Tire Alignment
September 27, 2018
Diesel or Gasoline Car?
October 10, 2018

The Guide: Run Flat Tires

Written by Ria Espina

 

It has to be one of the worst (or maybe annoying) thing to happen to you on the road. There you are, cruising on the highway, belting out Aegis’ classic hits, getting on your groove. You’re enjoying the freedom. Just you and the groove and your car. When you notice something. A slight, slight tilt. Squints. Yup, you have a flat tire. Sighs.

It is situations like these that has car companies put run flats on new cars. MINI and BMW has made run flat tires the standard on most of their models except for some BMW M Models. But what exactly are run-flat tires and how do they help you?

What are run flat tires?

Knowing how to change a flat tire is an essential when you’re a car owner; however, that doesn’t remove the hassle of dealing with them. Run flat tires basically remove that from your equation. Run-flat (or zero-pressure) tires are designed to still keep on going for a short time when punctured, letting the driver go to the nearest repair shop. For example, Wanli’s Sport Macro SA302 can still run over 80km at a speed of 80km/h, even with a zero-tire air pressure.

Although run flats have been around since 1994, embracing them as the standard instead of conventional tires is slow going due to price and lower ride qualities. Even with the tougher rubber, run-flat tires do run out out more quickly than their counterparts and they can reduce fuel economy by 1-2%. Not to mention that even with having no need for a spare tire, blowouts are still possible.

Lastly, it’s not easy to get these babies repaired. Flat tires tend to spend some time off the rim and actually needs to be checked that they can be fixed. If not, then it’s time for new tires. And swapping the run flats that came with your car with conventional tires is inadvisable.  Those tires were made in mind with the design that came in making those cars and quality, safety, would be affected.

So why buy them?

  1. Convenience. The big draw in with flat tires is that it still allows you to drive for some distance till all the air has gone. In this country, you don’t need to go out in the sweltering heat or in the torrid rain. Or unto a busy highway or on a dark street at Ermita.
  2. Safety. Let’s be real. It’s better to be safe, especially in face of numerous scams, rackets and hustles at the streets.
  3. Peace of mind. This tire can also handle blowouts quite well; sudden deflations result in less weight transfer and tread destabilization.  Your steering and handling will remain near standard.
  4. Less weight. Not to mention that with the spare wheel and repair tools gone, car weight should theoretically be lower. But it’s not as much as you might expect since run-flats weigh more than regular tires due to the added sidewall reinforcement.

 

Conclusion

So. If you’re financially secure, energy efficient, and concerned about their safety at the streets, run-flats just might be for you. Of course, this all depends on your car, the roads you’ll take, the general weather of the environment, and so much more. Wanli’s run-flats still offer the best bang-for-buck deal in regards to quality and price.

Sources:

https://www.moderntiredealer.com/article/714949/bmw-s-run-flat-tire-philosophy-we-don-t-want-to-mess-with-something-that-s-working

https://tires.tirerack.com/tires/Mini%20Cooper%20Run%20Flat

Photo by Lauren Kay on Unsplash