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Nov 02 2020

How to Deal with a Tire Puncture and Frozen Lock?


Car problems can lead to unexpected dangers. Get ready with these handy tips and find out the best way to fix a flat tire and frozen lock.

Check the Condition of Your Tires:

Inspect your tires regularly and carefully. Make sure the handbrake is firmly applied before you start.

  • Check for any cuts, bumps, and embedded foreign objects, such as nails or broken glass.
  • Check the depth of the carvings. It should be more than 1.6 millimeters (1/16 inch) in a continuous strip around the center for more than three-quarters of the width of the tire. Beyond that, the tire must be replaced. Manufacturers will often cast 1/16 in. (1.6 millimeters) “track bars”.
  • If the tread is worn to the bars, replace the tire. In the absence of bars, purchase and use a tread depth gauge.

Management of a Puncture:

  • If the front tire bursts, do not brake to prevent the car from pulling heavily to the side. Let the car slow down naturally, if possible. Maneuver to counter the pull of the burst tire and pull over to the shoulder if it is safe to do so. Try to stop on hard ground where you can change the tire.
  • If a rear tire does burst, apply the brakes gently if necessary, but not too sharply so as not to lose control of the vehicle. Prepare to feel the car slide in the back. Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel to maintain a straight line. Shift down a gear to slow the car down and park.

How to Defrost a Car Lock?

If your car is at home, soak a sponge or cloth in hot water and apply it to the lock.

  • Away from home or in extreme cold, gently heat the door key with a lighter and insert it into the lock to defrost from the inside.
  • If you have no other option, place your hand on the lock for a minute or two - the warmth of your palm may do the trick.
  • Do not do this with your bare hands, however, as you risk freezing your hand on the door. Try with a woolen glove or with a piece of rag sandwiched between your hand and the cold metal.
  • Keep in mind that if the lock is frozen, the doors may be too. Do not shake the door to try to open it or force the passenger door from the inside, as this could damage the seals.

These tips may come in handy in an emergency. Don't forget them the next time you have a car tire or lock problem and act quickly to fix it!

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