Why Do My Tires Look Flat When They’re Not? (Explained)

If you ever notice that your tire is looking flat, you may not have to worry. This is because certain tires will appear flat while having perfectly normal pressure levels.

Therefore, you will want to know why your tires look flat even when they are not.

Why Do Tires Look Flat When They’re Not?

There are situations when a tire appears flat, and it will have perfectly normal pressure. This can happen with Radial tires, or when your vehicle carries an extra load. It is important to know which type of tires will appear flat while maintaining regular pressure levels.

Is It Normal For Tires To Look Like They’re Flat?

There are several reasons why your tires may look flat while they have a perfectly normal pressure level.

Here is a look at the top five reasons why your tires may appear to be flat.

  • You have radial tires
    Not all tires are designed the same. Some tires, such as radial tires, will have a lot more flex in them. Because of that, the tire appears to be flat even when it is maintaining a perfectly normal pressure level.
    It is quite common for radial tires to have a more flat appearance when the vehicle is at a standstill.
  • Their engine applies pressure to the front tire
    The majority of vehicles will have their engine located at its front. Because of that, the front tires may appear to be flat. However, tires are designed to handle this level of pressure.
    In some cases, the tires will provide some flex to accommodate the extra weight.
  • There is extra weight in the truck
    Also, you may notice that the rear tires may appear to be flat. This could be the case if you have extra cargo in the trunk of a car or behind the second or third-row seat in an SUV.
    Again, tires will be able to accommodate the extra weight.
  • Dropping temperatures
    When the temperature drops, the air or the nitrogen inside the tire will begin to contract. That does not necessarily mean that you have a flat tire.
    However, the pressure inside the tire could drop anywhere from 1 to 3 psi. While the tire may not be flat, you will want to apply a little more pressure to the tire.
  • The vehicle has been sitting for an extended period
    If your tire has been sitting for more than a couple of tires, it will begin to appear flat.
    However, the tire may still be able to maintain proper pressure levels.
    However, it should be noted that a tire will go flat if it sits for more than a few weeks.
    If you need to have your vehicle sit for a while, it is recommended that you drive it for a few minutes each week to keep the tires in proper shape.

Why Do Radial Tires Always Look Flat?

As you probably already know, there are many types of tires that you can put on your vehicle. For instance, there are low-profile tires that do not have a large sidewall.

Check out our article here about how fast a tire should lose air.

Also, there are radial tires that do not have a low-profile design.

So what exactly is a radial tire?
This type of tire is defined by cord piles arranged at 90 degrees to the direction of travel. Thus, this gives tires the “radial” name. Radial tires are among the oldest types of tires on motor vehicles. The first radial tires were patented in 1914.

When you put a radial tire on your vehicle, you will notice that the bottom of the tire will appear to be flatter than the rest of the tire.

This is because the tire is designed to have some flex.

As a result, the tire will appear to be flat even when it is not flat.

To ensure that your radial tire is not flat, be sure to measure the pressure level regularly. Also, look out for any tire pressure monitor system (TPMS) indicators to light up.

These are common in newer cars.

Why Do My Front Tires Always Look Low?

You will notice that several vehicles will have front tires that will appear to be flat.

The main reason why the front tires appear to be flat will be due to the weight of the engine and other vehicle components under the hood.

As you probably already know, most vehicles will have their engine close to the front axle. Because of these, your vehicle’s front tires will experience lots of pressure.

However, you don’t need to worry.

Most tires are designed to handle the pressure exerted by the engine and the other vehicle components.

However, you should also be aware that your front tires will go flat if your vehicle sits idle for more than a week. Therefore, you will want to drive your vehicle once in a while even if you don’t intend to use it daily.

What Does A Properly Inflated Tire Look Like?

It is a good idea to know what a healthy tire looks like. You will notice in the photo that a properly inflated tire will be uniform.

There is no flat bottom on the tire and looks firm, and it appears to have the right level of pressure.

No matter which type of tire you have on your vehicle, the tire should have a round appearance once it has been inflated to a proper level.

As discussed before, a perfectly healthy tire will have a more flat bottom due to the weight of the engine or excess weight on the rear axle. However, the tire’s bottom should not completely sag.

If you can not visually confirm whether your tire is flat, then you will want to measure the pressure level.

On most tires, the proper inflation level is between 30 and 35 psi.

Why Do Low Profile Tires Look Flat?

While low-profile tires are not as popular as radial tires, there is a chance that you may have low-profile tires on your vehicle if you drive a sports car or a performance car.

So what does a low-profile tire look like?

A low-profile tire will have a smaller sidewall and appear “thin” on the rim. To be more specific, a tire that has an aspect ratio of less than 50 is usually categorized as a low-profile tire.

When looking at a sidewall tire, it will usually be perfectly rounded on the rim.

However, there are some situations when the low profile tire will appear to be flat. This is especially true on sports cars with large V-8 engines on the front axle.

Because a low-profile tire has a smaller sidewall, it will have less support and will sit lower than a radial tire. However, the low-profile tire will be in perfectly good condition.

Simply make sure that the tire does not have any damage or leaks and that the tire will be roadworthy.

Why Do Tires Seem Deflated On Cold Days?

You may notice that your tires appear to be flat during winter.

There is a perfectly good explanation for this. During cold weather, gases will condense. This will cause the pressure inside the tire to drop. In most cases, the pressure level will drop about 1 to 3 psi.

However, your tires will likely be drivable as long as the tire pressure is not below 30 psi.

To make sure that your tires are at the right pressure level, you will want to inflate them more often during winter.

As the weather warms up in the spring, the gas inside your tire will begin to expand and the tire will not appear to be flat.

Knowing When Your Tires Are Flat

It is a good idea to know more about the tires on your vehicles.

This will give you the confidence to know that your tires may be in fine condition even if they appear flat.

To make sure that your tires are in good condition, it is a good idea to check the pressure on each tire regularly.

Sources

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