A Beginner’s Guide to Run-Flat Tyres

Filed in Blog by on May 16, 2017 0 Comments

What are run-flat tyres?

Run-flat tyres are the alternative to having to carry a spare wheel. The problem with spare wheels is that they take up space. Modern car design tends to use up all the space in other ways so often there simply isn't room for a spare wheel in the design. Some cars feature space-saver spare wheels as they take up less boot place. Others include a puncture repair kit instead of a wheel.

However, puncture kits are limited in all honesty. The sealant solution they contain is only really suitable for dealing with small holes, such as a nail. If the problem is anything more serious than that, a puncture repair kit is next to useless.
This is why some car manufacturers fit run-flat tyres. These are designed to enable you to drive home should you experience a puncture while out on the road.

How do run-flat tyres work?

Self-supporting tyres are the most common type. They have stiffer side walls than a conventional tyre. It will feel firmer on the road with self-supporting tyres fitted as bumps aren't absorbed as easily as with a regular tyre.
Self-sealing tyres contain a lining that reacts instantly if a small hole appears, working in the same way as tyre sealant.
Auxiliary-supported tyres tend only be used on military and armoured vehicles. Kevlar reinforcement protects the tyres.

Driving on run-flat tyres

With modern cars, you'll get a warning on the dash if a puncture occurs. You should only drive as far as is absolutely necessary and limit your speed to 50mph.
Run-flat tyres sit higher than conventional tyres, so if you decide to replace a run-flat tyre with a conventional one, you'll need to change all four.
BMW and Mercedes fit run-flat tyres as standard on many models, but not all manufacturers do. You can choose to fit run-flat tyres on any car, but you should check that they are suitable for the model of car first.

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