Run Flat Tyres: The Advantages and Disadvantages of going “Flat”

Run Flat TyreIt would have been amazing to drive our cars safely on a flat tyre. Aside from the safety issue, getting a flat tyre somehow always happens at a time we could least afford. Run Flat Tyres are made because of these concerns with flat tyres. These are pneumatic tyres designed to withstand deflation when punctured and will allow the vehicles to be driven for limited distances of up to 100 to 320 miles depending on the type of tyre.  Run Flat Tyres have either a reinforced sidewall(usually tough rubber) or additional internal structure that allows support in case of deflation.

Runflat Tyres are divided into 2 types:

1. Self-Supporting – this type has a stiffer and tougher rubber that allows the tyres to temporarily carry the weight of vehicle under lower tyre pressure. However, for this type a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System is needed because it will be quite difficult to notice if the tyre is running on low pressure.

2. Auxiliary – this run flat tyre is attached to a special rim that has a steel support ring that is connected to wheel that allows the tyres to support the weight of the vehicle. Unlike the self-supporting types, these tyres do not have tougher and stiffer rubber.

Pros Of Run Flat Tyres

Car or Tyre manufacturers who use or create Run Flat Tyres believed  in the advantages these tyres offer.

1.  Safety – Run Flat Tyres could help prevent accidents resulting from tyre blow-outs or sudden loss of pressure. Run Flat Tyres, even when punctured could still allow the vehicle to be driven and handled like normal. Having this ability to handle the car normally  is essential particularly when a flat tyre happens while you are driving in a free way where traffic is heavy. Also the risks of changing tyres during peak hours in major free ways or highways are reduced. Safety is the main advantage and selling point of Run Flat Tyres.

2. Extra Space in the Boot – Run Flat Tyres eliminate the need for spare wheels and tyre-changing tools like jacks. Without the spare wheel, the load of our cars is also lessened. When travelling, this could mean an extra luggage or equipment could be placed in our vehicles.

3. Time – Run Flat Tyres are designed to allow cars to be driven even when flat(up to 100-320 miles depending on road and driving conditions). Run Flat Tyres could save us from being late for an important meeting or appointment due to flat tyres.  Or if not a meeting, we could drive to the nearest qualified service station to have the tyres changed.

RFT vs Standard Tyres

Cons Of Run Flat Tires

However, as good as it seems, somehow Run Flat Tyres have not been widely used. There are several reasons that could be attributed to the not so successful adaptation of Run Flat Tyres.

1. Costs – When they need to be replaced, these tyres costs 30%-40% more than the conventional tyres. And with the way the economy is right now,as it is right now, people tend to buy quality yet inexpensive goods. Using these tyres could also mean an additional costs to fuel consumption. The reason is that these tyres are a lot heavier compared to normal tyres and these affects our fuel economy by about 1%. This figure may not be that much if you are driving sparingly but for someone who drives long and hard this can result to extra fuel costs. Another thing is that cars originally equipped with these tyres don’t come with spares, instead they usually come with can of liquid fix-a-flat and a small air compressor.

2. Unlike traditional tyres, punctured run flat tyres also cannot be repaired. A punctured run flat would mean replacement and these tyres, as mentioned, costs more that normal tyres. Treads on run-flats wear much faster than their traditional counterparts making these tyres to be replaced much faster.

3. Comfort driving is reduced when using these tyres. This is due to the thick sidewalls on Runflats. Having thick sidewalls makes the tyres absorb less shock resulting to a stiffer ride when driving.  The good thing about though is that, new generation Runflats, like the 3rd generation Runflats created by Bridgestone, improved the ride by creating and using new technology. However, Runflat Tyres still does not offer the same smooth ride as conventional tyres.

4. Although this reduces the weight to be carried by the vehicle and gives an extra space in the boot, lack of spare tyres when buying cars that come with Runflats is also a pain. It is understandable that these tyres were designed to allow you to drive, about 100 miles and some even more, even when punctured but spares are a necessity. It is a good thing that we could still drive our cars for that long with a flat tyre but what if we are driving on a rough road? Or where the next service station is located more than what is specified by the distance the Runflats could travel.  We might end up stucked on the middle of nowhere.

