Let's talk about what to do if you have a flat tire on Bali. Renting a bike is the most popular means of transportation for tourists here, and even if you haven't encountered this problem on the "mainland", it can happen to anyone after long trips around the island. It's an unpleasant situation, but not hopeless. We'll tell you what an inexperienced driver should do.
First of all, we want to remind you about the importance of prevention. You can avoid all this headache by regularly inspecting your bike/car tires for foreign objects (nails, screws, different brackets). Also, check for any leakage or pressure loss. In this case, you will have a chance to reach the repair shop without a completely deflated tire and avoid getting stranded in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night.
For example, if you accidentally hit a nail, the problem may not be immediately noticeable. The tire may lose air overnight or in a few days, until it becomes evident and leads to a real problem. If you do find a foreign object in the tire, under no circumstances should you try to remove it yourself! In case the damage turns out to be extensive, you will quickly release all the air and deprive yourself of the opportunity to reach the nearest workshop.
You can also independently and for free inflate the tires with regular air or nitrogen at Pertamina gas stations. The cost is 3,000 rupiahs for scooters and motorcycles, and 5,000 rupiahs for cars (white kiosks with the inscription "Enduro Express").
Alternatively, you can open Google Maps, find the nearest workshop with a good rating (search for "bengkel" or "bike repair"), and go there. On-site, you can ask for "Pompa ban motor", but in general, you can always use Google Translate or the DeepL Translator app in such cases. The prices for tire inflation range from 5,000 to 10,000 rupiahs, depending on the vehicle and, in some cases, the conscience of the worker.
And now to the point. The unpleasantness has happened. Here's what you should do:
- ⚡Pull over to a safe location, away from the road, to ensure your safety and that of other road users.
- ⚡Assess the damage. Try to determine if the tire can be repaired or if it needs replacement. If you find a foreign object in the tire, refrain from removing it unless you are confident in your ability to repair it right then. If you can, proceed to the next step.
- ⚡The third step might be an exception, but it's still worth mentioning. If you have a tire repair kit and a pump and know how to use them, you can attempt the replacement yourself. May all Balinese gods be with you. If not, don't panic and move on to step 4.
- ⚡Open Google Maps and search for "bengkel" (workshop). Alternatively, you can ask any local, "Bengkel dimana?" (Where is the workshop?). If the tire is only slightly deflated, head to the nearest workshop. If it's far away and the tire is significantly deflated (you feel like you might not make it), try to find an air pump and inflate it. You can also ride with a passing bike to the nearest "bengkel" and get assistance from there. In the case that you decide to ride to the workshop, it's better for bike riders to go alone without passengers. And ride slowly!
- ⚡At the workshop, they will likely apply a patch or plug to the tire, costing around 20,000 to 30,000 rupiahs. If the cut is severe and can't be fixed with a patch, you'll need to replace the entire tire. This can only be done at a dealer or specialized tire workshop/auto service.
- ⚡If the situation happens at night, be prepared for the fact that finding a workshop that operates around the clock might be challenging in Bali. Try to contact your rental service and resolve the issue with them. You might need to lock the bike, leave it in a safe place, and take a Gojek (taxi service) home until morning because rental shops often close during the late hours.
- ⚡After the tire replacement or repair, don't forget to inspect the other tires for wear or damage to avoid additional problems in the future.
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