Typically, run-flat tires are more expensive than conventional tires, but they can save the cost and inconvenience of changing a flat tire.
Because run-flat tires permit continued operation without air pressure, they do not include a spare tire. Therefore, run-flat tire users must be prepared to repair or replace the damaged tire to continue driving.
Bridgestone offers a variety of run-flat tire technologies that provide additional benefits over other types of run-flat tires. These include our Run-Flat Technology and Self Supporting Run-Flat (SSR) Technology.
This means that if you are driving above 50 mph and experience a flat tire, you should reduce your speed immediately and begin driving below 50 mph.
It is important to note that if your run-flat tire is driven while flat, it can be damaged beyond repair, which could cause tire failure.
How often do run-flat tires need to be replaced?
It depends on the type of run-flat tire you have. There are three types of run-flats and they are as follows:
- Type 1 – These are the oldest style and can only be driven for a short time at a lower speed. If you notice that your tire is going flat, you should drive no faster than 50 mph for no more than 50 miles to get to a service station.
- Type 2 – These are a newer style and can be driven for longer distances at a higher speed. If your tire begins to go flat, you can safely drive for up to 100 miles at 55 mph and should get to a service station as soon as possible.
- Type 3 – This is the newest style of the run-flat tire and can also be driven for longer distances at a higher speed. If your tire begins to go flat, you can safely drive up to 200 miles at speeds up to 55 mph and should get to a service station as soon as possible.
In general, if you drive less than 10,000 miles per year, you should replace your run-flat tires every six years. If you drive more than 10,000 miles per year, you’ll want to replace your tires every three to four years.
Do run-flat tires wear out faster?
If you drive a car with run-flat tires, you may have questions about its longevity. Consumer Reports’ own testing and those of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have shown that all tires wear out over time.
If a tire is driven to its treadwear limits, it will be worn out and no longer effective at gripping the road, regardless of whether it is a conventional tire or a run-flat-tire.
The good news for run-flats is that owners won’t experience the large reduction in tread depth that occurs when conventional tires lose air pressure and go flat before reaching their treadwear limits.
But many drivers who use run-flat tires are concerned about experiencing problems with their tires wearing prematurely or not lasting as long as conventional tires, especially if the owner has had issues with specific models.
Owners of BMW 3 Series and other BMWs with run-flat tires often write to us asking why they need new tires so soon after buying new ones — sometimes even though they have more than half their tread life left, based on our tests.
In most cases, it isn’t because the tires wore out prematurely; it’s because they never had enough tread depth, to begin with.
How long will BMW run-flats last?
BMW Run-Flat Tires – BMW Tire Life and Replacement
BMW run-flat tires can be confusing for drivers. These tires are designed to run without air, but unlike a spare tire, they aren’t meant to last forever. In fact, a run-flat tire should only be driven 50 miles before being replaced.
If you wonder how long will a BMW run-flat tire last, the answer depends on several factors:
Collision: A run-flat tire can withstand some collision damage because it is designed to stay inflated when punctured. However, if you hit something hard enough to break the rim or deform the sidewall, your tire needs to be replaced immediately.
Hail: BMW recommends replacing your run flats after driving through hail. Hail can cause tiny cracks and punctures in your tires that could result in a blowout down the road.
Loss of Pressure: If your tire loses pressure or becomes flat while you drive, this indicates a dangerous problem that must be addressed immediately by replacing your tire.
The run-flat tires are designed to last longer than the standard ones. So, if you have the run-flats in your car, expect them to last longer than the standard counterparts. BMW has rated its run-flats to last a bit longer with a mileage of 50,000 miles.
Can a slow leak in a run-flat tire be repaired?
The short answer is yes, you can repair a slow leak in a run-flat tire, but it’s not quite that simple. The type of repair depends on the location, type, and size of the puncture.
If a sharp object has gone through the sidewall or tread to the inside of the tire, then there’s no option – this is an unsafe tire and needs replacing.
If the puncture is in the tread then our experts will decide what kind of repair is possible based on how deep the object went in. If it was just on the surface, then a safe patch can be applied from the inside of the tire.
If it went deep into the tire, then we can do a patch plug if it’s no more than 1/4 inch across. Another option, if it’s just too big to patch plug, would be to shave off part of the tread where it punctured and patch it with a regular steel and rubber plug. This would still leave you with enough tread depth to be safe for use.
Finally, if you’re looking to get rid of run-flat tires and replace them with conventional tires you can also have your wheels changed at Firestone Complete Auto Care.
How do I know if I need new run-flat tires?
If you drive an older car, a vehicle with conventional tires, or a luxury car, chances are it doesn’t have run-flat tires.
