern. The longer you drive on a flat tire, the higher your chances of damaging the wheel and tire. Damaging the tire beyond repair means replacing the tire. If you must drive, go slowly and the least distance possible. It’s much better to put on a spare tire and consult your tire technician at the TireZoo. The most important thing is your safety. Proper tire care and inflation is a critical piece to your safety and others who share the road with you.

Give us a call or stop by either of our locations if you have any concerns about your tires!

Flat Tire

free tire repair couponWhat happens if I drive on a flat tire?

Is it ok if I drive on a flat tire for a short distance?

When driving in the Minneapolis / St. Paul metro area, it’s likely you use freeways and high traffic/high speed areas that make navigating a flat tire a little more tricky, and a lot more dangerous. If you are traveling on a freeway, you need to get to the far right emergency lane as soon as you suspect a flat tire. Don’t wait. If you were traveling at highways speeds when you experienced a flat tire, it’s likely that the tire isn’t salvageable. Whether or not your tire can be fixed is not your immediate concern. Safety is.

As soon as you move to your far right, emergency lane, assess the nearest off ramp, side road, or parking lot. If it’s possible, get yourself and car off the roadway. You can drive on a flat tire for a very short distance, but the longer you drive, the more you increase your chances of damaging the tire and wheel. If you MUST drive, it’s best to go very slow and travel the least amount of distance possible.

If you are parked and notice a flat tire or excessively low tire, put your spare tire on your vehicle. We can help you assess damage, fix tires, and replace a single tire to match your existing tires after situations such as these.

Free Flat Tire Repair Coupon

We offer a Free Tire Repair coupon if your tire is fixable, as well as savings on new and used tires if your tire is not repairable.

The TireZoo is open Monday through Saturday and has locations in Anoka (north metro) and Bloomington (south/central metro).

 

Is Learning to Change a Flat Tire on Your Bucket List?

It’s maybe not as glamorous as traveling to Italy or exciting as skydiving, but if changing a flat tire is on your bucket list, this post is for you!

Learning to Change a Flat Tire

If learning to change a flat tire is something you would really like to learn, Driver’s Ed has a great educational video on YouTube. The instructional video takes you step by step through the process, in terms that anyone can understand. The video is also in closed captioning, so you can read along. If only all new drivers were better prepared to emergencies like flat tires! *Remember, ALWAYS have a spare tire in your vehicle!

Minnesota Nice

Would you stop to help someone change a flat tire?

There’s a saying in Minnesota that people are “Minnesota Nice”; maybe you’ve heard it? Travel around Minnesota or the upper Midwest, and you’re likely to hear someone use the phrase. Need emergency help while driving in Minnesota, and we hope you’ll find it.

Minnesota NiceWhere does Minnesota Nice Come From? by WCCO

As we get into travel season, camping, fishing, sight-seeing, family reunions (yikes), and the like, we need to focus our attention to our tires. Check the tire pressure before you head out. If you’re unsure if your tires are in top condition, stop by and experience our Minnesota Nice at either our Anoka or Bloomington, MN locations. We have tire coupons available.

Save Money with Proper Tire Maintenance

We’ve written many times about checking the tread on your tires and making sure they are properly inflated. This is very important for safe driving, prolonging the life of your tires, saving money, and gas efficiency.
Other regular vehicle maintenance is important too, like changing your oil, checking your fluids, inspecting brake pads, and basically all the items listed in your vehicle maintenance manual. The beauty of blogs is that people are going to take those dry, boring manuals and create easy to read instructions and videos to help you get things accomplished.

 

 

Tire in a Can

One popular question we get has to do with being able to fix a flat tire with a tire-in-a-can-type product. There are quite a few out there that claim to be able to help you fix a flat tire in an instant.

This type of tire fixing solution should only be used in a real emergency, not by someone who doesn’t want to go through the work of changing a flat tire. Tires (and flat tires) are part of owning a vehicle. Therefore, you should make a plan ahead of time what you will do in the event of a flat tire. 

