How Far Can You Drive On a Flat Tire


Flat Tire Distance?

Can you drive on a flat tire? The answer is yes. HOWEVER, how far can you drive on a flat tire is the real question. It’s not recommended that you drive far at all because you can damage the tire, rim, and/or TPMS sensor. These damages will add up and cause you to spend money you didn’t have to.

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So, if you have a tire blowout on the highway drive slowly for a very short distance with your hazard lights on. You should only be driving on it to get you out of the road to safety. Driving on a flat tire is NOT recommended at all. It is dangerous, but if you got to, only travel at slow speeds and for a short distance.

However, a flat tire doesn’t always come with hearing a loud noise… Sometimes, the flat is the result of a slow leak. This slow leak causes the tire to gradually lose air pressure and could go unnoticed until its to late.

The risk is not always worth the reward.

Please note, depending on how far you drive on your flat tire, it may cause you to have to replace your tire. When you drive on it too long, your rim will start to cut/eat into the tire. This will make you have a bad tire that is unrepairable.

So, best practice is to make sure you are in a safe location, put your spare on, and determine if you need a new tire. If you do need a replacement tire, order a tire online now. Get it sent to the closest dealer FAST. Ordering online now will prevent excessive wear on your spare tire for when there comes a time you need it again.

how far can you drive on a flat tire | flat-car-tire-white-background
Flat Tire

Short Distance and Slow Speed

Driving on a flat tire is never recommended, but if need be, you can drive for a short distance at a slow speed with your hazard lights on. Only do this to get you out of harm’s way. Really it is advised that any distance traveled on a flat tire is too far.

Now please note, driving on a flat tire can damage your tire even more, deeming your tire bad. Driving on your flat tire will cause rim damaged and an unrepairable tire. In addition, it can cause additional damages to your vehicle that will become very costly.

Be sure to drive slowly if you do have to ride on your flat to prevent rim and TPMS damage. The best option is to either patch your tire, or put your spare/donut tire on as soon as possible, at least until you get a new tire.

*You should always keep a portable tire inflator in your car to prevent getting stuck on the side of the road.*

What’s the Lowest Tire Pressure I can Drive On?

Driving on tires with low tire pressure is not a good idea. However, you can drive with low tire pressure, but it’s best if you don’t have to. The lowest tire pressure that can be driven on is 10 PSI. (This depends on the condition and size of your tire.)

The main goal here is to keep the rim from coming in contact with the ground. When you ride with low tire pressure, this will cause premature wear on the outsides aka the shoulders of your tires. Driving with your tires underinflated or at poor tire pressure is also dangerous.

Underinflation makes your car more prone to losing traction. When you ride on low tire pressure, this will cause your tires to flex and wobble.

It will also cause difficult steering. This damage is almost as if your steering lags, causing your car to ride all over the road. This would be highly unsafe, especially if you had to swerve out of harm’s way.

Steering your life in the right direction is like driving your car with a flat… hard but possible.

Low PSI Affects

This low PSI will cause your car to not be as agile as it would be with properly inflated tires. Having low tire pressure really slows down how fast your brakes stop the car. This slow response is because your tires are not gripping properly.

You should always keep a portable tire inflator in your car and check your tires air pressure before every drive. The cheapest way is to find a free air pump near you but that could be miles.

*So instead, have a portable tire pressure gauge stashed in your car for quick and easy pressure checks.*

Will Driving on a Flat Tire Ruin the Rim?

Will driving on a flat tire ruin your rim? The short answer is yes and no. You could drive a short distance very slowly on the flat tire, but if you drive too long you will probably ruin your tire and most likely the rim as well.

If you’re driving on a flat tire this means your rim will be taking all the shock from the road. As opposed to when air is in your tire the air and rubber absorb the shock from the road along with your suspension. So, riding with no air in your tire can cause your rim to crack, bend, grind on the asphalt etc.

Now, if you drive too long on your flat tire your tire bead could separate from your rim causing your rim to grind on the concrete. This could cause further damage and even have your tire shred apart, then you will be replacing both the rim and tire.

Your best options are to either put your spare tire on, air your tire up with a portable inflator, or fix your tire with a tire plug kit.

How Long Can You Drive on a Flat Tire Without Damaging the Rim?

You can only drive a short distance on a flat tire without damaging the rim. The only time you should drive on a flat tire is to get out of harm’s way and into safety. Driving on a flat tire puts a whole bunch of stress on your rim, thus destroying your tire and rim.

So the answer to how long can you drive on a flat tire without damaging the rim is not far at all. Even if you do decide to drive on it, you won’t be making it anywhere fast.

Be sure to always check your tires frequently before you drive to make sure you don’t have a flat tire or a leaking tire. Always check your dash frequently for a TPMS light or check the pressure of your tires if you do not have a TPMS system.

Tires are a safety feature to your car to keep you, your passengers, and other drivers safely on the road.

Can a Car Sit on a Flat Tire Overnight?

Leaving your car sitting on a deflated tire is risky. This means all of the weight of the car will be pressing the rim into your tire. This could damage the tire and possibly the rim, especially depending on the age/condition of your tire.

Now, you do have options here. You can either pump the tire up with a portable tire inflator, put your spare tire on, or put your vehicle on jack stands on that side in order to protect your rim and tire.

Definitely never let your car sit on a flat tire over an extended period of time. This will cause your side walls to start cracking. Even worse, when you do eventually go to pump it back up, you may not even notice the cracks and drive on it then your tire blows out. Once a rim has “sat” on the tire it’s a good idea to grab a new tire.

Symptoms of Flat Tires

There are several tell tale signs that you have a flat tire and/or low tire pressure. You could go out to your car and your tire looks flat on the bottom. Usually if your tire is going flat while you are driving your ride will be rough. You could be driving and your car is pulling a certain direction. Your car may drive horribly down the road and feels like you might lose control. Your TPMS light may be on.

These are all symptoms of flat tires. Be sure to always inspect tire life, wear patterns, tire date, tire pressure before you drive your car.

  • Tire looks flat on the bottom
  • Rough ride
  • Car is pulling left or right
  • Lose control
  • TPMS light on