A run-flat tyre is specially designed to avoid the effects of deflation when punctured, in order to maintain stability. Run-flat tyres give your vehicle the control needed to drive away from potential danger or the tiresome task of changing the tyre. The reinforced, thicker sidewall, and an enhanced heat-resistant rubber, allow the vehicle to go up to speeds of 80 kilometres per hour, even after the loss of some or all air pressure.
In the case of a punctured tyre, the inherent loss in steering ability and handling of the vehicle demands the driver to steer clear of all traffic and wait on the side for assistance. However, a run-flat tyre, with its reinforced sidewalls, gives the ability to drive up to 80 kilometers so you can easily reach your nearest service station.
A tyre blowing-out or a sudden loss of air pressure on a busy highway can lead to dangerous and life-threatening situations. A loss in vehicle control can make maneuvering very difficult. Run flat tyres ensure that you can continue to drive safely in case of a puncture. Its advanced sensory Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) technology notifies the driver of a blowout.
One of the biggest advantages of a run-flat tyre is the freedom it provides to the drivers. Run-flat tyres remove the need to carry heavy spare tyres and additional tools that weigh down your vehicle, not only reducing its weight, but also freeing up additional space. Although they might be heavier than normal tyres, the elimination of spare tyres results in more space.
How to get run flat tyres fitted?
Run flat tyres are only advised to be fitted on vehicles that come with TPMS technology, which is why special care must be exercised to ensure the tyre is connected to the relevant sensors – making the fitment different from normal tyres. Before the tyre is fitted, the TPMS aluminium sensors should be equipped with a new rubber grommet, special nickel-plated valve core, and an aluminium retaining nut.
The self-supporting tyre system, as the name implies, is designed to sustain itself on its own in case they are faced with sudden air loss from the tyres. Most self-supporting run-flat tyres feature reinforced sidewall construction, which is bolstered enough to be able to bear the weight of the vehicle in the case of a puncture. Self-supporting run-flat tyres are able to allow continued operation even after a loss of air pressure, up to a speed and distance specified by the manufacturer.
The support ring run-flat tyre system employs a set of ‘rings’ that are made of hard, reinforced rubber or another sturdy material that can support the vehicle’s weight in the case of air loss. The support rings enable the tyre to sustain the weight of the vehicle in motion, keeping the vehicle from losing all traction from the road and enabling drivers to navigate safely through the traffic, without having to pull over in a hurry.
Run flat tyres for your vehicle
Tyre pressure monitors were made mandatory on new cars in 2012. Since then, manufacturers have increasingly been fitting run-flat tyres to their vehicles. Companies that use self-supporting run-flat tyres include Mini, BMW, Mercedes, Toyota, Cadillac, Porsche and Audi. You can find run flat tyres for all popular vehicle makes here.
Run flat tyres are intricately designed which is why it’s complex to repair them, and major manufacturers advise against their repair. A puncture presents an inherent risk to the strength and durability of the tyre, demanding immediate corrective action to be taken.
While run flats may be applied to a normal rim, there are a few differences why experts advise against doing that. Cars that feature run-flat tyres as original equipment also integrate special suspensions that can handle the sturdy build of such tyres. Normal rims may not be adaptable to run flat tyres which can lead to problems when facing jumps or less responsive steering.
Run flat tyres offer increased stability, durability, and safety for the driver. Their enhanced construction design is why run-flat tyres are offered at a premium price, often at a 150 – 200% price increase from normal tyres. However, the high costs are offset through its increased safety and extended lifespan.
How to Install a Tire Pressure Monitoring System in Your Car
DSST, EMT, RFT - What does it mean? Run flat tyres terminology
Different tyre manufacturers make use of different terms to denote the run-flat tyre technology series specific to their brand. These abbreviations are generic and revolve around run-flat tyres, self-supporting technology, and the ability to drive on zero pressure. Here’s a list of run-flat abbreviations. Bridgestone RFT (Run-Flat Tyre), Continental SSR (Self-Supporting Run-Flat Tyre), Dunlop DSST (Dunlop Self-Supporting Technology), Goodyear EMT (Extended Mobility Technology) and many more such as ZP (zero pressure), ROF, XRP, RSC, FRT, R/F, VRFC, ZPS, PAX, RF, HRS, TD, MOE.