5. Safety is one of the advantages of Run Flat Tyres over traditional tyres, however, it has been found out that these tyres are not suited when the temperature gets colder or the climate is wetter because these tyres don’t grip as well as normal tyres. And when driving on a slippery road, tyre grip becomes a factor and critical for us to reach our destination safely.

Looking at the pros and cons, using Runflats might not be a good idea. However, we cannot deny the safety benefit these tyres offer. Accidents and loss of lives caused by tyre blow outs could be prevented. These tyres could be the future. People who developed the technology just need to address the issues that Runflats are facing right now. However, I firmly believe that these issues will be resolved in the near future. With the technology we have at our disposal and development of new techniques in creating the materials needed to make Rnnflats Tyres, it won’t take long before these will be used like the conventional tyres today.

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7 Vehicle Towing Tips – Safe Towing

towing boat trailer7 Vehicle Towing Tips For Safe Towing

At one point or another you may have needed to tow something behind your car; it could be your camper trailer, boat or caravan. Getting these things hitched and pulled by our vehicles can be a ordeal specially if you don’t follow some basic safety guidelines. Towing significantly alters the way you need to drive your car.  Handling tolerances are narrowed significantly.  Neglecting to do some basic safety procedures before driving with a heavy load could result in disaster.  Planning ahead is critical when towing.  If it happens to be your first time, you need to ‘over’ prepare.

Untoward incidents can be prevented by following some of these safety procedures when towing.

1. Vehicle Safe Load

The first thing we need to do is consult the car’s users manual for the maximum load that our cars can handle. We don’t want to go towing and halfway our destination then find that our cars break down because it is no longer able to pull the additional weight. We have to remember that additional load will make the components of our cars, like the engine, transmission, diff, clutch etc,  work harder to compensate for the added weight and thus we need to have our cars at tip-top shape.

2. General Condition And Roadworthiness

Next is to check the parts of our car and make sure they are in tip-top shape. Make sure the coolant and engine oil levels are at the right level. If you have not done an oil or coolant change for quite sometime, it will be best to do those things first before towing. Heavy loads can make the engine work harder and this in turn can generate heat fast. And we know that insufficient engine oil or coolant can cause engine malfunction due to overheating. Next is to check the tyres. Make sure the tyres have the right pressure. Over-inflated or under-inflated tyres could cause trailer sway and ultimately a jack-knife!!  If you have ever had one of these events your knees may be still shaking!  Also make sure to check the tyres on the trailer or camper van are free of cracks on the sidewalls and have a good tread. Another thing we need to do is to bring spare tyres and wheels. Bringing spares will never hurt and can prove useful in case they are needed.

towing accident
Towing accidents like this can be prevented by planning ahead and following safety procedures

3. Brakes And Lighting

Ensure that our vehicle lighting and braking systems are working. Having our vehicle’s lights in working condition is a must. This is particularly needed when you are driving at night. Driving with a busted light could endanger not only ourselves but other drivers and pedestrians as well. Worse still, you are violating the law which could earn a ticket or worse if caught driving with that faulty lights.  How many times have accidents happen simply due to failed brake lights?  Your brakes are particularly important when towing.  It is also ideal that the thing you are towing has a separate braking system to minimise having the vehicles working overtime. This is critical if you are towing a major bit of kit.  Your car may be completely overwhelmed and pushed into an accident or off the road if the thing you are towing does not have its own braking systems working as expected.  Neglecting to check that ALL brakes are working properly could be a disaster on the road if they fail.  Yes, the added weight due to the extra cargo can increase the damage significantly.  Believe me I have seen it!  The results can be frightful!

4. Properly Rated Tow Bar

We need to use the appropriate tow-bar(s) for our vehicles. A very good tow-bar to use is one that returns both the car and the caravan to a level position once set-up properly. If you are unsure of what tow-bar to use, it is better to consult an expert. Asking for advice will help prevent unwanted events from happening like accidents. We also need to consider proper weight distribution to avoid the trailer or caravan from flipping or swaying. Ideally, the weight 60% of the weight of the caravan should be loaded towards the front.  The correct rating for the tow bar is not something that you should guess at.  You need to make sure that the mountings and the bar itself are all appropriate for what you intend to tow.  Get this wrong and you are driving a death trap!

