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You're on your way to work, a family reunion, or maybe even taking a thrilling road trip to the beach. Suddenly, your tire blows out, and you are trapped somewhere between suburbia and your destination. For many drivers, there is nothing more frightening, or potentially dangerous, than a tire blowout.

How to prevent Tire Blowouts

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When it comes to tires and many other components on your car or truck, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The best way to avoid problems on the road is to take a minute and look your car or truck over every few weeks.

Aside from just knowing how to check underneath your ride's chassis for oil leaks or how to check your oil in general, you should also learn what to look for on your tires so you can spot trouble before it stops you in your tracks.

When inspecting your tires, keep a look out for blowout warning signs, including:
  • Wearing
  • Aging and dry rot
  • Damage from improper use
It's important to know how to spot these signs and the impacts they could have if left untreated.

What causes a tire to blowout

There are several reasons why a tire blowout could happen. The most obvious is pre-existing damage to the tire like punctures or abrasions from road hazards such as rocks and potholes. Bulges and blisters within the sidewall are also obvious giveaways. Cracks within the sidewall or tread could be a giveaway that a blowout is imminent too. Other potential causes include over- or under-inflated tires, and over-use of the tire.

What to do in a tire blowout

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When a tire blowout does happen, it is important to stay calm because it will be difficult to sustain the control over your car that you are used to having. The most important thing is to get out of harm's way, and to follow these steps:
  • Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel.
  • Do not slam on your brakes.
  • Let your car slow down gradually.
  • Pull to the side of the road.
  • Turn on your emergency flashers.
  • Call for help.

What to do if your tire blows out

Once you are off the road with your flashers activated, you can exit your car and begin the next steps.
  • Put out reflective cones or triangles if you have them.
  • Locate your spare tire. Your owner's manual will guide you as to where your spare tire and necessary changing tools are located. Remember that if you do not have a full-sized spare, the spare should not be used for driving long distances.
  • If it is not safe to change the blown tire where you are, or you are unsure how, call for roadside assistance.

Buying New Tires

The best way to prevent blowouts is to ensure your tires are in good, undamaged condition. Your neighborhood Pep Boys has technicians on staff to help you decide on a new set of tires if you need them. If you're not sure what you need, we can give your car or truck a once over and inform you of the condition of your tires and other major components.

Your tires are the last link between you and the road. It pays to keep an eye on them and have them replaced as soon as you notice they've become damaged, dry rotted, or simply worn out from regular use.