Tire Tech

Flat Tire Repairs - After Driving on Flat Run-Flat Tires

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Most run-flat tires make a promise of temporary extended mobility at up to 50 miles per hour speeds for up to 50-mile distances in the event a puncture allows complete air pressure loss. However, even if driven within their speed and distance limitations, driving on run-flat tires with low or no air pressure can permanently damage their internal structure, surrendering strength and durability.

Therefore, Tire Rack recommends driving the slowest safe speed below 50 miles per hour and the shortest distance to a service provider's facility.

Unfortunately, when it's time to consider repair, even a trained tire specialist may be unable to confirm internal structure damage resulting from a run-flat tire having been driven in a severely underinflated or zero pressure condition. Such damage may not be visible on the surfaces of the tire's exterior sidewalls or interior liner, making it impossible to determine tire suitability for repair or reuse. Because of this, Tire Rack and many tire manufacturers recommend replacement of run-flat tires driven in a severely underinflated or zero pressure condition.

U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) Policies

The USTMA is an industry association whose membership includes most major domestic and foreign manufacturers selling tires in the United States. The USTMA collectively establishes the foundation of industry policies, from which the tire manufacturers can specify their company's exact position.

The USTMA makes available training presentations and workshop posters to assist tire technicians with the steps necessary to properly repair tires. Each tire manufacturer specifies USTMA tire repair procedures must be followed precisely to have any tire repair deemed proper.

While basic USTMA tire repair procedures remain the same for run-flat tires as non-run-flat tires, many tire manufacturers have issued specific policies that supersede USTMA's standard reparability policies.

Selected Tire Manufacturer's Policies for Run-Flat Tire Repair

The following list summarizes tire manufacturers' repair policies, however it should be noted that every tire manufacturer that consents to repair, does so only after the punctured tire has passed a thorough exterior and interior examination.

Manufacturer/BrandRepair PolicyAdditional Provisions
BFGoodrichPermitted1 repair maximum
BridgestonePermittedOnly if 15 psi maintained
ContinentalDoes not recommendMfg. Road Hazard Program*
DunlopPermitted
FirestonePermittedOnly if 15 psi maintained
GoodyearPermitted
KumhoPermitted
MichelinPermitted1 repair maximum
PirelliNot endorsedMfg. Road Hazard Program**
YokohamaNot to be repairedMfg. Road Hazard Program***
*Replaced free of charge first year or first 2/32" of wear (whichever comes first). Continental advises that a repair to one of its tires invalidates all other manufacturer's warranties.
**Replaced free of charge first year or first 2/32" of wear (whichever comes first), then prorated until worn to 2/32" of remaining tread depth
***5-year prorated replacement until worn to 2/32" of remaining tread depth if punctured in USTMA defined repairable area

Use of run-flat tires deemed non-repairable may result in vehicle or property damage, as well as can cause personal injury or death.

Tire Rack will not repair any run-flat tires that have been driven in a severely underinflated or zero pressure condition because the service conditions they experienced and integrity of their internal structure cannot be confirmed.

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