What Happens When Your Car’s Tires Sit Idle in One Spot for Too Long?


This is called flatspotting. Essentially, this is just what it sounds like: your tires will develop flat spots if they sit in one place for too long, especially out in the cold. They will spread out and flatten in the area where they are touching the pavement. When it’s cold out, the rubber will get stiff and the flat spots will remain even after you drive off. You may hear a bumping sound.

So what do you do if this happens?Often, they will work out on their own as you keep driving and the tires warm up. Tires are pretty flexible, and will probably get back to normal within about 10 to 15 minutes. Sometimes, though, those flat spots can be permanent, especially in the case of a very heavy vehicle that’s parked for extended periods of time, such as a truck.

Tips to Avoid Flatspotting

Heed these tips to avoid flatspotting on your vehicle’s tires.

  • Ensure proper air pressure in your tires at all time. When they don’t have enough air in them, they can’t handle the load as well.
  • Don’t park your vehicle on a cold surface for several weeks at once, especially one that’s loaded heavily with stuff.
  • For extremely heavy loads, jack up your vehicle, which will alleviate pressure from the tires.
  • Start up your vehicle and drive it around every now and then. This will keep fluids circulating and ensure systems like the transmission and brakes stay well lubricated. Moving your vehicle periodically will guard against tire deterioration, flat spots and bubbles.
  • Visit your trusted tire repair mechanic if you notice any flatspotting or other issues. 

Which Types of Tires are Prone to Flatspotting?

You would think that cheap tires would be more likely to fall victim to this. However, in many cases, high-performance tires are the ones guilty of this. Why? They are softer than other types of tires, manufactured to hug the roads and corners at high speeds.

High performance tires are more flexible, which makes them prone to flattening when in one spot for too long. They also have wider footprints, which means they are more sensitive to the road’s temperature fluctuations.

Why Take Care of Your Tires?

Remember, your tires are your connection to the surface of the road. Without quality tires, you risk your safety as well as the integrity of the vehicle. When you treat your tires with TLC, they will reward you with money savings on gas, resulting in a smoother, safer ride for all occupants.

On top of all that, your tires impact the way in which your vehicle can steer, brake and grip the road. Keep it at the proper air pressure, balance, tread depth, and alignment for the safest and most cost effective results possible.  

When you leave your car unused for long periods of time, you risk issues with the tires, to be sure, but also with the battery and braking systems.  

Always keep in mind that tires kept in poor condition are dangerous and could result in serious accidents and injuries.

Contact I&I Tires

Contact us today for a free quote on tire repair or mobile tire service in Atlanta GA if you notice flatspotting, bubbling or any other issues.