What are run flat tyres?
Run flat tyres differ from normal tyres as they have specially reinforced sidewalls. This design of the tyre helps to support your car even if you have a puncture. This means that if you have a puncture, you are potentially able to get yourself to a safe location. However, they can only be driven on at a limited speed and for a limited period before you get your tyre replaced.
Can you repair a run flat tyre?
Essentially, you cannot repair a run flat tyre once it has a puncture or has experienced damage. This is because it is difficult to identify secondary damage which may have been caused by the primary damage. Fundamentally, the overall structure is compromised, diminishing the safety of the tyre and the car (even though it may not be easily visible). Once you do have a puncture on your run flat tyre, it is highly advised to get it replaced as soon as possible.
How long can you drive on a punctured run flat tyre?
Once your run flat tyre is punctured, you cannot continue driving on it forever. Usually, you can drive on it for 50 miles at 30mph, allowing you to get to a safe location so you can get a replacement. The exact range of a run flat tyre is dependent on your driving speed, the load of your vehicle and the driving conditions. You should consult your vehicle owner’s manual to find out what you should expect.
How do I know if a tyre is run flat?
Run flat tyres differ from normal tyres, therefore it is important for you to know how to identify a run flat tyre. Some tyre brands simply have ‘Run Flat’ on the sidewall, whereas others are written in codes such as:
• RFT (Run Flat Tyre)
• DSST (Dunlop Self Supporting Tyre)
• SSR (Self Supporting Tyre)
• ROF (Run on Flat)
• EMT (Extended Mobility Technology)
• ZP or ZPS (Zero Pressure or Zero Pressure System)
• RSC (Run flat System Component)
Furthermore, if you have a spare tyre in your boot or a foam filler tyre repair kit, it is most certain that your vehicle is not fitted with run flat tyres.
Can you fit run flat tyres to any car?
You cannot fit run flat tyres to any car, because the vehicle has to be specially designed to be able to be driven on run flats. It also has to have a TPMS (tyre pressure monitoring system) installed for the driver to know if a puncture has occurred. Without this, it becomes a major safety concern as the driver consequently will have no idea of a punctured tyre, and it could result in a serious accident.
Can I change my run flat tyres to normal tyres?
Simply – no, it is not recommended to change the type of tyre your vehicle has originally been fitted with. If the car has been designed to be driven on run flats, the suspension has been set ‘softer’ to give a normal ride. If this is changed to a conventional tyre, the ride will feel very soft and it will adversely affect the vehicle handling. Secondly, the car will not have a spare tyre and will then be stranded completely if a puncture were to occur.
Can I mix run flat and normal tyres?
You should avoid mixing tyre types on a vehicle. This is because the handling characteristics of both conventional and run flat tyres will vary, thus not allowing the car to drive as it should. Again, if the vehicle is not fitted with a TPMS pressure system, the driver will be unaware if the ‘run flats’ have a puncture, which is a risk hazard. If your vehicle is designed to drive on run flats, and you change them to conventional tyres, it may cause you to invalidate your insurance.
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