Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Far Can You Drive On a Flat Tire?

Driving on a Flat Tire

You’re driving down the interstate and your tire pressure monitor light comes on. You notice the tire pressure slowly dropping. 25psi, 20, 15. Your heart quickens and your eyes dart to the side of the road. The shoulder is narrow, and doesn’t feel like the safest place to be. The sign says the next rest stop is 10 miles. What do you do? Keep going and chance damaging your tire and maybe more? Or, should you pull over to the shoulder and call the tow service?

How far is too far?

To be safe, driving on a flat tire at all is too far. If your tire has lost all air pressure, it not only will damage the tire beyond the possibility of repair, but can put you in harm’s way. A flat tire doesn’t have the same traction or control as it does when it is inflated, and can cause you to lose control and get into an accident.

If your tire still has some air, or if you have a way of inflating a tire with a slow leak, it may be safe to take it to the tire repair shop. If you choose to drive it to the shop, stop every mile or so to check the tire’s pressure. If it has become totally flat, don’t drive any further; call a tow service to bring you the rest of the way.

What happens to my tire if I drive on it flat?

When you drive on a flat tire, the rim puts extreme pressure on the tire, pinching it between the rim and the road. It shreds the inside lining of the tire, eliminating the possibility of repairing the tire. Only drive on a flat tire to get yourself out of harm’s way, like driving on a roadway without a shoulder.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How Long Does a Vacuum Brake Booster Check Valve Last?
The braking system on your car requires a lot of pressure. The vacuum booster is one of the main sources of this pressure. This booster will take the pressure that...
How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...


Related questions

Q: Reverse gear causes wobbling and shaking - 1966 Chevrolet C20

Sounds like something is loose or disconnected back there still: trailing arm bolts, panhard rod bolts? Are the shocks bolted up? Are the "blocks" you mention allowing the axle housing to rotate (under torque), relative to the trailing arms? ...

Q: Why does the TPMS light come on when driving with a spare on the car?

If you’ve had the misfortune of getting a flat tire and have had to install the spare tire, you’ve seen the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) light come on in the dash. Why is that? Here’s what you need to...

Q: Truck shaking violently at 40mph or faster.

Hi, thanks for writing in. This may have happened for a few reasons, however it is quite likely that due to the difference tread size, this may have caused one or any of the tires to wear incorrectly causing an...