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 capability is made possible due to specially reinforced sidewall construction. This means that even when the tyre casing may have suffered a puncture, resulting in 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 to the same effect.

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, therefore a crucial component needed in conjunction with run flat tyres is a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS). 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.

Benefits of run flat tyres

  • Better control – when non-run flat tyres are punctured, the performance of the entire tyre is affected, making it very difficult to drive - sometimes even to reach a safe place close by to stop. Yet with run flat tyres, if you suffer a puncture whilst driving (especially at higher speeds), having sustained control is much safer for both the driver, and other drivers 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 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 flats, allowing you more time to reach a safe place and assess the situation.

If your run flat tyres have been punctured, it’s important to get them replaced or repaired as soon as possible. Browse through our range of tyres to buy online or locate your nearest Formula One Autocentres today for more help and support on run flat tyres.

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