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Run flat tyres

As a motorist, it is wise to stay up-to-date with information concerning car manufacturing, so you can make well-informed decisions when purchasing parts, and the team at Bridge Motor Company in Withington can assist you with this.

What are run flat tyres?

Run flat tyres are a revolutionary progression in tyre design which greatly improves the safety of passengers. These tyres can resist the effects of a puncture and remain functional long enough for the car to reach a safe stopping point. In the event of a puncture, you must reduce speed and find a spot to replace the tyre. Run flat tyres have to be used with an on-board Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, which has alerts when the tyre gets a puncture, otherwise, because the car continues to function as normal, you would have no idea. When used correctly, this type of tyre helps drivers to avoid countless dangerous situations caused by tyres which deflate immediately.

How do run flat tyres work?

Normal tyres are only supported by air, and in the event of a puncture, the air escapes and the tyre collapses. The aim of a run flat tyre is to maintain its shape even though the air is seeping out. They achieve this by supporting the tyre in other ways, such as with rubber inserts to reinforce the sidewalls or even metal support rings. Run flat tyres are tougher than ordinary ones, but they must not be driven on for more than the recommended 50 miles, otherwise the wheel can become damaged.

Cars with run flat tyres require a different sort of suspension, otherwise the thicker sidewall picks up more vibrations from the bumps in the road, making for a harsher journey. Run flat tyres need a special type of wheel rim called an EH2 as well, which acts as a bead lock to improve bead retention when the tyre isn’t inflated. It is not recommended to try and repair these tyres, once they have been punctured and driven on it is time for a new tyre. Even though it may be tempting, because run flat tyres are not cheap, it is not advised to mix normal tyres with run flats on your car as they have different handling, meaning your car could move unpredictably.

Different types of run flat tyres:

1. Self-Supporting technology: this type is the most common, and has reinforced sidewalls, which are up to 50% thicker than normal tyres. The layers of rubber and heat resistant material stop the walls from folding in when the tyre deflates. When the tyre is punctured the sudden loss of pressure is unnoticed by the driver because the rubber absorbs it.

2. Internal support ring: the second version has a metal ring inside the tyre which maintains the shape and supports the car when the tyre is deflated. The ring is a carrier which stops the tyre from sliding off the rim when pressure is lost.

3. Self-sealing: there is an extra lining in this one which seals itself if the tyre receives a small puncture, this stops the air escaping and slows down the tyre’s deflation. They are heavier and less reliable than the other types though and therefore, not as popular.

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