Have you been offered run flat tyres for your car and want to know the pros and cons? Maybe you’ve just heard of them and you’re interested to know more about how run flat tyres work, what maintenance they require, and if they’re actually worth the extra money you’ll pay for them. If so,check out our complete guide below.

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What are run flat tyres?

Run flat tyres are designed to remain safe and functional for a limited time with no air pressure. That means, in the event of a puncture, you can continue driving for around fifty miles without having to change the tyre — which could be enough to get you home, or to a garage.

How do run flat tyres work?

Unlike conventional tyres, which require air to stay hard, run flat tyres have a reinforced sidewall, meaning they stay rigid without any air pressure.

The reinforced outer shell of run flat tyres keeps the rubber in place without air, supporting the car as you continue your journey. However, the sidewall isn’t designed to be permanent, and is only recommended for around 50 miles of additional driving after the tyre has deflated.

How does the driver know when their run flats have a puncture? 

All cars that are compatible with run flat tyres have a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS), which is designed to alert the driver in the event of loss of air pressure. Without a TPMS system, it would be almost impossible to detect a puncture, given that run flat tyres will continue to work even when they’re deflated.

Most TPMS systems display an alert on the centre console, reminding the driver that they should stop driving after 50 miles and seek a tyre repair or replacement.

run flat tyre

Do run flat tyres last as long as normal tyres?

Generally, run flat tyres use the same rubber compounds as conventional tyres, so you can expect similar longevity. Despite their reinforced components, run flats will wear at the same rate as standard tyres, and require the same level of care and maintenance.

To keep your run flat tyres in good condition, check their pressure, depth and condition every fortnight. This will ensure you get maximum life out of your tyres before having to replace them.

Are run flat tyres repairable?

Run flat tyres aren’t repairable. That’s because, once they’ve been driven on, they lose their structural integrity, making them unsuitable for puncture repair. If they are patched up, it’s highly likely they’ll puncture again down the line due to uneven wear and loss of rigidity.

And that’s their biggest drawback compared to conventional tyres, which can often be repaired reasonably cheaply after a puncture (provided the hole isn’t in the sidewall). Given the expense of buying run flat tyres in the first place, each puncture could end up costing a small fortune.

Are run flat tyres expensive? 

In a word, yes. Because run flats aren’t widely available, they tend to be a lot more expensive than ordinary tyres and can only be fitted to certain cars — putting them beyond the price point of the average motorist. Couple that with the fact they can’t be repaired, and they won’t make a whole lot of sense for most drivers.

If you don’t fancy paying through the nose for a car with run flat tyres, Holts Tyreweld Emergency Puncture Tyre Repair offers the next best thing. In the event of a puncture, this innovative DIY product quickly seals and re-inflates your tyre — allowing you to get to a garage without having to mess around with a spare wheel. 

To find out more about our DIY car care range, visit our homepage.