Ways of avoiding flat spots

If a vehicle stands without movement for a long time, it can damage the tyres. It results with flat spots. But you can prevent that.

Here is how flat spots appear

When the tyres remain in the same position for a long time, the weight of the car always bears down on the same spot. This process distorts the tyres. Both high and low temperatures affect the elasticity of the rubber and add to this deformation process. The heavier the vehicle, the more intense the pressure on the tyre. A caravan tyre is obviously exposed to a totally different load than the tyres of a moped. You can see flat spots on some tyres – the tyre is just not round anymore. These flats spots are also noticeable when driving. It rumbles and bumps. Such deformations after a long time of standing may resolve on their own after the first kilometre of driving. The whole thing is of course not a subtle care for the tyres. It stresses the material and makes the tyres more susceptible to further damage or new flat spots. If the bumpy feeling remains while driving, it means that the tyre has suffered permanent damage or an imbalance has appeared. In both cases, you should bring it to your mechanic for assessment and reparation.

Preventive measures

If you know that your vehicle was in no motion for a long time, you can prevent flat spots emergence. Riders of classic cars, convertibles and motorcycles (usually driven only in the summer), RV and trailer owners should, therefore, think about it in advance. The simplest thing to do is, probably, just to take the old tyres off for the standing time so that the flat spots do not appear at all. It is also advisable to increase the tyre pressure slightly before parking your vehicle. If you have the time for it, you can make sure that the tyre and the vehicle move regularly. Just a small change in position is enough for the pressure to concentrate on another part of the tyre. It is a double-edged sword, though, to jack up the car or the motorcycle. On the one hand, both the tyres and shock absorber are relieved due to no contact with the ground. On the other hand, pulling forces appear on the wheel suspension, a rather unusual load which can lead to damage. It is important when jacking up, to do it on a flat surface. Otherwise, the supports can slip away. There are also various variants of documents for the tyres. Air tyre cushions are filled with air. They are placed in the uninflated state in front of the wheels, then the car is pushed onto it, and the cushions are inflated. You should make sure that there are no sharp objects under the pillow before pumping. Laying out an additional pad may be necessary. Furthermore, the air pressure must be checked regularly and corrected if necessary while the car is staying on the cushions. This is especially true when the pillow is subject to higher temperature fluctuations. Other tyre pads, also called tyre protectors or tyre shoes, consist of a foam mixture. The way to apply them is the same in all cases. The cushions help to make it sure that the tyres do not have any flat spots despite the load at the bottom. This way they can’t deform. The cushions are, however, quite expensive. The height compensation provided by such a cushion is also limited differently depending on the product. It might happen that the tyre with the high sidewall will be pushed to the ground despite tyre cushion.

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