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Ask the Mechanic: How far can I drive on a flat tyre?

Flat tyres are synonymous with inconvenience, and they're made all the more problematic because you don't always know when you have one. Often it is the case that a flat tyre won't come to your attention on account of a loud noise or any other obvious sign, as the actual cause of the flat tyre is very often a gradual leak that slowly results in the tyre losing air pressure.

If you realise you have a flat tyre it's necessary to stay calm in order to stay safe on the road - but it's similarly important to take action as soon as it is possible. If the option is available to you to pull over in a safe place and either prepare to change the tyre yourself or call your roadside assistance organisation, then do that.

In some situations, however, it is not possible to pull over and it can be especially stressful driving in heavy traffic or on a freeway knowing you have a flat tyre. In this case, you will need to drive on the flat tyre, and it is possible to do so for a short while before the tyre becomes wrecked beyond repair. In most cases it is possible to drive for a couple of hundred metres on the flat tyre without totally destroying the rim.

If you need to drive on a tyre you know is flat, the trick is to drive slowly. Try not to exceed 20 miles per hour until you reach a place that is safe to stop. Putting your hazard lights on in this instance is really important so that other drivers are aware you're taking caution.

One thing you do need to think about in all this is the issue of saving the flat tyre so it can be repaired. If this is first and foremost in your mind then the sooner you stop, the better. You may also want to save the metal wheel the tyre sits over from being damaged, and you will be able to do this so long as you can drive slowly and take great care.

Tyre maintenance is one of the services that we offer at Reliance, so if you need your tyres looked at, book a service today!

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