5. Practice Towing!  It’s A Skill

Once we have checked everything, it is essential for us to get accustomed driving with the load of a tow. You can do this by doing short trips with the trailer. The best time would be early morning where there is less traffic. This is necessary for you to get used driving with the towed cargo. This can help you determine the driving speed you can be comfortable with.  You can practice parking with the towed vehicle and also help determine if your car is able handle the additional weight of the trailer.

6. Car Mirrors

Your car’s mirrors also play an important role when driving with your towed cargo. Ensuring that the mirrors  give you the ability to view both rear and side traffic clearly. Failing to do so is dangerous and will create an ordeal for you especially when overtaking.  You many need to fit extended mirrors!  If you can’t see, you can’t tow!

7. Maintain Safe Margins When Driving

When driving, you need to remember to maintain a safe speed. Driving fast, though it is nice to do sometimes, would make it more difficult to control the car and the towed vehicle. There is also a possibility that the trailer would sway forcing you to lose control.  If you have ever seen this happen you will know how frightening it is. Driving fast usually puts a strain on things when braking and of course on the tyres. With the added load of the trailer, this will add further to the difficulty when braking.

Summing Up

So in summary, towing is not for the badly prepared driver with the wrong and underrated vehicle  or equipment.  Do your homework and be prepared.  If you do not.  You will be risking your life and that of others.  Seriously, it is one of the most underrated risks you can take with your life.  Get it right and its a joy.  Get it wrong and you will regret your carefree attitude for sure.

 

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Find Out How Coke A Cola Saved A Tranny Swappers Life

Find Out How Coke A Cola Saved A Tranny Swappers Life
Coke Saved My Life!

Background

It was a hot summer morning just before midday. I was putting the final touches on a transmission swap on a classic old HD Holden I owned. She was a beauty. Metal flake blue with really wide fake wire pattern mags on the back and smaller matching wires on the front. I had home made tramp bars on the back that showed out under the diff to stop diff hop when I did burnouts. (Yes, at this stage I was still into all that sort of thing!  Now I worry more about all those $$ left on the road..)  Which just added to the whole look. Yes, in the mid day sun that car looked a real mean machine. My latest project was fitting up a Datsun 4 speed to the original six cylinder bored 186 bored to 192. This was to be one of the final bits of work to make my old Holden a true beast and bring it into the modern era by losing the old column shift!  Yes, I had been dreaming of this project. But this was a project that taught me many lessons. To say it had complexities and hazards was an understatement.

I thought I was all ready to go with an adapter plate in hand for the tranny, so that it would fit up to my fully reconditioned engine.

What To Consider When Doing A Swap?

What did I forget about?  Did I consider that I had to change the master cylinder to make it so that the clutch plate would disengage far enough to allow for pleasant gear changes? Um no. Yes, the displacement of the slave was different to the master…  The first fit up required the driver to be a master of gear management whilst double clutching like a trucky still driving a crash box. Did I think about the clutch plate from the Japanese box looking like a ‘toy’ compared to the size of the Holden one. Of course it had to match the box spline, so there was no using the Holden plate. Not only did the damn thing slip as I tried to burn up some rubber at the track; I think I spun the middle out of 3 of those plates, before the Repco dealer of the day took pitty on me. He figured out that a Kubutz truck clutch fitted just fine and woudld take all of that new power to weight ratio I was packing, if not more. I also found I was missing the brass bush that allowed the drive spline of the box to fit the fly wheel. Yes, this one had been a saga. But, I had it to a point where all the bugs were ironed out. The other thing I completely missed was the modifying of the spline on the propellor shaft.  I actually hand reamed one for testing.  But now I had a fully engineered one to fit up.  That would get rid of the last shudder in the drive train.  (And probably be a lot safer!)  It was now shifting like a treat and I had personally blown the doors off a V8 from a standing start up to 60mph. Yes, it was now becoming a really nice drive.

