Run-flats are tyres that can be driven “flat” for a short period after being punctured at a reduced speed, giving you time to drive to a mechanic. The speed and distance that run-flat tires can manage after being punctured depend on the tyre brand and the weight that the vehicle currently carries. You can usually tell if your tyres are running flat by looking at your tyres, or by looking at other details about your car.
Checking Your Cars Tyres
Find the words “Run Flat” on the sidewall of your tyres. Some tyre brands that make run-flat tyres simply label the tyre as run-flat, making it easier for the owner of the car. Pirelli tyres are one of the brands that do this.
Just search for the words “Run Flat” on the sidewall of your tyre, it is usually similar to other manufacturer’s details and numbers.
Look for the RFT, SSR, or DSST codes on your tyres. Bridgestone also uses the RFT (Run-Flat Tire) code on its tyres to mark a run-flat-tyre. Continental uses SSR (Self Supporting Run Flat) code, and Dunlop also uses Dunlop Self Supporting Tyres.
You should look for these codes on the sides of your tyres near the other numbers and the manufacturer’s details.
Search for the ROF, EMT, or ZP codes on your tyres. Many tyre manufacturers use the ROF (Run On Flat) logo on their run-flat tyres, like Goodyear, Bridgestone and Dunlop. Goodyear also uses EMT (Extended Mobility Technology) to classify run-flat tyres. A few brands use ZP or ZPS (Zero Pressure or Zero Pressure System) on their run-flat tyres, including Michelin and Yokohama.
Check for each of these codes below the manufacturer’s details on the sides of your tyres.
Looking At A Car With Original Tyres
Consult the owner’s manual for your car. It’s one of the most straightforward ways to find out if you’ve got run-flat tyres is to consult your owner’s manual. When your car still has its original tyres, and they are run flat, the owner’s manual will explain what you need to know about your run-flat tyres and the TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System).
Look for run-flat tyres manufactured by different companies on newer vehicles. Run-flat tires started to enter the new car market in the early 2000s. The newer the car is, the more likely it is to have run-flat tyres.
Different car companies are more likely to use run-flat tires on their new vehicles, especially BMW and Lexus. Toyota requires some of their coupes and sedans to drive on run-flat-tyres. If you have one of these types of cars with original tyres on it, you might have run-flat tyres.
BMW cars are by far the most popular car you’ll find run-flat tyres. When you’ve got a newer BMW, the chances are high that you’ve got run-flat tyres.
See whether or not your car comes with a spare tyre. The car with its original run-flat tires will not come with a spare tyre in the trunk. If your car comes with a puncture repair kit inside of the boot instead of a spare tyre, you may have run-flat tyres.
If you’re still not positive, ask the dealer or check your owner’s manual to find out.
Look at the driver’s side panel for the tyre pressure indicator sign. Cars equipped with run-flat tires also have a tyre pressure control system that controls the air pressure in the tyres. If your air pressure is low, there will be a light that will alert you to low pressure.
The owner’s manual will tell you where to look for this indicator and what to do if it lights up.
What To Do If You Don’t Have Run-Flat Tyres?
If you don’t have run-flat tyres, but you don’t have a space-saver or a spare in your vehicle, then it would be a good idea to start looking into that. Many cars come complete with a puncture repair kit, but often these aren’t sufficient or straight forward, sometimes they don’t even work. If you want to be safe and sure that you won’t have to fork out hundreds of pounds calling a mobile tyre fitter or a recovery company then getting a space saver is one of the best things you can do. It’s convenient, and you’ll always be safe with the knowledge that it’s there if you ever need it.