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Flat tires! Are They Undetectable?

Before and After, by Don stec, author photo, myoutdoorbuddy.com

odern vehicles handle very well. So it is understandable when some people tell us they did not notice one tire was flat and drove several miles on the flat, destroying the tire.

The first time I had heard this I thought the driver was just not very aware of the vehicle’s handling. The driver swore the vehicle handled so well the flat was undetectable. In the last few years I have had many more people tell me the same story.

It was just unbelievable, as many of the technicians I work with can detect a tire that is only 2-3 lbs. low on air during a test drive. On the other hand, the technicians test drive vehicles searching for the most minor complaints and almost become one with the vehicle.

Example of what happens to a flat tire driven at freeway speed and possibly ten miles distance, photo by Don Stec
Example of what happens to a flat tire driven at freeway speed and possibly ten miles distance, photo by author

This may seem uncanny to the average vehicle owner. It is a skill the average person can develop to a lower extent without much effort, with the vehicle they drive daily.

Here are some visual suggestions the average vehicle owner can use to detect a tire low on air and especially a flat tire before driving the vehicle.

First have the tire pressure checked at a tire shop. Then drive the vehicle home and park it in the usual parking space. Hopefully this is a paved and level area. If it is not you will have to find a level area to do a quick check.

As a quick check I stand next to each wheel and look down to see how far the tire extends past the wheel (rim edge at the bottom). As you get used to doing this daily you will just have to stand in front of the vehicle, left and right side. This will only take a few seconds as you become more confident. If you see a great difference you should not drive the vehicle without checking the air pressure.

I know of two occasions of vehicles having a flat tire and were driven from the owner’s home to work, including on the freeway a distance of ten miles at least. The drivers discovered the flats at the end of the work day. Both thought the tire had gone flat during the day. They had no explanation of why the tire was shredded. I suggested they look at their home driveway to see it there were tire marks there. If so the tire was flat when the vehicle was driven out of the garage. One owner did tell me the tire marks were there. The other I think was too embarrassed to discuss it further, especially since the wheel was also damaged.

Coachmaster Collision Repair* -- Founded in 1969 is the best equipped body and paint shop in the North valley. Contact Allan Gordon for an estimate or information on your collision repair needs and the many services Coachmaster provides. Call 530-243-1310 or visit the business at 6851 Eastside Road, Redding, California. *Click here if you are using a smart phone or other mobile device.

More Hunting Tips

B&C Cookbook kabobs the competition

Grilling season is here. The Boone and Crockett Club is sharing a kabob recipe from a cookbook that skewered the competition recently in a national book awards. The Club's first-ever cookbook, "Wild Gourmet... Full Story

How to Keep smilin’ after the Shot

A man in Camo stoops over and searches the area for signs of animals and their tracks
By Jason Haley
They returned to camp grinning ear to ear. I had a hunch what that meant and was hoping for the best -- a short trail, happy hunter and me in my tent before midnight. I knew better. As we gathered packs, bags, and extra... Full Story

How to Stay Sharp for When the Shot Counts

Daisy Pellet Rifle, Powerline 1000S
By Jesse Bible
I would like to share a method for honing shooting skills. Here in Northern California, the odds are that you will be taking a close shot at a deer that has more than likely seen you first. Once you...Full Story

How to handle firearms safely

Hunting seasons come and go but gun safety should always be on our minds. With that said, Budweiser and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), two longtime partners in wildlife conservation and responsible outdoor...Full Story

How & when to purchase a firearm for a special occasion

By Gary Heffley
There are many gift givers and gift recipients every year who expect to give or get a gun for Christmas (or other special occasion) who, because they are unfamiliar with gun purchasing laws in the state of California, become discouraged...Full Story


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