As a rule, run-flat tires aren’t available on many vehicles made before 2005. However, some newer vehicles come with conventional tires rather than run-flats because the manufacturer believes the vehicle is better off without them.
In addition to being more expensive than regular tires, run-flats typically affect the ride quality and braking performance of a vehicle.
For this reason, many luxury brands believe that cars equipped with run-flats simply don’t deliver the same level of driving comfort as those with conventional tires.
If you’re not sure if your vehicle is equipped with run-flat tires, do an online search for your year/make/model along with “run-flat tires.”
If you see photos or descriptions of your vehicle with non-run-flat tires, then you don’t have them. Or look at your owner’s manual or call your dealer to confirm what type of tires you have.
In general, run-flat tires should be replaced if they have been driven for more than 50 miles (80 km) at a maximum speed of 50 mph (80 km/h).
A tire that has been driven in this manner should be inspected by a tire professional before being returned to service.
Why does BMW use run-flat tires?
BMW vehicles use run-flat tires. The reason for this is that run-flat tires can be driven with a puncture at moderate speeds (around 50 mph) for approximately 150 miles.
This allows the driver to get to a safe location, or to make it home before changing the tire. There are many advantages to using run-flat tires.
Run-flats feature reinforced sidewalls that allow them to support the vehicle’s weight in the absence of air pressure.
This means that drivers won’t have to attempt roadside repairs and can avoid having their vehicles towed as they would with a standard tire.
The reinforced sidewalls also protect the wheel rim from damage and help prevent blowouts, even when the tire is being driven without any pressure at all.
For BMWs, run-flat tires were a natural fit because of the company’s long history of creating high-performance luxury cars and SUVs.
BMW vehicles are known for their superior handling and performance, which is achieved in part by low-profile tires that provide better traction and improve cornering ability.
replace runflat tires with regular BMW tires?
Yes, you can replace your BMW’s run-flat tires. With regular tires on your BMW, you will no longer have the option to drive with a flat tire.
However, with conventional tires, you will still be able to drive after a puncture and not ruin your wheel rim. The main disadvantage of conventional tires is that they tend to go flat more often, but with a spare tire on hand, the inconvenience is minimized.
Some people prefer to replace their run-flat tires because they believe that they offer less traction, ride comfort and tread life than normal tires.
It is also possible to replace just two tires instead of all four. We recommend replacing two tires at a time if they are worn down and it is necessary to replace them.
I would strongly advise you not to replace your run-flat tires with regular tires. On cars that are equipped from the factory with run-flat tires, damage can occur to the suspension if you do this.
The engineers at BMW designed the suspension with run-flat tires in mind and it will ride rougher with regular tires installed.
Do run-flat tires need air?
The short answer is yes, they do. Run-flat tires are supposed to be inflated to the same pressure as standard tires.
The difference is that run-flats will continue to support the weight of the car for a certain period of time and at a certain speed when they are flat (or nearly flat). In other words, you should still treat run-flat tires like any other tire.
The only way you can tell if your vehicle has run-flat tires is either by reading the side of the tire or by looking in your owner’s manual.
Run-flat tires are capable of supporting the weight of your car for a brief period of time without air pressure. However, if you know you’ve driven on a flat tire, you should have it inspected and repaired before driving again.
Here’s what that means: If you’ve been driving on a deflated tire for several miles, your tire might still be holding air.
It can do that because of the sidewall reinforcement technology built into run-flats. And that means you might not notice that anything is wrong until it’s too late.
Frequently asked questions
1. Are run-flat tires noisy?
Run-flat tires are not inherently noisy. However, they do offer advantages that you get in exchange for a little extra noise.
A run-flat tire is designed to continue operating after losing pressure and deflating. They do this by using a reinforced sidewall that can support the weight of the vehicle, even when the rest of the tire is deflated.
2. How long do run-flat tires last after a puncture?
A vehicle that’s designed for run-flat tires isn’t supposed to need a spare. If a tire is punctured and begins to leak, the reinforced sidewalls in a run-flat tire allow you to continue driving for a short distance.
All the weight of the vehicle is transferred onto the run-flat, so it needs to be strong and stiff. At higher speeds, though, the sidewalls flex more — creating heat. So you can’t expect them to hold up indefinitely when flat.
3. Do run-flat tires lose air in cold weather?
Run-flats also have a maximum speed limit when driven with no air pressure: 50 mph for most brands. If your tire loses pressure at highway speeds, replace it as soon as possible; driving for any distance or time with no pressure increases the chance of damage to the tire’s sidewall and other structural components.
4. Why do run-flats lose air?
The most common cause of run-flat tire failure is punctured. A small puncture can be repaired without any loss of pressure since it is often in the sidewall sufficiently far from the bead.
However, larger punctures can lead to a complete loss of pressure over time and damage to the tire’s structure.