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A journey into flatland: Tire problems are common in Marion County

Staff writer

David Leith sees flat tires every week at Leith Inc., his tire shop in Marion.

“It’s different every week,” Leith said. “But we get two, three, four, or five a week.”

Before other tire shops opened, he sometimes saw three a day.

Rod’s Tire and Service in Hillsboro sees between 20 and 30 flat tires daily and sometimes sees multiple popped tires on one vehicle. It gets so many calls for repairs over the weekend that Mondays are filled with calling customers back.

“We see tires from all over, from each area of the county,” owner Rod Koons said. “A good part of our business is from outside of Marion County. I think a big part of it is that we have a big inventory. Customers know if we can’t fix it, then we can replace it.”

Among the reasons for flat tires, Leith said, are flint rock on roads in Marion County’s rural areas and screws and nails in urban areas.

“I don’t know what it is about town,” he said. “I think it’s from when there’s construction going on. There’s more then. People get them at the transfer station a lot and come right up here after they leave sometimes.”

Leith also has seen a lot of tires popped on hedge thorns.

“Hedge thorns will go through a tire,” he said.

Koons sees a correlation between flat tires and people who drive fast.

“I have no scientific fact to back it up, but speed and where you go seems to have a big correlation with it,” Koons said. “Speed seems to add to the amount of flats that people have.”

Truck tires are less likely to pop because of their thickness. Driving slowly can help prevent flats, and keeping a plug kit for a temporary repair on the road can help, according to Leith.

“You really can’t see anything that small when you’re driving,” Leith said.

Koons added, “There’s gonna be nails. There’s stuff out there. That’s just how it is.”

Last modified March 24, 2022

 

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