Tyrepower Geelong
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To make a well informed decision on your next set of tyres it is important to firstly understand: –
  • The difference between Run Flat Tyres (RFT) and Conventionally Constructed Tyres
  • The reason why the manufacturer of your car chose to fit RFT’s

Run Flat Tyres – what are they?

Run flat tyres (RFT’s) are specially designed to keep working for a limited while even after they suffer a puncture. So if you get a puncture on a cold, dark night, there’s no need for an inconvenient roadside tyre change – in most instances you should be able to safely drive home or to your nearest garage to get your tyre changed.

How do they work?

Run flat tyres are built with reinforced sidewalls. Normally, a car is supported by the air in your tyres, and once you have a puncture, they collapse. However, run flat tyres are constructed with much thicker and stronger sidewalls which hold up the weight of your vehicle for a limited *distance even after a puncture.

How long can you drive on a punctured run flat tyre?

* Once a run flat tyre suffers a puncture, you can’t keep driving on it forever – usually you will be able to drive at 60 kph for another 50 klms plenty of time to get to your nearest garage. The exact range depends on variables like your driving speed, load of your vehicle and driving conditions.

However if a RFT incurs serious damage/tear the distance that it is able to be driven on may be significantly reduced.

Why were Run Flat Tyres fitted to my car?

Vehicles fitted with Run Flat as ‘Original Equipment’ (OE)

Generally it is the European manufacturers who fit RFT’s as Original Equipment and BMW/Mini are the greatest supporters of this technology. So when you buy, for example, a new BMW or Mini, then it will possibly come with four run flat tyres.  In this instance it will not generally have a spare tyre or tyre changing equipment included as standard, although the BMW X5 and BMW X6 models are often an exception to this and may still have a spare wheel.

The main reason a manufacturer chooses to fit RFT’s as OE to a new model is to save space in the luggage area and to reduce overall vehicle weight though the elimination of carrying a spare wheel.

No single tyre manufacturer supplies tyres for all models as OE so your car could be fitted with any of the following:-

  • Bridgestone RFT (Run Flat Tyre)
  • Continental SSR (Self Supporting Run Flat) or Contiseal
  • Dunlop DSST (Dunlop Self Supporting Tyre)
  • Goodyear EMT (Extended Mobility Tyre)
  • Michelin ZP (Zero Pressure)
  • Pirelli r-f Tyre identified as a “Run Flat”

Can I fit ‘Conventional’ Tyres to a Run Flat Equipped Vehicle?

If your car was originally supplied with Run Flat tyres, then it is possible to change to ‘conventional’ tyres. However, if the vehicle was designed with Run Flat tyres, you should

  1. make sure you fit the correct tyre size, speed rating and load index
  2. don’t mix conventional and run flat tyres across the vehicle, i.e. replace all four tyres at the same time
  3. ensure that you have some provision in the event of a puncture or you could be left stranded without a spare! Here at  Lewis Tyrepower we recommend carrying, and can supply at low cost, a small Compressor & Sealant Kit for use in the event of a puncture. Or subject to available space you could buy a new spare tyre and tyre changing equipment.

Why change from run flat to conventional tyres?

Changing to “Non RFT” or conventional tyres will change the ride/handling of your car, and most of our customers who have done so report of a significant improvement.

However, some people choose to do this for the following reasons:

  • Conventional tyres are generally cheaper than run flat tyres and have better availability
  • Owners always find that conventional tyres give a smoother, less bumpy ride than run flat tyres
  • Many tyre retailers, will not repair a run flat tyre following a puncture which will then necessitate replacing the tyre with every puncture.

If unsure of changing to conventional tyres we would recommend you consult the manufacturer before making this change.

Fitting Run Flat to an older vehicle (‘retro fitting’)

If you are considering changing to run flat tyres on a vehicle that was previously fitted with ‘normal’ tyres, then there are several points to consider:

    Run flats must only be installed on a car which has TPMS/tyre pressure monitoring system. TPMS alerts the driver to a puncture so they are aware that they have a limited time to replace their tyre, and so they drive within the limits of their deflated tyre.

    You should also note that you may require some changes made to your vehicle’s suspension. Because of their stiffer construction, run flat tyres contribute to a vehicle’s suspension when fitted as original equipment.


When it comes to tyres for European cars we at Tyrepower Geelong we will always provide the most cost effective options considering the following factors: –

  • European manufactured cars are fitted with European manufactured tyres which are generally the most expensive available.
  • These tyres will generally be “High Performance” rated and constructed of a softer compound material to provide an extremely high level of grip for high speed Autobahn driving and will consequently have a shorter distance life. “Touring” rated tyres are much better suited to Australian driving and will provided a longer life.
  • You will find that many of the European vehicles with RFT’s will be fitted with different sized tyres front and rear. Commonly known as Staggered Fitment tyre sizes.
  • Often supplier stock availability will limit our ability to provide matching same Brand and Pattern in the required sizes to suit your vehicle.
  • Most importantly we will discuss with you the best option to suit your needs according to your vehicle, your driving and your budget.

For more information please phone us at:

View our select range of tyres and brands or contact Tyrepower Geelong today.

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