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What Are Run-Flat Tires, and How Do They Work? by Best-One
When was the last time you had a flat tire? Where you driving in the city? The country? Did you run over a nail in a construction zone or rub against a curb on the side of the road? No matter when a flat tire strikes, it’s always an inconvenience. Not only must you stop immediately to address the situation, but you must either change the tire or wait for help to arrive.
Every driver will, at one point, encounter a flat tire. Don’t wait for this to happen to you – be prepared! Run-flat tires can help you be prepared the next time you get a flat tire.
What is a run-flat tire?
Run-flat tires are tires specifically designed to enable vehicles with a damaged tire to be driven at reduced speeds (about 55 mph) and limited distances (roughly 100-200 miles).
How do they work?
Run-flat tires have an extra lining below the surface that self-seals if the tire is punctured. Additionally, a support ring fixed to the wheel supports the vehicle’s weight, so if the tire loses air pressure due to a hole or a leak, the tire’s sidewalls will remain firm.
Since a run-flat tire’s sidewalls remain rigid, it can be difficult to tell if your run-flat tire has sustained damage. The easiest way to know if there is a problem with your run-flat tires is to watch for a warning from your car’s tire pressure monitoring system. If this warning light comes on, or if you see a nail or screw in your run-flat tire, take it in for service immediately. Continuing to drive on an impaired run-flat tire for long distances or at high speeds increases the risk of structural damage to your tire.
What are the advantages to run-flat tires?
The most obvious advantage to run-flat tires is that in the event of a flat, you can continue to drive on the your vehicle until you arrive at a safe and convenient place to address the damage. But there are several not-so-obvious advantages to these tire as well. Because of their structural material and additional mass, run-flat tires have a higher rolling resistance. Additionally, because of the internal bracing, flat-run tires tend to run more evenly and keep their shape, which improves fuel economy. With run-flat tires there is no need to carry a spare tire, which contributes to a lower vehicle weight, thus improving fuel consumption and performance and reducing exhaust emissions.
Are run-flat tires right for your vehicle? Ask the experts! Visit your local Best-One retailer today.
John Miller, Best-One® Tire & Service Expert Panelist
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