Tire Rack.com

Driving on Flat Run-Flat Tires

Lea esta página en español

Run-flat tires offer drivers temporary extended mobility even after a puncture allows complete air pressure loss. However even run-flat tires will fail if driven too fast, too far or too heavily loaded when flat.

For this reason, run-flat tires may only be used on vehicles equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that alerts the driver if one or more tires have lost 25% of their recommended inflation pressure. Illumination of the TPMS warning light identifies that at least one tire is losing/has lost air and establishes the beginning of the extended mobility range the driver can carefully continue driving to escape inclement weather, unsafe surroundings or insufficient visibility, etc.

Note that a run-flat tire’s endurance is dependent on operating conditions such as the flat tire’s position on the vehicle, vehicle load, ambient temperature, driving speed and distance traveled. Run-flat tires cannot be driven faster then 50 miles per hour and typically offer up to 50 miles of extended mobility. Selected applications, based on vehicle and the run-flat tire design can range from just 25 miles up to 200 miles. Consult your vehicle owner’s manual to determine what you should expect.

Vehicle handling with run-flat tires at zero pressure is different than at full pressure, too. Aggressive acceleration, cornering and braking should be avoided, as well as any unusual service conditions such as carrying heavy loads or towing a trailer.

Most tire manufacturers recommend replacement of run-flat tires that have been driven after the TPMS light has illuminated. Run-flat tires driven with low or no air pressure may have experienced irreparable internal structural damage that is not visible in a non-destructive examination. While most run-flat tires offer a promise of temporary extended mobility at speeds up to 50 miles per hour, Tire Rack recommends driving the slowest safe speed below 50 miles per hour, and the shortest distance to a service facility.

Most Popular Links

Air Pressure - Correct, Underinflated and Overinflated
Air Pressure vs. Dry Performance
Air Pressure vs. Wet Performance
Air Pressure, Temperature Fluctuations
Air Pressure/Load Adjustment for High Speed Driving
Air Pressure: When and How to Set
Breaking In Your Tires
Calculating Tire Dimensions
Checking Tire Inflation Pressure
Determining the Age of a Tire
Diameter Comparison of Light Truck Tire Sizes
How Do I Compare Price vs. Value?
How to Read Speed Rating, Load Index & Service Descriptions
Load Range/Ply Rating Identification
Match Mounting to Enhance Tire & Wheel Uniformity
Load Reduction of Euro- and P-Metric Tires on Light Trucks
Measuring Tire Tread Depth with a Coin
Mounting and Balancing
P-Metric and Euro Metric Tire Sizing
Run-Flat Tires
Selecting the Right Tires
Sidewall Markings
Specific Mileage Warranties
The Plus Concept
Tire & Wheel Owner's Manual
Tire & Wheel Package Installation Instructions
Tire & Wheel Package Ride Uniformity Confirmation
Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems
Tire Rotation
Tire Size Conversion Chart
Tire Size Information
Tire Warranties
Uniform Tire Quality Grade (UTQG) Standards
Where to Install New Pairs of Tires?


Want to stay on the inside track?
Sign up for our emails today!