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How long can I drive with low tire pressure?

I checked my tire pressure the other day and it was 26 psi. Is that too low? How long can I drive with the pressure that low?

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R.E. Fulton · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Great question! Don’t drive more than 50 miles or one hour with low tire pressure.
While a PSI reading of 26 isn’t quite a flat tire, any deviation of more than 10% from your recommended tire pressure usually calls for a trip to add air. Anything below 20 PSI is considered a flat tire—and you can seriously damage your car by driving on a flat.
Low tire pressure becomes a serious problem when it drops drastically below the recommended range. If the pressure drops 25% below the recommended PSI, you’re three times more likely to get in a tire-related accident.
The bottom line: while driving on 26 PSI for a short time probably won’t hurt your car, it’s risky to drive with low tire pressure. Better to fill the tires up as soon as you can.
MORE: What to do if your car’s tire pressure warning light is on
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