When you suffer a tyre puncture on your vehicle, it's never in a convenient place. It always seems to be in the middle of a busy highway, or elsewhere in the hours after dark. To say this is disruptive is an understatement, as you have to fiddle with the equipment and may find it very difficult to get the wheel nuts loose. Certainly, you can call for roadside help, but it's likely to take a while and at times like these, you begin to think about fitting runflat tyres. What does this involve and how should you proceed?
Getting You to Safety
A runflat tyre is an ingenious design that is meant to provide you with short-term relief, when you get a puncture. They're not designed to be permanent replacements, but only to give you the ability to drive to a more convenient or comfortable location, for assistance or to get new tyres. In other words, you won't have to stop beside the highway or on a dark roadside and can get to the nearest garage, so they can look after things. If you have runflat tyres fitted to your vehicle, you are less likely to suffer the bad consequences of a high-speed blowout.
How Do They Work?
These tyres are much tougher than conventional covers as they have reinforced sidewalls, with rubber inserts. The insert will take the weight of the vehicle if all the air is let loose. Without them, this weight pushes the tyres down, so that the wheel rim meets with the road surface.
Swift Action Required
While these tyres are definitely stronger, they can only cope with a certain amount of hardship, before they will need to be replaced. In other words, you cannot drive forever on a runflat tyre after it's been punctured. In fact, designers insist that you only drive at relatively slow speeds for a short distance, until you can get to a place of safety.
Once you reach a tyre fitter's shop, they will always replace the runflat tyre, rather than trying to repair it. The cover will lose its integrity when you drive on it after a puncture and it cannot be used for the same purpose again.
Suitable for Older Vehicles As Well
Many newer vehicles are designed to accept runflat tyres, but you can still consider the option even if your particular car was not so designed. You have to ensure that the tyre pressure monitoring switch is installed if you do go down this road, however, so you will be alerted to the presence of a puncture, as and when it happens. Otherwise, due to the efficiency of the cover you may not notice that you had a puncture and might exceed specified limits.
Is This for You?
When you take your car in to the service centre, ask your mechanic whether your car's suspension will be able to cope with the fitment of runflat tyres. Sometimes, slight alterations need to be made due to the stiffer inserts and sidewall construction.