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Run Flat Tires 101

January 20, 2021 6 Min read

Punctures are one of the major reasons for the roadside breakdown in the USA. In this situation, you may call roadside assistance. However, you will be likely waiting for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. If you are capable to change the spares, you might find it a dirty job and not properly dressed for it. The situation gets worse if you don’t have any spare tire.

The most effective way to prevent this disastrous situation is to use run flat tires. RFTs are now more popular than ever and their popularity is getting increased day by day due to their capabilities. What are run flat tires? How do run flat tires work? How far can you drive on a run flat tire? In this article, we will cover everything about the RFT you need to know. Let’s get started…

What Are Run Flat Tires?

Run flat or zero-pressure tires are special types of tires that can support the weight of a car for a short time without air pressure. A driver can drive up to 100 miles at 30 mph to find a repair shop. What are run flats or zero pressure tire? Simply, you can consider it a self-supporting tire due to its ability.

What does run flat tire means? RFT means a tire that doesn’t deflate after puncturing. They don’t actually go flat but they can support the weight of the car for a short period when deflated.

Sometimes, you can’t change the tire instantly if it gets a puncture on a dark and cold night. RFTs are very helpful in this type of situation. You can keep driving until you reach home or the nearest workshop.

Run flat technology makes you free from having a spare wheel, jack, and other necessary tools to change the punctured tire. According to Edmund’s data, almost 14% of new vehicles contain these tires. And, the ratio is further growing dramatically.

How Do Run Flat Tires Work?

Conventional tires are hard due to air. Without air, you can’t even drive with punctured tires for a few kilometers. In this case, you need to change the tire immediately. However, run flat tires remain rigid after puncturing or when go over the nail for short time. But how does a run flat tire work without air pressure?

Different companies like Armormax use lightweight and plastic bands that fit inside the wheel’s rim and locks the tire in place. These materials covert your wheel into a safety wheel. Learn more about what’s inside run flat tires here!

There are two basic types of run flat systems that keep the tires hard: the self-supporting system and the supporting ring system.

1. Self-Supporting System

Some self-supporting tires come with reinforced sidewall construction. These rigid walls continue supporting the car in the event of air loss. The duration in which you can keep driving a car after the loss of air pressure depends on the speed and construction materials.

2. Supporting Ring System

Some flat tire manufacturers use a support ring of hard rubber or other structures to keep a tire rigid. So that it can support a car’s weight even after a complete loss of air pressure.

Regardless of the system types, they are all run flat tires. You can use these tires with all vehicles equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). This system gives you information about tire pressure. So you will be notified as soon as the tire loses pressure.

Why Use Run Flat Tires?

There are various reasons to use RFTs in your vehicles. Run flat technology is very valuable in an emergency. For example, if you are under attack and your tires have been blown out or punctured, forcing you to be stuck on the roadside.

However, Run flat tires from different trusted vehicle manufacturers like Armormax can safely carry you up to 50+ miles at approximately 70 mph. However, if the road is in good condition, you may travel up to 80 miles.

These tires help you to escape a dangerous situation and flee to a safe zone. For more security and safety, you can equip your vehicles with armoring and run flat tires. Even if you are not facing a threat, run flat tire technology helps you a lot.

Bulletproof 2015 Escalade For Sale Tires

For example, you can take your vehicle to a tire shop. Further, it minimizes the damage to the vehicle. It also reduces the risk of injury to yourself and your beloved ones. Let’s learn the different advantages and disadvantages of RFTs…

Pros and Cons of Run Flat Tires

The self-supporting run-flat tire is the most common technology nowadays. The heavily reinforced walls of the tire support the vehicle when the air pressure is too low. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of run flat tires:

Advantages of Run Flat Tires

Here are some advantages of these tires:

  • Continue Driving on Flat Tires: The primary benefit of these tires is that you can keep driving on flat tires up to 100 miles at zero-air pressure. You don’t have to get out of the vehicle in cold, onto a busy highway or street in a sketchy part of the town. All you need to reduce the speed of your vehicle and take that to the garage.
  • Better Stability after a Blowout: After a blowout, the steering and handling will remain normal that prevent you from any injury. However, in the case of a conventional tire, you are unable to control the vehicle after a blowout. As a result, you can face severe circumstances.
  • Lower Vehicle Weight: Many people consider that elimination of spare wheel and tire repair tools reduces the weight of the vehicle, theoretically. However, sidewall reinforcement might also increase the weight of the vehicle. And, in the end, you might not find any difference in weight between a vehicle with conventional tires and a vehicle with RFTs. But, many people consider that sidewall reinforcement is less in weight than the spare wheel and tire repair tools.

Disadvantages of Run Flat Tires

Here are some disadvantages to these tires:

  • Cost: Good quality self-supporting tires are expensive than standard tires. Some manufactures offer run flats cheaper than conventional tires but they are not of good quality. If you want an armored vehicle with run flats, you can contact Armormax for high-quality work at the lowest price.
  • Reduced Tread Wear: Different studies show that people replace RFTs an average of 6000 miles sooner than conventional tires. However, actual data on the longevity of these tires haven’t been found. Self-supporting tires may not last longer than conventional but give more overall satisfaction to the owners. Therefore, run-flat technology gives a better user experience to the owners.
  • Impossible to Repair: These tires are almost impossible to repair. So you will be unable to repair these tires that can be costly for you.
  • Blowout Still Possible: If a driver doesn’t pay attention to the warning signs on the system, a blowout is still possible.

How Far Can You Drive On A Run Flat Tire?

You can’t run your car on punctured run flat tires forever. But, you don’t need to change the run flat tires immediately like conventional tires. How far can you drive on RFTs depend on different factors: Condition of the tire, manufacturing material, driving speed, and condition of the roads.

If a tire is in good condition, you may continue driving up to 90 miles. Similarly, if you use new tires or RFTs with good quality, you can drive up to 100 miles. However, you will have to reduce the speed of your vehicle to 40 mph to cover the maximum distance. If you don’t reduce the speed to 30 or 40 mph, you may not travel even up to 50 miles.

Further, you can drive more on a road in good condition. Otherwise, you may only travel up to a few miles. Whether you travel 50 or 100 miles, you can’t drive permanently with a deflated tire. So you must try to go to the garage or a safe place to change the tire as soon as possible.

Who Makes Run Flat Tires

There are plenty of famous tire manufacturing companies in the world. Some of them are also manufacturing run flats tires. Here are the three most popular companies who make these tires:

Dunlop: Dunlop is a renowned tire manufacturing company in the world. Goodyear is the parent company that manufactures tires under Dunlop’s name.

Bridgestone: They are another well-known tire manufacturer in the world. This company has taken over some other tire manufacturers who had been operating for many decades.

Continental: This company initially worked on different uses of rubbers. Now, it has earned good fame in the world of tire manufacturers as well.

Wrapping Up

The number of run flat tires are growing dramatically day by day due to their numerous benefits. For foolproof security of your beloved ones, you should armor your vehicle and use run flat tires. Although they are a bit expensive, they are safe to use. You have learned a lot about run flats so you can make the right decision if you are intending to buy a new car.

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