How Long Can a Car Sit On a Flat Tire?

Most car owners ask themselves how long their car can stay on a flat tire at some point. This question is essential if you leave your vehicle with a flat tire for some time. Usually, most vehicles shouldn’t sit with a flat tire for long. Since cars are for everyday use, you need to sort out any issue as fast as possible. When a car stays with a deflated tire for long, this can damage the rim, suspension, tire, and TPMS system. If you cannot change the flat tire immediately, you need to rest the car on jack stands until you replace the tire.

Let’s find out how long a car can sit on a flat tire and the damages associated with it when left for an extended period.

How Long Can Your Vehicle Sit On a Flat Tire?

There’s no exact time for how long you can leave your vehicle with a puncture. The time depends on the type of car and the tire. It also depends on the environment and the condition of the vehicle. In general, the replacement should be as quick as possible.How Long Can Your Vehicle Sit On a Flat Tire

If the replacement takes more than 24 hours, you should suspend your vehicle using a car jack. When it sits on flat tires for long, the rim may not hold the car’s weight, making it develop some cracks. Also, prolonged rest on a flat tire compromises the wheel’s structural integrity, making the rim bend, resulting in mismatched tires. Furthermore, since the rubber fabric will not bear the weight, it will lead to deformation and damage.

In addition, If it’s during a cold-weather season, the damage may be worse as the metallic rim will be exposed to rusting. Therefore, you shouldn’t let your car sit on flat tires for more than a day, and you should also park it in a warmer area.

What Causes a New Tire to Be Flat Overnight?

There are several reasons why a new tire will go flat in just one night. Understanding what causes flat tires will help in avoiding this from occurring. Some of the causes include:What Causes a New Tire to Be Flat Overnight

High Temperatures

A rise in temperature causes an increase in air pressure. This is because increased temperature leads to expansion. This expansion creates more pressure, making the air find its way out, consequently leading to a flat tire. This is the primary reason most tires go flat when the car has moved for long distances non-stop. The tire will heat up and will eventually give way.

Improper Sealing

For the tires to retain the air, they need proper sealing. If the sealing is not good enough, the air will leak out, and your tire will be flat with time. Therefore, if your tire had a puncture and was repaired, maybe the patch was not sealed well, allowing the air to escape.

Faulty Valve Stem

New tires come with a new valve stem, but unfortunately, even this valve stem can be faulty. A valve that has a defect will leak the air out, making your tire go flat. Presently, new model cars have a valve stem sensor that shows tire pressure on your dashboard. This will help you know the state of your car’s tire before driving.

Problem With Tire Mounting

If the rim you mount your tire on has a dent, it will leak the air. Therefore, it’s good you check carefully if the rim has curves before installing your tire, as it will save you from having a flat tire while on your journey.

Sharp Objects

Another reason your tire may go flat overnight is a puncture caused by sharp objects. These include nails, shards of glass, screws, etc. You may not notice the hole immediately since the thing will remain lodged in other cases. Hence, you’ll have a slow leak. Consequently, you will get a flat tire in the morning since the air will have escaped overnight.

Read Also: How to Tell If Your Tire Was Slashed?

How to Prevent Having a Flat Tire

Here are some measures to prevent a flat tire:

Check for Bloated Patches

To ensure that your car is in a good state, you need to regularly check tires for bloated patches, pinches, discoloration, and anything unusual. Report to your mechanic anything curious that you see. Moreover, you need to rotate your tires regularly as staying in the same position is detrimental for the tire. A proper and regular check will help you solve the problem earlier before more extensive damage occurs.

Keep the Wheels Aligned

It’s essential to have regular wheel balancing, vehicle conditioning, and alignment. A proper tire wheel alignment will make your tire last longer. Furthermore, it will also give you a satisfactory driving experience.

Use the Correct Tire Sizes

You should fit your vehicle with the appropriate tire types and sizes. Furthermore, you should ensure that all the tires have enough air pressure to prevent possible blowouts caused by excessive air or damage caused by too little air.

Drive Carefully

Lastly, you and other road users need to drive within limits and carefully for safety reasons. Your brakes should be operational, and you will have a great driving experience. Also, avoid carrying excess loads as they can damage the car.

Also Read: Best Spare Tire Rack Reviews

Can I Leave My Vehicle Parked With a Flat Tire?

Yes, you can leave your car parked with a flat tire. The question is, for how long should you leave it. As said before, you shouldn’t leave your vehicle sitting on a flat tire for long since this will cause damage to your rim, tire rubber, and suspension. The longest time you should leave your car to sit on a flat tire is 24 hours, and if it’s to stay longer, you can suspend the side using a car jack to prevent damage. It would be best to repair or replace the flat tire immediately to avoid possible damage.Can I Leave My Vehicle Parked With a Flat Tire

Moreover, when you park your car with a flat tire for long unattended, it may get towed if parked at a public compound. It may also attract criminals who steal everything valuable from your car, leading to a loss. Therefore, you need to solve the issue as quickly as possible.

How to Store a Vehicle With a Flat Tire

If you cannot repair or replace a flat tire within one day, then there are ways in which you can park your car safely.

