When a tyre blows out too far from a mechanic’s shop, drivers may have no choice but to keep driving. But it can do a lot of damage to the tyres and rims of their cars.
But criminals and police officers have been involved in high-speed chases with one or more flat tyres, so we don’t know how safe it really is.
Also, how far can you drive when a tyre is flat? Can you really drive at all with a flat tyre?
You can drive for a few hundred yards on a flat tyre before you damage it and then the rim. If your car is hard to steer, the steering wheel is shaking a lot, or the wheels are making a loud noise, you should pull over right away.
Once you know which tyre is flat, slow down and stop on the side of the road. Don’t stop your car in the middle of the road, or you and other drivers will be in danger.
Today’s article talks about how long you can drive with a flat tyre, what to do if you get one, and the differences between flat and low-pressure tyres.
How Far Can You Drive on a Flat Tire?
It’s very dangerous and expensive to drive with a flat tyre. Most of the time, you can only drive a few hundred yards on a flat tyre before you damage it. This depends on how the road is.
But if you’re not in a safe place or can’t stop, it’s better to drive on a flat tyre and spend some money replacing the wheel or rims than to risk your own life.
But you’ll have to go less than 20 miles per hour and watch out for potholes and other things on the road.
How long can you drive if your tyre is flat?
How far and how long you can drive with a flat tyre depends on the condition of your tyre, the weight of your vehicle, and the conditions of the road.
Even so, it would be best if you didn’t drive at all with a flat tyre, because you’ll start to damage it within a couple of metres.
If you drive for a few miles, you’ll do a lot of damage to the rims. And remember that metal is more expensive than rubber.
So, unless it’s a life-or-death situation, try not to drive at all with a flat tyre.
What’s the Difference Between Low Tire Pressure and a Flat Tire?
1. Low-Pressure Tire
A low-pressure or underinflated tyre has less air in it than what’s recommended. It could be because the tyre is not inflated enough or because it has a slow hole in it.
When you under-inflate your tyres, the grip and traction you need for accelerating, stopping, and turning are improved. But in the end, the tyre will wear out faster.
2. A Flat Tire
On the other hand, a flat tyre has lost all or most of its air, so the car rides on the tread instead of the tyre.
Flat tyres make it hard to steer a car, make it more likely to lose control, and do a lot of damage to the tyres and rims.
Signs That Your Tire Is Going Flat
Most punctures are caused by worn-out tyres, not by things that fall off the road. Here are some signs that your tyre is flat.
Tire punctures usually cause slow leaks instead of full blowouts, which makes them harder to spot. Most of the time, you won’t notice until your car is already running on a flat tyre.
The car will be hard to steer, and its path will often change toward the side of the flat tyre. If you feel like your car is dragging, it’s best to pull over and change or fix the flat tyre.
Excessive Steering Wheel Vibrations
Because car suspensions have gotten better over the years, you might not notice that the car or wheel is shaking until the tyre is completely flat.
If this is the case, your steering wheel will start to shake, and the flat tyre will make a loud flapping sound.
Leaking or Popping Sound From the Wheels
If you hear a leaking sound coming from your tyres, it means that you have a hole in them and that they will be flat in no time.
If you hear the popping sound, it’s best to pull over to the nearest auto repair shop so the problem can be fixed before it gets worse.
When a tyre is flat, it has a larger surface area in contact with the road. This makes it easier to get traction and speed up.
If your car speeds up faster than usual all of a sudden, it could be because one or more of its tyres is flat or has low pressure.
But you’ll find it hard to steer right away, even though you’ll be going faster, and your car might feel different when you turn corners or switch lanes.
What to Do if You Get a Flat Tire
How you handle a flat tyre on your car will depend on whether the car is still or moving.
It’s much easier and safer to change the tyre when the car is parked or stopped at a light or stop sign than when you’re driving.
But it all depends on where you are, how well you know how to change a tyre, if you can fix it, and if you have a spare tyre with you.
When Your Car Is Parked
Do a Thorough Tire Inspection
It’s important to check your car’s tyre pressure before driving to work or going on a road trip.
If you can see that one or more of the tyres has less pressure than what is recommended, you should check them for any foreign objects first.
Most of the things are sharp screws, nails, sharp rocks, or pieces of broken glass. These are often seen on some roads where there are a lot of cars and accidents. If you don’t find anything, your tyre may need more air or have a slow hole in it.
And because it’s hard to tell the difference between the two, it’s safer to have your car fixed at an auto repair shop.
Use a Spare Tire
Spare tyres are now smaller and take up less space than they did in the past. On the other hand, they aren’t good for long distances and may only work for a few miles.
A spare tyre is very important, especially if you are in a hurry or don’t have the right tools to fix your car’s tyre. It gives you enough time to get to a repair shop before going further.
But the low profile tyre won’t have the same grip and stopping power as the other three. Since this is the case, you should only drive about 50 miles per hour on a low profile spare tyre.
Having good tyres will save you a lot of trouble on the road in the long run. Remember that the front tyres will wear out faster than the back tyres because they have to do more work when turning and stopping.
But that doesn’t mean they are more likely to get flats on the road. Here’s what you should do if you’re driving and notice that one of your tyres is flat or has low pressure.
Pull Over Immediately if You’re in a Safe Location
If you’re in a safe place, slowly press down on the brake pedal to stop the car.
If you slam on the brakes when you have a flat tyre, you could lose control of your car. Also, make sure your car is all the way on the shoulder so you have enough room to look at it without getting hit.
Replace the Flat Tire With a Spare One
Fixing a flat tyre on the side of the road is much harder and takes longer than putting on a spare. You can also choose to fix the hole if you have a lot of time on your hands.
But tyres can get holes in more than one place, making it hard to tell which one is which. And I know from experience that having a spare wheel is the best thing to do when you are in a hurry.
Tips for Avoiding Flat Tires
Here are some things you can do to make it much less likely that your tyres will suddenly go flat.
Buy tyres that are made well.
Invest in good brakes to keep the tyres from wearing down in different places.
Check the pressure in the tyres often.
Install run-flat tyres.
Don’t put too much in your car.
Every 60,000 to 80,000 miles, you should change your tyres.
Be careful when you’re driving.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Long Can You Drive on a Tire With Fix-a-Flat?
Fix-a-flat lets you drive on a flat tyre for 100 miles or 3 days, whichever comes first.
How Long Can You Drive on a Run-Flat?
How many miles or how fast run-flat tyres can go depends on the company that makes them, but it’s usually between 25 and 200 miles.
For example, Bridgestone run-flat tyres can be driven up to 50 miles at a maximum speed of 50 miles per hour while the tyres are flat.
Conclusion to Driving on Flat Tires
Most of the time, you shouldn’t drive with a flat tyre, unless it’s dangerous to do so. The first thing to do is to pull over or take the car to a repair shop.
If you have to drive with a flat tyre, do so only until you can stop safely.