Runflat tires are more popular than ever now. These are tires on which you can continue to drive after a puncture, so you can get to an auto mechanic or a safe place to change your tire. Runflat tires first appeared in the mid-1980s, and since then more and more auto manufacturers have made them standard in new vehicles. Some runflat tires will allow you to continue driving after a loss of inflation pressure for up to 50 miles at a maximum speed of up to 50 mph.
There are two types of runflat tire systems. They are the self-supporting system and the support ring system.
- Self-support system: in most self-supporting runflat tire systems, the tire features reinforced sidewall construction which will continue to support the vehicle in the event of a puncture. This allows continued operation after the loss of air pressure up to the speed and distance specified by the manufacturer.
- Support ring system: this system makes use of a ring of hard rubber or another structure that can support the vehicle’s weight in case of air loss.
Since they both continue to perform even though they are flat, all runflat tires may only be used on vehicles that have a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). The TPMS alerts you as soon as one of your tires loses pressure. Without it, you might not be aware that you are driving with an underinflated tire.
BENEFITS OF RUNFLATS
- You don’t have to stop to change tires in dangerous or uncomfortable situations. With conventional tires, most times you have to change a flat tire on the spot or risk getting towed.
- In a puncture situation, runflats are more stable than conventional tires. Since they are made to support your vehicle even without any air, these tires will help you maintain better control in a complete air loss situation than conventional tires.