Run Flat Technology
Recently run flat tyres are becoming ever more popular with motorists throughout the UK. Most car manufacturers now offer these as an optional extra or in some instances as a standard procedure. Run flat tyres are also known as extended mobility tyres and are specifically made with optimum safety in mind. If the vehicle in which you are driving suddenly loses air pressure through a puncture or a blow out the main aim of the run flat tyre is to maintain stability and control allowing you to stop safely.
On the actual tyre itself there is a reinforced sidewall which keeps the tyre beads securely attached on to the rim of the wheel. Run flat tyres can also support the vehicle without having any air pressure within the tyres. Having the sidewall on a run flat tyre which is reinforced you can still drive your car safely without any air in the tyre. This allows you to stop safely or it will allow you to drive to a garage in order to have a replacement tyre fitted thus removing the need for a spare wheel.
It is important to remember that in order to have run flats fitted to your vehicle you must have a TPMS system or as it is otherwise known a tyre pressure monitoring system on your vehicle. This system is put in place to give the driver an alert warning that on any of the run flat tyres a loss of pressure has occurred. Run flat tyres are manufactured to allow the tyres to run at zero pressure and can go at a set speed for a number of miles.
Repairing Run Flat Tyres
Run flat tyres are built with reinforced inner walls, and are designed to continue running, even after a puncture. Run flat tyres have traditionally been impossible to repair, leaving customers with an expensive repair bill, as new tyres can cost as much as £200.
Those customers looking for a run flat tyre repair have been told in the past that it isn't possible, as it was too difficult for tyre fitters to tell if the side tyre wall had been damaged. With standard tyres, a tyre fitter was able to spot the damage in the side walls through creases which showed up. With the reinforced run flat tyres this become more difficult, and traditionally the advice was to completely replace the tyre.
Sidewall damage caused by driving a tyre for more than 50 miles, or over the recommended speed with a puncture is difficult to spot, but drivers who have developed s low puncture and have not driven the car with a puncture would argue that they should have their tyres repaired as there is no way there could be any side wall damage.
For their own safety, tyre fitters could not take their word for it, from fear that they may be dealing with someone looking to save money by not having to buy a new tyre.
In the last year both Michelin and Bridgestone have announced that it is possible to carry out a run flat tyre repair, assuming the tyre is no damaged.
The tyres will be checked for heat build up caused by driving a run flat punctured tyre for more than 100 miles, or over 50mph. BMW also claim that a tyre which has been run too long with a puncture will start to show a build up of balls of rubber inside.