What Are the Dangers of Running on Flat Tires?

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    If you own a car, you're probably aware of how challenging it can be to maintain the tyres on your vehicle. The most common issue with automobiles is flat tyres, which can be brought on by a number of factors, including low tyre pressure or even something as simple as debris in the tyre treads. The good news is that there are a few simple steps you can take to prevent flat tyres and maintain your vehicle's optimal performance.

    Maintaining the correct air pressure in your tyres will prevent them from ever going flat. If you are having issues with your tyres, you need to take care of the problem as quickly as you possibly can.

    This post on the blog will provide you with some advice on what to do in the event that one of your tyres blows out and how to prevent this from happening again in the future. In addition to this, it provides a rundown of the various factors that can result in a tyre going flat, so that you are aware of the warning signs to look out for. Continue reading if you think this might be something you'd be interested in learning more about!

    A run flat tire is a type of tire that can be driven on after it has lost pressure. To know more about how far can you drive on a run flat tire, check out here.

    How Does Run-Flat Technology Work?

    If you own a car, you're probably aware of how challenging it can be to maintain the tyres on your vehicle. The most common issue with automobiles is flat tyres, which can be brought on by a number of factors, including low tyre pressure or even something as simple as debris in the tyre treads. The good news is that there are a few simple steps you can take to prevent flat tyres and maintain your vehicle's optimal performance.

    Maintaining the correct air pressure in your tyres will prevent them from ever going flat. If you are having issues with your tyres, you need to take care of the problem as quickly as you possibly can.

    This post on the blog will provide you with some advice on what to do in the event that one of your tyres blows out and how to prevent this from happening again in the future. In addition to this, it provides a rundown of the various factors that can result in a tyre going flat, so that you are aware of the warning signs to look out for. Continue reading if you think this might be something you'd be interested in learning more about!

    There are many different types of run-flat tyres from a variety of tyre manufacturers. We can, however, identify 3 basic technologies:


    The tyre is constructed with sidewalls that are more rigid (sometimes up to fifty percent thicker) so that it can support the weight of the vehicle even when the pressure inside the tyre is significantly reduced. Typically, the sidewalls are made up of multiple layers of rubber and a cord that is resistant to heat, both of which work together to keep the sidewalls from folding or creasing.

    The bead that runs around the perimeter of the tyre is designed specifically to grip the wheel rim in order to prevent the tyre from coming loose from its connection to the rim. In addition, the sidewalls of a tyre are typically constructed out of an additional layer that is held in place by a heat-resistant cord. This helps the tyre maintain its initial position despite the force of the weight or the bumps in the road.


    These tyres have an additional layer of protection within them that can self-seal in the event that a small hole is caused by something like a nail or screw. As a result, the tyre will either be completely self-repairing over time or will, at the very least, experience a significant slowdown in the rate at which it loses air through this method.

    However, due to the fact that it still permits air to escape from the tyre before the seal takes effect, this particular type is typically not as effective as the others. In addition, it is possible that it will not be able to stop the deflation completely; however, it may still be possible for the driver to get to the first service centre.


    In the event that the tyre loses pressure, this system is equipped with an additional support ring that is attached to the wheel. This ring is designed to support the weight of the vehicle. Although these systems typically provide better ride quality than standard tyres due to the fact that the stiffness of their sidewalls can be comparable to that of a standard tyre, the necessity of using both specialised wheels and specialised tyres drives up the price and prevents widespread application of these systems.

    Self-Supporting Tire

    The self-supporting tyre is currently the most common type of run-flat technology that can be found in use today. When the air pressure in the tyre is low or even when it has completely lost all of its pressure, the sidewalls of the tyre are heavily reinforced to support the weight of the vehicle.


    You can continue driving on a flat tyre: The primary advantage of a self-supporting tyre is that it enables you to continue driving on a flat for approximately 100 miles after all the air has been removed from the tyre. So that you won't have to get out of the car in the freezing cold, the pouring rain, on a busy highway, or on the street in a questionable neighbourhood if you don't want to. In most cases, drivers will need to slow down to approximately 50 miles per hour in order to get the maximum range. You can find the precise measurements for each tyre and vehicle combination in the owner's manual.

    Better stability after a blowout: The sudden deflation of this tyre results in less weight transfer and tread destabilisation than would be the case with a tyre that could not support the vehicle for miles without air. Both the steering and the handling will be almost identical to normal.

