Run-flat tyres are designed in such a way to remain operational in the event of a puncture or a severe loss of air pressure allowing you to make it to safety, be that so you can return home or to your nearest tyre fitter.
Run-flat tyres also reduce the risk of tyre blow outs which could be dangerous and a risk to the safety of the driver and other road users if they occur at speed.
How do run-flat tyres work?
Run-flat tyres have much thicker, reinforced sidewalls which means they can be driven on for a short time after picking up a puncture. The tyre can temporarily maintain its shape and strength even in the event of a total loss of air pressure.
Run-flat tyres have obvious safety benefits as the tyre is still able to be driven on in the event of a puncture allowing you, the driver, to stay in control of the vehicle. This isnít to say run-flat tyres do not need air and in the unfortunate event of a puncture you should seek help as soon as possible. It is advised that you should travel no more than 50 miles on a punctured run-flat tyre.
While the sidewall of a run-flat tyre is reinforced, the materials used in its construction are, in most cases, the same as a regular tyre. Therefore, they will wear at a similar rate to standard tyres and should be checked in the same way for condition and tread wear regularly.
Switching to run-flat tyres
If your vehicle is fitted with conventional tyres and was not fitted with run-flat tyres at time of manufacture, we would advise against fitting run-flat tyres to your vehicle. All vehicles fitted with run-flat tyres require a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) which alerts the driver should the tyre receive a puncture or there is a sudden drop in tyre pressure. Without TPMS, fitting run-flat tyres could be a major safety risk as the motorist could continue driving, unaware there is an issue with the tyre.
Similarly, you should avoid fitting conventional tyres to a vehicle set up for run-flat tyres. Most vehicle manufacturers who fit run-flat tyres as standard no longer provide a spare tyre or tools to change your tyre. Therefore, if you switch back to conventional tyres, you may not have the means to replace the tyre on the side of the road should a puncture occur.
Tyre repairs and run-flat tyres
Unfortunately, when a run-flat tyre picks up a puncture itís hard to tell if the structure of the tyre wall has been compromised because the punctured tyre could have been driven on for an excessive amount of time or at unsuitable speeds (over 30mph). For this reason, we cannot carry out repairs to run-flat tyres as the tyre as may have weakened and no longer be safe to use.
If your run-flat tyre receives a puncture, we would advise driving to your nearest Kwik Fit centre and having this replaced as soon as possible.