Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

I Hit the Brakes Very Hard. Did I Create a Flat Spot on My Tires?

Flat Spot Tire

Almost everyone, at some point in his or her driving experience, will slam on the brakes. Slamming on the brakes is generally more than just an emotional response to a situation. When you're avoiding an accident or reacting to unexpected flashing lights at a pedestrian crosswalk, there is an overriding element of safety involved, and slamming on the brakes is an appropriate response to the panic situation.

Now that you’ve slammed on your brakes, you need to determine if you've done any damage. It’s possible that you’ve worn a flat spot on your tires. When you slam on the brakes, several results are possible:

  • Your brakes locked up
  • Your car skidded without steering control
  • You heard a loud screech until you came to a stop
  • There was a repetitive chattering or chirping
  • You came to a controlled stop

If you came to a controlled stop, no matter how hard you had to brake, it's unlikely you created a flat spot on your tires. Nearly all new vehicles are equipped with anti-lock braking systems (ABS) to prevent loss of control and skidding when the brakes are applied. The ABS repetitively activates the brakes dozens of times every second to prevent the brakes from locking up in hard braking or slippery situations.

If you did not have proper control of your steering, or if your brakes screeched the whole time you were coming to a stop, your vehicle likely isn’t equipped with anti-lock brakes or they weren’t working properly. In this case, you may have worn flat spots on the tires that locked up when braking. Have your tires inspected at your earliest convenience as tires with a flat spot can cause several issues, such as:

  • A shimmy in the steering wheel when driving
  • Decreased fuel economy due to increased rolling resistance
  • An increased likelihood of loss of traction in future situations

If you’ve locked up your brakes and think you may have worn a flat spot, you should have your tires inspected by one of our mechanics and have it replaced if necessary. It's not possible to correct a flat spot on a tire other than by replacing the tire.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222 code means The manufacturer specifies a range of acceptable voltage to be produced from the throttle position...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...


Related questions

Q: Grinding noise when ABS engages brakes

The most likely cause of this issue would be a failed hub assembly or failed wheel speed sensor. The grinding sound you hear could possibly be a dry spot in your wheel bearing, or just the buzz that is...

Q: Flat spot in motor.

A fixed hesitation point when accelerating points to a specific mechanical issue either in the ignition or fuel system. The mechanical advance in the distributor needs to be checked for free motion and base timing would need to be checked....

Q: Front brakes squeak when cold

Hey there. This is typically due to the brakes forming a micro layer of surface rust on the cast iron rotors and this will cause very small grooves on the surface that make noise until you hit the brakes a...