The last things to do, was to tidy up the windy hole that was in the floor that had been covered up with a poorly fitting gear shifting boot. I now had a really nice one. Fit a new rear seal on the tranny.  (It was leaking from my modified tail shaft fit up.  The other thing that I thought I would tighten up; was the issue of the gear shifter hitting the metal, where I had cut a hole in the propellor shaft tunnel. So just a little work with the grinder and I was ready to fit that nice shifter booty. Yeah!

I got myself wedged into the car with the grinder sitting between the bucket seats I had fitted. I had my head down near the hole under the dash to get the right angle. I was wedged in the passenger side. Sort of sitting on the corner of the seat but with my legs in all sorts of weird positions. I was working in the farm shed so the passenger side door would not open as it was up against one wall. The only exit was via the driver side. I started to grind a way and all was going pretty well, or so I thought.

Bad Situation!

Then, there was a little wisp of smoke, nothing to really worry about, pretty normal when you are grinding. I looked down the hole to the dirt floor.  “Hmm, looks ok..”  I said to myself.  Then I made one small final cut, watching one red piece of hot metal drop to the ground.  I was admiring my grinding work thinking I was pretty well done. When I noticed the smoke did not really seem to be going away this time. I looked down the hole again, noticing that little red piece of metal sitting on one small tuft of brown dead grass. Next thing there was a tiny flame from the grass; then boom, there was a woof of flames straight up in my face.  Flames were coming out of the gear shaft hold in the floor like it was a chimney. Little did I know at that point that oil from a leaky seal had gathered under the tail shaft tunnel, along with some spray on body deadener and paint.  This combination was actually highly volatile and had caught fire. Man, this was bad. I pulled back with horror. Watching the flames start to take hold fast. It was staring to take on the internal body deadener!  Yes, in my judgement this fire was not going to stop, it was growing and would soon take over the car. I couldn’t get out. There was no easy exit. I would risk the fire catching my overalls as I would have tried to climb over all the junk I had in the way sitting on the drivers seat. I also knew that if I tried to exit, by the time I got back and did anything to douse the flames my car would be toast!  What to do!!  Think quick and be calm. It was one of those times where you are cool in the face of a bad situation. I knew I better not panic. I knew there was a way out of this. No point considering how stupid I was. That was not going to help…

Survival

Then I thought, “glove box”. I remember one of the kids left a can of coke in the car and I put it in the glove box. I remembered nagging them about leaving those things rolling around under people’s feet.  “That’s dangerous, I had lectured.  What if it gets caught under my brake foot!”  I quickly opened the glove box and there it was. I thought for a moment as the flames really started to take hold under the car and in some rags I had left there. I can’t just tip the coke on there, its not directly under, I have one shot at this. So I shook like mad. The can was already hot from the heat of the day. I pointed it down and opened the ring pull just enough for a jet of this beautiful brown foam to shoot out. I mean…really shoot. It was like a rocket. The first spray was directed onto the fire under the car taking that out in one go. I mean this stuff just worked. I then covered the hole and gave another wild shake and aimed at the tunnel and then inside the car, hitting the oil and body deadner and paint work on the floor. Done!! I couldn’t believe it. I sat back thinking how that can of coke had turned the situation around from a potential burned out and trashed car to a few sticky patches. Not to mention me with maybe some burns or maybe even worse. Yes, I think I could have been fried in there. I did need to get out as the smoke was pretty putrid. But before I did, I pulled that ring fully off and had one swig of that hot coke thanking my lucky stars. It tasted damn good.

I have always worked much more carefully from that point on in the workshop. Yes, that day taught me a lot. Kids leaving their coke cans around can be a godsend. I did stop grouching so much about that. I was a coke hater before that. But also I took a lot more care around fire safety during repairs. Having exit strategies in place and thinking about all the materials that could burn when cutting and welding. I actually went out and bought a propper fire extinguisher and kept it close to hands reach when working. But I also keep a can of coke close by too, just for luck!  PS Here is some info on fire safety in the garage!

