Informational Guide

Driving On A Flat Tire

In this guide, we discuss driving on a flat tire, if it’s really bad, and how far you can go safely.

No one wants to deal with a flat tire, but it's an inevitable part of life. Getting a flat tire never seems to happen at a convenient time, so what should you do when it happens to you? We discuss if you should consider driving on a flat tire. This guide also answers - how far can you drive on a flat tire? 

How do you know that you have a flat tire? There are some significant warning signs that something is wrong. For example, modern vehicles contain a TPMS light. When this light comes on, it's an indication that the tire pressure is low. In many cases, this light comes on before the tire is flat, giving you time to respond.  

Once the tire goes flat, the danger increases. You might end up with a rough ride, with the vehicle pulling to the side of the flat tire. If you aren't sure how to handle the vehicle, you could easily lose control.  

flat tire on a car

Why Is It A Bad Idea To Drive With Flat Tires? 

The Tires Could be Damaged Beyond Repair 

How bad is driving on a flat tire? If you travel more than a short distance, you could destroy the tire beyond repair. In some cases, it's possible to repair a flat tire without replacing it. This option is much more cost-effective than buying a new tire. However, if driving a car on a flat tire causes damage to the tread or sidewall, it is not repairable.  

The Rim Can Be Damaged 

Driving on a flat tire and rim damage go hand-in-hand. By driving on rims of a flat tire, you allow all of the vehicle's weight to rest on this part. After the tire has been completely uninflated, the rim is forced to take all of the pressure. You don't want to purchase new rims in addition to the new tires.  

Cause Damage To Other Expensive Parts 

Not only can there be tire sidewall damage from driving on a flat, but other components of the vehicle are put under stress. Even driving on a flat tire for a short distance can cause wear to the brake rotors, suspension components, and brake calipers. The added momentum leads to unnecessary damage, causing you to face a higher repair bill in the end.  

You Become A Danger To Yourself And To Others On The Road 

What should you do while driving on a rural highway and a tire goes flat? You might want to drive the short distance home, but this creates a danger to you and other people on the road. Very quickly, you can lose control over the vehicle because of the flat tire. Among the top dangers of driving on a flat tire, safety should be paramount.  

dangers of driving with a flat tire

How Far Can You Drive On A Flat Tire? 

If you search driving on a flat tire on Reddit, you will get a lot of opinions about the subject, but you should never drive on a flat tire. It doesn't matter if you are in a rural setting or you just have a short distance to go, there's no reason to drive on it. Can you drive 1 mile on a flat tire? Absolutely not. It doesn't take long before you cause massive damage to the rim and other vital vehicle components.  

What about run flat tires? How far can you drive on the run flat tire? Before driving on a flat run flat tire, you want to check the manufacturer's recommendations. Some are rated for use up to fifty miles at speeds of 50 mph or less. The guidelines imposed by the manufacturer should never be exceeded.  

What Causes Flat Tires & How To Avoid it 

Does driving on a flat tire ruin the tire? Of course, it does, but what causes the tire to go flat in the first place? There are several reasons why the tire might go flat. The most obvious reason is that you've run over a sharp object on the road. You might also have dealt with bad road conditions or unseen hazards that caused the damage. 

Additionally, wear and tear can ruin your tires, which is why you want to inspect them and rotate them regularly. If the valve stem is leaking, the tire can also go flat unexpectedly. Furthermore, the wrong air pressure can lead to damage and a blowout. We recommend checking the tire pressures monthly, if not more. 

If the tires are subject to an excessive amount of heat, they could also go flat. Finally, putting your tires under unusual stress, such as putting too heavy of a load on them, can also lead to a blowout.  

causes of flat tire

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Is it illegal to drive on a flat tire? 

There are no specific laws about driving on a flat tire. However, it could be considered reckless driving since you may lose control of your vehicle as a result of the loss of tire pressure.  

Can a car sit on a flat tire overnight? 

You know that driving on a flat tire and damage are synonymous, but what if it sits overnight? If you need to let the vehicle sit, it might be okay. Still, you don't want to leave it to sit longer than necessary because the rim is holding additional weight that could cause damage.  

Can you drive a BMW with a flat tire? 

Driving on BMW run flat tires is a great way to get to the local repair shop without putting on a spare. However, if your BMW doesn't have run flat tires, you will need to change it.  

Can I drive with a nail in my tire? 

You don't want to drive with a nail in the tire. Not only can the loss of air pressure lead to a blowout, but the nail can cause irreversible damage if it isn't dealt with immediately.  

How long can a spare tire go?  

Most spare tires are rated for travel up to fifty miles at speeds of less than 50 mph. You should always follow the recommendations outlined by the tire manufacturer and travel with your hazard lights on when necessary.  


Can driving on a flat tire ruin the tire? Yes, you don't want to drive on the flat tire because it is dangerous and it can lead to additional damage. Put your spare tire on and head to your local tire shop for support.