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The best way to avoid getting stuck or stranded with vehicle troubles is to learn how to inflate a completely flat car tire without damaging it.

When your car tire goes completely flat, it presents a few risks to your vehicle, and inflating it can be tricky for someone with little experience. Fortunately, getting this fixed is not overly expensive, assuming the tire is still intact.

You can use an air compressor to inflate a completely flat car tire unless the steel bead has pulled away from the rim. If this happens, you need to take the tire to a repair shop for them to adjust the valve stem to inflate the tire again correctly. This can be done manually or at a gas station.

A completely flat car tire can present serious issues for many vehicle owners because if you allow this to sit idle for too long, damage can happen. It is best to inflate this tire as soon as possible. We will show you exactly how to do it in this guide.

The car tire is a complex and fragile part that is often the first to go on most cars. Understanding how to inflate it when they go completely flat is critical.

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How To Inflate A Completely Flat Car Tire

You must know how to properly inflate a completely flat tire because this likely means you are stuck where you are. Unlike when a tire is low on air pressure, a completely flat tire cannot drive any further.

If your car tire is completely flat, you need to fill it with air. This is not an easy task and can be dangerous if you do not know what you are doing.

You need to use the right tools to inflate the tire. This can be done with a local air pump at a gas station, or you can use an air pressure gauge and portable air compressor to get the job done.

The process starts with removing the valve stem from the wheel, then connecting the inflation hose. After that, you can begin pumping air into the tire by turning on the inflator.

If you have never done this before, a few things can go wrong. It's best to call for help from someone who knows what they're doing. Follow these steps to fix your tire.

Check The Tire’s Steel Bead

The steel bead is the first thing to do when you notice your tire is completely flat. If this bead or belt has pulled away from the rim, you likely need to seek professional help to repair your tire.

When this happens, the tire gets warped, restricting your ability to access the valve stem. Without the valve stem, inflating the tire is impossible.

Locate The Tire’s Valve Stem

If your steel bead is intact, you should have no problem inflating your tire. You should locate the tire valve stem and remove the valve cap.

Connect The Compressor Pump

Once you remove the valve cap, connect the air pump or compressor pump to your valve stem. This will start inflating your tire, and if you use an industrial pump at a gas station, it will give you live PSI readings.

Close The Valve Stem

Once the tire reaches the desired PSI level, you can disconnect the compressor pump and put the valve stem cap back. This keeps your tire sealed to preserve tire pressure while driving.

We recommend taking your tire for inspection after inflating it to ensure there is no serious damage.

How Long Does It Take To Inflate A Completely Flat Car Tire?

The time it takes to inflate a completely flat car tire is dependent on the type of tire and the size of the tire. The current PSI level also matters, and the method for inflating the tire impacts the time it takes.

It generally takes about five minutes to inflate a completely flat car tire. If you are using an industrial size compressor at a local gas station, it could be even quicker in as little as three minutes.

Completely flat usually means the tire is at 0 PSI, and this could also create a problem accessing the valve stem. Assuming you have no issues connecting the pump, it won’t take more than five minutes.

Is It Safe To Inflate A Completely Flat Car Tire?

Car tires are designed to be inflated to a certain pressure, usually around 32 psi. This will vary depending on the tire type and vehicle.

If you see a tire that has been completely deflated, it may not be safe to inflate it again because the tire could burst or lose its shape. For a tire to lose all of its air, there is likely a leak or puncture that should be fixed first.

You should also check your rims to make sure they are intact. Driving on a completely flat tire means the rims likely endured added pressure that could have caused some severe damage.

Is A Car Tire Ruined If It Goes Completely Flat?

If you have experienced a completely flat tire, don’t panic yet because it is still possible to salvage the tire.

You should bring your tire for inspection at a local repair shop to get a professional opinion. Typically, a puncture of one quarter inch or smaller can be patched unless the damage is more severe.

If your tire has multiple punctures, but they are small, patching is not recommended unless they are more than 16 inches apart.

However, more than two punctures mean the tire is ruined because there will be a lack of balance with your tire when driving.

It is best to get an opinion from a mechanic about the current condition of your tire before making the final decision on whether it is ruined or not.

Should You Replace A Completely Flat Car Tire?

The first thing to consider is whether the tire has been damaged beyond repair. If it has, then you should replace it with a new one.

The problem with flat tires is you likely need to replace more than one tire, depending on the tread depth of the other tires. You will notice uneven driving if you replace only one tire and the other tires have a tread depth lower than 4/32.

If this is the case, you can usually replace the tire parallel to the one that is flat. So if your front driver’s side tire is completely flat, you can save some money and only replace the two front tires.

How Long Can A Car Sit On A Completely Flat Tire?

Allowing your car to sit on a completely flat tire is risky because it can cause damage to the wheel and the rim. This can also ruin the tire and eliminate any chance of getting it repaired.

The maximum amount of time you should allow this to happen is 24 hours. After that, the risk of damage increases significantly.

If, for some reason, you cannot get it repaired that quickly, it is best to use a jack to raise the vehicle off the ground to take pressure off of the flat tire and exposed wheel and rim.

When you allow it to sit there for too long, the steel bead in the tire will corrode, and the rim will absorb too much pressure and begin to bend. Avoid this as best as you can and address the issue right away.

How To Inflate A Completely Flat Car Tire

About The Author

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

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