Passenger Tire 101- Tips on Running Flat

Passenger Tire 101- Tips on Running Flat

Every car owner knows that the loss of air pressure in tires while driving is inevitable. It’s a fairly common occurrence where car owners are instructed to immediately pull over and change the faulty tire. Even the best quality passenger car tires are prone to the occasional loss of air pressure.

While it is generally advised not to drive with a flat tire due to safety reasons, what happens when the car owner is left with no choice? This article aims to provide some safety tips on travelling with a flat tire.

What Are Some Of The Types Of Flat Tires?

The term “flat tire” is an umbrella term used to describe any problem that may arise with a tire. There are several types of flat tires, such as:

Slightly Under-Inflated

This is a common occurrence, usually experienced during seasonal changes. It usually occurs when the temperature decreases, causing the tires to lose air pressure quickly.

Leaking Tire

A leaking tire occurs when a sharp object, such as debris, nail, screw, pin, or a piece of glass, gets lodged into the tire’s tread, causing a slow leak.

Completely Flat

Completely flat tires occur when the car has mistakenly been driven over a sharp object, appearing completely flat and flabby, with the rim resting on the ground.


A blowout occurs when the tire has been driven over a sharp object, creating a large gash on the surface. The tread and sidewall can also separate when this happens.

Now that we’ve covered the different types of flat tires let’s look at some tips to safely drive a car with a flat tire.

5 Pro Tips To Safely Drive A Car With A Flat Tire

1] Drive Slowly

When driving with a flat tire, drivers should not go faster than 15 to 20 miles per hour. Driving faster than that can cause irreparable damage to the metal wheel behind the tire and can result in a loss of control. Travelling at high speeds will worsen the situation as the wheel is not protected from bumps and debris by a flat tire.

2] Smooth And Flat Ground

Passenger Tire 101- Tips on Running Flat

When driving with a flat tire, drivers should try to keep the vehicle steady on a smooth and flat road surface. They should avoid steep inclines, potholes, or broken patches of asphalt. Driving on rough roads can cause severe damage to the rims, which can bend and put the vehicle out of alignment. Driving on wet or sandy terrain can cause the tire to slip, sink, or even get stuck.

3] Going Straight

When driving with a flat tire, it is recommended to avoid navigating winding avenues or steep curves. It is best to drive slowly and straight and resist any drag the flat tire creates. Turning sharply will only put a strain on the edges of the rim, causing the vehicle to lose control.

4] Only Short Distances

Drivers should never attempt to drive any further than a couple of hundred yards with a flat tire, even if it isn’t completely deflated. While this may not be enough to carry the vehicle to the next auto garage, it will allow the driver to exit the hazards of the highway. With the required knowledge, anyone can change a tire quickly once they’ve selected a suitable spot to park the vehicle.

5] Driving Slow Leaking Tire

Slow tire leaks are caused by tiny cracks in a tire, which cause it to lose air slowly over time. Driving with a slow leak might be risky as it can lead to a flat tire and increase the chances of a blowout. Slow leaks are characterised by poor air retention despite continually pumping air into it.

What Happens If Drivers Use A Flat Tire For Too Long?

Driving on a flat tire is unsafe for a vehicle’s handling. If a driver puts too much stress on already deflated tires, it can cause structural damage to the wheel, brakes, alignment, and other components, such as steering and suspension systems. While driving a short distance to reach an auto repair shop might be the only option, drivers can explore other options, such as attempting to replace the flat or using an emergency sealant to patch any punctures.


It is recommended that a car not sit on a flat tire for more than 24 hours. Driving on a flat tire can result in damage to internal components such as the braking and transmission system. However, it becomes unavoidable in certain cases, and the only way to get it repaired is to travel a distance. Almost all drivers are statistically prone to getting a flat tire at one point or another. Thus, it is ideal for drivers to be prepared how to handle a flat tire when they experience it.

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