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How Long Can a Car Sit on a Flat Tire?

March 20, 2024 | Victor Lukasso

It’s no news that driving or keeping a car tire flat for a long time will likely incur permanent damage to the tires and tubes, but how long can a car sit on a flat tire?

In one of our articles, we discussed how to patch your car tires by yourself quickly. However, some scenarios might require you to drive the flat tire to a safe point or leave the car parked for some time.

Auto experts recommend trying as much as possible to avoid the rims making contact with the tires to prevent fire outbreaks, damaged tires and tubes, and increased friction, especially when driving.

But if the car is parked at a fixed point, the question, “How long can a car sit on a flat tire “kicks in.


This article will help you decide whether to leave your car to sit on a flat tire or drive on a flat tire.

Continue reading…

How Long Can a Car Sit on a Flat Tire?

There’s no fixed duration for how long a car can sit on a flat tire. However, inflating your tires within the next 24 hours is advisable to avoid exposing them to severe damage.

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An alternative option is to lose the tire from the wheel and use a jack to lift the vehicle until the car tire is fixed and in order.

You can also decide to jack the car with the tire still intact if you don’t want to initiate an immediate fix to the tires.

Doing either of the above will help prevent tire bubbles, worn-out tires, weak spots, and other damages to your tires, tubes, and rims.

In the case of driving, running a car with a flat tire isn’t advisable because it will wear the tires out faster and might also cause a fire outbreak.

Why Car Tires Go Flat When Parked

Unlike the case of a moving car which is usually caused by impact with road hazards, road temperature, weak tires, or valves. Here are possible reasons your car tires go flat when not in motion.

1. Mounting Issues

The tires are mounted on the rims; if a defect on the rim, it’ll cause air pressure to leak slowly due to improper sealing.

This will result in overnight tire leakage.

2. High Temperature

Increased temperature will increase air pressure in the tires; if this continues for a long time, it will cause air leakage, leaving you with flat tires.

3. Improper Sealing

Just like any sealable object, an improperly sealed tire will cause the air content to leak due to the inability to retain it.

This is the common reason why tires go flat overnight.

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4. Bad Valve System

The valve is the point on the tires that inflate and deflate it. Defects on this part could result in air leaks.

The issue is primarily found in old tires, but new tires aren’t exempted in a few cases of manufacturing defects. This will cause a slow air leak depending on the depth of the fault.

5. Contact with sharp objects

While your car is parked, intruders could have accessed your tires and decided to do you dirty by deflating them.

In some cases, sharp objects such as nails, broken bottles, and the like could have come in contact with it before parking the car, leaving gaps in the tires.

Playing Kids could also be responsible for introducing objects on the tire without notice.

6. Weak Tires

Old or deteriorated tires and tubes will likely create space to let out air when they can no longer hold air pressure again.

How to Prevent Flat Tires on Parked Cars

While a flat tire on a parked car isn’t avoidable, there are certain precautions to help buy yourself more time or prevent it, depending on the tire’s condition.

1. Ensure Properly Mounted Tires

As discussed above, tires mounted on corroded rims will increase the likelihood of leaks and tire damage.

Always ensure that the rims that the tires are mounted are cleaned of any defects, and also ensure proper sealing.

2. Avoid Low and Excess Air Pressure

Tire manufacturers provide the maximum and minimum psi a tire should attain. Ensure to main keep your tire properly inflated.

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Overinflation could cause explosions and air leaks if the car is driven or parked in hot weather conditions.

3. Park in a Safe Environment

Parking your car in a spot free from tire hazards, average weather conditions and children’s access will relatively increase the lifespan of a parked tire.

Also, avoid sharp objects while parking or driving your car to the parking spot to prevent future leaks.

4. Inspect for Previous Wear and Tear

Some tires might have worn out or have a tear from somewhere that’ll further deteriorate while the car is parked.

It’s important to visually inspect the tires before leaving them parked for a long time.


Q: Is it okay for a car to sit on a flat tire?

Yes, it is okay for a car to sit on a flat tire for a short period, but for damage prevention, it’s advised to keep the vehicle lifted with the aid of a jack.

Q: How Long Can a tire sit flat on the pavement before harming the car?

There’s no specified period that a tire can sit on the pavement before causing harm to the tire. However, 24 hours is enough to start causing damage to your car’s tires, tubes, and rims. It’ll also cause damage to the alignments, brake systems, and suspension systems on your vehicle.

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Meet Victor Lukasso, the owner of V. Auto Basics. Through this blog, Victor Provides Insights on the latest tips, maintenance, repair, and techniques in the automotive world.