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Run-flat tyres: How they Work, Pros and cons you should know!

Team AckoJan 17, 2024

Have you heard of Run-flat tyres? Run-flat tyres are specialised tyres designed to allow drivers to continue driving their vehicles for a short distance after the tyre has gone flat or punctured. Unlike conventional tyres, designed to provide traction and support until the air pressure inside the tyre drops to zero, run-flat tyres are designed to operate even after the air pressure inside the tyre has fallen significantly.

run-flat-tyres

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What are run-flat tyres?

A run-flat tyre is a type of tyre specially designed to resist punctures and allow you to drive safely for a certain distance, even if the tyre is damaged.

Types of run-flat tyres

Here are two primary types of run-flat tyres.

1. Self-supporting run-flat tyres 

Self-supporting run-flat tyres are designed with reinforced sidewalls that can support the vehicle's weight even after the air pressure inside the tyre has dropped. These tyres are typically made with stiffer rubber compounds and stronger belts than conventional tyres, which helps them maintain their structural integrity even after a puncture or blowout.

2. Auxiliary-supported run-flat tyres

Auxiliary-supported run-flat tyres rely on an additional support structure to operate after a puncture or blowout. These tyres typically have a reinforced ring or band on the wheel rim and support the vehicle's weight. The band is designed to support the tyre's sidewalls and prevent them from collapsing, allowing the tyre to continue operating even after the air pressure inside the tyre has dropped. This innovative technology has several advantages that make them a popular choice for drivers. 

How do run-flat tyres work?

Run-flat tyres have reinforced sidewalls that help support the vehicle's weight even when the tyre is punctured. This allows the tyre to stay in place and maintain its shape, which enables you to continue driving safely for a limited distance.

Benefits of run-flat tyres

Here are the main benefits of run-flat tyres.

  • They allow you to continue driving safely even if you have a punctured tyre. 

  • You don't have to stop on the side of the road or wait for a tow truck. 

  • They are typically lighter and more fuel-efficient than regular tyres.

Pros and cons of run-flat tyres

Let us quickly see the pros and cons of run-flat tyres.

Pros

  • Can be driven for a short distance with a puncture

  • No need for a spare tyre, reducing weight and freeing up space in the vehicle

  • Better stability and handling in case of a puncture

  • Less risk of accidents due to tyre blowouts

  • Increased safety in case of a puncture in a remote area

  • Can be used on a wider range of terrains

  • Less downtime due to punctures

  • Reduced inconvenience in changing a flat tyre

  • Improved fuel efficiency due to lighter weight of the vehicle

  • Improved environmental performance due to reduced material waste

Cons

  • More expensive than regular tyres

  • Harsher ride due to stiffer sidewalls

  • Difficulty in detecting a puncture without a tyre pressure monitoring system

  • Increased wear on the tyre due to the stiffer sidewalls

  • Difficult to repair or replace due to their design

  • Reduced availability of run-flat tyres in certain sizes and models

  • Less comfortable ride compared to regular tyres

  • Higher noise levels on certain surfaces

  • Limited availability of brands that manufacture run-flat tyres. 

Are Run-Flat Tyres a Good Option for Your Car?

The answer to this question depends on several factors. Run-flat tyres may be a good option if you frequently drive long distances or in areas with limited access to tyre repair facilities. They can provide peace of mind and help ensure you get to a safe location even if you experience a tyre problem. However, run-flat tyres may be unnecessary if you primarily drive in urban areas with easy access to tyre repair shops.

Additionally, it is vital to consider the cost and potential discomfort of run-flat tyres before deciding. If you are willing to pay more for the added safety and convenience and don't mind a stiffer ride, then run-flat tyres may be a good option for your car.

In conclusion, run-flat tyres offer several advantages over traditional tyres, such as maintaining their shape and performance even after being punctured or deflated. However, they also have some disadvantages, such as being more expensive and having a stiffer ride. 

Whether or not run-flat tyres are a good option for your car depends on several factors, such as your driving habits, the availability of tyre repair facilities in your area, and your willingness to pay for added safety and convenience. Ultimately, choosing run-flat tyres should be based on your needs and preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some FAQs about run-flat tyres.

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How far can you drive on a run-flat tyre?

The distance you can drive on a run-flat tyre varies depending on the specific tyre and the damage it has sustained. However, most run-flat tyres are designed to allow you to drive up to 50 km at speeds up to 50 kmph after a puncture.

Can run-flat tyres be repaired?

It is generally not recommended to repair run-flat tyres. Due to their construction, run-flat tyres are designed only for a limited distance after a puncture. Attempting to repair a run-flat tyre can compromise its structural integrity and make it unsafe.

Are run-flat tyres more expensive than regular tyres?

Yes, run-flat tyres are generally more expensive than regular tyres. This is because they are designed to provide additional safety and convenience features unavailable with regular tyres.

Can I switch from regular tyres to run-flat tyres?

Yes, you can switch from regular tyres to run-flat tyres, but you will need to ensure that your vehicle is compatible with run-flat tyres and that the tyres you choose are the correct size and specification.

Are run-flat tyres suitable for all types of vehicles?

Run-flat tyres suit most vehicles, including cars, SUVs, and light trucks. However, not all vehicles are equipped to handle run-flat tyres, so checking your vehicle's manual or consulting a tyre specialist before making the switch is essential.

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Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet and is subject to changes. Please consult an expert before making any related decisions.

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