There is nothing as frustrating as having to deal with a flat tire in the middle of nowhere. Most of the time, we tend to assume that the tire is quality was poor or there was a manufacturing defect that resulted in the blowout.
However, this is not always the case. When you go to buy tires online, they come in a perfect condition. In these instances, other factors can lead to a blowout in your tires.
Being aware of the causes of a flat tire helps you avoid mishaps such as being stranded in the middle of nowhere. The following are the top eight common flat tire causes:
Cause #1: Under-inflation
Under-inflation is one of the most common causes of a flat tire. The sidewall of an under-inflated tire tends to flex more when the car is in motion. This unrestrained flexing leads to the tire heating up beyond the recommended operating temperatures. If the car is speeding on a highway for an extended time during summer, the situation may worsen. Excessive heating leads to a deterioration of the tire rubber.
This can, in turn, lead to subsequent sidewall rupture and tread separation. This causes the tire to explode due to the rapid loss of air pressure in the tire. It is essential to always check the air pressure of your tires before heading out.
Cause #2: Driving in the Heat
Driving in the heat is another common flat tire cause. A car’s tire is more prone to damage during the summer. When the weather is too hot, the air inside your tires expands. This increases the internal pressure of your tires. This rise in air pressure significantly increases the risk of a flat tire or blowout. Make it a habit to check the tire pressure every morning before venturing out in the hot weather.
Cause #3: Poor Road Conditions
The amount of damage your tires sustain is directly related to the quality of the road. The more debris there is on the road, potholes and uneven paving, the higher the risk of experiencing a flat tire. Poor road conditions are a leading cause of most road mishaps. These range from a tire blowout to a festering problem such as a small leak, which can morph into an emergency in the coming days. To avoid a flat tire on poorly maintained roads, drive slowly and avoid hitting potholes or bumps as much as possible.
Cause #4: Irregular Wear Due to Mechanical Troubles
Damaged wheel suspension or misaligned tires are some of the main causes of irregular wear of tires. Misalignment results in the tire wearing out unevenly on one side, which eventually leads to a flat tire. In some cases, the tire might not go flat, but one side will be completely worn out while the other is in perfect shape. In a situation like this, you have no option but to prematurely replace the tire. Other than the risk of experiencing a flat tire, uneven wearing out results in poor tire traction and overall driving quality.
Cause #5: Regular Wear and Tear
While this condition is not a major cause of flat tires, sometimes regular wear and tear can adversely affect the tire. Constant driving on different roads gradually wears out the treads on your tires, making them more vulnerable to flat tires. You can slow down the wear and tear process of your tires by adopting practices such as avoiding abrupt starts and stops, investing in quality wheel alignment and monitoring and maintenance of tire pressure.
Cause #6: Leakage in Valve Stem
That tiny protrusion you unscrew when inflating air into the tire is known as the valve stem. Most people assume that flat tires only occur as a result of a hole in the tire, but it can also be caused by a faulty valve stem. Valve stems consist of a core, a body and a cap. The core is responsible for creating the seal that prevents air loss.
It should always be tightened into the valve’s body. Any kind of damage, or accumulation of dirt in the valve stem, may result in a leak, which leads to rapid air loss in the tire. Like all car parts, valve stems wear out with time. Just to be safe, keep checking on the valve stem and replace or fix it if it gets brittle or cracked.
Cause #7: Tire Bead Leaks
The tire bead is the part of the tire that rests on the rim. In some cases, a flat tire may be a result of air leaking from the tire bead. To check for issues with the tire bead, spray the valve system and tire with soapy water. If you notice a steady stream of bubbles coming out, the tire probably has a tire bead leak.
Cause #8: Vandalism
Vandalism consists of someone intentionally letting out the air in your tires, but this can be easily remedied without needing a replacement. Simply reflate your tires but be more careful about where you park your car next time.