Can you repair run flat tyres?
Thursday 12th March 2020
Running late for work? In the middle of a long-distance journey? Or perhaps just popping to the shops? Whenever you get a puncture or a flat tyre, chances are, it’s at the most inconvenient of times. However, if your vehicle is fitted with run flat tyres, you can avoid the dangers of changing a tyre at the roadside without your plans being completely ruined, too.
But can run flat tyres be repaired? And what happens when you experience a run flat tyre puncture?
What are run flat tyres?
Firstly, it’s key to understand what exactly run flat tyres are and how they work. Run flat tyres are a type of tyre that, you would still be able to drive on for a short distance following a sudden drop in tyre pressure. Typically, this is limited to around a maximum of 50 miles, and at a reduced speed of 50mph.
This functionality is made possible due to the construction and design of the tyre – specially reinforced sidewalls mean that the sidewall structural integrity remains if the outside of the tyre may have experienced a puncture or damage.
All vehicles that are fitted with run flat tyres must also have a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS). This is because often it’s hard to notice when you've had a puncture if you're using run flat tyres – so the TPMS will alert the driver if tyre pressure is low, indicating that your run flat tyres may need attention.
By having run flat tyres fitted on your vehicle, you can avoid having to replace your tyre at the roadside – which can often be dangerous and difficult if you’re not sure how to change a tyre. Find out more about the benefits of run flat tyres from our helpful guide.
Can you repair run flat tyres?
You cannot repair a run flat tyre once it has experienced a puncture or damage. Instead, you will need to get your run flat tyre replaced as quickly as possible. Run flat tyres act as a temporary ‘safety net’ for drivers – allowing that extra time to get to a garage or drive to safety after experiencing a puncture.
The reason run flat tyres should not be repaired is because it’s often difficult to identify any secondary damage which may have occurred as a result of the primary damage. This could mean the overall structure and safety of the tyre has been compromised – but this is hard to spot due to the design of the reinforced sidewalls.
How do I know if my run flat tyre is punctured?
If your TMPS is indicating that you’re losing tyre pressure, this could mean that your run flat tyre has suffered a puncture. To find out the specifications on the limited mileage and maximum speed you can drive after suffering sudden tyre pressure loss, you can find this in your vehicle handbook. Next, drive to your nearest Formula One Autocentre to have your run flat tyre replaced.
Please note, these types of tyres are not designed to keep functioning as normal once they've had a puncture. Safety and performance will have been compromised and, although they can provide the driver with a temporary period of time to continue driving on them safely, they should be replaced as soon as it's possible to drive to a tyre specialist.