Round Out The Fight Against "Flat Spots"

After dusting off the Winter, you prep your Collector Car for the first ride of the season. You hop into the driver's seat, pump the gas, turn the key and your "baby" comes to life. Out on the street, you confidently shift into second when you notice a strange vibration.

You immediately start searching your memory for the root of the issue...Age of tires? Last year. Balance tires? Check. Alignment? Check. 

Third gear only amplifies the vibration, which is not rattling your teeth. U-Joints? Maybe. So you accelerate and decelerate to prove or disprove your guess. Nope still here. Then what is it? 

The simple answer is your tires have developed flat spots from sitting in the same place for too much time. If you've ever experienced it, you remember how it felt; sort of like your were driving on a cobblestone street, though far less pronounced. 

The car doesn't handle just right and you continue along rather cautiously, warming up the tires in an attempt to revive them. You might even decide to call a tow truck to bring your "beauty" back home.
Source-Michelin Tires
Myth #1: Good quality tires donʼt get flat spots - False
Recent tire compounds and high performance tires of all types are prone to developing flat spots. The wider they are the more likely it will happen. This is also true regardless of being a bias-ply or radial.

Myth #2: You can always “drive off” tire flat spots after a few miles - Mostly False
Unfortunately that doesn't work all the time and you might just be facing the choice of dealing with the vibrations as much as possible or spending another $1,100+/- to replace the tires you bought just last year.

Myth #3: Tire flat spots wonʼt affect the performance of your car - False
The greater and more permanent the flat spot, the greater it will affect the life of the tire, suspension components and in some cases reduce handling and braking capabilities.

Myth #4: You can prevent tire flat spotting with homemade inventions - Mostly False
Parking your Classic on pieces of carpet or similar other soft surfaces have been proven not to work, even with increased tire pressures. Yes you could "put it on blocks", but most people avoid doing so because it is a time consuming effort and becomes more difficult if upgraded suspension parts and critical parts, such as brake lines have to be carefully avoided.

Myth #5: There is no good solution for flat spots on tires - False
After doing our research, we came across two easy to use and proven to work solutions. We also found these devices have significantly inferior Chinese knock-offs. So if you like the concept and begin shopping, please read the fine print.

Please note, as always, we receive no compensation from these companies for sharing the details. We only want to help our subscribers, followers and readers.

FlatStoppers® by Race Ramps
The concept is to "wrap" as much as possible of the load bearing tire surface by cradling it on a similarly curved surface that can "adapt" to the specific radius of your tire. They come as a set of 4, in 4 width's to accommodate nearly any tire. You simply place them in front/behind all 4 tires and drive onto them. List price range from $189 to $327, but are widely available and at discounted prices.

flat-jack® - Air Pillows by Flat-Jack
These German made devices are placed on the ground in front/behind all 4 tires and you drive onto them. The bags are inflated to 10 psi - 14 psi. The ground surface must be clear of rocks, sharp objects and significant surface depressions. Something this product does that others don't is the "pillow" design can accommodate for angled surfaces, thereby eliminating any kind of side-to-side "loading".

Prices range fro $120 each to $150 each, so a set of 4 will be about twice the cost of FlatStoppers®. As of this article, flat-jack is only available factory direct. but may be available through the Porsche Accessory program at your local dealer.