How To Avoid Punctures
If you drive a car you will get a puncture at some point. You may have the dramatic experience of your tyre deflating while driving at 100 on the dual carriageway, or you might notice the flat tyre before you set off on your journey. Either way punctures are at worst dangerous, and at best a hassle. It will take you time to get sorted, and it will cost you money. Sometimes that expense is small if the puncture can be repaired but punctures often cause irreparable damage to a tyre, so can mean you having to replace either the inner tube or the tyre sooner than you had anticipated.
Here are some tips on how you can avoid punctures:
1. Be Careful Where You Drive
Preventing punctures starts with avoiding places where they are likely to occur. This includes obvious locations like construction sites, or places where there is debris on the road. You should avoid driving over obvious dangers like broken glass or bits of metal, and you should also try to avoid driving over anything that you can’t identify on the road.
Where you position your car on the road is also important. Debris builds up in certain areas, like on hard shoulders, close to curbs, and in the centre of the road. You can help to protect your tyres by avoiding these areas, particularly where they appear to have an accumulation of debris.
2. Check Your Tread
Tyres that are excessively worn get more punctures than those that have good treads. Check your tyres regularly and change them before they get below the legal minimum.
3. Check Your Tyre Pressures
Both under-inflated tyres and over-inflated tyres are more susceptible to punctures than tyres running at the right pressure. Under-inflated tyres suffer more friction on the road, so wear out faster. Over-inflated tyres are more easily damaged by things like potholes or bumps. To avoid either of these scenarios check your tyre pressures at least once a month.
4. Don’t Bump Into The Curb
When parking against the curb it is easy to rub your tyre along it as you try to get into place. This can damage the side wall of your tyre which can weaken the structure and lead to punctures.
5. Watch The Road Ahead
One major cause of tyre punctures is hitting potholes on the road. Keep an eye out for them, particularly in the dark. You should anticipate the road ahead, and avoid potholes where possible.
6. Don’t Overload Your Vehicle
Your car has a maximum load rating. For most people this is not an issue, but if you carry heavy loads you might get close to this rating, or even exceed it. One of the negatives of driving while overloaded is that your tyres are put under greater strain which can make them more susceptible to getting a puncture.
Even if you drive a car that has run-flat tyres, punctures are annoying. Run-flat tyres only let you drive a short distance so that you can get home, or to a place where you can get the puncture repaired. The best option is always to take the measures above to try to avoid punctures in the first place.