How Far Can You Drive 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.


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Recent Spare Tire Installation reviews

Excellent Rating

(158)

Rating Summary
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5
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Nicholas

11 years of experience
585 reviews
Nicholas
11 years of experience
Toyota Camry V6-3.0L - Spare Tire Installation - Knightdale, North Carolina
Nicholas finished an earlier appointment which enabled him to come by earlier than originally scheduled. I'm very grateful he chose to reschedule. While replacing a flat with my donut spare, he instructed me on how to safely drive to the tire shop for the repair. More importantly to have the shop add air to the donut spare. Nicholas did an excellent job. He as very professional. Thank you
Ford E-150 Econoline - Spare Tire Installation - Durham, North Carolina
I was VERY pleased with Nicholas' expertise and was more than delighted that he was so prompt. He was very polite and friendly, and he did a marvelous job. If I ever need any repairs to my vehicle in the future, I would definitely ask for Nicholas.

Luis

29 years of experience
91 reviews
Luis
29 years of experience
Toyota Prius L4-1.5L Hybrid - Spare Tire Installation - Prospect Heights, Illinois
Luis attended my car today and help in fixing the issue quickly. He is nice and friendly guy. I will recommend him for any services.

Hugh

11 years of experience
106 reviews
Hugh
11 years of experience
Toyota FJ Cruiser V6-4.0L - Spare Tire Installation - Castle Rock, Colorado
Hugh came to change out a flat tire for my spare today. I have to say that I feel sheepish for calling someone to come help because I know how to change a tire but I was at work and on shift until 2 am and he came to my place of work. Instead of just installing my spare, he took the time to evaluate the situation. I had a nail in my tire and he took the tire to get patched and my vehicle drove better on my way home than when I left this morning. It was snowing sideways when he showed up to help me. He was a bit of a godsend in the moment and I would recommend him to anyone. I was just distressed because I did not have enough tip to give this guy for overachieving when I needed it. Huge five star review. I only hope to pay his generosity forward. He was more than worth the cost and he did a phenomenal job.

Jonathan

26 years of experience
88 reviews
Jonathan
26 years of experience
Honda Civic L4-1.7L - Spare Tire Installation - Smyrna, Georgia
Jonathan was very punctual, friendly, and transparent. He clearly explained everything he did and provided detail about any additional work he recommended. Great work!

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