Getting a flat while driving is both unpleasant and a security risk. Then comes the hassle of changing the tire. Some of us have the good fortune to have roadside assistance but even if we do, they often take time to arrive. Driving on run-flat tires is a good option to avoid most of these problems.
Two Types of Run-Flat Systems
On today’s market there are two types of run-flat tires: self-supporting and auxiliary supported run-flat systems. The self-supporting type has a stiffer internal construction. Typically there are layers of rubber inserts in combination with a heat resistant cord, which reinforces the construction of the tire. This makes it possible for the tire to carry enough weight so you can keep going for about another 100 miles.
However, it is important to remember the top speed is 50 mph, so even though you can keep going, you have to be cautious. The auxiliary supported run-flat system features a support ring attached to the wheel that will provide support when the tire loses pressure. So instead of putting additional pressure on the tire when flat, this system lets the wheel provide run-flat capability.
Run-Flat Tire Equals Convenience
There are many advantages to run-flats, also called puncture-flat tires. The most obvious one is that you don’t have to go through that scary moment when your tire blows, perhaps making you lose control of your vehicle. That can have devastating effects. Furthermore, with puncture-flats, there is no need to come to an immediate stop. You don’t have to stop along a busy freeway or a deserted back country road in the middle of the night.
You can keep going until you reach a repair shop or your home.
A lot of people today don’t know how to change a tire. Improved tire quality and lifespan have made this task more rare. Back in the day, people were more used to doing minor repairs on their car, which made them more familiar with that kind of work. Changing a tire can be physically challenging and literally put you in a vulnerable position along the road.
There are also people who just want to avoid the hassle. If that sounds like you, the run-flat tire is a wonderful option.