Have you fitted your vehicle with run-flat tyres so that you can continue driving if you get a puncture? The practical and safety advantages of run-flat technology are undeniable, but do you fully understand the steps to take with run-flats in the event of a puncture? We tell you all you need to know...
Run-flat technology allows you to continue driving for a certain length of time on a flat tyre. It compensates for the loss of air pressure and uses a range of features to help you keep control of your vehicle despite having a flat tyre. According to tyre manufacturers, you can safely drive up to 50 miles at a maximum speed of 50 mph on a run-flat.
However, you should take the following precautions if your run-flat tyre develops a puncture:
When your TPMS (tyre-pressure monitoring system) warns you that you have a flat tyre, don’t wait another 50 miles to start looking for a garage! Seek one out as quickly as possible to get your tyre replaced.
Drive smoothly and carefully: you will experience changes in road holding and cornering when driving on a flat run-flat tyre. Only braking and aquaplaning performance remain practically unchanged.
Can run-flat tyres be repaired?
You may be tempted to get your flat tyre repaired rather than buy a new one, given that run-flat tyres are slightly more expensive than standard tyres. Unfortunately, most manufacturers advise against repairing run-flats. For safety reasons, they need to be replaced once they’ve been driven deflated.
Run-flats can be replaced with conventional tyres as long as you change all four tyres. We would, however, advise checking with your car dealer beforehand to ensure that there will be no adverse effects. If you decide to switch to conventional tyres, remember to equip your vehicle with a spare tyre. Mixing run-flat and conventional tyres on your vehicle could dangerously affect handling. In an emergency situation, if you are forced to replace a run-flat with a conventional tyre, drive as short a distance as possible and take extra care.
You can mix different brands of run-flat tyres on your vehicle, provided that you use the same tyres on the same axle and ensure that your TPMS functions correctly with this configuration.
Three golden rules when replacing a punctured run-flat tyre:
Keep to the approved dimensions for your vehicle and ensure that the same type of tyre is fitted.