Tires are essential components of a car when it comes to keeping your car steady and level on the road. A correctly inflated tire that is of good quality is essential to a safe ride.
Having a flat tire is not uncommon if you drive your car a lot. In some situations, a flat tire can also occur from a lack of use. It is important that you don’t consistently drive on a flat tire. This can cause damage to your wheel bearings and other tires and lead to costly repairs.
There are several steps to take when inflating a flat tire. In rare situations that you notice this, read on to find out how to inflate a completely flat car tire.
How to Inflate a Completely Flat Car Tire
These are the several different steps for you to follow when you notice a completely flat car tire.
Step 1: Pullover
When you notice you have a completely flat tire, the first thing to do is turn on your car’s emergency lights and slow down. As soon as you notice an open stretch of road or space that is away from traffic, you should pull over. It isn’t advisable to change your car tires while close to oncoming traffic.
Step 2: Inspection
Thoroughly inspect the faulty tire. Check to find out the cause of the leak. In the case of a complete leak, you need to repair the tire before pumping it or you risk it losing air again after a few kilometers.
Step 3: Desembling
Lift your car with a car jack to keep your tires as high off the floor as possible. Remove the wheel bolts carefully. Then take out the tire for further inspection.
Step 4: Fixing
If the cause of the damage is minimal, you can fix this with a tire repair kit. All you have to do is find the source and patch it. However, for large damage, you should fix your spare tire. Detach it from the rim and get the damaged tire to a mechanic for a professional repair.
Step 5: Inflating
Attach a car pump to the valve stem of your tire and start pumping. Check for the tire’s PSI and pump accordingly. In cases of overinflation, you can push on the needle in the middle of the valve stem to let some air out.
If you have an automatic air compressor, they tend to work faster but they are quite pricey. A bicycle pump is a type of manual pump that also works effectively. Confirm that the pump is compatible with your valve before you start inflating. There are also air pumps for cars that can be bought from an auto part store.
What Causes a Flat Tire?
Some of the possible causes of a flat tire include poor-quality tires, tire bead leaks, vandalism, over-inflation, puncture holes, and a faulty valve stem.
Worn Out or Poor Quality Tires
A worn-out or bad-quality tire can lead to having a completely flat tire or other worse situations. Always inspect your tires for worn-out signs such as deeply scuffed areas, swellings, and too many patches.
In cases of vandalism, you might need to check for damages such as a knife slash and replace the tire accordingly. However, if this involves someone just letting the air out of the tire, you can simply attach a pump and inflate the tire.
Tire Bead Leaks
It is not uncommon for a tire to experience leaks from the tire bead. This leak can cause all the air to escape if the tire is left unused for a while.
To confirm that this is the cause, you should spray some soapy water on the tire valve and wheels. If you notice tiny bubbles from a particular spot, then the tire bead is surely faulty.
Over Inflated Tires
An over-inflated tire can lead to a sudden blowout. This is often a result of the pressure problem. So make sure not to overinflate them. Check the pressure after adding air to your tire. If they are too firm and are not able to be pushed in at all, they are overinflated and you should let out some air.
Faulty Valve Stem
A damaged or faulty valve stem will lead to air leaking out of your tire. If the valve stem is not correctly locked or is clogged with dirt, it can also cause air to leak from the tire until it goes completely flat.
Sharp Objects Puncture
A common cause of a completely flat tire is a sharp object puncture. Nails or screws getting embedded in the car’s tire can cause air loss and subsequently a flat tire.
How Do You Know Your Tire is Completely Flat?
While in motion, you will notice several changes in your steering wheel such as a strong vibration but there are other common reasons why a car will vibrate. Other tell-tale signs include a flapping sound and an unsteady balance.
Other Things to Help You When Your Tires Are Deflated
Get Your Tire Ready
If you have traveled quite a distance before noticing the tire you should find a good space to park the car. Wait for the tires to cool down to avoid burn injuries. You can also gauge the air pressure better when the tire is cool. Only remove the valve cap when you’re ready to inflate the tire.
Getting The Right Tools
You should have a tire gauge in your car at all times. This helps you determine the correct amount of air your tire needs. Underinflation or overinflation can lead to serious or more damage.
Confirm what your tire’s PSI is. This is what helps you determine the type of air compressor your tire needs. For tires with a PSI of around 100-150, a small air compressor would function just fine.
You should also have a quality wheel spanner, a jack, and other tools to make changing and fixing the tire easy.
In the case of a complete tire loss, do not attempt to slam on the car brakes suddenly. Try to grind the car to a slow halt. Turn on the hazard lights in your car and always wait until you’re far away from the oncoming traffic before you attempt to change the tire.
Most of the time, there is no way for you to prevent a completely flat tire. In the event that it happens, this guide teaches you how to inflate a completely flat tire by yourself.
Always ensure you drive carefully and safely at all times. Make sure you follow the correct procedures to change a car’s tire in the event of an unexpected complete loss of tire air.