What are Run Flat tyres?

20th June 2013

What are 'Run-flat Tyres'?

Choosing the correct tyre for your car is hard enough but when you get the option to have Run-flat tyres that just makes the decision even harder. So, what are 'Run-flats'?

Run-Flat tyres are manufactured so that if a tyre is punctured they stay supporting the weight of the vehicle with a strengthened reinforced sidewall, without air in the tyre. Keeping the car going for a small but crucial amount of time. Therefore allowing you  to get straight to your local ZR Tyres Lincoln depot. Helping you continue with your day without major disruption.  It increases road safety immeasurably against the risk of blowouts and greatly reduces the risks of high speed accidents.

How do Run-flat Tyres work?

Today's Run-flats are usable with no air pressure in them, thanks to their special reinforced sidewall that has tough reinforced rubber inserts. In normal tyres, the air pressure is key and carries the load of the car. Once the tyre loses any air pressure it will drop and the structure will fail. This is the difference between normal tyres and Run-flats. The strengthened sidewall is strong enough to uphold the whole structure of the tyre and the weight of the vehicle. The range on Run-flats varies depending on the brand but it is approximately 50 miles in range.

Should I stay with Run-flats?

At ZR we would recommend that if your car is originally fitted with Run-flat tyres then your vehicle should stay on them. The reason for this is that there's a possibility that changing the tyres could affect the vehicle's handling. If you do decide that you don't want Run-flats then you should consult your manufacturer before you go ahead with the change. We would always advice that you make sure the equivalent tyres are correct size, load index and speed rating. We would also then advise some kind of inflation kit as the vehicle will probably not be fitted with a spare, our preferred choice is 'Continental's Comfort Kit'.

 

Fitting Run-flats to cars not fitted with them as standard.

If you are considering Run-flat tyres for your old car then there are a couple of things you should check first.

As we've already mentioned, when there is a puncture sometimes the driver won't be aware. So to solve this problem there is a device called Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and as you only have a limited time to drive the TPMS sensor will make you aware of any change in tyre pressure. Older cars are less likely to have the TPMS sensor, therefore we would only recommend fitting Run-flat's to an older car if a pressure monitoring system was also fitted.

Summary

If you are looking at getting Run-flat Tyres fitted, we would recommend that you buy one for one, never mix Run-flats and normal tyres together. The two types have different structural characteristics and will therefore change the suspension and handling characteristics of your car.

Run Flat tyres lifespan is very similar to your standard tyres. They're made from very similar or identical materials. So they should perform and last as well as the equivalent non Run-flat tyre. As newer generations of Run-flat Tyre are developed further enhancements are made in ride comfort and performance.

 Run-flat tyres are manufactured by: Michelin, Goodyear, Dunlop, Bridgestone, Continental, Firestone, Pirelli, Hankook, Kumho and a few of the non original equipment tyre manufacturers. All Run-flat tyres will have marking on the sidewall indicating they are capable of being Run-flat.

Vehicles most likely to be fitted with Run-flat tyres are: BMW, Mini, Mercedes Benz, Ferrari, Maserati, Renault, Bugatti and Chevrolet Corvette.

All ZRtyres locations carry a massive range of Run-flat tyres in stock for all popular makes and model of cars, as well as having the correct tyre fitting and balancing equipment to fit these specialist tyres correctly without damage.

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