Is It Safe to Drive a Short Distance on a Flat Tire?

QuestionsCategory: Ask An ExpertIs It Safe to Drive a Short Distance on a Flat Tire?
William Logan Johnson asked 7 months ago
I recently found my car tire flat in my apartment parking lot. There's a gas station about 2-3 blocks away with an air compressor. I'm wondering if it's safe to drive this short distance without causing damage to the rim. I'm also concerned about leaving the car on a flat tire overnight. I have an appointment for a new tire on Friday, but I'm mostly worried about potential harm to the rim in the meantime. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
1 Answers
Zack Norman Staff answered 7 months ago
Hi there, William! It's generally not advisable to drive any distance on a flat tire, even if it's just a few blocks. Here's why:
  1. Risk of Rim Damage: Driving on a flat can cause serious damage to the rim, which can be expensive to repair or replace.
  2. Sidewall Damage: Even a short distance can ruin the tire completely, especially the sidewalls.
  3. Safety Concerns: Driving on a flat tire can lead to loss of vehicle control, posing a risk to your safety.
As for leaving the car on a flat tire overnight, there are a few things to consider:
  • Sidewall Distortion: Extended periods on a flat tire can distort the sidewall, potentially damaging the tire beyond repair.
  • Support Alternatives: If possible, use a jack or stand to take the weight off the tire.
Alternative Solutions:
  • Remove and Carry the Tire: The safest option would be to remove the tire and carry or roll it to the gas station.
  • Use a Spare Tire: If you have a spare, use it to get to the gas station or your tire appointment.
Remember, it's always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to tire safety. Zack - Motor Verso Mechanics Team