Can tire misalignment cause flat tires?

I’m not sure if this is a stupid question or not, but can tire misalignment cause flat tires? I ask because earlier tonight my drivers side tire went flat as I was taking off from a red light. The tire doesn’t look damaged from the outside. I put the spare on, which looked practically new since I had never used it, but within three miles the spare went flat.

When I got my tires rotated a few weeks ago I noticed a slight pull to the right, but after a day or two I stopped noticing it. I’m not sure if I just got used to it, or if it was just me not being used to the new tires.

I am having the tire patched tomorrow, but The thought that the misalignment might be causing this has just stuck itself in my head and won’t go away. Any suggestions?

No. Mis-alignment can NOT cause flat tires - unless the tire is worn through the casing - and while mis-alignment will hasten that wear, it will happen even on properly aligned cars.

I suspect the spare went flat because it had very little air when you put it on. Tires leak over time - one psi a month is considered normal - so it is a good idea to regularly check your inflation pressure - including the spare! “They” say check it once a month.

So how to make that thought go away? Pinch yourself every time it appears. That way you’ll associate that thought with something unpleasant.

You said you are having the tire patched tomorrow. That repair can only be made if the tread has been punctured, which is indeed the probable cause of your plight. You can inspect the tire yourself and find the troublesome nail. That discovery will satisfy your mind regarding the misalignment theory.

It is probably a matter of where you drive rather than which way it pulls when you drive

Thank guys. I thought both happening was too much of a coincidence but I was unaware of the tire slowly leaking air being normal. Like I said, it had (thankfully) been over 5 years since I bought this car used and had never had a problem with flats, so the spare would no doubt be flat after that long. I will be inspecting the tire now that I have the light of day to do it in. Thanks both of you.

@chunkyazin - maybe, but when I drive in a straight line and briefly take my hands off the wheel to test, the car does list to the right on its own.

The only way mis-alignment can cause flat tires is if you are getting rapid and abnormal wear, and allowing it to wear into the carcass of the tire. this will not happen in three miles. Are you sure there is nothing on the car puncturing your tires? I once worked on a car that was towed to Wal-Mart after a blowout for a new tire. After three subsequent blowouts of new tires that never even left the parking lot, the tire guy at Wal-Mart finally saw the broken coil spring that cut the sidewall of three brand new tires. The car was then towed to the shop where I was working with a cut tire and a brand new one in the back seat.

I would carefully inflate both tires and see if you can find the reason they went flat…The spare was probably flat or near flat to begin with…Some flats are repairable, some are not…It’s getting harder and harder to get a tire repaired…

Whelp, found a nail in the side of my original tire (how it got in the SIDE where it can’t really be fixed is beyond me…I don’t think I have enemies.). As for the spare, there was impact wear/bubbling on the inner tube so it was trash to begin with. This has been an expensive learning experience, but at least I’m learning.

I’ve seen quite a few tires with nails in the side. It puzzles me too, but it is pretty common.

Keith et al,

I wish I could find the video, but there is one of a tire rolling over a nail. When that happens, the nail (or whatever) is kicked up and tumbles. If the nail (or whatever) encounters the sidewall of a tire, it might get trapped between the pavement and the tire as the tire rolls. Viola! Punctured sidewall!