What are Run Flat Tyres?
Run Flat tyres are designed specifically for the purpose of remaining functional, for a limited amount of time, with no air pressure in the tyre.
What this means is that should you suffer a puncture whilst driving, the tyre will still be usable for around fifty miles. This gives you time to drive the car home, or to a nearby garage.
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How Does a Run Flat Tyre Work?
The modern run flat tyres are capable of continued use with no air pressure thanks to a reinforced sidewall.
In conventional tyres, the vehicle is supported by the air. Once a tyre loses this pressure it will fail.
This is not the case with a run flat tyre. The reinforced sidewall is strong enough to keep the shape and support of the car without the air pressure, on a temporary basis. This allows motorists time to continue their journey for around 50 miles.
Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
One key safety component required when using Run flat tyres is a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS).
Due to the fact that a Run Flat tyre can run on zero air pressure, it means that without a TPMS, a motorist may not know they’ve suffered a puncture.
With the TPMS, an alert is displayed on their console - letting them know that they have suffered a puncture and that they will need to replace the tyre as soon as possible.
Longevity of Run Flat Tyres
The compounds that are constructed to produce a Run Flat tyre are, in most cases, the same as those used to create a conventional tyre.
So you can expect them to wear at the same rate. As with conventional tyres, the importance of tyre maintenance – i.e. checking the tread depth and the regular topping up of air pressure into the tyre – is important in prolonging the life of the tyre.
Run Flat Tyres Fitted As Original Equipment
Over the past decade the number of car manufacturers who have designed their vehicles with run flat tyres in mind has greatly increased.
The two main manufacturers are BMW and Mini.
Not only is the fact that the tyres can continue to be used in the event of a puncture appealing to a vehicle manufacturer, but it also means that a spare tyre does not need to take up storage space in a vehicle - leaving the car owner with extra space.
Are Run Flat Tyres Repairable?
Put simply, no. It is heavily advised that is once it has suffered a puncture and been driven on, the internal structure of the tyre is likely to have weakened.
This makes it impossible to estimate how long it would last without a failure if the puncture was patched up. It is always better to be safe than sorry with your tyres.