A tire blowout can be scary, stressful, and unexpected. Checking your tires regularly and being aware of risk factors can help you prevent a tire blowout, but sometimes, accidents happen when you’re tearing up the highway.
Keep reading to learn about how to deal with a tire blowout so that you can get back on the road in no time.
Tire blowouts can happen at any moment during your drive. These blowouts are scary, especially when driving at high speeds near other moving vehicles, like on the freeway. Knowing what causes tire blowouts and recognizing the warning signs can help you protect yourself, your passengers, and your sweet ride.
Did you know there’s an increased number of tire blowouts between May and October? This happens for a few reasons, including high temperatures, heavier vehicle loads, increased traffic on the roads, and faster speeds on the highway.
There are many reasons why tire blowouts occur, including:
Old and worn tires that need replacing
Too much weight in the vehicle
Small holes in the wheel that release air overtime
Direct damage to the tire, such as hitting a pothole or curb
Items getting stuck in the tire, such as glass or nails
While you can’t always avoid damage to your tire, understanding the root of tire blowouts can help you prevent catastrophe. Easy adjustments like properly inflating your tires, steering clear of potholes, and replacing older tires can make a huge difference.
Your ride takes care of you every day, whether you’re commuting to school or off-roading in the desert. Looking out for signs of tire damage is your way to take care of your car right back.
It’s important to check your tires regularly, whether you’re trying to avoid a tire blowout, prevent rolling hazards, or stop sidewall flexing in its tracks. It doesn’t take long to do a quick tire glimpse every so often to detect the warning signs leading to blowouts and other tire terrors:
This may be hard to see without looking closely, but take a minute to inspect your tire for cuts and cracks in the sidewall. This can be a large cause for tire blowouts, so don’t be afraid to really get into it.
While you’re looking for cuts and cracks in your tire’s sidewall, take a second look for bulges or blisters. These may also be difficult to spot with the naked eye, but bulges and blisters are a tell-tale sign of weak areas in your tire that may lead to a blowout.
Side wall bubbles are most often caused by high impact damage such as hitting a pothole, curb, driving too fast over railroad crossings, under-inflated tires, impact with road debris, or overloading your tires. Side wall bubbles are dangerous and the tire should be replaced to prevent a blowout while driving. These bubbles can’t be repaired!
Treadwear from incorrect inflation, tire damage, an issue with suspension pieces, or unevenly aligned wheels can be another major blowout risk.
While uneven tread wear is a clear warning sign, any excessive tread wear can be bad news for your ride. Luckily, many new vehicles alert you to change your tires with a tread-wear indicator bar that runs parallel to the tread.
The tread’s minimal depth should be 2/32-inch. If your tread is worn below this bar, it’s time to get new tires. Rotate your tires regularly based on your owner manual’s suggested mileage to keep your tread solid for as long as possible.
If your tire is vibrating, don’t ignore it! Excessive tire vibration can be a sign of a deformed, unbalanced, or misaligned wheel. You should get this checked out by a professional ASAP.
Now that you know the risk factors and warning signs of tire blowouts, let’s talk about what to do when your tire blows.
This might go without saying, but remaining calm can be easier said than done. Take a deep breath and focus on what you can do to solve the problem.
Turning on your emergency flashers tells other drivers that something is wrong so that they can move to a different lane and give you space. It also warns them that you’re about to slow down and stop.
Make sure you keep a tight grasp on the steering wheel as you navigate to a safe location. This will reduce the risk of you losing control and crashing your car.
Pull over slowly. If you panic and throw on the brakes, it could create additional damage to your vehicle. An abrupt break could even cause an accident if other drivers follow you too closely or don’t expect you to stop.
Have an additional tire in your vehicle in case of any unexpected blowouts. To change a tire, start by putting on your parking brake to avoid rolling. Next, apply wheel wedges to fully minimize your ride rolling away.
Once your ride is secure, remove your hubcap to expose your lug nuts. With a lug wrench, loosen the lug nuts without removing them entirely. Now, it’s time to raise your ride with a jack and unscrew the lug nuts completely.
Finally, you can remove your blown tire and mount your spare on the lug bolts. Tighten everything up, lower your car or truck, and you’ll be back on the road in no time.
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You get the picture.
No one expects to have a tire blowout, but they can happen at any time on the road.
If your tire does blow, remember to remain calm, turn on the emergency flashers, keep a tight grip on the steering wheel, slowly pull to the side of the road, and make your phone calls.
Having a spare tire in your trunk can make a huge difference during any emergency, blowouts included. RAW Wheels + Tires is an excellent choice not only for spares but also for lit upgrades at a price you’ll love.