Getting a flat tire is terrible enough, but getting a flat tire while you zipping along the freeway is the worst! A few days ago, I had this experience in my older VW Passat Wagen, and I called my always helpful besties at the best Volkswagen dealership in Palm Springs to give me a hand!
After I changed my flat tire on the freeway, my helpful buddy sent me on my way with a couple of tips to relieve stress during a situation like this and help get your tire changed with a minimal amount of fuss.
1. Grip the Wheel
If you suspect you have a flat or experience a blowout while driving, your vehicle will start pulling strongly to the side. Make sure you have a firm grip on the wheel to avoid drifting into a different lane.
2. Don’t Slam On the Brakes
One of the first things you may be tempted to do is slam on the brakes! When something goes wrong, the first impulse is to stop. With a flat tire, your ability to control the car is already compromised. Slamming on the brakes will only make it worse. But, since you’ve got the impulse to stop, be sure to do something you would if stopped in a dangerous situation: Turn on your emergency blinkers.
3. Let the Car Drift Towards the Side
After you’ve flipped on your emergency blinkers, ease your foot off the gas and start steering the car towards the shoulder, turnout lane or exit. The most important thing to do right now is to get your car, and yourself, out of the fast moving traffic.
4. Make Sure You’re Visible
When you maneuver your Volkswagen to a safe place where you can attempt to change your tire, if you’re so inclined, place flares or reflectors out to increase your visibility in addition to the emergency blinkers.
5. Make Sure Help Can Find You
If you’re not one to change your own tire, you should call whatever help you may need; family, friends, tow truck, etc. Reference the last step to ensure you stand out once help is on its way!
6. Get the Car Checked
Since a flat tire on the freeway usually means you’ve had to drive for a while when looking for a turnout, you should get your 2016 Volkswagen checked (at your Palm Springs VW service center, of course) to make sure there’s no residual damage.
Once you know the steps for handling a high-speed flat, it will make an otherwise scary situation a proverbial walk in the park. If you’ve been thinking about replacing your ride with something safer to potentially avoid such a situation, stop by Coachella Valley VW and kick some tires! They have some great current VW Incentives going on now should you decide to go the new route and, whether your VW is older or newer, they’ve got a highly-trained team of Volkswagen technicians to make your service experience easier if your tire ever does pop!