When it comes to buying tyres, there are plenty of options available on the market.
You can get budget tyres, mid-range and premium ones. You can even buy run-flats. The latter gets fitted to some new cars as standard. But, what are they and why are they better than other tyres on the market?
In today’s blog post, I will tell you a bit more about run-flat tyres. I’ll also share with you information on why you might need (or want) them. Here is what you need to know:
An introduction to run-flat tyres
They are the same as regular ones but with one important difference. They offer extra safety during a rapid loss of inflation pressure. When such tyres get deflated, they still allow you to drive your car.
It doesn’t matter whether such an unfortunate event occurs when the road is dry or wet. The run-flats will do their job and allow you to drive to safety.
How they work
With rapid deflation, the run-flat tyres still keep their intended shape on the wheels. That’s because the tyres get made of stronger compounds. Because they don’t flex under low pressure, they still allow you to drive the car.
Models such as the Pirelli Cinturato P7 are a standard fit on some makes and models of cars. When they have no air pressure, you can still drive on them for a distance of up to 50 miles. It is important that speeds of less than 50mph get maintained on a deflated run-flat tyre.
Such tyres work in conjunction with tyre pressure monitoring systems (or “TPMS). In the UK, new cars built from 2014 onwards come with them as standard due to EU directives. Some vehicles built before that date come with them anyway.
It’s crucial that run-flats get fitted on a car with TPMS. That’s because it alerts drivers to tyre issues, so action gets taken immediately.
Can damaged run-flat tyres get repaired?
In a word, no. Even though punctures can usually get fixed on standard tyres, they can’t with run-flats. In fact, almost all tyre fitters will refuse to do so if you ask them.
The reason is simple. Run-flats are made of specific compounds and chemicals. When a puncture happens, the structural integrity of the entire tyre gets affected. The only thing you can do is replace the tyre with a brand new one.
Can run-flat tyres get fitted to any car?
In some cases, it’s possible to retro-fit run-flats to cars that use standard ones. The first thing you need to do is get a tyre pressure monitoring system installed.
You’ll also need to consult with your car’s manufacturer. That’s because the stiffer construction of the tyres can affect your car’s suspension setup.
If possible, stick with standard tyres on cars that didn’t have run-flats as standard. Upgrading to run-flats can be expensive for standard cars due to the changes needed.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading today’s guide on run-flat tyres. See you soon!