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The Five Most Common Causes of Flat Tires and Blowouts

Flat tires and blowouts can be unexpected, terrifying, and costly. If you’re looking to reduce your risk of flat tires and blowouts, you’ll want to keep the following five common causes in mind as you drive around town in your car, truck, or SUV.

Wheel Misalignment

One of the most common causes of flat tires is wheel misalignment. When your wheels are out of alignment, it puts extra stress on your tires, which can cause them to wear down prematurely and unevenly in some cases. Additionally, misaligned wheels can cause your car to pull to one side, making it more difficult to control. Blowouts are also more likely to occur when your wheels are out of alignment and your tires have worn unevenly.

Under-Inflated Tires

Another common causes of flat tires is under-inflated tires. When your tires are under-inflated, they can overheat and blow out. Additionally, under-inflated tires can cause premature wear and tear, leading to a blowout. To avoid these problems, check your tire pressure regularly and inflate your tires as needed.

Overloading Your Vehicle

Overloading your vehicle is another common cause of flat tires and even blowouts. This puts too much pressure on the tires, increasing the blowout risk. If carrying a lot of weight in your car, distribute it evenly so that all four tires bear the same load. Some trucks have load-leveling suspension systems that help balance loads by automatically adjusting ride height. 

Road Hazards Like Potholes

Road hazards are the most common cause of flat tires and blowouts. For example, hitting a pothole can cause your tire to loose air pressure, leading to a flat tire. If you hit a pothole with enough force, it can also cause your tire to blow out, especially if it is worn or in poor condition. To avoid this, be sure to avoid potholes when you’re driving and keep your tires in good condition.

Old Tires

One of the most common causes of flat tires is simply having old tires. As your tires age, the rubber degrades and becomes more prone to punctures. Check your tire’s tread depth regularly using a penny; if you can see Abraham Lincoln’s head, it’s time for new tires. If you’re not sure how deep the treads are, take them to be checked out by a professional at a service station or auto shop. The date on the sidewall also indicates when they were made, so it is easy to find out how old they are without taking off the tire to measure it.

While you can’t completely avoid flat tires and blowouts, you can mostly prevent them by following recommended tire maintenance guidelines. Have your trusted mechanic inspect and rotate your car’s tires at your next service appointment.

Photo by ANDRII BILETSKYI from Getty Images via Canva Pro