  • Make sure you have a spare tire
  • Learn how to change a flat tire
  • Carry the number of a repair service/towing service
  • Have a cell phone or OnStar emergency options with you
  • Find out if AAA is a good option for you

Once applied to your tire, the chemicals in the tire-in-a-can related  product make it nearly impossible and significantly more expensive to fix your tire later when you bring it in to us. Our tire technicians don’t appreciate breathing in those chemicals!

I worry about our customers using these types of products for one or more of these reasons:

  • If it appears to work temporarily, people might avoid seeking a permanent repair. It is only a temporary fix!
  • Many of our customers report buying a product and not having it work. They are out the money, plus still have to fix their tire AND the product caused additional work ($).
  • People have ruined their tires altogether, making a new tire necessary (when it could have been repaired)
  • The weather can be a factor also. Too hot or too cold, and the chemical is not going to come out with the correct consistency to fix the puncture.

We know a thing or two about repairing tires, in all kinds of extreme weather. If you are out of cell phone range of a tow truck and have no spare, then you can try this repair method, but it is best served as a last resort. A couple other common questions have to do with Nitrogen Filled Tires and In-Town Driving and Its Effects on Tires

Need help repairing a tire? Call us at 1-800-421-2037 in Anoka, MN or 1-800-761-2013 in Bloomington, MN. We are within a short distance from most metro areas!

When to Repair a Tire

Ouch!

When is it time to repair a tire, and when is it best to start shopping for a replacement tire?

If you have a puncture in your tire that can not be fixed, you need to decide on a new or used replacement tire.

If you have worn tires, the easiest way to figure out if your tire is a “keeper” is to take a penny and place it with Lincoln’s head facing down in to the tread.  If you can see the top of his head (i.e. it is not below the tread) they need to be replaced. You can also look for the wear bars on the tire. These are wear indicators. When they are even with the tread, the tire should be replaced. 

 

 

The Dreaded Flat Tire

Can I drive on a flat tire?

How far can I drive on a flat tire?

So many people ask these questions, that we thought we’d try to help.

If you have a flat on the freeway or highway you need to get to the far right emergency lane as quickly as possible.  If you were driving at highway speeds, like most people do, the tire is a goner. Your first thought should be for your safety, not salvaging a tire. For safety reasons, drive slowly to nearest off ramp, side road, or parking lot.

As far as driving on a flat tire, yes, you can drive on a flat tire. BUT the longer you drive, the more chances you have of damaging the wheel and tire. If you MUST drive, it’s better to take it slow and go the least distance possible (mostly for safety reasons).

The Tire Zoo Recommendation

If you notice your tire is flat, or suspect it is too low, put on your spare tire. Bring your injured tire into the Tire Zoo to get it fixed, rather than driving over on a low or flat tire. If you are on the road, get to a safe place to change the tire. Always have a spare tire along! It’s not worth risking your life to save a tire or wheel.

 

Staying Safe This Winter While Driving in Minnesota

What happens if I get a flat tire while driving in the cold, winter weather?

The most important thing to remember is to stay safe. Minnesota weather makes this critical, as we endure snow, ice, and frigid temperatures. We’ll get your tire fixed in no time, but worry about “the right now.”

At the first sign of trouble it is important to pull your car off the road and away from other traffic.

 

The First Sign of Trouble

Unfamiliar Noise? Trouble steering or controlling the vehicle? Debris in the road?

If you happen to be on the interstate, head slowly for the exit ramp. On a rural road, look for a wide shoulder or field approach. Once you have stopped your vehicle, it is important to warn oncoming traffic that you are there. You can do this by turning your flashers on, as well as turning on your interior light. Also if you have them, use reflector triangles behind your vehicle; they are a good item to keep in your Minnesota Winter Survival Kit.

If you can not get off the highway and are not well versed in changing tires I would recommend calling a tow truck. (Another good item to have in your Minnesota Winter Survival Kit is a list of critical phone numbers). If you are in the metro area during rush hour times, another option would be to wait for a highway helper to stop by. If you are worried about safety or have children with you and weather/traffic conditions are dangerous, 911 is an option to guide you toward the best options for your situation and location.

Once you are safe, you can call us and we’ll help you get your tire fixed or replaced with a new or comparable used tire.

What’s your worst flat tire story? We’d love to hear from you.