You’re driving down the road, minding your own business, and then it happens; that terrible sound of air escaping from your tire. But why do I keep getting flat tires on my car? You pull over to the side of the road, put on the hazard lights, pop open the trunk, and take out a spare tire.
You get a jack and make your way under the car only to find that one beloved lug nut is nowhere to be found. It has disappeared somewhere in your front yard. It is annoying and can cost you much, especially if you rush against time.
This post will take you through the different reasons you are getting flat tires on your car and how to prevent them. Let’s dive in.
Why Do I Keep Getting Flat Tires on My Car?
1. Something Punctured the Tire
This is easily the most common cause of flat tires. If you hit something sharp with your tire, it will usually puncture the inner tube and cause a leak. This can happen while driving or parked on the side of the road.
If you get a flat tire while driving, pull over as soon as possible, don’t drive more than 50 miles per hour (80 kilometers per hour). You also shouldn’t drive if your vehicle has more than one flat tire or if any wheel is damaged beyond repair.
2. Faulty Wheels
If your wheels have any damage on them, such as cracks or scratches, then they are more likely to get damaged when you hit potholes in the road. This will cause one or more of your tires to lose air pressure, which may lead to a flat tire.
Similarly, if your tires are old and cracked because of age or poor maintenance, then they’re more likely to blow out on the road. The same goes for tires that don’t have enough tread (less than 1/8 inch).
You should replace old tires or get them patched as soon as possible if you see any damage on them or notice they’re wearing down quickly.
3. A Bad Tire Pressure Sensor
Let’s start by clearing up some of the confusion around tire pressure sensors. They’re not there to “check” your tire pressure but rather alert you if there’s a problem. And, their accuracy depends on their placement in the tire and the type of tire, so you can’t assume they’re always right.
The sensor in each wheel of the car takes air pressure measurements every 30 to 60 seconds, sending this information to the car’s onboard computer via a radio signal. The computer can determine how much air needs to be added or released from the tire to maintain proper air pressure levels based on these readings. This prevents dangerous under-inflation and over-inflation of tires.
A bad tire pressure sensor can lead to a false sense of security, failing to alert you on pressure changes and risking your life. If the air pressure is too low and you continue driving without repair, you risk serious damage.
4. Incorrect Tire Pressure
Low pressure will cause excessive wear on a tire’s sidewall and tread surface. Underinflated tires also increase the risk of hydroplaning (aquaplaning) and blowouts.
You should check tire pressure regularly, especially when temperatures vary significantly from day to day or when you notice that your vehicle is pulling when driving at high speeds.
5. A Damaged Wheel Rim
A common cause of flat tires is when dents or dings on the outside of the wheel rims allow debris to get inside the inner tubes. This can result in slow leaks or even punctures that complete flat tires.
If there’s any damage to the area around your wheels or rims, then it might be time for some repairs or replacement parts so that you don’t have any more problems with flat tires.
6. Poorly Inflated Tires
Another reason why you might be having trouble with your tires going flat is either they are underinflated or overinflated. Underinflated tires will wear out faster than they should, while overinflated tires will wear out slower.
One of the simplest ways to prevent flat tires is to inflate them regularly according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Most new cars come with a sticker on the driver’s side door post showing which tires should be inflated to what pressure level when cold (before driving).
7. Poor Wheel Balancing
Wheel balancing is a critical part of the wheel and tire package. You must balance the wheel to rotate smoothly and without vibration. A poorly balanced wheel will accelerate wear on the tires and create an annoying, shaking sensation when driving.
A good wheel balance should last 30,000 miles (48,000 km). If you notice your tires wearing unevenly or getting flat spots, your wheels are not properly balanced.
8. A Loose or Faulty Valve Stem Cap
The valve stem cap screws onto the stem and keeps dirt and moisture from entering when installing a tire. A loose cap could allow air to escape from inside the stem, resulting in a flat tire.
If this is suspected of the problem, check all valve stems for tightness by removing them with a wrench and ensuring that they are not bent or damaged before replacing them with new ones.
9. Broken or Worn-out Suspension System
A flat tire can result in a suspension system in poor condition due to age, overloading, or improper maintenance. The springs and shocks can wear down over time, causing the vehicle’s ride to become harsh and uncomfortable.
Additionally, if the vehicle has been loaded beyond its capacity, it may cause damage to your steering and suspension systems and your tires.
There are more than a handful of reasons that could be causing your flat tires. Infrequent rotations, low tire pressure, hitting curbs or potholes, and overloading your vehicle are just some of the likely culprits for flat tires.
The best thing to do is to determine why you’re having these specific issues and then figure out how to either prevent them from happening in the first place or deal with them effectively when they do occur.