The Mystery of Run Flat Tires
“Run Flat” tires have been around for many years, but not everyone understands how they work or why they exist. Run Flat tires have a reinforced sidewall that can support the weight of your vehicle even after a total loss of air pressure. Without getting into too much detail, it's as simple as that. Many manufacturers equip their vehicles with Run Flats, especially BMW. A big reason why they’re used is for saving space – many of these vehicles don’t have a spare tire – so the traditional tire that goes flat when punctured will not work in this configuration.
Run flat tires are more stable during a blowout and you can drive up to 100 miles at 50 miles per hour when they lose air pressure. Should you do that drive? For the most part, the answer is “maybe!” Unless there is damage to the rim, just get in your car and drive to the nearest tire store to get a new Run Flat.
But let's say that your flat tire results from hitting an object or pothole so hard that you not only damage the tire, but also the wheel. You’re probably not going to drive that 100 miles at even close to 50 miles an hour since damaged wheels are no longer round and won’t rotate smoothly, making a drive at any real speed terribly uncomfortable and possibly dangerous. With the old setup of a spare wheel and tire, the amount of damage didn’t matter and you were good as new with a simple tire change.
Another thing you have to deal with using Run Flats is the naturally harsher ride they give because of the reinforced sidewalls. This leads many owners to get traditional tires when new ones are needed. Keep in mind, however, if your car has no spare tire, you may have no way to get out of a flat tire situation without calling a tow company.
It's probably obvious that we’re not a big fan of Run Flats, but the reality is their use by manufacturers is growing. Now you now know some pros and cons of using them on your vehicles.
ArborMotion: Schedule Service in Ann Arbor Today!
Have a question about Run Flats? Are you looking for the easiest way to get out of a flat tire situation? We can help!
At ArborMotion, we specialize in foreign car repair in Ann Arbor. All our technicians are ASE certified and three have ASE Master Technician certifications. If you want a reputable technician who specializes in your brand of vehicle, schedule an appointment with us today!