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Avoiding a Breakdown: Fix a Flat

Your Tires Are the Key to Avoiding a Breakdown

With more than 7 million motorists requiring roadside service last summer and gasoline prices expected to reach an all-time high this year; travelers are making every effort to steer clear of typical travel inconveniences. When it comes to avoiding a breakdown this season, the answer is often found where the rubber hits the road. Last year, tire-related issues caused nearly 1 million motorists to require roadside assistance during the months of June, July and August; while improperly inflated tires are estimated to cost motorists over $3 billion dollars in additional gasoline costs.

"People often miss what's right under their nose," said automotive expert Lauren Fix who — with more than 20 years of experience in the automotive industry and the host of her own TV show on the Do It Yourself Network — has partnered with Fix-A-Flat® in the "Keep Your Head on the Shoulder" outreach campaign.

"When it comes to preparing your vehicle for a summer trip it's important to start from the road up…with a thorough inspection of your tires. People tend to assume that everything they need to keep their car going is located under the hood — yes that is a big part of it. Don't forget-before you hit the road this summer; ensure that your tires are ready to roll," Fix said

Despite the large number of emergency service calls involve tire problems, a recent study by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), reports that 85 percent of drivers still fail to properly check their tire pressure and more than half of all motorists do not even know their proper inflation number or where to find it. Further data reveals that two out of three motorists do not even know how tell if their tires are bald and 75 percent of U.S. drivers are more likely to wash their cars each month and only 14 percent properly check tire pressure.

According to most recent figures by the U.S. Department of Energy, these inadequacies cost the country more than 4 million gallons of gasoline each day due to under-inflated tires. That amounts to nearly 1.5 billion gallons of wasted gasoline annually and over $3 billion dollars a year in additional gasoline costs to motorists. As gasoline costs continue to rise, one of the easiest ways to improve gas mileage is by proper tire inflation. Past statistics indicate that drivers can improve their gas mileage by more than 3 percent simply by keeping their tires properly inflated.

Fix-A-Flat® continues its yearlong nationwide "Keep Your Head on the Shoulder" educational initiative with renowned car care expert Lauren Fix as an ongoing effort to provide drivers with expert advice and valuable tips on how to manage a roadside service situation. This yearlong campaign is designed to present motorists with the knowledge and tools they need to avoid a breakdown and to react in a safe and efficient manner if one should occur.

"Tires are like sneakers," Fix said. "When they become thin and worn, it can lead to poor performance and possibly injury or breakdowns. Proper tire maintenance not only can improve the performance and safety of your car, but can also save on fuel efficiency. Remember to keep tuned in to your tires… it's what keeps you rolling."

Lauren Fix recommends a few simple checklist items for your tires to ensure your safety and keep you rolling along this busy summer travel season.

  • Pressure Refresher : Check tire inflation on a regular basis — at least once a month. Not only can you improve the wear of the tread and the handling of your car, but you can save fuel costs, especially if you travel a lot during this busy summer travel season.

  • Made to Measure : A simple tire gauge is the tool to keep handy in the glove compartment to check the pressure. Professionals do not recommend checking tire pressure when the car is already warmed up; motorists should check tires when they are cold or haven't been driven in at least three hours, as recommended by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) and use the correct inflation pressure recommended by the vehicle.

  • Information Super Highway : Contrary to common belief, the accurate tire pressure inflation numbers for automobiles are not found on the sidewall of the tire, but usually somewhere on the automobile itself; commonly on a permanent label on the driver side door jam, glove compartment door, or on the fuel door.

  • Penny-Wise : Keep a penny handy and do the penny check; turn the penny so that Lincoln's head is pointing down and insert into the tread of a tire. If the tread doesn't cover the head, then it's time to replace your tires.

  • In Nothing Flat : Do the walk around and check each tire of your car for cracks, bubbles or foreign objects wedged in the tread. Many drivers never see the passenger side of their vehicle; get in the habit of doing this at least once a week as a proactive measure to keep an eye on your tires.

  • Watch the Weight : As Americans prepare to pack the car for their summer journeys, remember not to overload your car; check the owner's manual for the maximum recommended load for the vehicle. An overloaded car can create excessive heat inside your tires, which can lead to tire failure. An extra 100 lbs can reduce a typical car's fuel economy by 1-2 percent.

  • Quick Fix : Regardless of all the precautionary measures you take to avoid a tire breakdown, flat tires do happen. Always remember to carry a can of Fix-A-Flat® in your car for a quick and simple tire seal. Just attach the hose on the container to the valve on your tire and press the inflation button on top of the can. Fix-A-Flat® will seal the puncture and fill the tire with enough air to get you back on the road in minutes. Visit a gas station to fill your tire up with the proper amount of air pressure and visit a qualified tire professional at the earliest opportunity for a permanent repair.

About Fix-A-Flat :
Fix-A-Flat® is the leading brand of tire inflator and sealant in the industry. For the past 25 years Fix-A-Flat® has helped millions of motorists get where they were going without worries, delays or large costs. For more information, visit

Fix-A-Flat® is produced and marketed by SOPUS Products, a subsidiary of Shell Oil Company. SOPUS Products is a leader in the lubricants industry, which includes fast lubes, automotive/consumer products, transport and industrial offerings to consumer and business customers. For more information, visit