Car Buyers’ Guide

Falling Flat

Stave off those near-inevitable flat tires with the best protection and services offered around town.

By Nick Esquer November 3, 2015 Published in the November 2015 issue of Houstonia Magazine

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Image: Will Pierce

Flat tires are the scourge of every driver in this city, with potholes and sharp objects seemingly waiting around each corner and construction site. So all good Houstonians should know how to care for their tires. Here’s how to avoid recreating that scene from A Christmas Story:

Patches: If you run over a nail or a knife (because, Houston), both Discount Tire and National Tire & Battery offer free patch repair. But keep an eye on your tire’s air pressure to make sure that the patch is holding up, especially in the cooler months when tire pressure goes down. It’s physics.

Warranties: These are often your best bet. Get one on Pirelli’s run-flat tires—a great option if you can spare between $200 and $925 apiece—and you’ll be able to replace them at no cost. There are deals to be had on other, less fancy brands, too: if you’ve had your tires less than three years and they fail due to a defect or road hazard, Discount Tire will give you a refund or repair or replace them.

Insurance: You can purchase a membership from AAA for as low as $52 per year, which includes tire-change service but covers towing only up to seven miles. Safe-Guard, meanwhile, offers free replacement or repair for tires damaged by road hazards and reimburses towing expenses up to $100. 

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