Can I Drive on a Flat Tire?

Flat tires are a significant inconvenience, especially when you’re out in the boonies or on a major highway. Driving on a flat tire may be a tempting solution to get off the side of the road, but that isn’t a great idea. Long story short, no, don’t drive on a flat tire. Continue reading to learn why and how to prevent flat tires.

Why Can’t I Drive On a Flat Tire?

It may be necessary to travel a short distance on a flat tire, even to pull over to the side of the road. Driving on a flat tire will endanger yourself and your passengers and seriously damage your vehicle. Not only does driving on a flat tire dangerously decrease your vehicle’s handling, but it can also cause structural damage to the wheel, brakes, alignment, and other components like your suspension and steering system. While it may seem the simplest solution, driving to the nearest tire shop can cause more damage than a simple flat tire.

So, What Do I Do When I Have a Flat Tire?

“Prevention is not waiting for bad things to happen; it’s preventing things from happening in the first place,” said Don McPherson. While you typically hear this quote concerning health, it also applies here. Taking precautions to prevent a flat tire, to begin with, is best. You can do a few things regularly to minimize the chances of a flat or blowout.

If you don’t have a spare or sealant, call for roadside assistance like AAA. If you are within the Las Vegas Valley, One Hour Tires is a mobile tire repair service that can come to you and fix your flat tire.

Check Your Tire Pressure Regularly

The number one rule of tire maintenance is checking your tire pressure regularly. It’s recommended to check the pressure on all your tires, including the spare, at least once a month. Tire pressure gauges are inexpensive and can help save you from tire trouble down the road.

Some modern vehicles have a tire pressure monitoring system, or TPMS, installed and will warn you if the pressure is low in one or more tires. Unfortunately, it’s common for the TPMS to recognize the issue only when your tires lose a significant amount of air, so manually checking with a tire gauge to double-check is a smart idea.

Check your tire pressure when the tires are “cold, meaning at least three hours after driving. Driving with underinflated tires can lead to lower fuel efficiency, and they are more prone to wear and punctures.

Inspect & Rotate Your Tires Regularly

Typically, rotating your tires every 5,000 to 10,000 miles would be best. It’s a good rule of thumb to have your tires rotated when you get the oil changed. Also, visually inspect your tires for tread wear and signs of damage. Tires should have a minimum tread depth of 3/32 inches and no signs of cracking, bulging sidewalls, or bubbling. Check out our learning resources to learn how to check your tread depth: How to Check Tire Tread Depth – One Hour Tires Las Vegas

Stay Within the Tire Load Limit

Along with the recommended tire pressure, tires have a maximum load rating and maximum pressure printed on the sidewall. Heavier loads put more strain on your tires, and exceeding their limit could lead to a blowout. If necessary, increase your tire pressure to handle the increased weight but stay within the maximum tire pressure limit. Learn how to read your tire size here: How to Read a Tire Size – One Hour Tires Las Vegas

Keep an Eye Out for Road Hazards

Roadways are full of hazards like potholes, nails, and pieces of glass. Potholes and large road debris can damage your tires without puncturing them, but they may cause cuts and bulges that could lead to a flat tire or severe tire damage. If you know you’ll drive through a construction zone, consider taking an alternative route to avoid construction debris.

One Hour Tires Provides Mobile Tire Repair!

Are you stuck on the Las Vegas Beltway with a flat tire? Our team of experts at One Hour Tires can come to you and repair or replace your flat in no time! Not only can we help you in an emergency, but we can also come to your own home to service your vehicle’s tires. Give us a call today!

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What to Know About Tire Balancing

Have you ever been curious about tire balancing and what it does for your vehicle? Tire balancing is a simple service typically done in unison with tire replacement, repair, or rotation. There are various reasons why balancing your tires is essential to the health of your vehicle and tires. Please continue reading to learn more about it!

What Is Tire Balancing?

Tire balancing fixes uneven weight distribution on your vehicle’s tires. Wheels that aren’t balanced can cause vibrations, excessive tire wear, damage to the suspension, and other issues. Tire balancing is done for various reasons:

  • Prevent more wear and tear on your tires
  • Prevent strain on the drive train
  • Reduce noises and vibrations
  • Create a smoother ride
  • Improve gas mileage

How Is Tire Balancing Done?

