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What to Do When You Get a Flat Tire

a flat tire in the winterA flat tire is something that everyone will likely encounter at some point. Even those who take great care of their tires and inspect them frequently can run into debris on the road that can cause a fast or slow flat tire.

While Parked

If a flat tire happens in your garage, driveway, or while parked somewhere, you will likely have plenty of time to think and plan out your next step. It’s more critical that you know what you’ll do if you get a flat tire with traveling.

on the Road

The most important thing to remember when you have a flat tire while driving is to be safe. Don’t keep driving on a flat tire, but make sure you pull off into the safest area possible. If you are on a busy roadway, be mindful of traffic and assume they won’t see you or slow down. It’s better to take the initiative to keep yourself, your passengers, and your vehicle as safe as possible. While it’s not advised to drive very far on a flat tire, you can drive slowly on it for a small distance; enough to get out of harm’s way.

Turn on your hazard lights immediately. If it is safe for you to get out of the vehicle, place reflective triangles behind your vehicle before taking a look at your tire. You have some in your trunk, right? Next, decide if your situation warrants a 911 call, or a call to a tow service, or if you can safely change tires and put a spare on your vehicle.

Worry about your flat tire and if it can be fixed later. Once you are safe, you can print our coupon for a free flat tire fix (up to $15) and come to either TireZoo location so we can help you out.

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).

 

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.

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.