WHAT ARE RUNFLAT TYRES, AND HOW DO THEY WORK?
What are they?
Have you ever heard of runflat tyres? Do you know if your car is fitted with them? When it comes to tyres there is so much information on different brands, speed ratings, EU ratings and lots of technical jargon that can become very confusing.
Runflats are tyres specifically reinforced sidewalls that mean, even when you have a puncture, you can continue to drive the car at a limited speed for a limited period of time (maximum 50 mph and maximum 50 miles).
How do they work?
Runflat tyres are built with reinforced sidewalls; a normal tyre is support by the air in your tyre, and once you have a puncture, they collapse. However, runflat tyres have a tough rubber insert that temporarily holds up the weight of the vehicle even after a puncture, allowing you to get to a garage to have it repaired, or replaced.
What are the advantages of runflat tyres?
The strengthened sidewall helps to keep your car under control in the event of a puncture and saves you the hassle of having to change the wheel at the side of the road! No spare also means you have more boot space and less overall weight, which means improved fuel efficiency and mileage.
Can I change from runflat tyres to non-runflats?
While this may seem tempting due to the extra cost of runflat tyres it is not a good idea. Runflats often come as ‘original equipment’ (the tyres the car is fitted with when it leaves the factory). This means the car’s designers will have repurposed the space that the spare would have been put, meaning you have no spare tyre or space to put one. If you replace your tyres with non-runflats and then have a puncture you will have no space and you’d be stranded!
Can runflat tyres be repaired?
Here at Jet Wheel Tyre we will repair a runflat tyre if the puncture is safe and legal to do so. As standard, all our fitters will inspect the damaged tyre internally to check if it is safe to repair. During this process, the damage and condition of the tyre is taken into account in line with the British Standard BS AU 159.
Mixing different tyre brands
It is the case that different brand tyres can have different handling characteristics, so you should follow the advice of the tyre manufacturer if you plan to mix different brands of tyres. We would always recommend, is possible, you fit the same brand tyre and type across the axles of the vehicle i.e. so both rear tyres would be matching.