Front end damage

I had a flat on the left front of my 2003 Buick Lesabre. I put on the compact spare and continued. When the compact spare went flat, I had no option other than to continue to drive on the flat tire at about 15 or 20 mph. When the flat separated from the rim, I could speed up to about 25 or 30 mph. Thirteen miles later it was finally safe to stop at a shop and replace the tire. What damage did I do to the front end during my 13 mile trip? Whenever I hit the slightest bump, there is a rattle that sounds like a loose 2x4 is just bouncing around inside a truck bed. Will this be expensive to fix? What if I don’t fix it?

Someone will have to put the car up on a lift and examine all your front end suspension parts. A normal tire provides a lot of cushioning when the tire hits a bump or pot hole. Driving on a wheel rim means the front of the car is lower on that side putting more force and weight on that wheel. There is no cushioning affect at all so any bump will really whack all the suspension parts. And driving at 25 to 30 mph multiplies all the forces many, many times.

I would expect pretty much all the rubber bushings will be beat to death, and some items bent, and things like tie rod ends to be in bad shape.