    Lower vehicle weight: If you get rid of the spare wheel and the tools for fixing flat tyres, the weight of the vehicle should theoretically go down. But it won't be as much as you might expect since run-flats weigh more than regular tires due to the added sidewall reinforcement.


    No spare: Vehicles that are fitted with run-flat tyres do not carry a spare wheel or tyre, and as a result, they do not have a jack or any other tools in the vehicle either. A primary motivation for automakers to produce run-flat tyres is the opportunity to do away with the spare tyre and put the space saved towards some other objective, such as improved styling, the addition of a third row of seats, or increased interior space.

    Reduced tread wear: According to research conducted by J.D. Power in 2013, people who purchased run-flat tyres had to replace them an average of 6,000 miles sooner than owners who used conventional tyres. Different people have different ideas about why this happens, but one theory suggests that tyre manufacturers use a softer tread compound on run-flat tyres to compensate for the harsh ride.

    The shorter tread life is an unintended consequence of the softer compound. Finding reliable information regarding the lifespan of run-flat tyres has proven to be challenging. However, responses from owners of vehicles participating in a survey conducted by J.D. Power in 2018 indicated a higher overall level of satisfaction with run-flat tyres. In addition to this, their performance in the survey was comparable to that of conventional tyres.

    Blowouts are still a possibility: if a driver fails to heed or notice the warnings and drives beyond the zero-pressure range or above the speed limitation, the tyre could start to disintegrate, which would have the same effects of destabilising the vehicle. In addition, the driver will need to call for assistance from a tow truck if the tyre sustains a puncture on the sidewall or if it collides with a substantial object. According to the findings of a study conducted by J.D. Power, "customers whose vehicles are equipped with run-flat tyres are nearly twice as likely to have to replace a tyre due to a flat or blowout as those whose vehicles are equipped with conventional tyres."

    It is difficult to tell if there is a shortage of air: Because of the construction's increased rigidity, the sidewalls will not bulge even if the air pressure inside the container is low. As a result, it is essential to have a system that monitors your tyre pressure and to check the pressure of your tyres on a regular basis. Otherwise, you won't be able to tell when your tyre is going flat.

    Harsher ride: The rigid sidewalls that are necessary for a run-flat to function properly also contribute to a more uncomfortable ride. When a vehicle is equipped from the factory with run-flat tyres, the suspension is typically adjusted by the manufacturer to compensate for the harsher ride quality.

    Cost: Run-flat tyres are more expensive to replace. It is not unusual to pay an additional $40 to $65 for a run-flat tyre, although prices will vary depending on the type of tyre and the location of the purchase. In addition, many run-flat tyres are incapable of being repaired and must be replaced in pairs whenever possible.

    Less on-shelf availability: Drivers shouldn't expect to be able to purchase run-flat tyres at just any tyre shop because they aren't a popular product and don't sell very well. If you're driving a run-flat tyre vehicle and you get a flat tyre near a small town while you're on a road trip, you'll probably have to make a detour to find a suitable replacement tyre. This may be easier to accomplish in larger cities. Or, even worse, you might have to spend the night there while you wait for the tyre to be delivered..

    Why You Really Shouldn't Drive on a Flat Tire

    Pull Over Immediately

    We have all witnessed it before, and some of you may have even participated in it yourself. The driver of a vehicle that has a flat tyre is currently moving the vehicle very carefully along the shoulder of the road. Drivers will sometimes try to "limp" their cars to a nearby service centre in an effort to avoid waiting for a tow truck or installing the spare tyre on their vehicles. This is not the appropriate way to react to having a flat tyre.

    A Flat Doesn't Always Mean a New Tire.

    All of this might appear to be exaggerated, but it is in fact the case. Let's begin with the reasons why it's not a good idea to drive on a flat tyre, starting with the tyre itself. The reason for a significant number of flat tyres is that they were punctured. The majority of the things that cause the puncture are typically quite small, such as nails and screws. Punctures in the tread area of a tyre can be repaired according to industry guidelines up to a quarter of an inch in diameter.

    Not Just the Tire Is at Risk

    If a car is driven with a flat tyre for a long enough period of time, the rubber in the tyre can deteriorate to the point where it begins to break apart, which can result in damage to a number of critical components on the vehicle. A flat tyre that begins to flail around in the tyre well can cause serious damage to a variety of components, including brake lines, rotors, callipers, suspension components, wheels, and fenders. If a flat tyre is driven on for an extended period of time, what begins as a straightforward tyre patch that costs thirty dollars can end up costing thousands of dollars.

