What Does a Flat Tire Look Like? How To Tell If Your Tire Is Flat?

How to Flatten a Car Tire

If you are a new driver, you may have the first chance to experience a flat tire. It is one of the best hassles that you can have when driving.

But before you worry about what you are going to do, you may want to know what a flat tire looks like. How do you know that you have a flat tire?

When you see that your tire is deflated or air has gone from the tire, then your tire is flat. You can see the rim almost touching the ground.

From being a donut, your tire will look like a pancake. Certain signs can make you know if you have a flat tire.

Some of the signs are excessive vibration and low tire pressure. When you see that your tire is flat, go to the nearest gas station to inflate your tire.

Or you can go to the nearest auto repair shop to replace your tire. It will not be good for you to still drive on a flat tire.

Things can get worse and you can have a blowout. Or worse, you can experience fatal accidents from driving on a flat tire.

If you want to know what to do when you have a flat tire, you can watch the following video:

Signs That You Will Have a Flat Tire

The most unexpected hassle in a day is getting a flat tire. Surely, it will disrupt your plan, whatever it is.

But good thing some signs can help you track if you will have a flat tire. They are the following:

Tire Bulges

A bulge is developed in the tire. Irregular bubbles are appearing on the outside.

This is a sign that you will have a flat tire soon.

Excessive Vibration

When you experience an excessive tire vibration while you are driving, this is a sign that your tire will be flat soon. The tires are so unbalanced that they start to shake.

The vibration can impact the tire and cause damage.

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Cracked Sidewalls

If you hit a curb, your sidewall can have cracks. You just do not know but this will be a cause for your tire to get flat.

The cracks can be a vulnerable spot for the tire to get flat.

Worn Tread

Tires will wear over time. When the tread is almost bald, then you will have the danger of having a flat tire.

You cannot expect your tire to last long when the tread is worn. Sooner or later, you will have a flat tire.

Or worse, you can have a blowout.

Low Tire Pressure

Low tire pressure will cause your tire to deflate. Thus, it will be flat after some time.

Tire Warning Light

The tire warning light can indicate if your tire is having low tire pressure. This system is called TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System).

The TPMS light will show you if you have to inflate your tire. Thus, you will know if you will have a flat tire.

What Causes a Flat Tire?

One day, you saw your tire flat. You are so devastated.

What has caused your tire to be flat? Maybe you want to know so you can avoid them.

Having a flat tire is a big hassle. You want to avoid it at all costs.

Well, we have prepared for you some of the causes of a flat tire. Read the following causes:

1. Road Hazards

Unexpected debris can destroy your tire. Potholes and uneven roads can cause your tire to be flat.

2. Unexpected Damage

If you do not drive carefully, you can experience a flat tire. If you slam on the brakes too much and always do hard steering, you can destroy your tire.

3. Alloy Wheel Leaks

Leakage can happen on aluminum wheels. If this happens, it can cause your tire to be flat.

4. Overinflated Tires

It is not good to overinflate your tire. You can have a dangerous pressure situation where your tire will have a blowout.

Or sometimes, it can get flat.

5. Separation of Tire and Rim

When you hit the curb, the tire may slip from the rim. When there is an improper alignment, there will be a great chance that your tire will get flat.

It is because the air will be lost. To avoid this, you have to fix your tire alignment immediately.

6. Vandalism

Someone may let the air out of your tires through vandalism. This will have a remedy if you will reflate your tires.

To prevent vandalism, be careful where you are parking your car.

7. Tire Bead Leaks

Air can leak from the tire bead. Over time, your tire can get flat because of the leak.

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To prevent this, you can spray your wheels with soapy water. If there are tiny bubbles, then there is a tire bead leak.

8. Ripped Tire

If your tire is worn, sooner it can get ripped. This can put you in a very dangerous situation.

So, always check if your tires are damaged. You can avoid a flat tire or a blowout.

9. Valve Stem Damage

If your valve stem is damaged, you will surely have tire problems. As the tiny cap that you have to unscrew to inflate your tire, if it is damaged, your tire should surely deflate.

Thus, you will always have a flat tire. So, be sure that your valve stem will be fine.

You must not let it be dirt-clogged also. Air will also lose in dirt-clogged valve stems.

10. Puncture by Sharp Objects

Sharp objects like nails or glass can cause the tire to be flat. This is the most common reason why your tire can get flat.

So, you must avoid sharp objects to get into your tire at all costs.

Consequences of Driving on a Flat Tire

You are compromising your safety when you drive on a flat tire. It can also cause serious damage to your vehicle.

You can end up spending too much money on fixing different components of your car. Also, driving on a slow puncture can cause your tire to be salvaged.

How to Fix a Flat Tire

1. Find the Leak

The first thing that you need to do is to locate the puncture. Find the hole though it may not be easy.

You can do a visual inspection where you should look over the tire and find foreign objects. Listen for a zipping sound that can point you to where the puncture is.

Or you can place your hand above the tire to feel for the leaking air. If you still haven’t found the leak, you can use the soap and water method.

Get a bucket of water and add soap to it. Using a spray bottle, coat the tire with soap and water.

The spot where there is a leak will create patches of bubbles. That is how you are going to find the leak.

2. Use a Puncture Sealant

You can find a variety of products that can close the puncture. There are two categories for this.

The first is the gel-like substance that requires some tools to apply to the tire. The second is the puncture sealant product that requires nothing.

To use a puncture sealant product to seal your tire, you can use the following steps:

  • Remove the foreign object that punctured the tire. For example, remove the nail with a pair of pliers.
  • Place the valve stem at the top of the tire.
  • Put the nozzle of the sealant to the valve stem.
  • Press the sealant to let the fluid enter the valve stem.
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3. Use a Tire Plug Kit

Another thing that you can use is the tire plug kit. You can fix a flat tire temporarily by using this.

There is a wide range of different kits that you can use. But the basic components that you need for a tire plug kit are the plug itself, a threading tool, a rasp tool, and cement or sealant.

To plug a flat tire, you must follow the following steps:

  • First, you need to remove your tire. Though you may not need to do this if you can reach the puncture directly.
  • Remove the object that punctured your tire. Use pliers.
  • Get the rasp tool. Clean the hole by using it. Make it run in and out the hole.
  • Press the plug to the puncture. If there is an adhesive product in the kit, use it to keep the plug inserted.
  • Cut the excess piece of the plug with a knife. Apply sealant on the top to cover cracks.
  • Let it dry. Put some soapy water on the plug to test if there are leaks. Put on additional adhesive if needed.
  • To check if the plug is firm, inflate the wheel. If it is, then you can put the tire back.

If you want to learn more about how to use a tire plug kit, you can watch the following video:

FAQs

Does Your Car Tell You When You Have a Flat Tire?

The screen on your car can tell you the tire pressure of your tires. Some even have a warning light that will remind you if you have low tire pressure.

Thus, you will know if you are going to have a flat tire.

How Do You Know If Your Tire is Flat or Just Needs Air?

You can take a quick drive to know. If the air pressure of the tire goes up, then your tire just needs air.

How Long Does It Take for a Tire to Become Flat?

If your car is parked, it can be flat for as little as one month. Tire spotting may be developed in your tire that will cause it to be flat.