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Welcome to Car 101: Part 2:  (If you missed part one, see it here)   (image source)

So last week I was driving home from running errands and I heard a POP!  I was only about one mile from our home, so when I heard that POP and knew that I had a flat tire, I just hurried home.  I knew that my husband was there and could take care of it.   I was lucky that I didn’t have my kids with me, but I have had this happen before when my kids have been in the back seat.  I wanted to write to tell you my best advice, AFTER THE FACT…  (hindsite is 20/20, right?)
Flat tire with kids

What I learned from getting  flat tire with kids:

1- Don’t panic!  I am pretty sure that I yelled out “What?!  Oh no!!  Ugh!!!  Are you serious?”

2- Pull over at a safe spot.   I did find a little restaurant that I was able to pull over and get off of the road.   One time my husband and I got a flat tire on our honeymoon in Hilton Head, SC, and we have to just pull off onto the median.  Luckily, Hilton Head is so beautiful, so the normal “median” there was a grassy area with palm trees.  It wasn’t like we were sitting in the middle of the road.

3- Call someone!   Always have your cell phone with you and keep it charged.  (You can buy a car charger for an Iphone at the dollar store, so stock up).   I usually call my husband to tell him what happened (even though he is probably working) and then I call my Dad because he is close, can be there in no time and he knows more about cars than anyone else that I know.   If you didn’t see my Dad’s e-book about cars (Car buying 101), find it here.  It is a must-read for anyone that is going to purchase a car.

4- Have snacks in the car.  I wish I would have had a bottle of water and some snacks in the car to keep the kids busy while we sat.  I didn’t want them getting out of the car because we were in a parking lot, near a busy road.  A snack would have kept them busy!

5- Prepare by having the best tires to start!  This is where a lot of people make a mistake.  They go with the cheaper tires that just don’t last.  We always buy good-quality tires and they can be easily plugged with you do get a flat.   We don’t have to replace them often because they are long-lasting.

6- Make your tires last longer!   Cooper Tire shares extra tips that can lengthen tires’ lifespan, providing maximum handling, performance and gas mileage for vehicles. Cooper Tire recommends these procedures be practiced at least once a month and before long trips as part of drivers’ normal vehicle upkeep. You can find out more at their webpage: You can also visit and click “Dealer Locator” to find a local dealer.

Here are the tips to make it last longer: 


• Test air pressure: Under-inflation causes excessive stress on the tire, and can create irregular wear, which shortens the lifespan of tires. Proper air pressure can improve gas mileage by more than three percent, reducing gasoline consumption and expense. Reference the vehicle owner’s manual or tire placard attached to the vehicle door edge, door post, glove box door or fuel door for your tires’ correct pressure. Keep in mind, the tire pressure listed on your tires’ sidewall indicates maximum pressure.

• Check wheel alignment: Wheel alignment and balancing are important for safety and maximum mileage from tires. Alignment should be checked periodically as specified by the vehicle owner’s manual or when there is an indication of trouble such as pulling, vibration or irregular tire wear. Inspect tires at least once per month for signs of uneven wear or damage (i.e., cuts, cracks, splits, punctures, bulges and impacts). These conditions shorten tire lifespan and may cause tire damage or failure if not corrected.

• Rotate tires: Rotating tires on a regular basis ensures more uniform wear, resulting in extended life tire lifespan. Unless the vehicle owner’s manual has a specific recommendation, the rule of thumb for tire rotation is every 6,000 miles.

• Examine tread: Bald tires can skid and slide on pavement, and are more likely to be damaged by potholes and other road hazards. Tire tread should be at least 2/32 of an inch deep, and tires should be replaced immediately if worn past this measurement at any location on the tire. This can be checked with a simple test using a U.S. penny. Place the edge of the coin into the tread, with Lincoln’s head facing down. If the top of Lincoln’s head is covered by tread, there is at least a minimum acceptable amount of tread. If the top of his head is entirely visible, it is time to replace the tire.

Check out more money saving car tips here: Money saving and safety tips

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. Good advice, I know nothing about cars but my husband knows a lot about them so I think he’s doing most of htese things already.

  2. I think nothing is more inconvenience than facing a flat tire problem while driving the car with family members and kids. Though an adult may have the patience to handle the situation but it is also more important to think about the kids who does not have any bearing capacity with them. Another thing I would like to tell that high ways are one of the most dangerous places to drive a car with a flat tire as it pulls the car to one side. Some times flat tires blow out which may cause accidents due to its impact on handling. So, it is good to have a tire sealant in order to handle such type of emergencies. However on a final note I want to say that tire sealant will be useful when the extent of damage is less otherwise it is valueless. So, double check the tire before going for a drive with kids. Thank you.

  3. Before your car hits the road, it is your utmost responsible to check few important parts of the vehicle. Among them, condition of tires find a place. As per the topic, I wish to talk only on tires. Flat tire is not safe at all. So, you must change/replace them according to the demand of the situation. But, you should not compromise with safety. It may cost you in future. Tire pressure is to be checked properly. Perhaps, you don’t have enough knowledge in car related thing. Therefore, you can contact an expert to help you in this regard.