Every car owner is likely to get a flat tire at some point. Hence, car manufacturers now offer cars with run-flat tires.
That said, it’s tricky to know the distance you can travel with a run-flat tire.
Are you wondering how long your run-flat tires will last?
This guide answers that question and more.
How many miles do run-flat tires last?
Most common run-flat tires may do at least a fifty miles distance when the tire is flat. It depends on the brand of your tire and how badly damaged your tire is. When not damaged, run-flat tires will last as long as other tires which is normally 30,000 -70,000 miles.
A run-flat tire can run flat for a limited time with no air pressure.
That means it is possible to drive your car with a flat tire still. Although, you wouldn’t be able to drive it at an average speed.
For example, if you use a tire brand like Bridgestone, run-flat tires will allow you to continue driving for up to 50 miles. But you will only travel at 50 mph speed. Sometimes even at a lesser speed.
The fifty miles distance can be enough to get you to the next garage or to a safe spot where you can get help. Otherwise, you may need to stop your car and try to get help.
If you have never used run-flat tires before, check your driver’s manual. It should contain all the information you will need about run-flat tires.
How many years do run-flat tires last when not used much?
Your run-flat tire can be functional for a limited time. The number of years you can continue to use a run-flat tire will vary from brand to brand.
If you don’t use your run-flat tires much, they can last you 3 to 5 years. Of course, that will depend on where you store the tires. Or how you take care of them.
We’ve got some tips that you can use to keep your run-flat longer.
- Once your run-flat gets a puncture, reduce driving speed.
- Check the tire manufacturer’s specifications. This will enable you to know what distance you will be able to drive and at what speed.
- Maintain the correct air pressure– This will help your tires last longer.
- Clean your run-flat tires before storing them. Avoid using abrasive tire cleaners. Instead, use soap and warm water to clean your tires.
- Avoid mixing run-flats with conventional tires. Why? Because run-flat and conventional tires offer different characteristics.
- Avoid repairing run-flats – once you damage your run-flat tires, consider buying a new tire.
- Maintain your run-flat tires regularly – remember, the rate of tread wear and life span is similar to conventional tires.
Like any other tires, you can’t keep run-flat tires for more than ten years on your car. Once they exceed ten years, you need to replace them.
Who makes the best run-flat tires for the money?
We have a dedicated article on run-flat tire brands.
Go here to see a good overview of all the most-respected run-flat tires companies.
You’ll see that there are many big brands to choose from and today most of the bigger and more well-known tire brands have a line of run-flat tires as well.
Do run-flat tires last longer than other types?
Generally, run-flat tires don’t last longer than conventional tires. Most run-flat tires can wear out quite quickly.
A run-flat tire has a thicker, stiffened sidewall that allows the car to carry the load should it goes flat. It will typically be stiffer when you inflate a run-flat tire than the ordinary tire.
This research has found that drivers who use run-flat tires replace their tires 6,000 miles sooner than those using standard tires.
Here is why: A soft tread compound inside every run-flat tire wears out quickly.
Blowouts are another issue that reduces the lifespan of run-flat tires. So, when you use run-flats, you should also expect blowouts.
Especially if you drive your car with old run-flat tires, or don’t heed warning signs.
A run-flat tire may begin to disintegrate slowly.
Most of the time, without warning. Expect this if you don’t take good care of it. Or if you use a repaired run-flat tire for too long. Remember, when the puncture happens to a run-flat tire, it occurs on the sidewall in most cases.
Are run-flat tires worth the price?
Run-flat tires are worth the price if you consider that they won’t leave you stranded on the side of the road. Besides, when you use run-flat tires, you don’t need to have a spare wheel.
Still, run-flat tires are more expensive than conventional tires. On average, you will pay one-third more for run-flat tires. If you consider that run-flat tires don’t last long, you may feel they are not worth that price tag.
Any catastrophic tire failure may leave you without a spare wheel. Plus, you will pay more to replace or repair your run-flat tires.
Most tire experts don’t recommend repairing run-flats:
- Pirelli’s Run-Flat Hazzard Policy says when you damage your run-flat tires or if your run-flat tires experience a loss of pressure, you should immediately replace them with new run-flats.
- Continental Tire the Americas LLC also doesn’t recommend repairing Continental SSR (Self Supporting Runflat) tires. According to Continental, even a tire specialist wouldn’t be able to fix a run-flat.
If you decide to replace the run-flats with conventional tires, it’s okay.
You can use your existing rims. As long as they fit correctly, conventional tires will work just fine.
How do run-flat tires rate?
Run-flat tire’s speed rating shows the acceptable speed that the tire can safely handle over time.
For instance, Bridgestone run-flat tires will still go, even after the tires loses some or all inflation pressure. The Bridgestone will travel for up to 50 miles at a maximum speed of up to 50 mph.
The higher you go beyond the recommended speed, the less are the chances of controlling your car.
Are run-flat tires good on the highway?
You can drive on the highway with inflated run-flats.
But your run-flat tire should have certain features. Otherwise, you won’t enjoy driving with inflated run-flats on the road.
First, make sure that the tire has multiple sipes and deep lines. These sipes will allow your run-flat tires to have a hundred percent contact with the surface in all weather conditions.
A perfect run-flat tire should also have irregular tread block patterns. The patterns will give your car optimum tire performance on the highway.
A great run-flat tire should also have potent rubber compounds.
Inflating run-flats work the same as conventional tires. Hence, it’s crucial to maintain air pressure on your run-flat tires. You have to find an air compressor hose and a power source for that hose. Then connect it directly to the valve stem of your tire.
With fully inflated run-flat tires, you can go as fast as you like on the highway.
However, once you get a puncture on your run-flats, you won’t be able to go beyond 50 mph.
Just because tire manufacturers recommend that you can go as fast as 50 mph, that doesn’t mean you should. Some cars may begin vibrating or making strange noises when you try to increase speed. You won’t always enjoy driving your car on the highway with run-flat tires.
There are certain things you need to keep in mind about using run-flat tires. First, only a car with a TPMS or tire pressure monitoring system should have run-flats. This system will alert you when you have a puncture.
This way, you will know that you have a limited time to replace your run-flat tire. Otherwise, your car should use regular tires.
Secondly, you may need to consider changing your vehicle’s suspension before installing run-flats.
Your suspension components like bolt joints, control arm, and coil spring need to be good.
Run-flat tires have a stiffer construction that will take a toll on your tires. So your suspension should be in shipshape.
Old run-flat tires are dangerous for you and other drivers, too. It would help if you always replace your old tires, regardless of tread depth. If your car needs new run-flat tires, don’t settle for old tires because they are affordable.