Run-Flat Tires – Pros, Cons and Information

In Tires by Josh S0 CommentsLast Updated: April 25th, 2019

run-flat tires

Flat tires can be inconveniencing.

You are in a hurry to get to a business meeting and all of a sudden one of your tires has a puncture. To make matters worse you spare tire is deflated. If you want to avoid this from happening you will need to invest in a set of run flat tires.

The other option is self-sealing tires. This has a sealant inside the tire that seals holes made by nails. The sealant is activated whenever you remove the nail from the car. With a self-sealing tire you can continue driving even after experiencing a puncture with little loss to pressure.

What are run flat tires?

They are sometimes referred to as zero pressure tires. Most car models now have the option of run flat tires. Instead of carrying with you a spare tire all you need is a repair kit. Run flat tires help you drive the car for the next 100 miles.

If you have a modern car you will notice that the pressure monitoring unit has turned red meaning you are running on low pressure. The sidewalls of run flat tires are stiff and this enables them to continue supporting the car weight. Many car makers have done away with the spare tire due to the added weight it puts on the car. If you factor in the need for wrench and jack the car is lighter.

Run-flat tires use two supporting systems – self and ring. In case of loss of pressure you have a self-supporting, reinforced sidewall that keeps the car going even after puncture. The ring is s supporting structure inside the tire that keeps them sturdy. The distance you can travel with the tires is determined by the manufacturers.

Pros

Car stability: Whenever you have, a sudden tire burst the car losses control and you could hit incoming cars. This is the major cause of car fatalities whenever you have a tire burst. With a flat tire the car maintains its stability even after a blowout. This is because the tire can hold the entire weight of the car and for miles. As a driver, you will experience greater stability and control of the car even after a blowout.
Drive for miles with flat tires: The main reason people install run-flat tires is the ability to drive for up to 100 miles on a flat tire. In this instance, you do not need to let a flat tire interfere with your schedule. This comes in handy when you are driving on a dangerous road or when it is raining.
Lighter cars: A lighter car is an advantage due to enhanced fuel efficiency. The spare wheel and jacks put added weight pressure on your car. In addition, it has been noted that run flat tires weight less than traditional tires.
Trunk space: If you have a manufacturer’s car that come with run flat tires then you will enjoy additional trunk space. This is because the space for a spare tire and jack has being converted for better use.

Cons

run-flat tiresBlowouts still happen: Tires wear out with time and the run flat tire is no exception. A blowout can happen when driving a run flat tire that is not properly inflated. If the puncture is on the sidewall then the tire may blow out and cause some driving instability. This means you will have to purchase a new set of tires.
Lack of spare tire: The reason manufacturers put run flat tires is to eliminate the need for a spare wheel. However, imagine having a full blowout and you do not have a spare wheel. You also do not have the tools to change the tire. This includes the wrench and jack. If you experience a full blow out and the flat tire becomes unusable you will be forced to have the car towed.
Frequent replacement: The run flat tire has a softer thread compound to help counter the hard thread. This puts added pressure on the tire and it wears out faster than conventional tires. On average car owners with run flat tires replace them more frequently than those with traditional tires.
Harsher ride: The stiff sidewalls provide for a harsher ride when compared to conventional tires. If you bought the car with the tires then the manufacturer will have adjusted the suspension to compensate for this stiffness. However, if you want to install run flat tires to your car you will have to get the car to a mechanic who will adjust the suspension for you.
Less variety: Run flat tires are new and this means you will not find a variety of tires to choose from. They are expensive and you will need to factor this when having a complete tire set. But, manufacturers are increasing developing run flat tires meaning in a couple of years consumers will have more options to choose from.

Conclusion

Run-flat tires have increased in popularity in recent years. What makes them stand out is their reinforced sidewall. One of the biggest benefits of owning run-flat tires is that you can continue driving the car even after a puncture. For most tires up to 100 miles. Purchasing a car without run-flat tires means you do not have a spare tire or jack.

This makes the car lighter and also gives you additional space. However, run flat tires are more expensive than traditional tires and you still have the probability of experiencing a blowout – especially if the tires are worn out. Run-flat are new in the market hence you do not have a wide variety to choose from.

However, with increased popularity, more car manufacturers are embracing them. The reinforced sidewall makes the tire hard and you will experience a harder ride than normal tires. However, this shortcoming can easily be solved by adjusting the suspension. With run flat tires you will forego the pressure that comes from a lack of car stability whenever there is a blowout. The driver maintains their steering and this prevents accidents.

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