How Long Can a Car Sit on a Flat Tire?

8 min read
15 September 2022


Most of us have experienced the frustration of having a flat tire. While it may not be the end of the world, it certainly is an inconvenience. However, if you find yourself stranded on the side of the road with no spare tire, you might consider letting it sit for a little longer before deciding whether or not to change it. After all, how much damage could it do sitting out there for a couple hours? And if you decide to leave it alone, how long can you expect it to last?

You don't usually need to worry about letting your vehicle sit on a flat for longer than 24hrs. However, if you're forced to leave your vehicle sitting on a flat for longer, then you should jac that tire up.

What Damage Could Happen to the Tire?

The main damage to the tires is usually caused by the sidewalls and shoulders. This occurs because the tires aren't meant to carry the full weight of the car. When a normal inflated, the air is the thing carrying the load.

When the air pressure drops below the level required for the tires to support the weight of the car, the tire must bear the full weight of the car. This causes stress to be placed on various parts of the tire. The shoulders and sidewalls are most vulnerable, but both may become slightly bent inward or outward.

The folding causes both compressive and tensile stresses on the rubber fibers of the tires. These stresses create cracks in the tires which is the most common reasons for a car’s tires to be replaced after sitting for some period of times.

Another type of damage is rusting. When a car tyre gets punctures, there is a possibility that the inner tube might get exposed to the atmosphere. In the right conditions, this can cause rusting which leads to delaminations between the tyres' different components which may mean it blows out while driving.

What Damage Could Happen to the Rim?

A flat tyre that has been sitting for a long period of times may cause the inner side of the rim to rust. The inside of the wheel rim is more susceptible to corrosion than the outside because it usually lacks the same level of protection.

If the tire has been damaged by corrosion, then there may be a small leak which could cause further damage. So, if you notice any signs of corrosion, get it checked out right away.

What Are Other Negative Implications?

If you leave your car unattended for an extended period of time, there are some additional costs associated with doing so. You may get a parking ticket if you're not on private property with proper authorization. This means you will have to fix the tire yourself and then you will have to shell out money to the municipality.

What Is the Longest Time You Can Safely Let Your Car Stand on A Flat?

Try not to let your car stand on a flat for too long. If you're going to be away from your car for longer than 24hrs, then you should probably change the air pressure in your tires.

Furthermore, you shouldn't drive with a flat. Driving with a flat can be extremely dangerous and may result in an auto crash. Besides an auto crash, the tires could completely disintegrate meaning you'd need to buy a new set of tires and possibly even a new wheel assembly.

What Should You Do If You Get a Flat?

The first thing you must do is stop your car. You may have to get out and push it off the road. Once you've done that, you'll have to change the tire. Don't forget to check the pressure before you go back on the road.

Fix-a-Flat and Similar Produces

If you're looking for an easy solution to fix a flat tire, then Fix-a-Flate may be just what you need. However, if you want a long-term solution, then Fix-a Flat isn't going to cut it. It plugs up the hole from the outside, but it doesn't seal the hole completely.

For example, if you use a puncture repair kit to patch a flat tyre, then the puncture repair kit cannot be used again. It may even cause further damage to the tyre. However, if you take the tyre into a shop for repairs, they will replace the damaged part of the tyre with a new one.

If your tire has a small hole, you could use an electric hand pump to inflate it. However, this won't fix the problem because you haven't fixed the hole. It just gives you the chance to drive a short distance to have the tire fixed.

Jack It Up!

There may be times when you just cannot repair or replace a damaged or broken part of your car. However, there is one thing you can do: jack up the side that needs fixing. This will prevent any further damage to the tires and keep them inflated until they can be fixed or replaced.

You can leave your car parked outside for as long as you need it. Just keep in mind that if your car is on the road, someone might take your parking spot. Also, if your car is stolen, they may try to use your parking spot to get into your car. So make sure you park your car somewhere where no one else would think about stealing it.

Run Flats

A flat is when the inner tube of a bicycle tyre becomes damaged. You can still ride for up to 50 miles before needing to stop and change the tyre. They're called 'running' tyres because they support the bike's load even if there's no air in them.

Because of this internal construction, the tire is less prone to damage if you allow it to rest for 24 hours. However, you should still try not to leave it standing for longer than 24 hours. You should also never use Fix-A-Flat with run flat tyres.


If you have a flat, call Triple A. They'll come out and fix your flat right away. And if you're stranded somewhere, they'll even give you a ride home. But if you've got a spare, you should probably just use that instead.

Spare Tire

If you have a car with a spare wheel, you should always keep it inflated. Even if you plan to change your tires the next morning, having them sit for too long could cause them to crack.


Finally, if you're stuck for any reason, don't hesitate to call a tow truck. You can usually reach one by calling AAA or another roadside assistance service. If you need to drive somewhere else, you can use your car's navigation system to locate a nearby gas station or mechanic.

Remember that the "spared" tire is always your best tire block. You may need to wait a bit for it to get fixed, but your mechanics will appreciate that you used the spares instead of just using Fix-A-Flat. Also, keeping your tire pressure up will help prevent a puncture from occurring.



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