It’s maybe not as glamorous as traveling to Italy or exciting as skydiving, but if changing a flat tire is on your bucket list, this post is for you!
If learning to change a flat tire is something you would really like to learn, Driver’s Ed has a great educational video on YouTube. The instructional video takes you step by step through the process, in terms that anyone can understand. The video is also in closed captioning, so you can read along. If only all new drivers were better prepared to emergencies like flat tires! *Remember, ALWAYS have a spare tire in your vehicle!
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.
There’s even a blogger using the “I Am MN Nice” , whom we’ve connected with on Twitter. He writes about all the things there are to do and see in Minnesota, similar to our friend, MinneMom who focuses on great family-orientated places and activities to consider.
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.
One popular question we get has to do with being able to fix a flat tire with a tire-in-a-can-type product. There are quite a few out there that claim to be able to help you fix a flat tire in an instant.
This type of tire fixing solution should only be used in a real emergency, not by someone who doesn’t want to go through the work of changing a flat tire. Tires (and flat tires) are part of owning a vehicle. Therefore, you should make a plan ahead of time what you will do in the event of a flat tire.
- Make sure you have a spare tire
- Learn how to change a flat tire
- Carry the number of a repair service/towing service
- Have a cell phone or OnStar emergency options with you
- Find out if AAA is a good option for you
Once applied to your tire, the chemicals in the tire-in-a-can related product make it nearly impossible and significantly more expensive to fix your tire later when you bring it in to us. Our tire technicians don’t appreciate breathing in those chemicals!
I worry about our customers using these types of products for one or more of these reasons:
- If it appears to work temporarily, people might avoid seeking a permanent repair. It is only a temporary fix!
- Many of our customers report buying a product and not having it work. They are out the money, plus still have to fix their tire AND the product caused additional work ($).
- People have ruined their tires altogether, making a new tire necessary (when it could have been repaired)
- The weather can be a factor also. Too hot or too cold, and the chemical is not going to come out with the correct consistency to fix the puncture.
We know a thing or two about repairing tires, in all kinds of extreme weather. If you are out of cell phone range of a tow truck and have no spare, then you can try this repair method, but it is best served as a last resort. A couple other common questions have to do with Nitrogen Filled Tires and In-Town Driving and Its Effects on Tires
Need help repairing a tire? Call us at 1-800-421-2037 in Anoka, MN or 1-800-761-2013 in Bloomington, MN. We are within a short distance from most metro areas!
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.
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.