Tires can be manually balanced if you know what you’re doing. Machine balancers are best for ease and precision in properly balancing your tires. An expert technician mounts the wheel/tire assembly onto the balancer’s spindle through the center bore, and a metal cone is inserted to ensure the wheel is perfectly centered. The machine spins the assembly at a very high speed to determine the amount of imbalance. Using that information, the technician installs the correct wheel weights to balance the wheel and tire properly.

When Should I Get My Tires Balanced?

You may need your tires balanced if your tires are unevenly worn, or you feel a vibration in the steering wheel, floorboard, or seat. Generally speaking, your vehicle’s tires should be rotated and balanced every 3,000 to 6,000 miles, or as your manufacturer recommends.

You can determine which wheels need to be balanced depending on where your vehicle is vibrating. If you feel vibrations in the steering wheel, your front wheels may need to be balanced. If you feel vibrations in your seats, your rear wheels may need to be balanced.

How Do Tires Get Out Of Balance?

Uneven tire wear or wheel weight loss after an impact is often the most common culprit. You may also need tire balancing if you have left your vehicle parked for a long time without moving it, causing flat spots on the tread’s contact patch that might lead to vibration at road speeds.

Important Things To Know:

  • Balancing is necessary: Weight imbalances are unavoidable.
  • Balancing changes over time: As the tire wears, the balance will slowly change. Most quality tire shops will want to rebalance tires when they are rotated or when swapping winter tires for summer tires and vice versa.
  • Balancing only fixes imbalances: Balancing will not prevent vibrations from physical wheel and tire damage. Balancing tires will only fix weight differences.

We Can Help You!

One Hour Tires offers various mobile tire services, including mounting and balancing! We use state-of-the-art equipment to balance each wheel while locating and removing potential imbalances during our service. We pride ourselves on helping our customers without them leaving the comfort of their homes or helping them wherever they are in an emergency. If you need mobile tire repair or replacement services, call us today!

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What Can Cause a Slow Tire Leak?

Most people know the frustration of a slow leaking tire, and you only seem to notice when it’s underinflated and already running late for work! There are various reasons why your tire is slowly leaking but have no fear; most slow leak problems can be easily fixed with the right crew of vehicle maintenance experts!

What is a Slow Leak?

Tires naturally lose air at about one psi per month, but a slow tire leak occurs when your tire gradually loses more than the typical air loss. Over time, air leakage will cause an underinflated tire, eventually flat.

How Can I Tell if My Tire Has a Slow Leak?

Unlike large tire punctures, the leak source can be challenging to find, and you’ll rarely hear a hissing sound. If your vehicle is equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that monitors tire pressure, then a warning signal will appear on your dashboard when there is a significant PSI issue. If your TPMS sensor frequently shows this warning, you may have a slow tire leak.

If your vehicle does not have the TPMS system, it will be more challenging to determine if your tire has a slow leak since it happens gradually. Suppose you notice that your tire(s) frequently seem underinflated, and you’ve had to air up your tire multiple times; then, you may have a slow tire leak.

If you suspect a slow tire leak, you can confirm your suspicion by doing an easy test. Apply soapy water over the treads, sidewalls, around the valve stem, and the tire beading. Wait a few minutes and inspect your tire; if you see any localized bubbly patches, you likely have a slow leak.

What Can Cause a Slow Tire Leak?

Tire Puncture

Hollywood likes to show tires exploding when something punctures a tire, but that’s not always the case. Sharp objects like nails, broken glass, or other road debris can get lodged in the tire and keep the tire “functional” as the air slowly leaks out. Sometimes, objects can create a tiny hole and fall out, but you won’t notice immediately.

Valve Stem Damage

The valve stem is part of your tire that helps regulate air pressure. You can inflate your tires and release air through the valve stem. A valve stem has many components, but the core and the cap are the two main parts. If you lose the cap, dirt, and debris can get stuck around the valve stem core and cause air leakage. The valve stem can also corrode, crack, or become brittle due to moisture, road salt, chemicals, or age.

