Run-Flat Tyres vs Regular Tyres: Choose Right Option

Should You Get Run-Flat Tyres Here's What You Need to Know

You are cruising down the road, enjoying the scenery, when suddenly your cars start shaking and the steering wheel pulls to one side. You look down and see the dreaded sight.

Uh oh, a flat tyre!

Most of us dread this situation – pulling over on the side of the road, wrestling with a jack and lug wrench, or waiting for roadside assistance.

But what if there was another option?

The solution is Run On Flat Tyre. A lifesaver for drivers who want peace of mind on the road.

So, what exactly are runflat tyres?

Let’s learn more about run-flats, understand how they work, and explore the pros and cons to see if they’re the right choice for you.

Run-Flat Tyre: Puncture Proof Tyre

What Are Run-Flat Tyres?

A run-flat tyre is a puncture-proof tyre.

They are specially designed tyres that allow you to keep driving for a short distance even after a puncture or loss of air pressure. Unlike regular tyres that go flat instantly, run-flats have reinforced sidewalls. These sidewalls are stronger and can handle the weight of your car for a limited time, even with no air inside.

How Do They Work?

There are two main types of run-flat technology:

  1. Self-Supporting Tyre Sidewalls: These tyres boast extra-thick sidewalls made of a special compound that can handle the car’s weight for up to 80 kilometres at reduced speeds. Usually around 80 kilometres per hour. It’s like having built-in buffers that keep your tyre in shape even when it’s deflated.
  2. Support Ring System: This type uses a solid ring installed inside the tyre that takes over the job of supporting the car’s weight in case of a puncture. This system allows for higher speeds and longer distances on a flat tyre compared to self-supporting sidewalls.

4 Major Benefits Run-Flat Tyres

 Flat Tire? No Problem!

Run-flat tyres offer several advantages that can make your driving experience smoother:

  1. No More Flat-Tire & Roadside Breakdowns: Forget the stress of changing a tyre on the roadside, especially in bad weather or unsafe locations. No more struggling to find a safe spot to change a flat tyre or waiting for assistance. A set of runflat tyres let you drive to a repair shop at your own pace, giving you back control and saving you precious time.
  2. Greater Safety: A flat tyre on the highway can be dangerous. A sudden flat tyre can cause you to lose control of your car. Run-flats maintain their shape even when deflated, providing better control and stability compared to a regular flat tyre. They help you maintain control of your vehicle even after a puncture, reducing the risk of swerving or accidents.
  3. Save Space, Save Weight: With run-flats, you can ditch the spare tyre and the jack, freeing up valuable storage space in your trunk and reducing the overall weight of your car, which can slightly improve fuel efficiency.
  4. Peace of Mind: Knowing you can keep driving after a puncture gives you peace of mind and reduces the risk of getting stranded on the road.

Are there any downsides to runflat tyres?

Of course, no tyre is perfect. While run-flats offer great benefits, they also come with some drawbacks to consider. Here’s what you should consider before making the switch:

  1. Higher Cost & Limited Availability: Run-flat tyres are generally more expensive than regular tyres. Run-flat options might not be available for all car models and tyre sizes.
  2. Stable Ride: Due to the stiffer sidewalls, run-flats can sometimes provide a slightly firmer ride quality compared to regular tyres.
  3. Repair Challenges & Shorter Lifespan: Not all tyre repair shops are equipped to handle run-flat tyres. It’s crucial to find a shop familiar with this technology. Run-flat tyres may not last as long as regular tyres due to the stiffer sidewall construction.
  4. Limited distance: Remember, run flats are a temporary solution. You can typically drive for a limited distance (around 80 kilometres) and at reduced speeds (around 80 kilometres per hour) after a puncture.  Always refer to your manufacturer’s recommendations for specific limitations.
  5. TPMS sensor: Most cars with run-flat tyres come equipped with a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that warns you about pressure loss. Make sure your TPMS is always functioning properly.

So, Should You Switch to Run-Flat Tyres?

Are Run-Flat Tyres Right for You?

The decision ultimately depends on your driving habits and priorities.

If you frequently

  1. travel long distances
  2. value convenience and safety
  3. don’t mind the slightly higher cost

then run-flat tyres can be a great choice. However, if you’re on a tight budget, prioritize a smoother ride, and rarely encounter flat tyres, then regular tyres are sufficient.

Is Your Car Compatible with Run-Flat Tyres? 3 Quick Ways to Check

There are three main ways to find out if your vehicle can be fitted with run-flat tyres:

1: Check Your Owner’s Manual

This is the most reliable source of information specific to your car. The manual will usually state whether your car came equipped with run-flat tyres from the factory and if it’s compatible with them.

