What to do when you have a flat tire?


It’s a very unpleasant situation when you’re driving down the road or even worse – the highway, and all of a sudden you hit a pothole (tell us about those in the city) or find a nail and  your tire goes flat. Right away you’ll definitely feel the change in how your car behaves, especially if it’s the front tire. There’s only a small piece of rubber between the rim and the road and it’s being worn out very quickly. Even though all of this might sound scary, here are some tips on how to prevent it from happening as well as what to do when it occurs. 

Preventative maintenance.

Just how with everything else in life, you should hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. There are few very simple steps you can do to make sure you won’t get caught off guard when a flat tire happens: 

  • Check on your spare tire and make sure it’s in good working order and inflated. Keep in mind that most of the regular tires are at 30-35 psi, while spares go up to 60 or 70 psi.
  • Make sure you have a proper wrench to unscrew those lug nuts to change the tire in case you need to.
  • Always carry a WD40 in your toolbox. It’s only a few bucks at a local auto parts store, but it might save you in case those tires haven’t been changed in a long time and lug nuts just don’t want to get unscrewed.
  • Buy a small inflation kit that connects to your 12v auto plug (cigarette lighter). In most cases if you caught a nail, this kit will help you inflate the tire. This way you can safely drive to a tire shop without the need to call a towing service (which is very expensive if not covered by your insurance).

What to do.

Now that you’re prepared, here are a few things you can do when it actually happens:

  • Safely pull to the side of the road as far from other cars as possible and turn your hazards on. If you have a reflective triangle, put it about 10 ft behind your car. This way others can see you and won’t bump into you. Always remember – safety first!
  • Try to fix it yourself. As stated earlier, if you have an inflation kit – use it. In most cases it’s enough to get you to the nearest tire shop. If that doesn’t help – you’ll need a spare tire, a jack (located in the trunk) and a wrench. Never done it before? Simply look it up on YouTube and you’ll find all the video instructions to get it done. 
  • Not feeling confident doing it yourself? You can always try to ask for help from a friend or just a random stranger passing by. You’ll be surprised, but there’s quite a few people who are willing to help those in need. 
  • Check with your insurance if they cover road-side assistance. If so, simply request it and wait, though this might take a few hours and might not be the best option. 
  • 911 often offers help if you give them a call, so don’t be afraid to do so. 
  • And the Best Option: If you’re in Chicago, call Carrectly. We are on demand car service and we will come to you (usually less than an hour), will try to inflate it first with our tool kit. If that doesn’t work, we’ll change a spare for you. Then we’ll take it to the shop for a fix or a tire change and return the vehicle back within a very short time frame. All while you’re continuing with your day and not spending any time dealing with these little life issues. 

Remember to stay safe!