These two words alone are enough for every driver to fill with anxiety. Getting a flat tyre is one of the many situations we dread whilst on the road because, unlike being caught for speeding or running a red light, a flat tyre can often be unavoidable. A rogue nail in the middle of the road is all it takes to wound your precious vehicle. So what happens if youâ€™re in the middle of a journey and start feeling an unfamiliar thump or vibration? Will the tyre have enough life left to be able to limp over the finish line? Or is it a done deal?
Continuing to drive your vehicle knowing that you have a flat tyre is not a good idea. Tyres are not only there to provide friction and a smooth journey, but they also protect your car's wheels. So if you drive on a flat tyre, youâ€™re risking damaging the wheels of your car, therefore risking damaging the vehicle's control, therefore risking the safety of both yourself and others.
It's recommended that you stop to inspect the damage ASAP, driving any more than a few hundred yards is enough to completely destroy your tyre and cause serious damage to your wheel. So, put your hazards as soon as you realise the tyre is damaged and stop when itâ€™s safe to do so.
But how far can you drive on a flat tyre if the item that caused the puncher is preventing air from escaping your tyre?
This is common with nails. Once youâ€™ve properly examined the puncher, you might be able to continue driving for a short distance, but itâ€™s best to get it repaired as soon as possible as leaving it for too long may cause the tyre to blowout, resulting in a possible collision with another vehicle. Getting the culprit out sooner rather than later is highly recommended because one, itâ€™s likely the repairs would be cheaper and, two, itâ€™s one less thing to worry about.
As life-saving as tyre foam can be, itâ€™s not a permanent fix. Tyre foam generally lasts about 50 -100 miles, but ideally, you should have fixed or replaced your tyre before then. The main purpose of tyre foam is to provide you with a temporary fix so that you can get to a garage to repair the tyre. So use those 50 - 100 miles wisely!
A run-flat tyre is a tyre specially designed to drive for a longer distance with a puncher to give you more time to get to a garage to get it replaced. Generally, run-flat tyres give you an extra 50 miles max, given that youâ€™re not speeding.
Leaving the flat tyre on the car whilst itâ€™s not moving may not cause any major damage, but itâ€™s still a good idea to swap it as soon as possible, the puncher may get larger over time due to corrosion, resulting in a more expensive fix.
So if you ever find yourself with a flat tyre, just remember not to panic, stop the car in a safe place and get it fixed as soon as possible. Even though it's not a legal requirement, it's recommended that you have either a spare tyre or a tyre repair kit on hand. If youâ€™ve leased a car with us and are worried about tyre and wheel damage, read our full guide on Car Leasing Care - Wheels and Tyres.