2: Look for Markings on Your Current Tyres

If your car currently has run-flat tyres installed. You’ll recognize runflat tyres by markings on the sidewall. These markings can vary depending on the brand, but some common ones include:

  1. RFT: This stands for “Run-Flat Tire” and is a widely used indicator.
  2. EMT: Used by Goodyear, this signifies “Extended Mobility Technology.”
  3. ZP or ZPS: This is used by Michelin, Yokohama, and others, signifying “Zero Pressure” or “Zero Pressure System.”
  4. Symbols: Some manufacturers use symbols depicting a tyre with an exclamation mark to indicate a run-flat.

3: Consult a Tyre Specialist

If you’re unsure after checking the manual and tyres, your best bet is to visit a reputable tyre shop. They can inspect your car and advise you on whether it’s compatible with run-flat tyres. They can also help you choose the right run-flat tyres for your specific vehicle if that’s the route you decide to go.

Important Note: Only use run-flat tyres if your car is specifically designed for them. Using run-flats on a vehicle not designed for them can damage the wheels and suspension system.

6 Bonus Tips For Run-Flat Tyres Users

Here are some Important Reminders for Run-Flat tyres users:

1. Regularly check your tyre pressure:  Maintaining proper tyre pressure is crucial for optimal performance and safety, both for regular and run flat tyres.

2. Inspect your tyres for damage: Just like regular tyres, run-flats can also get damaged. Regularly check for cuts, bulges, or any signs of wear and tear.

3. Speed Matters: Always adhere to the speed limit specified by the tyre manufacturer for driving on a flat run-flat tyre.

5. Don’t push your luck:  Runflats are designed for temporary use. Don’t try to drive for extended distances or at high speeds after a puncture. Get to a repair shop as soon as possible to have the tyre replaced.

6. TPMS to Monitor Your Tire Pressure: A functioning Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is essential with run-flat tyres. A TPMS will alert you of any pressure loss, allowing you to address the issue before a puncture occurs.

Are Run Flat Tyres Repairable?

The repairability of run-flat tyres depends on the specific situation and manufacturer’s guidelines. Here’s a breakdown:

Case 1. In Most Cases Run-Flat Tyres Are Not Repairable: In many cases, run-flat tyres are not repairable after a puncture or damage due to the way their reinforced sidewalls are constructed.

Case 2. Run-Flat Tyres Are Repairable In Specific Conditions: Some manufacturers allow for repairs under specific conditions. For instance, Michelin allows a single repair on their run-flat tyres by a professional, as long as certain criteria are met (no sidewall damage, etc.).

Not All Shops Can Repair Run-Flats: Not all tyre shops are equipped to handle run-flat tyre repairs due to the specialized nature of these tyres. Make sure you find a shop familiar with run-flat technology.

Always Consult a Professional: It’s crucial to consult a qualified tyre professional to assess the damage and determine if your specific run-flat tyre can be safely repaired. They’ll consider factors like the type of damage, location of the puncture, and manufacturer’s recommendations.

Not a Permanent Puncture-Free Solution: Runflats are designed for temporary use. They’ll get you to safety. But they’re not meant for long-distance driving without air. Aim to get your punctured run-flat tyre repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

Drive Stress-Free with Run-Flat Tyres

In conclusion, run-flat tyres offer a convenient and safe solution for drivers who want to avoid the hassle of a flat tyre. While they come with a slightly higher price tag and a firmer ride, the peace of mind and increased safety they provide can be well worth the investment.

Choose Run-Flat tyres from Wangara Tyres & Auto

Wangara Tyres & Auto offers a wide selection of high-quality run-flat tyres to keep you safe and on the road.  Our friendly and expert team can help you choose the perfect run-flat tyres for your car, ensuring a smooth and stress-free driving experience.

Need new or second-hand tyres or a wheel alignment in Wangara?

No need to search “run flat tyres near me” or “tyres shops Wangara” any further. Simply visit Wangara Tyres & Auto and let our experts take care of all your run-flat tyres, and Second hand tyres needs.

So, don’t wait!

Stop by Wangara Tyres & Auto today.

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1. What to do in case of pressure loss?

Drive slowly (up to 80 km/h) to the nearest qualified tyre professional for a maximum of 80 km. This can vary depending on factors like car load, temperature, and road conditions.

2. Can runflat tyres be fitted at home?

No, due to the stiffer sidewalls, professional mounting equipment is recommended for run-flat tyres.

3. Can I use snow chains with runflat tyres?

No, using snow chains with run-flat tyres is generally not recommended. Consult your car’s manual and tyre manufacturer for confirmation.

4. What other anti-puncture solutions are available?

Run-flat technology is itself a form of anti-puncture solution.  However, tyre sealants can be used with some regular tyres for temporary fixes.