Does it make sense to buy so-called run-flat tires? Ask one of the Madison tire pros at one of Madison Auto Care’s seven NAPA service centers what's best for you and your car.
It doesn't matter if you're headed to work or on a road trip - even a short one to Taliesin in Spring Green - you want your car to start and to continue running at least until you get where you're going. You also don't want to have to cope with a flat tire.
Unfortunately, flat tires are pretty common. It would be the unusually lucky driver who doesn't encounter one at some point in their driving life. But avoiding flat tires is the goal behind a lot of tire research and development these days. That R and D has resulted in several innovations, like the "run-flat" tire.
"Run-flat tires are designed in such a way that you can continue to drive even after your tire sustains a puncture. The difference from normal tires is that continuing to drive on a normal tire after it’s gone flat can do a great deal of damage to your car," motorbiscuit.com explains. "It’s also impossible to stay at proper speeds after you’ve punctured a normal tire. Driving on a damaged run-flat tire doesn’t require that you slow way down and drive for miles on the road’s shoulder. Not to mention, you don’t have to worry that you’re ruining your wheel and axel. You’ll be able to continue to drive until you reach a place where you can safely change the damaged tire with a good one."
Run flats achieve this by having a thicker wall that can support the car should the air escape. And they're not good for long distances - about 50 miles at 50 mph, which is generally enough to get you to a tire service center for help.
But run flats aren't perfect. Motorbiscuit.com lists these pros and cons:
Among the pros:
- The ability to get yourself to a safe place where you can change your tire
- In the event of a blowout, you won’t lose complete control of your vehicle
Among the cons:
- The tires lose tread and need to be replaced more frequently than standard tires, this significantly increases the overall cost of owning your vehicle
- It’s difficult to eyeball the tire and decide if it has enough air pressure
- The car doesn’t ride quite as smoothly as it does on standard tires
- Run-flat tires are more expensive
Don't know what's best for you and your car? Consult the Madison tracytire specialists at any of Madison Auto Care’s seven NAPA service centers: Clausen Auto, Handel Auto, Genin’s Auto, Capitol Tire, Odana Tire, Hansen’s Auto, or Aeschbach Auto. Madison Auto Care’s tire technicians can help you choose the best tire for you, your car and your driving style and needs.
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