Replace With a Spare Tire

You can store your car with your spare tire up to when you will repair the flat tire. To succeed in this, you should follow the steps of changing a wheel, and it is always good to have a spare tire for such occurrences.

Use Jack Stand

Use a jack stand to lift the side which has a flat tire. This will keep the rim free from the car’s weight giving you time to repair the flat tire. Position a jack under your vehicle below the car frame. Jack up your vehicle to suspend the tire.

Inflate the Tire

This is only applicable if the tire is flat due to slow leakage. You need to maintain the air pressure until you can repair or replace a tire. However, if the damage causing the flat tire is extensive, inflating it will be a waste of time.

Step by Step Guide on Puncture Repair

If the tire is flat due to puncture, you can follow the guidance below to fix it:

  • First, you need to detach the affected wheel from your vehicle.
  • Separate the tire and the rim.
  • Thoroughly check your tire from both outside and inside. Inside and outside inspections are necessary because whatever is seen outside may not be as bad as inside. Thus, it’s good you inspect everywhere.
  • When you get the puncture and are sure it’s repairable, you can trim the area of cables or wires to stabilize it.
  • Press a rubber stem via the puncture area, which seals off the puncture from inside out.
  • Buff the place before applying vulcanizing glue. Buffing should be from the inside.
  • Install a patch on the punctured area’s inner lining, which will lead to a chemical reaction.
  • Mount the tire back to the rim. Inflate it and check if there are any leaks. If there is none, then the process was successful.

Repairing a puncture can be challenging, and it is advisable to let a professional do it.

How Far Can One Drive a Car With Flat Tire?

Usually, the distance that a car can be driven with a flat tire depends on the type of vehicle, the tire, and the road. However, it is not advisable to drive on a flat tire. The rim will experience all the pressure from the vehicle as you drive, leading to damages. Moreover, the damage can be more if driven on a rough road.How Far Can One Drive a Car With Flat Tire

If it’s a must that you drive on a flat tire, you need to get out of traffic and switch on hazard lights safely. Drive slow speed to a convenient place where you will change or repair the affected tire.

When on a flat tire, prolonged driving interferes with your balance, brakes, alignment, suspension, fender, and rotor.

Also Know: How Long Can You Drive on a Spare Tire?

How Long Can a Car Sit With a Spare Tire?

The spare tire is a lifesaver when your tire goes flat unexpectedly. However, using the spare tire for longer than the manufacturer recommends welcomes other issues to your car. Firstly, a spare tire isn’t durable like the regular tire since they don’t have layers of polyester and steel below the rubber, and they don’t have more plies like standard tires.

Furthermore, spare tires have little tread, making them vulnerable to projectiles and road hazards. Moreover, it’s also smaller than standard tires, causing it to rotate faster than a regular tire. Most manufacturers recommend that you drive a maximum of 70 miles at a speed limit of 50 miles per hour before making a replacement.

What to Do When With a Flat Tire but With No Spare Tire?

Not all vehicles have spare tires. Fortunately, if you don’t have a spare tire, you should use any of these possibilities to repairing your tire:

Have a Repair Kit

If you don’t have a spare tire, you shouldn’t lack a tire repair kit, fix-a-flat, or slime repair kit. These kits consist of everything required for the process.

1. Tire Repair Kit

With a patch kit or plug kit, you will require to take off the flat tire to fix it. You will plug the hole or a leak in the tire. However, the use of a plug kit is determined by how big the gap is and where the leak/hole is situated.

2. Slime Repair Kit

This kit consists of a slime machine and slime. You will pump the slime using the device to seal the leak. However, slime doesn’t work with significant leaks or holes.

3. Fix-A-Flat

This kit comes inside a can which you will push to the valve stem. This way, you will have a tire sealing material to apply to the leak to cover the hole. This fix-a-flat tire method is cheaper and simple to use, unlike a slime machine.

However, you should note that slime repair and fix-a-flat aren’t meant to fix the flat. You will seal the leak to help you get to a mechanic who will fix your flat. With these two, you shouldn’t exceed a speed of 50/mph, and it can only last for up to three days. However, these are saviors, particularly when in a hurry and not near a motor service center.

Get Roadside Assistance

You may also need to invest in roadside assistance. This service will assist you in getting help when you encounter a situation like this.

Improve Your Tires

Though run-flat tires are expensive compared to regular tires, you should consider buying them because they will save you from frustrations brought by flat tires. These tires are made to survive more punctures, and you can continue using them for a short while though at a decreased speed.


Having a flat tire can happen to anyone and at any time. Therefore, you need to prepare a spare tire or a repair kit. Furthermore, you shouldn’t drive your vehicle with a flat tire. This can cause your rim to deform or crack. Also, when the car sits on a flat tire for long, the rim will press the tire, making it bend. This can also cause further damages to the suspension.

Usually, your vehicle’s weight should be distributed evenly, and since you will have one flat tire, it leads to a low point in rest. If you cannot repair the flat tire immediately, you should park your car with the help of a jack or a spare tire.

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