Tire Bead & Rim Damage

Slow tire leaks can also occur where the tire bead meets the rim. The tire bead should snugly fit the rim to seal the tire to the rim for proper inflation. The rim can corrode from exposure to road salt or other aggressive chemicals, leading to tiny cracks where air can leak out. Damaged wheels can also result in air leakage. If you hit a pothole or curb, you could damage your rim, breaking the seal and causing a leak.

Normal Wear & Tear

Damage and air leakage can occur simply due to normal wear and tear. Sometimes, there’s nothing you can do but install new tires. The tire tread can wear down, and worn-down tires can start leaking through tiny cracks. Tires should generally be replaced every 25,000 to 50,000 miles depending on the tire condition, vehicle manufacturer, driving habits, and local road conditions.

I Have a Slow Tire Leak. What Do I Do?

Our experienced team at One Hour Tires can come directly to your home or place of work! We can replace, repair, and rotate your tires without you ever leaving home and potentially damaging your wheel further. You can submit a request online or call us for a faster response, and we’ll be on our way!

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When You Should Replace Your Tires

It’s standard within the automotive industry to replace your tires every six years, but many factors determine whether you need to replace them sooner. If you delay necessary tire replacements, driving can become unsafe and cause other vehicle issues.

Reasons for Tire Replacement

Exposure to the Elements

Prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures and UV rays can cause cracking and dry rot. Dry rot is when rubber elements in your tires begin to deteriorate. Regular tire inspections can help your spot dry rot before it becomes a severe problem.

Shallow Tread Depth

The U.S. Department of Transportation deems tires that tread at or below 2/32nds of an inch unsafe. While it is technically drivable, driving in certain conditions and for long distances can become dangerous. There are four ways to determine tread depth:

  • The Penny Test lets you estimate tread depth based on where the tread hits a penny. Turn a penny upside-down, and insert it straight into the groove. You must replace your tires if you can see President Lincoln’s entire head.
  • The Quarter Test is similar to the penny test. You take the same steps, but if the tread touches the top of President Washington’s head, you need to replace your tires.
  • Tire Tread Gauges are relatively cheap tools that measure your tread depth. You can purchase tread gauges at any automotive parts store like AutoZone.
  • Tread Wear Indicators are built into tires and are little raised, evenly spread sections within the grooves of your tire tread. They are not as high as the tread on new tires; however, when the tread reaches the same level as the indicators, it’s time to replace your tires.

Bubbles and Bulges

If you see any bubbling or bulging from the tire sidewall, your tires must be replaced ASAP! There are a few causes of tire swelling:

  • Manufacturer defect
  • Hitting an object on the road
  • Shipment damage
  • Driving over a curb or pothole

Tire Mileage

This may be an obvious statement, but if you put a lot of miles on your tires, they will need replacing sooner rather than later. No matter what type of tires you have, from all-season to ultra-high performance tires, they’ll eventually need to be replaced. While a good warranty and positive consumer reviews can help your decision-making process, remember that certain tire types wear down faster than others. Consider the following to get the most out of your next set of tires:

  • Road and weather conditions you commonly experience
  • Your driving style and priorities
  • Mileage warranties
  • Consumer reviews

Feathering

Tire belt separation, worn suspension, or lack of tire rotation can all cause feathering (also called irregular treadwear). A tire belt separation is the result of the belt plies in the inner liner of the tire separating from each other, allowing air to seep into that open space. Worn suspension can cause the vehicle to bounce or develop unexpected motions that your tires are not designed to handle. Depending on the severity, your tires may need to be replaced, especially if belt separation is the cause.

Tire Age

While many tires are backed by mileage warranties, depending on how much you drive, your tires may need to be replaced based on their age even well before you reach your mileage warranty’s limit. Replacement because of age is more common with classic cars parked for long periods or secondary vehicles that aren’t driven as much. Even if you don’t drive much, you’ll need new tires eventually. We suggest tire replacement at six years, regardless of how often they’ve been used.

Where Can I Go for Tire Replacement?

You don’t have to go anywhere! One Hour Tires is a 24/7 MOBILE tire repair and replacement service that can have you ready to go, and you don’t have to leave your home! We offer a variety of services, so don’t hesitate to give us a call to get you back on the road in no time!

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