Also known as zero-pressure tires, run-flat tires are developed to support the weight of the automobile for a brief range (50-150 miles, usually at approximately 50-55 miles per hour) after losing air, offering the driver an opportunity to leave the highway and get to a service center without needing to pull over and repair the flat, put on a spare tire or call for help.
Run-flat tires usually have a cost of $150 to $500 per tire for a passenger automobile or about 35%-200% more than normal tires. For instance, for a 2010 BMW 328i sedan, Goodyear has normal tires for $111 to $192 or run-flat tires for $247 or $327. For a 2010 Mini-Cooper S Hardtop with 17″ wheels, Goodyear/Dunlop has normal tires for $146 to $174 or the models with run-flat innovation for $397 to $440 each.
Tires usually should be replaced in sets of 2, and most of the professionals suggest doing all 4 at the same time, bringing overall expenses to $300 – $1,000 for 2 run-flat tires or $600-$2,000 for 4.
What should be included in the sale?
The most typical kinds of run-flat tires have extra-strong sidewalls to aid support the automobile if the air gets away from the tire. In addition to enabling the vehicle to be driven to a service center without damage, these run-flat tires supply much better handling after a blowout. Nevertheless, stiff sidewalls offer a more difficult ride and run-flat tires normally weigh more than normal tires; the tread may not wear as long; and blowouts are still possible if the car is driven further than the optimum range (50-150 miles, depending upon the tire) or maximum speed (usually 50-55 miles per hour) after a tire loses air. Some customers also have a problem with the fact that vehicles that are factory-equipped with run-flat tires do not have a spare tire and jack. Edmunds.com offers an introduction of run-flat tires, consisting of the benefits and drawbacks of this system.
A known alternative, the Michelin PAX run-flat tire, has less-rigid sidewalls and depends on a semi-rigid “support ring” inside the tire. A special type of equipment is required to install and dismount PAX tires, making them pretty hard and costly to fix (and it can be tough to get to a store that deals with these systems). Michelin stopped the creation of these tires in 2008. Vehicles that came geared with PAX tires are the 2005-2009 Honday Odyssey Touring designs, 2006-2008 Nissan Mission, 2006-2008 Acura RL, and 2005-2009 Toyota Sienna.
Although run-flat tires are less than 1% of the tire market, a lot of BMWs and Mini-Cooper S designs come factory-equipped with run-flat tires (and have no spare tire or jack).
Extra expenses to consider
It can be tough to know when a run-flat tire has actually lost air, so they will be required to have a tire pressure tracking system (now likewise obligatory basic devices for brand-new vehicles). If the automobile has TPMS (there will be a control panel light), each time a tire is removed for service or replacement, the valve service set (valve core, cap, nut, o-ring) should be changed, at a normal expense of about $5-$10 per wheel. If the pressure sensor will need changing, that can cost $50-$250.
Looking for a run-flat tire
While not as common as basic tires, run-flat tires are readily available at vehicle dealers; tire shops like Firestone or Goodyear; and in-vehicle departments at merchants like Sears.
Run-flat tire makers include Pirelli, Kumho, Goodyear, Firestone, Dunlop, Bridgestone, Michelin, and Yokohama.