Though they first appeared in the mid-1980s, run flat tires (RFT) are now more popular than ever. With some auto manufacturers making them standard in new vehicles, more consumers are asking about run flats, their advantages, and how using them impacts driving.
WHAT ARE RUN FLAT TYRES?
Run flat tyres are tyres on which you can continue driving after a puncture so you can take time get to an auto shop or find a safe, level area to change your tire.
You can’t drive on them indefinitely, though. Check the manufacturer’s specifications to find out how fast and how far you can drive on your run flat tyres. Some run-flat tyres will allow continued operation even after a loss of some or all inflation pressure for up to 50 miles (80 km) at a maximum speed up to 50 mph (80 km/h.)
HOW DO RUN FLAT TYRES WORK?
There are two primary types of run flat tyre systems: the self-supporting system and the support ring system.
1. Self-Supporting System: In most self-supporting run flat tyre systems, the tyre features reinforced sidewall construction that will continue supporting the vehicle in the event of air loss. This construction allows continued operation after the loss of air pressure up to the speed and distance specified by the manufacturer. Pics 1
2. Support Ring System: Support ring run flat tyre systems, on the other hand, employ a ring of hard rubber or another structure that can support the vehicle’s weight in an air loss condition.Pics 2
Since they continue performing even though they’re “flat,” all run flat tyres, regardless of the specific system type, may only be used on a vehicle equipped with a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). The TPMS alerts you as soon as one of your tyres loses pressure. Without it, you might not know you were driving on an underinflated tyre.
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BENEFITS OF RUN FLAT TYRES
You don’t have to change your tyre in dangerous or uncomfortable conditions. This is perhaps the biggest benefit of run flat tyres and is the one of the reasons why they were designed. With conventional tyres, you have to replace a flat on the spot or have your car towed.
In a puncture situation, run flats are more stable than conventional tyres. .Since they’re made to support your vehicle even when they contain no air, run flat tyres will help you maintain better control in a complete air loss situation than conventional tyres.
As consumers continue rating safety high on the list of features they look for in a vehicle, the popularity of run flat tyres is expected to grow. Since run flat tyres work reliably with interconnected technologies like TPMS, it may only be a matter of time before they become the norm rather than the exception in new vehicles.