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Old 02-11-2013, 02:49 PM   #1
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Driving on a soft/flat tire

Alrighty so about 2 weeks ago my friend informed me one of my tires was pretty low on air. I'm in college so I don't drive it a ton, so I went and filled it up, it wasn't too bad but definitely noticeable. Today I had to move my car and as soon as I started driving I could tell something was wrong, I checked the tire immediately and its really bad. I am probably going to have to drive it to a gas station and fill it up again, its only a mile away so I think I'll be fine.

Here's my dilema, I dont want to switch to my spare for a few reasons. The previous owner bought new tires and wheels but did not include the spare. The "newer" tires are 31" and the spare is original so i believe its 29" not positive but anyways they are not the same size. Also it looks ugly and wouldn't match my other ones .

I have spring break in about 3 weeks and its about 150 miles, 2.5 hour drive home. What do you guys suggest? Just fill it and check it at rest stops every now and then? Or switch to the spare for the ride home? Also just an FWI I also have a 2" lift and the jack in my jeep doesn't go high enough to switch the tires ( useless i know) but I do have AAA.

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Old 02-11-2013, 02:53 PM   #2
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Find a Discount Tire or America's Tire store & they will fix the leak for you for free. Or see if there is a nail or screw stuck into the tire tread causing the leak. If there is a nail or screw, that is easily fixed with a tire plug. A tire plug kit can be purchased for <$10 at your local auto parts store & they are simple to use. The tire does not need to be removed to insert a tire plug. I've been installing my own tire plugs for 15 years & it works very well. Just don't use a tire plug in the sidewall.

And driving on flat or nearly flat tire heats it up. Driving it fast enough like that can get the tire so hot it can cause it to fail. So when the tire is low, limit your speed to 20-25 mph until you can get it refilled. You might also think about buying a small compressor to carry.

Finally, the factory jack is definitely tall enough for even 37" tires. Not to mention suspension lift height has no effect on the factory jack since it jacks up via the axle which is not affected/raised by a suspension lift. You either just aren't cranking the jack up enough, or you're not positioning it under the right location on the axle. This pic shows my factory jack holding my 35" tire over 2" off the floor. Yes my garage floor has indoor-outdoor carpeting.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:56 PM   #3
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Put the spare on, drive to the nearest service station, have flat tire repaired and re-installed. Hopefully none of your friends will see you driving with the "ugly" spare.
Oh, the stock jack is more than enough to change a 35" tire so if you are using a non stock jack that won't change a 31" tire, toss it in the nearest dumpster.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:11 PM   #4
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I believe if your driving with a smaller spare it should be on the front because of rear wheel drive, so if the flat is on the rear you have to put one of your front tires on the rear then put smaller tire on the front. Hopefully someone with more knowledge like jerry will see this and acknowledge or correct this
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:35 PM   #5
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Driving with two different sizes of tires on an axle is only a potential issue when the axle has a limited slip differential or locker. It's a non-issue for an open axle.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Driving with two different sizes of tires on an axle is only a potential issue when the axle has a limited slip differential or locker. It's a non-issue for an open axle.
That's good to know, thanks
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:49 PM   #7
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I contacted a nearby discount tire and they said it would cost $15.99 to repair the tire. I guess that's really my only option, would it be safe to drive there? It's about 2-3 miles.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:00 PM   #8
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Discount Tire must have different policies there in NY, flats are repaired for free here in California. Depending on how fast the leak is, I'd slightly overinflate the tire to 35 psi & drive that short of a distance to have it fixed.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:19 PM   #9
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i work for discount/americas tire, we do free flat repairs, and if you want to save that tire from run flat (where the sidewall gets torn to shit because its low on air) i suggest you take it to them and see if its repairable
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:37 PM   #10
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Under no circumstances should you drive n the tire when its flat or even very low, this will destroy the sidewall of the tire and cause a terrible blow out! Take the tire off and take it to a good repair shop where they can dismount it and inspect the inside of the tire. Take it from someone who has been in the tire industry for 25 years, and has seen what a blown out sidewall can do even when just re-inflating a bad tire!

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