The Benefits of Run-Flat Tyres

What are the benefits of run-flat tyres? What are run-flat tyres? How do run-flat tyres work? If you’re looking at fitting at set of these, these are exactly the type of questions I’d also be asking, so have a read and hopefully this article should help answer them.

Let’s take the second question first, and explain what run-flats are. In brief, with ‘traditional’ tyres you obviously have to pull over the moment it is punctured, otherwise at worst you risk having an accident, and at best you’ll badly damage your wheel should you carry on. With run-flat tyres you can continue to drive for a certain distance even when one of them is punctured.

Some manufacturers have been fitting run-flats to their cars for a while now, but if you’re looking to fit them to your own wheels check with the manufacturer or fitting company first, as some are designed for special rims that effectively hold onto the tyres in the event of a puncture.

A run-flat works in couple of different ways, depending on the manufacturer. On some there is a support ring which is composed of hard rubber and supports the weight of the vehicle should the tyre ruptured. Others types use specially reinforced sidewalls which again take the weight of the car safely.

Usually, a run-flat will allow you to continue to drive on it for up to an incredible 60 miles (100 kilometres), at a maximum speed of 50 mph (80 km/h). However, you should always check these ratings with the reseller or manufacturer.

There are numerous benefits to having a set of run-flats fitted to your vehicle, the first obviously being safety. Should a standard tyre deflate quickly, you can easily lose control of the vehicle. Should one explode at speed, it could lead to a severe accident. With a run-flat tyre, the accident risk is severely diminished.

On another safety issue, pulling over to the side of a busy road to either change the tyre, or even just waiting for the breakdown service to arrive, brings with it a high risk-factor of its own when cars are flying by at high speeds. With a normal tyre, should it lose air and the area is not a particularly nice one, you’ve usually got little choice but to change it there, wait for the recovery vehicle or risk driving on it until you’re into a safer area.

A few more bad scenarios of getting a flat tyre include being in a rural area without mobile phone reception and not knowing how to replace it with the spare wheel, being late for an important meeting, the rain heaving down and you’ve got no jacket, checking the spare but it too is low on pressure!

Run-flat tyres get rids of all these concerns, and instead allow you to continue your journey and either have the tyre repaired or replaced at your own convenience. They are, quite simply, a brilliant invention.

Words: Chris Davies | Photo credits: Tyre change & AUDI wheel with damaged tyre: Pixabay, cut-open run-flat tyre: BMK Wikimedia

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