Home » What are Run-Flat tires – Pros and Cons Of Using Runflats

What are Run-Flat tires – Pros and Cons Of Using Runflats

A Run-Flat tire is a pneumatic tire, designed to withstand total deflation when punctured and allows the vehicle to continue to be driven at speeds of up to 90 km / h.

The additional distance that a vehicle equipped with Run-Flat tires can cover, when there is a breakdown, is up to 160 km.


Depending on the tire type, the figure can increase up to 320 km. Thanks to the reinforced sidewalls, Run-Flat tires are able to support the weight and load of the vehicle even if the tire pressure is zero.


A special, more robust rubber is used for the flanks, in order to support this weight. This type of car tire is actually a 125-year-old concept and the technology can be traced back to 1892.

Then the first official patent was registered. However, Run-Flat car tires were not marketed until the early 1935s.

In 1934 Michelin Tire Co introduced a concept of car tires based on the technology developed for commuter and trolley trains.


It had a safety rim inside the tire which, if it had been punctured, would have continued to circulate on a special foam lining. These car tires were sold for military use and for specialized vehicles such as bank armored cars.


Manufacturers promoted this type of tire on the market as semi-bulletproof.
Although the tire behaves to the specifications, it was still too expensive to be a viable option for private car users.

Developments in this area continued in the following years, and the first manufacturer to bring the first Run-Flat tire to the consumer market was Goodyear in 1978, when it also introduced the size of 195 75 R16C tires. The first projects were far from efficient and only a few prototype cars were equipped with such tires.

The Chevrolete Corvette was the first model in the entire global car market, to offer Run-Flat tires as an option. Being a 2-seater car, it did not offer much space for luggage so a spare tire plus the tools needed to change a tire were obviously a waste of space.

Today we can easily find Run-Flats for light trucks and passenger vehicles, respectively SUVs. Both summer and winter tires are available. Be aware that it is forbidden to mount Run-Flat tires on a vehicle that has not been designed for this purpose.


Similarly, it is forbidden to mount two Run-Flat tires and two conventional tires on one vehicle.

 

Common Names Of Run Flat Tire Manufacturers

ZP = for Michelin runflat tires
SSR = for Continental runflat tires
ROF = for Dunlop and Goodyear runflat tires
EMT = for Dunlop and Goodyear runflat tires
Run Flat = for runflatPirelli tires
RFT = for Bridgestone runflat tires
BSR = for Bridgestone runflat tires

 

Types of run-flat tires by brand

 

The advantage of Run-flat tires


The most important advantage is safety. Even in the event of a sudden drop in pressure, you can continue on the road safely.


A sudden drop in tire pressure can be a danger, especially on the highway, at high speeds. It is different in the case of Runflat tires, because in this case you can continue the road.


Another advantage is the comfort – if the tire breaks, you do not have to change the wheel yourself, but you can usually contact the dealer, thanks to the wide variety of Runflat tires.


If you use a Runflat tire, you don’t have to carry an extra tire in the car, which means that you will increase your storage volume by about 80 liters, but also save on consumption.

However, the difference in consumption, at the current level of development, is at a level close to that of conventional tires.

 

  • The major benefit of driving a car with runflat tires is the ability to drive and maintain control of the car even with damaged tires for a maximum distance of 90 km at a speed of 85 km / h.
  • By installing runflat tires, it will consistently reduce the weight of new cars, removing the heavy spare wheel and accesories.
  • Facilitates fuel savings, creating extra space for luggage or other goods.

 

 

The Cons of Run-Flat tires


We can find many rumours in social media and and there are many opinions of those who are not satisfied with runflat tires, citing reasons related to costs and the quality of the drive.

 

  • In general using run-flats drives to less comfortable trips
  • Runflat tires are more expensive than conventional tires.
  • In the case of models with a support ring, not all services are equipped with equipment for assembly / disassembly.

 

The difference between Runflats and regular tires.

 

 

  • Good control of the vehicle even in the event of a breakdown.
  • No spare wheel is required
  • Replacing the broken tire is not required to be done immediately
  • According to a recent statistic, more than 70% of drivers had at least one tire crack. 25% of them were not ready to change the wheel, and those who succeeded where not really happy to do it .
  • Thanks to RunFlat technology this may be a thing of the past, because with runflats you can still go to a service where the tire is changed safely and without any hassle.

 

How many types of Runflat tires are there?
Run-Flat tires with reinforced sidewalls.

 

Run-Flat tires with reinforced sidewalls


These are most often used. They differ from the standard ones by the more rigid and durable sides, which support the weight of the vehicle, preventing the contact of the tire cable with the rim.


When producing them, a special, heat-resistant compound is used, which does not lose its operational properties after heating, caused by insufficient pressure. The run is still limited to a maximum speed of 80 – 90 KM / h, and a maximum distance of 80 KM.

 

RUNFLAT tires that have a support ring.

 

RunFlat tires with support metal ring.

Their structure involves a special ring, which provides support along the entire circumference of the tire.

They can withstand high pressures and compressions and can operate without a speed limit, even after breakage. These tires still allows you to cover a distance of up to 420 km.

 

Is it possible to replace Run-flat tires with classic tires?


Yes, it is possible but not recommended by experts. The rims of an RFT approved vehicle are special and in extreme driving conditions there is a risk of disengagement.

However, if you want to replace runflat tires with regular tires, be sure to:

Ask your car dealer if the difference in tire stiffness will not affect the electronic control systems (ABS, etc.).
Equip yourself with a spare wheel and an anti-wedge spray.

Note:
Any vehicle equipped with runflat tires must be equipped with a pressure control system installed on the instrument panel in order to prevent the driver from losing pressure.
After the change it might malfunction.

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