One of the more common mishaps that can happen on the road involves your car’s tires. If you happen to run over a nail or go over a nasty pothole, you may find yourself with a flat tire. Hopefully, you notice it and stop on the side of the road to change your tire because running on a flat for long periods of time can severely damage your car’s components. However, if you do ignore the flat, or don’t have the know-how to change the tire, here’s everything that could possibly happen if you keep driving with a flat tire. Your tire may lose air gradually if you've been neglecting your vehicle's maintenance, or all at once if you go over a pothole too quick.
Note: Some tires can be run flat, however, for the vast majority of automobiles, these are the possible things that can happen.
Your steering will go to one side
Your steering wheel’s weight is also dependent on your tires. If your car is deflated, you will feel your steering get heavy. If you’re running on the road in a straight line, you might notice that your car will go off to one side even if the wheel is straight. Correcting for this will result in you steering to the side of the flat tire.
Steering will get heavy
Because there is no air in the tire, and the sidewall is making contact with the ground, you won’t be able to turn the wheel as easily, especially while stopped. More rubber contacting the road means more resistance.
Your tire’s sidewall gets damaged
A tire is built to roll with air, and the sidewall is the main part that keeps your tire up and keeps the air from bursting out through the side. Because of this, the sidewall has a lot of reinforcement that helps give the tire its structure. However, if you roll on the road continuously, you will damage your tire’s sidewall because you will pinch and fold the ply, and compromise the structural integrity of the tire.
You will scratch or deform your car’s wheels
Tires are like pillows for your car to roll on. They provide an extra buffer of cushion and heavily contribute to the comfort of your car. Properly- inflated tires also ensure that your car’s wheels do not come into contact with the ground where coarse and rough asphalt threaten the pristine condition of your rims. In whatever case, having no air in your tires will bring your rims closer to the pavement, and if you go over a bump or a pothole, you run the risk of bending your wheels since the tire’s ability to cushion the impact is compromised.
What should you do?
If you get a flat, be sure to change it out as soon as possible. If your car doesn’t come with a spare tire and instead comes with tire sealant, make sure to apply the sealant properly. If you have no choice but to drive your car on a flat, make sure to do so slowly and carefully. Although, if you are a considerable distance from the nearest service station and you need to go through the highway, it would be best to call a tow truck or a flatbed to minimize the damage to your car.
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