How far can you drive on a flat tire?

Yesterday afternoon on my way home I have seen a car driving slowly on 1 flat tire on the side of the road. The driver was about half a mile from the tire store. I do not know for how long he was driving before I saw him.
So what do you think?
By the way he was driving a Subaru. He might have ended up paying for 4 tires because of the awd?

Well, I have seen some police chases where the culprit drove a long way at high speed with several flat tires. I don’t think awd would harm the tires, might harm the driveline tho.

Depends on the speed…but NOT long before the tire is destroyed.

I’ve seen a tire destroyed in 1/2 mile. A few hundred yards at best is my opinion.

To the side of the road, thats all.

So, what is a tire worth vs getting hit while changing a tire?

I will drive a on a flat tire as far as it takes to find a safe spot to either change the tire or get towed. I personally considering removing the spare tire-I have tow insurance and all my driving is local and within 5 miles of my local, major tire retailer.

My tires are hitting 5+ years and untold miles of the warrented 70K. Residual worth under warrently is obviously very small.

The tire is certainly not repairable now. Having never driven on a flat tire, I’m not sure if the wheel might have been damaged or if the tire kept it off the pavement enough to avoid damage.

This isn’t a great thing to do to a Subaru AWD system, although this probably wasn’t enough to do serious harm.

Tire may have never been salvagable.
The rim maybe OK. My last flat provided enough rubber on the rim to prevent any damage to it.

I picked up a nail on an expressway last year, and pulling up on the shoulder was definitely hazardous. So I pulled off at the next turnoff, about 1.5 miles and into a supermarket parking lot. The tire was toast; if the leak had been very small and most of the air had remained in the tire, it would have been repairable. But then I might not have noticed the puncture.

In summary, depending on how fast the tire is deflating, you could go 1/2 mile or so and still save the tire. A rapid blowout will defintely finish the tire in short order.

I carry fix-a-flat in my vehicles and although it’s a PITA I used it to safely get home once and would hope it works again if needed. The damage is a product of how flat X how fast X how far and when completely flat one revolution of the wheel might trash the tire and the rim.

During WW II my grandfather blew a tire on his way to work with no spare. He removed the inner tube and stuffed the tire full of cotton that covered the roadside and went on to work and home that night. Tires and tubes were rationed and people didn’t buy anything until it was needed. I wonder how long a Michelin 50 series would last packed with cotton.

BTW, that grandfather stacked several head gaskets on his truck so that he could burn kerosene during the war. He was very ingenious

How far can you drive on a flat tire?

Until your vehicle catches fire. While it is unlikely that someones vehilce will catch fire due to a flat tire it happened recently to a S.W.A.T officer. (Long after happy hour ended)

I’m a full believer in driving however far you need to safely change the tire. If that means a ruined tire and rim - it’s well worth it.

I'm a full believer in driving however far you need to safely change the tire. If that means a ruined tire and rim - it's well worth it.

Same here…Last flat I had was about 5 years ago during rush hour on I-93. I was in the middle lane. I pulled off at the next exit (about a mile away)…No way in h*ll was I going to chance changing a tire on I-93 at that hour.

Coincidentally, just got back from a walk. Hear a loud ‘flub flub flub flub…’ Yep, a Sequoia drove by with a flat. Drove right by the Goodyear shop. Drove right by a parking lot where they could have changed it. Who KNOWS what they were thinking…

“Who KNOWS what they were thinking…”

…or IF they were thinking…

"What’s that odd sound? Better turn up the radio so I can’t hear it anymore. Man this car sure is handling funny, I wonder what’s going on. Stupid piece of junk."

Why I mentioned awd is because if the person ruins one tire driving on it then he needs to replace the other three as well…

@asecular It might be one of those family stories that got crazier over the years, each time it was told.

On a modern radial tire you can not drive on it - period. If the tire goes flat while the car is parked you might save it if you put the spare on and have the old tire fixed. If your are on the road driving at 35 mph; and a radial tire goes flat, by time you stop the car the sidewall is destroyed.

@asecular I recall hearing old time mechanics from the gas station I worked at as a teenager, tell similar stories.

The story was told by several people over the years and I never had any inclination to contradict any of them. He was a self taught jack of all trades and wasn’t easily discouraged.