Are You able to drive with a flat tire? What Distance Can You Drive With a Flat Tire?

Getting a flat tire is one of every driver’s worst nightmares. You might be tempted to drive on if the tire is flat. What distance should you travel if you are able to drive flat tires?

We will be discussing what you should do when your flat tire causes damage to your car. Also, we will discuss what to do if your tire becomes flat. The average cost of fixing flat tires is discussed at the end. 

Índice de Contenido
  1. Are You able to drive with a flat tire?
  2. Flat Tire vs. Low Air Pressure
  3. The Reasons You Should Not Drive on a Flat Tire
    1. 1. Inreparable damage
    2. 2. Rim Damage
    3. 3. Vehicle damage
    4. 4. Unsafe
  4. How to deal with a flat tire
    1. 1. When You Aren’t Driving
    2. 2. For Driving
  5. Flat Tire Repair Costs

Are You able to drive with a flat tire?

Flat tires should not be driven on. Even if you simply need to limp it down the road to a tire shop, it’s not a good idea. This is unsafe and can lead to permanent damage to your tire or vehicle parts, which will result in a higher repair cost. 

It is important to consider the condition of your tire before you make a decision about the repair. If it’s flat because of a puncture, there’s a good chance it can be repaired, especially if the tread is in great shape. However, if you drive on it and cause more damage, there’s less chance that it can be fixed. Flat tires can cause damage to the suspension and rims. 

Flat Tire vs. Low Air Pressure

A flat tire is completely deflated. This occurs when there’s a puncture in the tire or other damage. 

A low tire pressure refers to a tire that has inflated below the suggested PSI. This can happen due to small punctures or weather conditions. A flat tire can result from damage if it is not addressed. 

Reported: Low tire pressure can make it dangerous to drive. (& What to Do)

The Reasons You Should Not Drive on a Flat Tire

1. Inreparable damage

We briefly mentioned that driving with a flat tire can cause irreparable damage. The tire supports the weight of your vehicle, so when it’s not inflated, it leads to damage. Deteriorating the internal structures of your tire can cause damage.

The heat buildup in tires can cause them to deteriorate. After this occurs, there’s no way to repair the tire. This is not good news especially when it turns out that the initial puncture was only a fraction expensive. 

RELATED: How can you plug a hole in the sidewall of a tire?

2. Rim Damage

It isn’t just the tire that gets damaged when you drive on it flat. It can cause serious injury to the rim.

If you drive on an empty tire, the entire vehicle's weight is transferred to the rims. These aren’t meant to hold the entire weight, so they become bent or damaged. If you’ve ever had to buy new rims, you know these can be pricey. 

Related: What Does Rims Cost You?

3. Vehicle damage

You are at risk of serious damage to your vehicle beyond the tire and wheels. The wheel can begin flailing if the tire is pulled away from its rim. Other components, including brake lines, suspension, and rotors, are at risk. 

It is easy to turn what could have been a small tire repair into major auto repairs. Consider how much money you would be willing to pay to drive short distances on a flat-tired tire.

READ MORE: Tire patches or tire plugs?

4. Unsafe

If the cost of repairs isn’t enough to get you from driving on a flat tire, consider the risk of danger. If the tire isn’t inflated, you could easily lose control of the vehicle. Even more so if the vehicle is riding on its rim. 

You are putting yourself and others' lives in peril. When you can’t properly handle your vehicle, you take the choice away from other people. A major accident could result if you do not take care of your suspension and brakes. 

RELATED: Fixing a Flat Tire without a Spare

How to deal with a flat tire

1. When You Aren’t Driving

Your best chance of dealing with a flat tire properly is to notice it when you aren’t driving. You can prevent any problems from becoming serious by inspecting your tires regularly. When you perform a tire repair, rub your hand along the front and back of it to see if there are any objects you didn’t spot. You may be able repair it if there are. You can also pump the air pressure up to a higher level and continue monitoring it. 

If you feel the tire is leaking more frequently or have noticed an object in the tread, take it off. You can put the spare on the vehicle, and then take the tire to your local shop for repair. If it’s repairable, you won’t have a lot to spend. If the issue is in the sidewall, or the puncture has grown too much, it might be necessary to replace the tire. 

RELATED : How to find the correct tire pressure for your car (4 Steps).

2. For Driving

It is very dangerous to have a flat tire on the road. The tire might feel flat, or you may hear it. You might feel the vehicle pulling towards one side if it is wearing a flat tire. It doesn't matter what, it is important to have the problem checked out immediately. 

When it's safe to do so, stop. Don’t slam on your brakes, but instead, remain calm so you can think clearly. Increase pressure, but maintain your control of the vehicle. 

If you have to pull over, make sure that your vehicle is not in the way of traffic. If there’s a shoulder, try to leave as much room between you and the traffic as you can. You don’t want to get hit by a car while you are trying to change the tire. You can carry flares and cones as emergency gear. Turn on your hazard light to warn other drivers.

You don’t want to drive on this flat tire, so you will need to put your spare tire in its place. To transport the tire to the closest service center, you can place it in the car. If your vehicle doesn’t have a spare or you aren’t sure how to change it, you might need to call for roadside assistance or a tow truck. This is also the best option if you are on a busy road and don’t feel safe changing the tire. 

Flat Tire Repair Costs

You might pay anywhere between $10 and $50 to repair a tire. You might be able to have your tire repaired or replaced if the company has a road hazard plan. 

You will pay more if you have to replace the tire. A new tire can cost anywhere from $60 to $500 depending on your car and what kind of tire it is. If the flat tire damages the rim or suspension components, there will be an additional cost. Avoid these higher costs by not driving with a flat tire.

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