The other day while in the car with my parents, I noticed a Jeep drive by with its spare tire mounted on the back. Being the curious type, I asked my parents where the spare tire for our car was located and learned that we had run-flat tires. To be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure what run-flat tires were, so I did a little research.
There are 3 main types of run-flat tires: self supporting, self sealing, and auxiliary supported. Self-supporting run-flat tires are designed with a reinforced sidewall that will support the tire in the event of damage. This means that you will be able to continue operating your vehicle despite the loss of tire air pressure. It is, however, important to note that you will need to take your car in to have your tire serviced as soon as possible—these run-flat tires won’t keep you going forever!
Similar to self-supporting run-flat tires, self-sealing run-flat tires are made with an inner liner that will support the tire even if the outer layer has been damaged. In the case of auxiliary-supported run-flat tires, there is a support ring that will allow the vehicle to continue operation for a short distance without the help of the inflated tire.
Certainly, run-flat tires do help a car owner avoid many of the issues surrounding a flat tire. However, they also have their limitations. In general, run-flat tires can only be used for about 50 miles after the initial tire damage. Run-flat tires also are not able to withstand high speeds—keep to 50 mph or less. The bottom line with any kind of run-flat tire is that it is necessary to take the vehicle in as soon as possible to have the tires fixed or replaced.