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  • Writer's pictureM & M Tyres

Run Flat Tyres Dundalk

Have you ever heard of run flat tyres? Do you know what they are? Is your car is fitted with them? As is often the case with tyres, there’s a lot of terminology and confusion flying around that everyone else seems to understand, but that you may not. Run flat tyres are a classic example of this. You may hear people talking about them, or read about them in the glossy brochures – or online – but no one actually explains to you clearly what they are.

If that’s the case, don’t worry. In our latest tyre safety article for Irish motorists, the Advance Pitstop team clear things up for you. We’ll also provide you with the crucial information you need to know when it comes to changing your run flat tyres.

Are they fitted to my car?

First of all, let’s start by opening the boot of your car. When you lift the floor cover up, what do you see? If you see a spare wheel nestling in the cavity with a jack and spanner, your car is not fitted with run flat tyres. But if you don’t see a spare tyre there at all, or empty cavity, you know that your car is fitted with run flat tyres – or should be.

What are run flat tyres?

Run flats tyres – “run flats” – have reinforced sidewalls that mean – even if you have a puncture – you can continue driving on them at a limited speed and for a limited period. This is typically up to a maximum speed of 50 mph, for a distance of 50 miles at the most – in other words, usually within easy reach of one of our many branches nationwide.

What are the benefits of run flats?

There are three main advantages to having run flat tyres, the first two of which are to do with safety:

The strengthened sidewall helps keep your car under control in the event of a puncture.You don’t have to change the wheel at the side of the road – one of the most dangerous situations you can put yourself in.No spare wheel means you have more space in your boot, carry less overall weight (spare wheels are heavy) and as a result experience improved fuel efficiency and mileage.

What can be confusing is that run flats look more or less the same as normal tyres, and increasingly cars are fitted with them as OE – “Original Equipment”. Car manufacturers like Mini, BMW, Mercedes, and many more, regularly fit new vehicles that leave their European factories with Continental tyres as OE, including run flat tyres. As a result, you may well be driving a car with run flats without even realising.

How do run flat tyres work?

Run flat tyres feature a reinforced sidewall construction which continues to support the car even if you have a puncture, and it’s this super-tough construction that allows you to continue your journey. It’s a technology that premium tyre makers like Continental have developed to improve both safety, and the driver experience.

Continental’s SSR (Self-Supporting Runflat) technology can be found in may of their products, including their highly regarded, ContiPremiumContact™ 5 and ContiEcoContact™ 5 tyres.

What’s key here, however, is that run flat tyres must be used in conjunction with a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). This is important because – without the automatic alert that the TPMS provides – how would you even know you’ve got a puncture?

If you do get the alert that one of your tyres is punctured, the other thing to bear in mind is that it’s really important that you don’t ignore the 50 mile maximum range limit. It’s essential that you get the tyre changed sooner rather than later. If you don’t, you risk damaging the wheel itself – and that will end up being much more expensive than simply replacing the tyre!

Mixing run flat tyres with non-run flat ones

While it may seem tempting – because run flat tyres are more expensive than regular tyres – it’s catagorically not a good idea. Don’t do it.

Why? Because run flat tyres typically come as “Original Equipment” – what the car is fitted with when its sold new from the factory. This often means that the car’s designers have taken the opportunity to repurpose the space that would have once been used for the spare tyre, and as such there is no spare tyre cavity and no spare tyre.

And if – after one of your run flats is punctured – you replace it with a non-run flat and then have the bad luck to have another puncture, you’d be stranded. This is why – if you bought your car second hand and you’ve discovered there’s no spare wheel in the boot – you must check that your tyres are actually run flats.

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