Yes, I think that coke may have just saved my life.

Do it Yourself Automobile Repair Information

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GPS, Driving Your Way To The Future

Science and Technology has brought a lot of changes into our society particularly in the way we live and do things. Life right now is not as hard as it was compared to let say the 18th century. Science and Technology has become our life. A lot of things have been invented and created that are aimed at improve human life. Computers, cars, planes, medicines etc all of these were a product of man’s continuous search for knowledge and to apply this knowledge by creating tools or devices that could be use in our everyday lives.

The auto industry has benefited much from such studies and innovations. Automobiles have come a very long way since they were first conceptualized and created in the late 17th century.  From the simple steam-power engine automobiles to what they are right now is due to constant improvement and discoveries made through by technology.

Today’s’ cars are equipped with fuel-efficient yet powerful engines, safety gadgets like airbags, state of the art tyres and
cozy interiors. And with the improvement of communication and Internet technology, the use of navigation systems on vehicles is on the rise. I find Navigation Systems quite helpful when driving particularly in new locations or places. Navigation Systems, depending on its features, can give us information on where are the shortest routes to our destinations, live updates on how heavy the traffic is and our current position.

Smartphone GPS VS. Portable Navigation Device(PND)Car GPS and Smartphone GPS

Currently, we have a choice of using 2 navigation systems, Smartphone GPS and Dedicated Car GPS or PND’s (Portable Navigation Device). Smartphones are flexible, they are like a mini computer in your pocket.  You can have a lot of software installed and a lot come with a GPS systems inbuilt which various programs you can install can use.  PND’s on the other are stand alone electronic devices that combines positioning capability (GPS) and navigation functions.  So the question is why you would even need a PND these days?

Which one are you currently using?  I know choosing one over the other is personal preference.  I have tried both and found some interesting pros and cons in using these navigation devices. I would like to share with you what I found out. Most likely, if you have tried using these devices you already have a fair idea of what are the advantages of one device over the other and vice-versa.  However for those of you who are yet to try, I true the information here can help you decide what navigation system to use.

First off, screen size and user interface. I find PND’s better in terms of screen size and user interface for simple reason that most smartphones are not that big. On average smartphones are about 3.5 inches across compared to the 4.3 inches for dedicated Car GPS. The other thing is that the user interface in PND’s are specifically optimized to be viewed at arm’s length. I do not need to hold the PND device near me to view why current position or location because PND’s can be mounted on a windshield or dash mount with sacrificing the quality of viewing the information on the device. For smartphones, this can be difficult because everything is relatively smaller. It is probably better now with some newer smartphones that offer bigger screens but I still say it is not up to par with a dedicated Car GPS.  One thing that is in favour of the smartphone is the light touch of the touchscreen. Another  thing going against the smartphone screens is when you are viewing it under direct light. It becomes a little more difficult to read.

smartphone gps
A Mounted Smartphone Used As A Navigation System

Maps database and updates. Smartphone GPS map apps receive automatic and free updates that ensures the latest maps and database are on the phone. This I believe is one of the advantages of using a Smarphone GPS. Normally, PND maps need to be updated manually and is subject to a subscription. That means you need to pay to get the update.  If you ever get a PND I would not think about getting one without map updates included.  Otherwise a year or so down the track you will be left asking strangers directions again.  Road advancement is pretty quick in some areas.  Especially new housing estates.

Ease of Entering Addresses. I find doing this in Smartphones relatively easy with less typing. On my phone. the navigation app allows me to make use of my contact’s addresses and use the stored address for navigation. Another cool thing is that addresses that I searched over the Internet can be sent directly to my navigation app.

Using the Smartphone as a navigation device is quite convenient in the sense that I have one device that could do a lot of things for me. And it is always with me. This is one another advantage of using Smartphone GPS over a dedicated one. I don’t need to bring or carry another device just to be able to check my current location or position. I would simply access the app on my phone and voila I have the information that I need.

