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

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

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

How Long Does a Throttle Return Spring Last?
Not all vehicles on the road feature an electronic throttle control (ETC), which is also called drive-by-wire. For vehicles that don't offer this system, they have a throttle cable instead that...
How to Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...
P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222 code means The manufacturer specifies a range of acceptable voltage to be produced from the throttle position...

Related questions

Q: How do I change a flat tire?

With careful driving, you should be able to minimize the risk that you’ll suffer from a blowout, but there’s no way to guarantee it won’t happen. When the unexpected happens, it pays to know what to do. Here are the...

Q: What does the Low Tire Pressure warning light mean?

Your Altima is equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). It’s designed to keep track of the amount of air in your tires. If one of them drops below the threshold, the system turns on the Low Tire Pressure...

Q: What do the various terms mean on a tire’s sidewall?

The tires of your Accord include a lot of important information, from the tire size to the load and speed ratings. Understanding what these terms mean will help you drive safely and choose the right placement tires. Here’s a quick...