Is driving with a flat tyre to a garage a good idea?
When faced with this situation, the impulse to drive to the nearest mechanic or tyre fitter to quickly resolve the issue is understandable.
But is it safe? Or a potentially dangerous decision?
A flat tyre cannot grip the road surface effectively, drastically increasing the risk of skidding, loss of control, and accidents.
As you drive on a flat tyre, the friction generated between the deflated rubber and the road surface can lead to excessive heat buildup. This heat can cause the tyre to overheat and potentially burst.
Driving on a flat tyre can inflict significant damage not only to the tyre itself but also to other crucial vehicle components.
The added stress can irreparably damage the wheel and rim, suspension system, and even the braking system. This can turn a simple flat tyre into a very costly repair job for your car.
The answer to whether you can drive a flat tyre to a garage largely depends on the type of tyre you have.
Some modern vehicles come equipped with run-flat tyres designed to allow you to drive for a limited distance on a flat tyre. They come with reinforced sidewalls that provide support even when the tyre loses air pressure.
However, if you choose to drive on run-flat tyres while flat, exercise caution and keep your speed low.
If your car doesn’t have run-flat tyres, it’s best to avoid driving on a flat tyre entirely, as it lacks the needed support for safe driving.
Immediately find a safe spot to pull over. On highways or motorways, it’s best to use the hard shoulder if it’s available. Ensure that your hazard lights are turned on to alert other drivers to your situation.
Exit your vehicle and carefully assess the condition of the flat tyre. If it’s entirely deflated, you will need to change it.
If you have a spare tyre, you can proceed to change it if you are comfortable doing so.
However, if you do not have a spare or are uncertain about changing the tyre, it is advisable to call for roadside assistance.
While it may be tempting to drive on a flat tyre to reach a garage or tyre fitter, it’s a risky decision that should be avoided.
The dangers of driving on a flat tyre far outweigh the convenience factor. Prioritise the safety of yourself and other road users over the convenience of getting to a garage quickly.
I'm Louis, an engineer passionate about helping Australians choose better tyres for their vehicles!