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Run flat tyres are particular types of tyres that can be driven comfortably even after the tyre has deflated or punctured. It is developed for passenger safety and comfort although it is also true that a driver cannot drive endlessly with such a condition. This has been made in such a way that the tyre can be serviced or changed as per convenience and people do not get stuck in an awkward place or position. Most of this product makers offer enough room for covering a sufficient distance at a decent reduced speed before a puncture can be serviced.
A Run flat tyre has a reinforced sidewall construction that supports the vehicle even in case of an air loss. This has a ring of hard rubber or any other structure embedded in it for supporting a vehicle's weight in case of an air loss. Due to this, Now, Run flat tyres are universally accepted and more car-makers like to use them in their cars as an original company fitment. But it is important to ensure that a vehicle has a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) so that alert can be received as soon as a tyre goes faulty and the necessary preventive steps can be planned.
This depends upon specific manufacturers. While Bridgestone run flat tyres allow 50 miles (80 km) of travel at a speed of 50 mph (80 km/hr) and it is perhaps the largest band available, other manufacturers may not offer so much. However, the load within the vehicle (passenger and luggage) also determines the distance at which the tyre can withstand comfortably in a flat condition. With lesser load condition, the distance traveled in a flat condition can be more. In fact, in a flat with low load and a driver, these tyres can also support a distance of 150 km easily!
To many people's dismay, it can be stated here that run flat tyres are as good in snow as any winter tyre. They do not hurt ice traction and provides a better grip and steering comfort for a driver. Some run flat tyres use aggressive tread pattern that is very helpful in winter conditions.
A run tyre is repairable if the damage is in its crown area. Although it is true that normally in a run flat tyre, a puncture takes place in the crown area itself. But then, if it happens out of the area, the repair may not be possible! A belt edge or a sidewall damage may not be repaired.
A healthy tyre pressure may vary from vehicle to vehicle - but for cars, it generally stays in the pressure window of 30-35 psi. However, for determining the ideal tyre pressure of a vehicle with a run flat tyre, it is best to consult the owner's manual of the vehicle or look for information on the vehicle's website.
No doubt, the advantages of run flat tyres outweigh its disadvantages. However, we look at them one by one.
Driving ease - If there is a flat tyre, a driver can keep on moving without having to attend to the issue immediately. Depending upon one's safety and the weather condition outside, a driver can take a call of repairing or replacing it at the nearest place.
Better stability - A run flat tyre offers almost the same type of stability as in a normal condition even with no air in it. It is perhaps the most attractive point since deflation may result in tread destabilization yet steering and handling remains the same.
Lower weight - Most vehicles with run flat tyres do not provide a spare tyre and the changing tools. In such a case, the weight of a vehicle stays less and that can help in improving upon the mileage and fuel efficiency.
Now, we look into some of its disadvantages.
Continuous monitoring - A vehicle with a run flat tyre has to be accompanied with a TPMS. Therefore, an added equipment is needed for it.
Cost - The cost of a run flat tyre is significantly higher than a normal tyre.
Some of the best run flat tyres are available in India, depending upon a vehicle and its suitability, a matching run flat tyre should be purchased. There are Dunlop 4G and Bridgestone 3G tyres that are creating a lot of ripples for car owners who want to get them. Then there is Pirelli Eufori that is also a good run flat option for cars. Lately, the MRF Perfinza is also making a lot of waves due to all the good reasons associated with it.
The cost of a run flat tyre in India can depend on many conditions, like the tyres make and design and the model of the vehicle for which it is needed. While MRF run flat tyres are available from a price range of Rs. 950 to Rs. 28,000, CEAT price ranges from Rs. 874 to Rs. 9,644. Bridgestone run flat tyres are bit costlier and may start from Rs. 2,050 onwards whereas the same from Goodyear brand are available from Rs. 1,900 onwards. Therefore, depending on the brand and the vehicle i.e, two-wheeler, car or heavy vehicle, the price varies.
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