How can the Driver Assess a Flat Tire or Broken Wheel while Driving?

When you walk through a parking lot it’s pretty easy to spot when a car is sporting a flat tire. If you’re driving and can’t rely on your sense of vision, you have to watch out for other signs to let you know your tire is flat. What are some of the typical indicators that your tire is flat? Some drivers shared some signs below. Keep reading to know what to look out for each time you get behind the wheel.
Tariro Goronga

Tariro Goronga

Abnormal Vibrations or Noises

One common problem that can occur when driving is a flat tire or broken wheel. Depending on how severe the damage may be, there are several ways in which drivers can identify and assess a flat tire or broken wheel.

Pay attention to any abnormal vibrations or noises coming from the vehicle while driving. This could be a sign or an indicator of damage to the wheel and/or tire. If you notice that your car is somehow leaning in one direction or feels like it is pulling in one direction, this is also indicative of a flat or broken wheel.

Suppose you are driving, and you suddenly feel like your car is bouncing more than usual. This could indicate that the tire has come off its rim or it might have a flat spot. If this happens, pull over immediately and inspect the tires to see if there is any visible sign of damage, such as tears or punctures in the sidewall.

If possible, try to determine what kind of wheel or tire damage you’re facing. If the tire has a slow leak, you might be able to temporarily inflate it and drive cautiously until you can get to a repair shop. If there is structural damage, however, such as a broken wheel or rim, your car will need to be towed for repairs.

In any case, it’s really important that drivers be aware of the potential signs of a flat tire or broken wheel and take appropriate safety measures to ensure their own safety as well as the passengers’. When in doubt, it’s always best to just pull over and inspect your car thoroughly as soon as possible. Having a spare tire on hand is also an intelligent approach, especially for any long trips you may be taking, so that you can quickly change out any damaged wheels and continue on your journey.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

You can tell if you’ve got a flat tire or a messed-up wheel while driving by observing your car’s dashboard and how it handles. Nowadays, most cars have these cool tire pressure monitoring systems, TPMS for short, that warn if your tire pressure suddenly drops. So, glance at your dashboard occasionally for any flashy lights or messages that might mean you’ve got tire troubles. Another indicator is that when your ride starts feeling a bit wobbly, shaky, or harder to steer, it could hint that something’s off with one of your tires or wheels.

Robert Luterzo

Robert Luterzo

Automotive Engineer & Editor at Automotive Widget
Talha Atta

Talha Atta

Mechanical Engineer and Editor at Autoglobes.

Flapping, Thumping, Grinding, or Scraping

Detecting a flat tire or damaged wheel while on the road can involve listening to strange sounds and observing changes in your vehicle’s behavior. When you’ve got a flat tire, you’ll often hear a unique flapping or thumping noise, while a busted wheel might produce a grinding or scraping sound.

If you notice your car pulling to one side noticeably when you steer, it could indicate a problem with a flat tire or an issue with one of your wheels. This can make it trickier to keep your vehicle going in a straight line.

Thrown off Balance

If your car starts to pull to one side, either left or right, while you’re driving, there’s a good chance that you’re either driving on a flat or one of your tyres has lost (or is unable to maintain) pressure, or that one of your wheels is broken.

A flat tyre or broken wheel causes a car to be thrown off balance, which is why it starts pulling, which in turn is a pretty good indication that something is wrong.

David Brewer

David Brewer

CEO and Co-Founder, Protect Line.

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