What is a run-flat tire?

Run-flat tires are a valuable innovation in the world of automotive safety.
Posted January 17, 2024

Run-flat tires are a unique innovation in the world of automotive technology, offering drivers a valuable advantage when it comes to dealing with punctured or deflated tires. In this article, we’ll explore the concept of run-flat tires, how they work, and why they are becoming increasingly popular in the automotive industry.

What Are Run-Flat Tires?

A run-flat tire, as the name suggests, is a tire designed to keep you moving even when it loses air pressure due to a puncture or other issues. These tires feature a reinforced and stiffer sidewall construction, allowing them to support the weight of the vehicle even when they have little to no air pressure remaining.

Key Characteristics of Run-Flat Tires:

  1. Stiffer Sidewalls: The most significant feature of run-flat tires is their stiffer sidewalls. These reinforced sidewalls provide the necessary structural support to the tire when air pressure is lost, preventing the tire from collapsing.
  2. Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS): To use run-flat tires effectively, a vehicle must be equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). The TPMS continuously monitors the tire’s air pressure and alerts the driver if a significant loss of pressure occurs. This early warning system ensures the driver is aware of the situation and can take appropriate action.
  3. Factory-Equipped Run-Flat Tires: Some vehicles come from the factory equipped with run-flat tires. These vehicles typically do not have a spare tire, as run-flat tires are designed to provide a temporary solution in the event of a flat tire.

Identifying Run-Flat Tires

Run-flat tires are marked differently on their sidewalls by various tire manufacturers. Look for designations such as SSR, EMT, ZP, DSST, EMT RFT, SSRF, TRF, or ZPS to identify run-flat tires. These markings indicate that the tire is designed to run safely without air pressure for a limited distance.

Benefits of Run-Flat Tires:

  1. Convenience: Run-flat tires allow drivers to continue driving to a safe location or repair shop after a puncture, reducing the need for immediate roadside tire changes.
  2. Increased Safety: Run-flat tires help maintain vehicle control and stability in the event of a tire puncture, reducing the risk of accidents or dangerous situations caused by sudden tire failure.
  3. No Need for Spare Tire: Vehicles equipped with run-flat tires often do not have a spare tire, saving space and reducing vehicle weight.

Run-flat tires are a valuable innovation in the world of automotive safety and convenience. With their ability to continue functioning even after a loss of air pressure, they provide drivers with peace of mind and improved safety on the road. If your vehicle is equipped with run-flat tires, it’s important to ensure that any replacements are also run-flat tires, and you can identify them by the manufacturer’s designated markings on the sidewall.

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If you have questions about anything you've read in this resource page, contact your nearest dealer for more information. We are passionate in assisting our customers make the best choices to keep their vehicles in tip-top shape and keep their families safe.
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