The Pros and Cons of Run-Flat Tires: How They Work

Do you need to change the tires on your car? Do you want to improve your driving safety? Although they are not famous to most motorists, it is interesting to discover run-flat tires, a range beyond traditional car tires. Let's discover through this article its advantages and disadvantages.

Even when their use has good advantages, such as increased safety and increased rear trunk loading volume because of the absence of the spare tire, they also attributed some disadvantages to them. Indeed, they reduce ride comfort and are more expensive to replace.


What are Run-Flat Tires?

Run-flat tires have the tire bead that remains attached to the rim flange, even when the rim is deflated. It means that you will not risk your tire coming off or the wheel itself being damaged. The tire will be able to more or less keep its initial rigid shape for a while despite the puncture.

This type of car tire allows you to continue driving safely with a loss of pressure because of a puncture. Run-flat tires can go without problem to a garage or mechanic to change a wheel or repair a puncture.

It is possible because run-flat tires have reinforced sidewalls. Their special design prevents the tire from coming off the rim. Thanks to these features, you do not need to carry a spare tire in anticipation of a punctured tire.

They have reinforced the sidewall to allow them to function even in the event of a puncture. This thick wall can mask any damage that has occurred inside the tire. During a puncture, the tire pressure drops drastically. The run-flat tires will support a significant load and will themselves suffer damage that cannot be repaired subsequently.

What types of run-flat tires?

There are two types of run-flat tires on the market today:

Self-supporting tire: A tire with a tire wall made of hard and durable rubber, capable of supporting the entire weight of the vehicle when the tire pressure suddenly "drops" to the lowest level. This type of tire often comes with a tire pressure monitoring system (which is standard on new models) to update the tire situation in real-time for the driver to understand.

Auxiliary supported tire: This tire does not use hard and durable rubber. Instead, it comes with a special set of rims, the inside of which is reinforced with a steel ring to support the weight of the entire vehicle.

What are the advantages of run-flat tires?

1. Driving Control

The best benefit is the possibility of being able to continue driving. This is the first and most important advantage of run-flat tires. Using Run-flat tires can help limit accidents caused by flat tires or sudden tire blowouts

Moreover, after being punctured, run-flat tires still allow the car to travel a certain distance and the user can completely control the car normally. well, it comes with a flat tire to a puncture repair point at a maximum distance of around 50 miles and a maximum speed of 50 mph. It should also fit run-flat tires and represents a safety bonus for you as a motorist.

You will not have to change your wheel on the side of the road either. And you will not be stuck in the middle of the night left to yourself. This ability is especially important when the tires have trouble on deserted roads or there are no conditions to stop the vehicle to handle the problem.

2. Durability

They made these tires from a special rubber that can withstand temperatures much higher than those on the road. You do not have to have a spare tire.

3. Safety

The ultra-robust radial structure of the Run-flat tires and their reinforced sidewalls prevent them from sagging in the event of a puncture. It is because run-flat tires run with little or no air pressure for short distances.

In terms of safety, the advantages are considerable. If you are traveling at a good speed on the freeway, a burst tire can cause a shock to occupants of a car. They cause you to slip off the road. With the Run-flat tires, it is impossible to be taken by surprise by such a situation. You will maintain control of your vehicle, even if they suddenly deflated the tire.

If your car has run-flat tires, no more tire change puzzles on the side of the road. Especially during vacation time, it is not uncommon to see a disabled motorist on the highway installing his spare tire. Let's say that it is a rather unpleasant situation, especially if you have to unload all the contents of the trunk to have access to the jack and the spare wheel! It is not ideal to drive over 50 mph on run-flat tires in the event of a puncture.

4. Save a part of fuel, create a spacious space

No need to carry a spare tire, tools to change the spare tire will help your car reduce part of the weight, save operating fuel, create a spacious space and end the trip soon despite the incident.

5. Save time

Imagine you have an urgent need to go to work, but your tire is punctured on the way and if you are using regular tires, you could be late for that important work. In contrast, run-flat tires allow you to run a certain distance more (at least 50 miles depending on road conditions and vehicle type). This allows you to temporarily forget about the incident and focus on more important things.


What are the disadvantages of run-flat tires?

Although the use of run-flat tires has several advantages, they bring some disadvantages to motorists. The major inconvenience caused by Run-flat tires is compromised ride comfort. Indeed, the structure of the tire is so rigid that the occupants of the vehicle will feel the slightest defects of the roadway.

1. Reduced driving comfort

Some argue that run-flat tires do not feel as comfortable as when using regular tires. The main reason is that run-flat tires are usually thinner and stiffer than normal tires. This makes the tire less absorbent to shocks during vehicle movement, causing a lot of noise. Currently, some tire manufacturers have added many new technologies to overcome this drawback, but run-flat tires are reported to still not be able to provide the same comfort as traditional tires.

2. High cost

Run-flat tires are also more expensive than conventional tires. When replacement is required, the price of a run-flat tire can be 30% to 40% more expensive than a regular tire. Therefore, users tend to choose normal tires, which still ensure working performance but still have an acceptable price.

In addition, run-flat tires increase fuel consumption compared to conventional tires due to their heavier weight. According to statistics, Runflat tires have about 1% more fuel consumption than conventional tire generations. For some users who only travel short distances, such as commuting around the street, this 1% figure is not too much. However, for those who often make long-distance trips, this is a small cost.

3. Difficult or impossible to recover from a puncture

Because it is designed to withstand the weight of the vehicle when the tire pressure is zero, the tire wall will be easily damaged and difficult to restore. The manufacturer recommends that users should replace tires, not reuse tires that have been punctured or torn.

4. Not effective when the car is on a long deserted road 

Run-flat tires can only operate up to 50 miles when punctured. So what if there is no garage or repair point all the way to help you? That's why sometimes we still see the importance and necessity of a spare tire right then and there.

5. Not suitable for slippery, wet, and low-temperature road conditions

Due to the poor grip of Run-flat tires, there is a potential risk of unsafety when operating in slippery and wet road conditions. Drivers must pay close attention to this issue.

If you do not want your day ruined by a puncture, then run-flat tires are an excellent solution. You will have peace of mind that you do not have to worry about how to change a wheel.

Besides, you have the luxury of not having to wait for a repair service in the cold and dark if you drive at night. You fit your car with run-flat tires is a choice. If changing a wheel is not a problem for you, it might not be worth it.

These types of car tires are more expensive than traditional tires. To be functional, vehicles must come with a tire pressure monitoring system. So, the driver can know whether to inflate his tires.


What to choose: Run-flat tires or regular tires?

If you look at a run-flat tire and a regular tire, you probably cannot tell them apart. Their only difference is in the signs used by the manufacturer for their denomination. What differentiates the two types of tires is their constructive characteristics. They allow you to run until they solve the problem.

So, for the first time in a long time, you will no longer have to worry about carrying a spare tire in the car. What run-flat tires offer you is safety if you have a puncture at the tires and the ability to maintain your mobility despite the problem.


Are you looking for safe driving? Find out what run-flat tires can do for a smooth ride, even with a puncture. Being able to get to the nearest repair shop at normal speed and without having to worry about air leaking your tires until they are repaired is the biggest benefit these tires can offer you.

Above are some advantages and disadvantages of run-flat tires. Choosing run-flat tires is still a certain trade-off, you can accept its cons to get the benefits it brings depending on your needs. It is entirely your choice.

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