    Regularly inspect the tyres, paying attention to:

    • Tire pressure – Tires that are either over- or under-inflated will have an uneven tread wear pattern, which will affect the vehicle's handling, cornering, and braking. When a tyre's pressure is too high, there is less surface area that makes contact with the road, making it more susceptible to damage from hazards on the road such as potholes. Tires that are driven on with an inadequate amount of air pressure waste more fuel and are more likely to overheat. This accelerates the wear and tear on the tyre and increases the risk of a blowout, which is particularly hazardous when travelling at highway speeds. At a minimum of once per month, when the tyres are cold, perform a pressure check.

    • The tread depth of brand-new tyres ranges from 8 to 9 millimetres (mm). The tread will become more shallow as the tyres are driven on. It is required to replace any tyres that have a tread depth of 1.6 millimetres or less. If the tread level of the tyre is flush with the tread wear indicators that are located in the grooves of the tyre tread, then the tyre needs to be replaced. This is an easy way to tell. Never move your vehicle while riding on a tyre in which the steel belts are visible through the tread.

    • Uneven treadwear — This is a warning sign that something is wrong with the vehicle. When a tyre has too much air in it, the centre tread will wear out faster than the outer edges, but the opposite will occur when the tyre has too little air in it. In the event that only one of the edges is worn, there are patches of wear, or one side of the vehicle shows greater wear than the other, the vehicle is said to have uneven wear. This is a sign that the wheels need to have their balance adjusted or their alignment adjusted. Wheel balancing and alignment are essential for a vehicle because, similar to tyre pressure, they affect the vehicle's ability to steer, brake, and consume fuel. Indicative of worn shock absorbers or suspension components is bald spotting. Because of the weight of the engine, the front tyres wear out more quickly. As a result, you should consider rotating your tyres every 10,000 kilometres.

    • Defects - Examine the tyre for any bulges, cuts, or cracks, and if you find any of these, you should get a new one. Also, check to see if anything has become lodged in the tread, and remove it if necessary. Nevertheless, if something has penetrated the rubber, such as a nail, and the tyre is still inflated, you should leave the item in the tyre until you can get to a gas station or a tyre repair centre, as removing the item could cause the tyre to deflate.

    • Tires that are too old, regardless of the amount of tread depth, pose a safety risk. After a period of six years from the date of manufacture, it is strongly recommended that tyres be replaced. If you look at the DOT code that is printed on the side of the tyre, you will be able to figure out how old the tyres are. The final four digits of the number indicate the week of the year in which the tyre was manufactured. For instance, if the DOT code at the end of the tyre's serial number is 0514, this indicates that the tyre was produced in the fifth week of 2014.

    Advice for the Driver With Run Flat Tyres

    Whether you are the vehicle owner or the driver of a vehicle with run-flat tyres, it would be worthwhile to consider a few safety aspects before going on the road.

    • Run-flat tyres meet the highest standards for safety and handling qualities when used properly.
    • It is best to always confirm the usage instructions with the advice offered by the tyre supplier or vehicle manufacturer.
    • Make sure you have run-flat tyres before you begin your journey. You can tell if you have run-flat tyres by looking for the identification mark on the sidewall.
    • Only vehicles with a tyre pressure monitoring system and, ideally, tyres that were installed as original equipment by the vehicle manufacturer, should have run-flat tyres installed.
    • Because non-approved wheels or tyres may make contact with the vehicle body despite being the same size, vehicle manufacturers advise fitting only approved wheel and tyre combinations.
    • Changes to the installed run-flat tyres are not advised due to a constructional difference that could affect handling and performance.
    • If the car has a spare tyre, it may be possible to put a standard tyre on it in an emergency. This can only be a stopgap measure for a short period of time. The manufacturer of the vehicle's recommendations for speed and load must also be complied with by the standard tyre.
    • The majority of the time, run-flat tired vehicles lack a spare tyre. It is advised that you speak with your neighbourhood car dealer to get written approval if you want to switch to conventional tyres. In addition, if a conventional tyre is permitted, the Dealer must specify the sizes and tread pattern that must be used.
    • Like other tyres, run-flat tyres can be repaired. A mushroom plug repair can be performed as a temporary emergency measure if the hole is in the belt or crown area, but the tyre should be replaced as soon as it is practical.
    • Like with conventional tyres, repairs cannot be made in the shoulder or sidewall areas.
    • However, manufacturers advise replacing run-flat tyres rather than repairing them because it is difficult to determine the exact nature of the tyre damage after it has deflated.
    • Use professionals to change these tyres instead of trying to mount or demount a tyre to a rim where a pressure sensor is used.

