Unfortunately, dealing with a flat tire is something that every driver encounters at least once. Here are some tips for how to safely and effectively change your tire when you’re in a tight spot.
Contact Roadside Assistance
For many people, the best thing to do is contact roadside assistance. If you belong to AAA or another motor club, a technician can come to assist you with swapping out the damaged tire.
Membership ranges anywhere from $66-$126 per year depending on the plan and organization, plus $30-$65 per year for additional family members, and most organizations offer first- discounts. The great part is that membership isn’t attached to a single vehicle, the person carries the membership. As long as a member is in the car and carrying their card, their benefits can be used regardless of who was driving or who owns the car.
Forgot to renew your membership? You can still call. Motor clubs will generally provide you service if you renew your membership over the phone, as long as it expired within the past year. They won’t let you upgrade to get additional towing but if you just need a jump start or help changing a flat they’ll typically lend a hand. Here are six tips for calling AAA when you’re in a pinch.
Changing the Tire on your Own
If you want to change the tire on your own, find a safe location to pull over, put on your hazard lights and set your parking brake. If you have them, put wedges under the tires and put reflectors in front of and behind your car.
Whether you’re swapping it out for a new tire or simply putting on the spare, these are the steps you should follow. The most important thing is to stay calm!
A note on driving with a spare tire: You should not drive over 50 mph or more than 50 miles with a donut-type spare tire. Driving for long distances on a spare tire can potentially cause damage to other car parts, including the transmission.
If you do get a flat tire, it’s important to get the tire repaired or replaced right away—a spare will only last you driving around on a spare is dangerous.
A good set of tires is crucial to a vehicle’s overall health and performance; checking them frequently should be part of your preventative maintenance schedule. Your car’s manual will tell you how often to get your tires rotated and balanced, and your alignment checked. Treads should be visually inspected regularly and professionally checked about once a year for uneven or irregular wear, as well as cuts, punctures, and bruises along sidewalls. You should also monitor your tire pressure every few weeks. Tires should be replaced as soon as possible when worn or damaged, to avoid a costly blowout.
At V&F we offer:
- Tire Sales
- Tire Installations
- Tire Rotation
- Tire Balancing
- Tire Replacement
- Wheel Alignment
- Tire Air Pressure Checks
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Repair & Service
If your car needs maintenance, repair, or tire replacement before this winter season, call us today at (413)314-2280 or schedule an appointment online.
For more information on tire safety and maintenance, check out this blog article from July.