Run flat tires are a specifically designed tire that enables a motorist to continue to drive their vehicle after the tire has lost air, been punctured, or somehow has suffered damage that has caused the tire to lose air. These tires are pneumatic tires that will continue to run, typically between 100 and 200 miles after becoming damaged without deflating. Those who purchase run flat tires will need to familiarize themselves with manufacturer’s instructions, as most will need to reduce their speed in order to keep driving without the tire deflating.
There are three basic types of run flat tires. These include auxiliary supported, self-supporting and self-sealing. Major tire manufacturers design and sell these tires, such as Michelin and Bridgestone. Though these tires are designed to perform during times of emergency, they are not a substitution for maintaining your vehicle and performing regular or routine checkups on your car. One of the most important steps that you can take to ensure the longevity of your tires is to inflate them to full capacity and check the tire pressure each month with a tire pressure gauge. In addition to inflating your tires, you must ensure that they are rotated on a regular basis. Check with your vehicle manufacturer, but the majority of tires should be rotated at least every 5,000 miles. One of the most important steps motorists can take, but often neglect, is to visually inspect their tires for signs of damage or tread wear.
Run flat tires can mean the difference between getting to your destination safely with a damaged tire, or ending up on the side of the road, stranded while waiting for help. Because of their advantages, they are a preferred choice by many motorists. Many prefer to ensure that their spare tire is a run flat tire as well. One of the most important factors to consider is that a temperature drop of 10’ F and more can cause tires to lose an additional one pound per square inch. This is above the normal one pound per square inch of tire inflation pressure lost due to average use per month. Due to this factor, those who live in cold weather climates may find that their tires suddenly lose tire inflation pressure. Unfortunately, it is difficult to see the loss with the visible eye, making it imperative that you use a tire pressure gauge to determine the accurate pressure.
When choosing run flat tires make certain that you fill them with the recommended tire inflation pressure as specified by the manufacturer’s instructions. This information is included with the vehicle when you purchase it and is often included on the car’s door or on a sticker somewhere inside the vehicle. The sticker will reveal information such as seating capacity, how much weight the vehicle can hold, including combined occupant weight combined with cargo, and the recommended tire size and tire pressure for front and rear tires as well as spare tires.
Keep in mind that when a tire is underinflated it creates a problem of overload. When a tire is inflated to the recommended capacity, it can then support the weight specified by the vehicle manufacturer. This includes the weight of occupants and cargo. When tires are underinflated, the amount of weight they can support significantly decreases. These results in a problem referred to as overloading and causes significant damage to tires. Additionally, tires that have been overloaded, due to under inflation, creates a process where heat increases within the tire, causing more damage.
The best way to check for tire pressure is to let tires cool down and use a tire pressure gauge. To do this, remover the tire valve cap then place the gauge over the tire valve. You will then hold and press the tire gauge into a straight position, adding firm pressure until the scale extends. After you have determined the inflation pressure, put the valve cap back on the tire. By ensuring that your tires are in optimal condition, and by selecting run flat tires, you can drive with the confidence of knowing should something happen you can make your destination and avoid a potentially dangerous situation.