One of the main problems though I encountered when using smartphones as a navigation device is that the battery drains much faster. This is due to the fact that in order for the GPS to continue to run, the smartphone needs to be connected to either a 3G or 4G network. And we do know that connecting to either of these networks drains the battery quickly. This is one of the advantages of the PND over the Smartphone GPS.  Most smart phone you need to turn them to a setting that will not allow the phone to sleep.  This can magnify the battery drain issue.  If you have a car charger it is probably wise to use it if you have a navigation job over an hour or so.  This factor alone I did find very annoying.  Getting wired up, setting sleep off and then finally putting in the destination; by this time on my standard PND I use, I would be well down the street and on the way!

A Mounted Portable Navigation Device
A Mounted Dedicated Car GPS

The other thing that is going against the smartphone when used as a navigation device is the mounting. Compared to dedicated Car GPS, smartphones don’t come with mounting brackets and there is a need to purchase one which means an additional cost for us. And once mounted, it may be a little difficult to read the text on the screen. Car GPS on the other hand are designed and optimised for mounting that makes it easier to read the information displayed on its screen. Volume could be another problem for smartphones but fortunately we could connect external speakers or headsets to it.

Smartphone GPS are also limited by how good or strong the connection is to the 3G, 4G or wifi-networks. This is specially true when going to rural areas where there is little or no signal at all from the cellphone towers. On a positive note though, there are some apps that allows storage of maps on the smartphone’s memory or SD card. On the other hand, I find this a non-issue on a PND. Accuracy of the maps on the smartphone could be suspect sometimes. Though I have not experienced this, some people I know reported this issue. This could be annoying, the fact that we are using navigation system to help us get to our destinations quickly and yet somehow end up at the wrong place because of an in-accurate map.

These are some of the things I found out when using either Smartphone or PND as a navigation system. I hope somehow the information I have here can help you decide which device to use. You have to weigh the pros and cons. Cost may also be a determining factor. If you use a smartphone for navigation, you save money by not buying another device however consider as well if you are willing to put up with some of the disadvantages that comes with it. Same goes when you choose a PND. Are you willing to spend extra money for that purpose? It may be easy for some of us or it could be difficult. The important thing is we have a choice.

 

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Basic Car Tools (Darn It, I Have A Flat Tyre)

flat tyre

Just imagine, you are driving in a country road when suddenly you hear the flop flop of a flat tyre. Disheartening, isn’t it? Especially if it happens in the middle of nowhere.  However, it is not something to worry about if you have a spare tyre and the tools to change the flat tyre.  A flat tyre is one of the most common car problems that could happen at the most unexpected time and place.  The number of cars I have bought that did not have a full set of tools and a good spare to go on with, is incredible.  In fact, I think I have not ever bought one that had everything right without me asking.  Seriously.  So check yours out; or your children’s, especially if one of them may have purchased a used vehicle.

Having the right tools to change a flat tyre is critical. First it could save you money by not having your car towed to the nearest auto-shop or mechanic, not to mention having to pay the auto-shop for changing the flat tyre.  Let me tell you, that will add up big time!  Secondly, it could save you time.  Getting a flat tyre in the middle of nowhere without the right tools and having to walk or wait for a passersby to help, is great pain.  You also lose valuable time you will never get back!  By having the right tools in place, you don’t need to wait for someone to help you out, or wait for a tow-truck to bring your car to the nearest auto-shop. Sure there might be people willing to help, however you have to wait and hope. Maybe you can take a ride with some good Samaritan and leave your car; although it is not really advisable to leave it especially if you happen to be on a country road. Who knows what could happen to your car if you leave it out there unattended.  Changing the flat tyre would probably take around 20 minutes.

So what are the things we need to change a flat tyre?

tools

1. Spare Tyre – obviously, you cannot change the the flat tyre without a ‘good’ spare. From time to time, I make it a point to check the pressure on the spare tyre to ensure that in case it is needed the spare tyre has the right pressure.  It always makes me laugh when I look at the more modern vehicle spare tyres.  They are not like they used to be.  Some are like a bicycle tyre.  And watch the speed rating on these too.  Some are only rated to 80KM/hr or less.  Be very careful if you have one of these in the boot!

