The tyre of a vehicle, whether it is pneumatic or tubeless, have air in them. The air is responsible for the smooth ride you enjoy. A flat tyre refers to a deflation of the same. It refers to the condition that includes either the absence of air or having very little air left in it. the only difference is that deflation is swift in a pneumatic one while it is slow in a tubeless one.
What causes a flat tyre?
The most common reasons for the flat tyre include, but are not restricted to
- Puncture – Air deflation by a foreign object such as a nail, a piece of metal, bolt etc.
- Leaking valve stem – This allows air to leak slowly and steadily. It can happen in case of a corroded valve stem or if the valve stem is clogged with dirt or is loose.
- Wear and tear – When you are driving on a surface that is not as smooth as it should be, the side walls which get weak may allow the displacement of air.
- Tyre slip -This refers to the condition where the tyre does not fit snugly to the rim. This will result in loss of air at a slower rate.
- Vandalism – Deflating or letting out the air on purpose
- Overinflation pressure – ensuring the pressure of air is optimal as recommended for the brand and type of vehicle.
What would happen if you drive on a flat tyre?
If you keep driving for long, it could cause
- Difficulty in handling and manoeuvring the vehicle
- Damage to the wheel and in some cases even other parts of the vehicle
- Lack of control that could result in accidents of a minor or a fatal nature
- Structural damage
- Affect the warranty claims
What do you do when you get a flat tyre?
The flat tyre may occur at an unexpected moment and you could be driving when suddenly you realize that it has gone flat. Driving for a few yards at a slow speed might not cause much harm.
But on no account should you keep driving for long as it would be detrimental not only to the wheel rim of the car but also in the other parts of the car.
The best thing to do is to get the car to safety and flash the emergency flashers, if it is night time and seek out for help.
You might get help in two ways
- You can get the spare tyre fixed and continue your journey
- If the damage is beyond repair or you do not have a spare one, you might have to get a new one or get a used one fixed to proceed.
How long does it take to fix a flat tyre?
Fixing a flat one takes less than 10 minutes if you have the tools and the spare one ready. But, when you also want to get the flat one mended, which is done by following the step by step repair procedure, it might take 30 minutes approximately.
How much does it cost to fix a flat tyre?
The cost to fix a flat tyre depends on the service provider and the type of repair which may include plugging or patching.
On an average, the cost would be somewhere around Rs. 80 per patch plus some labour costs that depend on the type of workshop. You can even get it done for Rs.50 if you are satisfied with fixing the puncture without opening up.
However, the puncture repair cost for tubeless ones is a bit on the higher side because you need to use a kit to fix the tubeless one. the approximate cost of the kit alone is around Rs.150. The patch cost would be around Rs.100.
Tip: By taking certain precautions such as maintaining optimum air pressure, checking the vehicle every time you use it, avoiding roads that you know are not up to the standard, and following safe driving practices, you can reduce the incidence of a flat tyre to a large extent.