What You Need to Know About Run-Flat Tires
Run-flat tires offer several advantages that could help you avoid the inconvenience of a flat tire. Before you purchase run-flat tires, you should learn some basic information that will help you decide which option is best for you.
How Long Do Run-flat Tires Last?
Run-flat tires are designed to let you keep driving even after you have lost air pressure in one of your tires. That doesn't mean that you can keep driving forever without getting your tire fixed, though. Most run-flat tires can drive for about 50 miles before succumbing to damage. You'll still want to get your damaged tire serviced as soon as possible.
Also, run-flat tires aren't meant for high speeds after they have gone flat. 50 mph is the recommended top speed for most of run-flat tires. Remember that you're operating a vehicle with a flat tire, even if you can keep driving. It's important to keep some safety precautions in mind and have it looked at as soon as possible.
What Companies Make Run-flat Tires?
Run-flat tires have become popular in recent decades, but some companies have actually produced them for nearly 80 years. Michelin released a run-flat tire in 1934, but the product was too expensive for the average consumer to use on a car. Instead, it was intended for commercial vehicles.
In 1958, both Chrysler and US Royal released run-flat tires that contained an interlining that would support a vehicle's weight even after the tire lost air pressure. BMW took advantage of this new technology by using run-flat tires made by Bridgestone on most of its releases that year.
Today, several major tire manufacturers make run-flat tires.
How Do Run-Flat Tires Work?
Something seems a little unnatural about run-flat tires. Drivers are taught to check their tire pressure regularly, but then there are tires that seem to relieve them of this responsibility. How do run-flat tires work without sufficient air pressure?
There are three basic types of run-flat tires.
Self-supporting run-flat tires have an inner fabric that can support the vehicle's weight when necessary. A blowout won't cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle, but self-supporting tires need to be replaced shortly after getting a flat.
Self-sealing tires have an interior liner that prevents tires from going flat even after the outer layer has been punctured.
Auxiliary-supported run-flat tires have a support ring that allows the vehicle to travel for short distances without the assistance of an inflated tire. While these are often the safest, most reliable option, they are also the most expensive, especially when drivers add the costs of purchasing specially made wheels and tires.