2. Jack – The jack is used to lift the car enabling you to remove the flat tyre once it’s off the ground. Make sure to check your car’s user’s manual for the correct placement of the jack before cranking it. You want to replace a flat tyre, not to create further problems to you or your car because the jack is placed somewhere it’s not supposed to be.  IMPORTANT!  Remember that a car that is jacked off the ground is very dangerous!!  Do not get under the car when it is jacked up.  It can be risking your life to do this.  Do not jack the car up in a dangerous place on the road where busy traffic is going to run you over.  Also be aware that if you try to jack the car up on an incline it may fall off the jack!!  Soft ground is also a no no.  Make sure the hand brake is on and the car is in a low gear or in park.  If you are at all unsure about jacking up a car safely do not do it!  Get an expert to help.  I have put these comments in here because this can be a deadly adventure if you are not aware of what you are doing.

3. Lug Wrench/Wrench – we need this to loosen the bolts or nuts from the wheel. Remember though, don’t remove the nuts or bolts from the wheel completely as it will make the car unstable. Breaking the lock of the nuts is best done prior to jacking the car up.  Don’t undo them too much.  Just a turn of the wheel brace at the most.  Otherwise if you have the wheel in the air, it can spin or be quite springy and make it very difficult to crack the nut lock.  Place the jack and crank it up until it has contact with your car’s frame. Again check your car’s user’s manual as to where the jack should be placed. Once the car is lifted enough, remove the bolts or nuts by hand  and remove the flat tyre. Make sure to lay the tyre flat. You don’t want to have it rolling somewhere.

4. Tyre Pressure Gauge – I always have this tool handy and present in my car’s boot. Tyre pressure affects your car performance wise. Incorrect pressure on tyres can make the car unstable and hard to control, probably increase fuel consumption(most likely in under-inflated tyres) and can be a cause accidents. Having this tool and using it to determine that the tyres have the right pressure not only helps maintain the optimum performance of our cars but as well as contribute in our safety while driving.

Make sure to put the tools away too.  It’s very easy to forget one or leave a mess in the boot.  Here’s an important point.  GET THE PROBLEM TYRE FIXED IMMEDIATELY!  I don’t know how many times I have been caught with a flat tyre in the boot because I thought I’ll get that fixed tomorrow!  Or, the problem tyre is the first of the batch ready to go.  In the next day another one let’s go.  What I have found is that often when the tread is low, nails and screws etc can penetrate that much easier.  So don’t push your luck!

Of course we should have these tools in the boot of our cars, however for those who do not want to go through changing flat tyres themselves because of some reason or another I would suggest the following:

tyre sealants

1. Have a Tyre Sealant Kit with you. Tyre Sealant Kits are devices that inject air and sealant into flat tyres when used. They are quite handy especially for people who do not have the strength to remove the bolts/ nuts from the wheels or don’t have a spare tyre. Using one of these products, is very easy and does not require much physical effort, except maybe patience in waiting for the tyre to be completely sealed and inflated. Make sure to read and follow the instructions given for this to work properly. However, there are some limitations on using Tyre Sealant Kits. One is, these are not permanent solution to the problem. After applying the kit, the tyre would still need to be changed or fixed. There’s also a limit to the number of miles and the speed that the car could be driven at using the sealant kit.  Also, depending on the location of the damage on the tyre, the tyre sealant kit may not work so you need to check the damage on the tyre and find out if the sealant kit will fix it.

2.  You don’t want or don’t have the means to change the flat tyre and the Tyre Sealant Kit you have, did not work because of the location of the damage on the tyre; then you may want to make use of the Emergency Roadside Assistance. This is a service provided to give aid to a motorist whose vehicle has a mechanical failure either at home or on the road. An example of such service is the  RACV Emergency Roadside Assistance. They provide assistance if you encounter mechanical failure, flat tyre or even battery-related problems. To know more about the services and the plans they offer, you can just click on the link.

Given these options and tools that we could use, having a flat tyre should not be that great of a problem. It can happen at the most inconvenient of times but that is just the way it is. Things could happen that are beyond our control and the only means for us to lessen the inconvenience is to be prepared.

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