Run-Flat Tires Explained

Getting a flat tire while driving can be an extremely frustrating and inconvenient experience—forcing you to either go through the hassle of installing a spare tire on your own or calling and waiting for roadside assistance. That’s where run-flat tires can help. These tires are able to support the weight of a vehicle even after deflation occurs—allowing you to continue driving for a limited distance until you find an auto repair shop that can properly inflate or fix your tire(s). Keep reading for more information about run-flat tires and the benefits they can offer.

What Is a Run-flat Tire?

Put simply, run-flat tires are designed to give you the ability to keep driving following a loss in air pressure for a limited distance (typically up to 100 miles), until you can locate an auto repair shop to remedy the problem. There are two main types of run-flat tires:

  1. Self-supporting tires—Known as the most common form of run-flat tires, these tires contain specialized sidewall construction that allow them to support the weight of the vehicle in the event of air pressure loss.
  2. Support ring system tires—These tires possess a structure that physically attaches to the wheels. That way, if any of the tires lose air pressure, the wheels are able to continue supporting the vehicle rather than the tires.

The Benefits of Run-flat Tires

  • No stopping required—Rather than having to pull over to the side of the road—sometimes in adverse conditions—to install a spare tire or wait for roadside assistance, run-flat tires allow you to keep driving following deflation until you find a safe place to stop.
  • Increased stability—A sudden loss of air pressure in a standard tire can cause tread destabilization, tampering with your vehicle’s steering capabilities and putting your safety at risk. But, run-flat tires will maintain your vehicle’s stability—even after your tire is damaged.
  • Decreased weight—Since run-flat tires eliminate the need for storing a spare tire, your overall vehicle weight will decrease, which can often help improve your gas mileage.

The Importance of a Fully Functioning TPMS

Because run-flat tires eliminate your ability to physically notice that your tires have lost air pressure, it’s crucial to ensure that your vehicle has a fully functional tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). The TPMS will be able to detect if any of your tires have lost too much air pressure and inform you via your vehicle dashboard. Be sure to have your TPMS inspected by an auto mechanic if you have or are thinking about installing run-flat tires. For additional vehicle maintenance tips and auto insurance solutions, contact us today.