What are run flat tyres?

Friday 1st November 2019

what makes tyres illegal

A run flat tyre is a specially constructed tyre that, if punctured, allows you to continue driving at reduced speed for a limited number of miles - giving you enough time to reach a safe place to change the tyre.

How do run flat tyres work?

Run flat have special reinforced sidewall construction which means that even when the tyre casing may have suffered a puncture and there is a loss of  air pressure, the sidewalls of the tyre continue to self-support. Certain manufacturers of run flat tyres may also use their own specialist technology which offer the same effect.

How do I know if I have a run flat tyre fitted?

To check whether your car is fitted with run flat tyres, simply open your car boot and lift the floor up. If you notice a spare tyre in the cavity, then your vehicle is not fitted with a run flat tyre. However, if you don’t see one, then it is likely your car is fitted with run flat tyres. You can also tell whether you have run flat tyres fitted by checking the coding on the tyre’s sidewall.

What are the benefits of run flat tyres?

Better control – when non-run flat tyres are punctured, the performance of the entire tyre is affected, which makes it difficult to drive and hard to reach a safe place close by to stop. With run flat tyres, if you suffer a puncture whilst driving (especially at higher speeds) you will have prolonged control of your vehicle which is much safer for both the driver and other motorists on the road.

Avoid replacing the tyre at the roadside – if you’ve ever experienced a punctured tyre, you’ll know that it can be very dangerous to change a tyre at the side of the road - especially in a busy area or on a motorway. Run flat tyres allow you the extra driving time to get to a safe area or a garage to change your tyre.

Less need for a spare tyre – if you’re driving on run flat tyres, it’s not as vital to carry a spare tyre in the boot. Carrying extra weight such as a spare tyre can also increase the fuel consumption of your vehicle.

Peace of mind – Driving on run flats means that your tyres are likely to be more reliable in an emergency than non-run flat tyres. This allows you more time to reach a safe place and assess the situation.

How do I know if my run flat tyre is punctured?

Without obvious visible damage, it can often be difficult to tell if you’ve had a puncture while driving on run flats. This is where a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) can help. The TPMS is designed to alert you if your run flat tyres have suffered air pressure loss. Your vehicle handbook will specify the maximum distance and speed that you can safely drive on your run flat tyres after air pressure loss, so make sure you’re clued up on what these specifications are. Typically, the maximum distance is 50 miles, with a maximum speed limit of 50mph.

Are run flat tyres repairable?

Run flat tyres are not repairable. Once they have been driven on, run flat tyres lose their structural ability which makes them unsuitable for puncture repair. If run flat tyres are patched up, they are more likely to puncture again due to uneven tyre wear.

Can you mix run flat tyres with standard tyres?

We recommend avoiding mixing run flat tyres with conventional tyres. This is because different tyres have different characteristics, which can result in your car handling in an unpredictable way. We recommend using tyres of a similar tread pattern or of the same manufacturer, regardless of whether you’re are using run flat tyres or conventional tyres.

If your run flat tyres have been punctured, it’s important to get them replaced or repaired as soon as possible. Locate your nearest Formula One Autocentre or browse through our range of .. Alternatively, read our guide on ‘what are the best tyres for your car' to find out more about using different tyres on your vehicle. For further support on run flat tyres, contact our specialist team today.

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