HOW RUN FLAT TIRES WORK
Zero Pressure / Run Flat Tires and regular Doughnuts
New cars models get better gas mileage, are lighter and more efficient, all these benefits has a lot to do with vehicles aerodynamics and overall car weight.
Most older cars used to come with full size spare tire in the trunk. As a necessity to increase fuel efficiency car manufactures started to use fighter materials in vehicle manufacturing and cut down car weight everywhere it it possible. That's why today in today's market there are only a few luxury brand vehicles that carry a full size spare tire in the trunk.
Tire inflation kit instead of spare tire
There are some newer models that does not have emergency spare tire included. Models like BMW 3 series, Saturn Sky, Chevrolet Camaro, Volvo coupe and more.
Vehicles that does not have a spare tire usually has a specialty tires that are called Zero pressure tires or Run Flat Tires. Run Flat Tires are tires designed to sustain their original shape for a set distance so the driver can safely get to a nearest service station for tire replacement.
Usually on the sidewall of the tire there are markings that tells you if you have run flat tire. Look for letters like "P zero" or "Zero P" . Run Flat Tires has stronger, thicker rubber sidewalls that support cars weight when all air from the inside of the tire is gone. Usually after a tire lost all air you can still drive close to 100 miles at lower speed (50mph or slower) before tire starts to fall apart. Tire manufacturer Michelin has improved Zero Pressure tire design, read more about on Edmunds.com.
Hard Ride with Run Flat Tires
Run Flat Tires has overall has more robust and steel enforced build when compared to regular radial tire. Due to stiffer and more rigid tire sidewalls, many drivers report harder and less pleasant ride of their vehicles. Stronger sidewalls take away the cushioning and shock absorption, that rubber tires provides in addition to vehicle suspension. When driving over bumps, and unevenly paved road surface, your car may feel like instead of tires you have horse carriage wooden wheels.
Properly inflated tires could save you from hours of headache
The idea of how zero pressure tires supposed to work is great, but most of the flats happen on fast mowing roadways and not while parked. I have had cases when a couple where driving on the freeway in Carlsbad, had a blow out on the freeway and the tire got destroyed, they called San Diego Roadside Service to get their flat tire changed. After our tech got there, they found out, that their car (latest model BMW) does not come with spare tire. It was Friday night and customer was driving to a party in Orange County.With run flat tire shredded in to pieces and no spare tire in the car, they had to cancel their plans and tow their vehicle to tire shop. If they had a simple spare tire (doughnut) in the trunk, they would have made to party that night.
For Roadside Assistance in San Diego County Call 619-800-1811 OPEN 24 hours everyday