Run flat tires will get you about 50 more miles on a low or flat tire. And, for some cars with hi-tech engineering, they are safer than regular tires. But are they really worth the extra money? A decent set of 4 will set you back around 1k or more. One advantage is, you don’t need a spare tire nor the tools to change that tire. So, you save that room and extra weight that will end up costing you more in petrol. But, although with regular tires, even though you can’t just comb the tread over the bald spots, the money you save in petrol can’t really be that much. Plus, just the extra weight of the run flat tires likely counter-balance any potential fuel savings. So, not many people are buying them. And usually, the rare occasion that you see them is on certain model cars (such as BMW) who claim that they work well with their engineering design. So, yes, you may find them standard on your next BMW.
There are two types of run flat tires, Self Supporting and Auxiliary Supported. Both types require that your car be equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system. The Self Supporting tires are made of a stiffer, tougher rubber that can carry the weight of the car if the tire pressure is low. The Auxiliary ones are made of regular standard tire rubber and has an inner steel rim like a reinforced sidewall to help support the car’s weight.
Another disadvantage is that it is a rougher riding tire. And, they’re hard to get repaired. Some have a “tire mousse” material that instantly seals any small holes. It’s pricey and most regular tire repair shops don’t carry it. So, the tire will likely have to be replaced rather than repaired. Or, if you still have some of that mousse left over from the 80’s, that’d likely be thick enough to plug any hole.
But the safety of being able to drive an extra 50 miles with what would have been a normal blow out and finding yourself stranded on a dark, deserted road sounds like a big plus to me. I’ve used roadside assistance before and it took them 5 hours to arrive. In girl years, that’s a long time. It was dark outside and every serial killer came out of the woodwork to help me change my tire. I’m just kidding, they didn’t. Because I’m sure they’re all very busy….killing and such. That, alone, has to be a full time job.
Until next week….
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
Run Flat Tires – Comedy Defensive Driving