Fortunately, it is yet possible to keep driving with a bad, or flat tire; but you can only drive a few tens or hundreds of miles, and then the tire becomes irreparably damaged or the rims get affected. Since it’s possible that you can drive with a flat tire, how far can you drive on a flat tire without damaging the rim?
Rims can only get damaged when flat tires have completely worn out, exposing the rims to the road. So, with the rim coming in direct contact with the pavement, and also depending on the amount of load the car is carrying, it may take just a few kilometers and the rim could get damaged.
How Far Can You Drive On Flat Tire Without Damaging The Rim?
There are many scenarios that could lead to having a flat tire; probably the tire got punctured, or it has been gradually losing air due to excessive wear or leak. However, whatever caused the flat tire notwithstanding, it is not advisable to drive with a flat tire.
Yes, driving with a flat tire is quite dangerous, as it could lead to several other damages that would cost you a lot of money to fix. But, the rim doesn’t get affected immediately after you’ve got a flat tire. Even so, some people still get to drive long distances – at slow speed levels – with flat tires.
Before a rim could get affected due to a flat tire, it means that the tire has long deflated and ruptured, yet, the driver kept driving the car. Rims (metallic) are covered by tires (which are made of rubber); so, a rim cannot be affected due to a flat tire, until the tire is completely worn out (and ruptured).
That said, you can drive a few more miles with a flat tire without the rims getting affected. There is no definite number of miles you can drive with a flat tire before the can be affected.
However, this is apparent; if you keep driving with a flat tire, the puncture, or defect that made the tire go flat, would expand, and that would cause some sides of the tire to tear apart (get ruptured).
Once a tire is torn, the weight of the load the car is carrying would rest on the rim (which is now in direct contact with the pavement). At this point, depending on the load, and the speed the car is driving at, a fatal scenario could occur sooner than anyone may predict.
So, with a ruptured tire, which has the rim already exposed and without support, you can only drive a few (unpredictable) kilometers and the rim would break down. This could lead to a terrible accident scene, which may also lead to the loss of lives.
What To Do When You Have a Flat Tire?
If you are driving and noticed that you’ve got a flat tire, the best approach is to slow down the car and bring it to a halt. Once the car has stopped (ensure to park out of the roads), remove the flat tire (if it’s already ruptured) and replace it with the spare tire.
But, if the tire isn’t ruptured yet, it could be that the valve loosened; hence, air escaped and that’s why you got a flat tire. In that case, inflate the tire and continue your driving. If you can’t inflate car tires, have a vulcanizer do it for you. Driving with flat/ruptured tires is very dangerous and not advisable.
If your rim gets damaged due to a flat tire, definitely, you’d have to replace the damaged rim when changing the tire.
Having a flat tire can occur at any time; yeah, you could be speeding on a trail and then something punches your tires, causing them to lose air and deflate. You’d know you’ve got a flat tire when hydroplaning isn’t happening as usual, and your car seems imbalanced.
There are other signs a flat tire may exhibit, but if you’re concerned about how far you can drive on a flat tire without damaging the rim, there’s no definite answer to that. It could happen before 100km or 1.5miles depending on the load resting on the rim, and your driving speed.