    Tires that are in good condition are one of the most important safety components of any vehicle. They play an important role in the steering and proper control of the vehicle, as well as in the quick and effective response during an emergency and the prevention of accidents. On the other hand, we face the additional risk of questionable road conditions away from the main roads, as well as criminals who prey on drivers and passengers who are in a state of distress. If it is possible to change tyres without having to pull over to the side of the road, doing so would be of great benefit to the safety of both drivers and passengers.

    We can expect that run-flat tyres will increase in popularity and be an important addition to many newer vehicles on our roads!


    FAQs About Running Flat Tires

    No. Do not drive on a flat tire.

    However, it may be necessary to travel a short distance on a flat tire when pulling over to the side of the road. But driving on a flat tire is a surefire way to put your passengers at risk and seriously damage your vehicle. If your vehicle is equipped with Bridgestone Run-Flat tires, you can typically drive 50 miles at up to 50mph on a punctured tire*.

    Not only does driving on a flat tire dangerously decrease your vehicle's handling, but it may also cause structural damage to the wheel, brakes, alignment, and potentially other components like your suspension and steering system. It may be tempting to "limp" your car to the nearest repair shop, but by driving on a flat, you'll likely end up paying to repair much more than just the tire.

    So if you're not supposed to drive on a flat, what should you do instead? The first thing to do is safely maneuver to the side of the road to address the problem properly. From there, you've got a few options. 

    First, you can either replace the flat with your spare tire or use an emergency sealant to fill any punctures. It's worth noting, however, that emergency sealants typically only seal tires with punctures that are ¼ inch or smaller. Therefore, they will not help if your tire is shredded, blown out, or has a large puncture. 


    The worse the condition of the road, the greater your risk of getting a flat tire. Uneven paving, potholes, and debris are enemies to your tires–sometimes causing an immediate problem and other times causing a slow leak.


    Not-so-fun fact: your tire is most likely to go flat during the hottest months of the year. High temperatures cause the air in your tires to expand, which in turn increases the tire's internal pressure. When the pressure rises, so does your chance for a leak or total blowout. Most Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) measure your tires when they become underinflated–not overinflated–so don't wait for your dashboard light to pop on like it tends to do on cold winter mornings.


    A hole in the rubber doesn't always cause flat tires. Instead, a malfunction or leak in the valve stem can be the culprit. The valve stem is the part of the tire that you unscrew when adding air. Any damage or dirt on this small piece could cause your tire to lose air until it's completely flat.


    Sometimes there isn't a major incident that causes a flat tire. Normal wear and tear can get the best of your tire! As you drive, the tread on your tires gradually wears down. This can make your tires more vulnerable to the typical hazards of daily driving–in other words, more likely to go flat!


    One of the most obvious times to use a tire sealant is during an emergency. For example, if you step out your front door one morning and discover a flat tire because of a slow leak, that's not as pressing as developing a flat tire on the road. However, if you are on the road and suddenly have a flat, that's when a can of sealant can be helpful. It's an especially good solution if you only have a small puncture and need to patch it long enough to get to a mechanic for a tire replacement.


    Flat tires can happen at any time, but if you experience one in an area where you can't safely change the tire, the sealant may provide a good alternative.


    Picture this: You're making a late-night trip and suddenly spring a flat tire. Unfortunately, you don't have a spare available and are stuck on the side of the road in utter darkness. You try to call a tow truck, and it's going to be literal hours before someone can get to you. So you can either camp in your car until it's light out and the tow arrives, or you can opt to use your can of sealant.


    Changing a tire can sometimes take more time than patching a hole with sealant. So in some cases, you might be better off opting for that can of Fix-a-Flat, rather than trying to rush through swapping a flat for a spare. If you don't have the time to throw on a spare, reach for that can of sealant to be on 

    Run-flat tires cannot be driven faster than 50 miles per hour and typically offer up to 50 miles of extended mobility. Based on vehicle and the run-flat tire design, selected applications can range from just 25 miles up to 200 miles. Consult your vehicle owner's manual to determine what you should expect.

    Although not all manufacturer Run Flat tyres can be repaired, Goodyear Run On Flat Tyres can be repaired by a qualified tyre professional following a thorough inspection and analysis of the tyred history. In case of any doubt, it is recommended that the tyre should not be fixed.

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