Can You Patch a Run Flat Tire?: Run-Flat Tires, as their name states, are tires which can continue to drive even if they are punctured but they cannot be driven endlessly.
They mostly have a distinguished feature which is their specially reinforced walls that allow the tires to drive continuously for a limited amount of time at a low speed even if they are damaged in any way.
Due to the construction of the tire, the vehicle can be driven in spite of a little or total loss of air pressure, saving you from a lot of roadside hassle.
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Can you patch them? And should they be repaired?
To answer your main question: The run-flat tire should never be repaired. It is not recommended.
But if you have to get them repaired, please do so with an experienced technician.
That tire should be replaced as soon as possible.
That is because the run flat tire loses it’s traction on road after being damaged. You can drive on them for a while, sure.
But it has limited values of how long it’s going to bear the vehicle weight further, and keep it’s traction values.
How long can one drive on a patched run-flat tire?
The tire can be driven anywhere once it has been patched properly by a qualified professional.
Taking precautions and avoiding to drive at high speeds will decrease the chances of the tire needing a replacement.
Patching doesn’t fully resolve the issue but helps extend the tire’s service life only if one is cautious.
Keep the number 50 in mind. Usually the rule is, you change the tire before 50 miles on them. And keep the speed under 50 mph as well.
How do Run-Flat Tires Actually Function?
There are 2 types of Run-Flat Tire Systems:
- The Support Ring System
- The Self Supporting System
The Support ring flat-tire system utilizes a hard rubber ring or any other structure that is able to bear the vehicle’s weight in any case of an air loss emergency.
While on the other hand, the self-supporting run-flat tire system is created with walls which are reinforced.
They are equipped with tough rubber inserts which prevent the tire from caving in when punctured.
How can one Patch a Run-Flat Tire?
Repairing a Run-Flat Tire is possible in some cases. It depends on the extremity of the damage tolerated by the run-flat tire.
Its manageable to repair the tire in a standard way by patching up the puncture wound.
Patching can be done by a qualified professional or by calling out an emergency roadside assistance.
Some manufacturers suggest repairing, whilst others don’t due to several factors.
Patching is done by filling the puncture hole from the inside of the tire followed by a patch on top or the area which needs to be replaced.
There is another method which can be applied and that is plugging.
A plug is inserted where the area is damaged but it can be dangerous if a full inspection is not done when the wheel is removed.
Furthermore, if the crown area is harmed then the tire can be repaired but if the sidewalls are damaged, then the tire definitely needs to be replaced.
How much does it cost to patch a run flat tire?
If one is qualified to some extent, then they are able to perform the patching themselves.
Tire plug kits are available easily and are cheap and they don’t cost more than 20$.
If one is not qualified, then a qualified person will charge around 30$.
When should a tire be patched?
Patching a run-flat tire as soon as the harm is caused is the best option.
The pressure of inflation must remain above 15 psi and there should not be any wearing or wrinkling on the tire’s interior or else the tire needs to be replaced.
What if patching is not possible?
In case the tire has taken more harm than anticipated, fixing will not be conceivable since most likely the reinforced sidewalls are ruined and this only occurs when the vehicle’s speed is high so in this case the only solution is a replacement of the tire.
Limitations of how far a punctured run flat tire can go?
One is able to drive only at a specified speed along with distance and cannot exceed to maximum speeds or else this will cause more damage to the run-flat tire decreasing its chances of being patched.
Then it will have to be replaced sooner than expected.
Pros and Cons of run-flat tires
- These perform well even when they are entirely flat which can save a lot of time.
- Stability of the handling and steering is provided even when the tire is damaged.
- Run-flat tires make it easier to keep the vehicle in control which decreases the risk of an accident.
- It is hard to tell when the pressure in the tires is low.
- These are expensive when compared to other tires on the market.
- Run-flat tires can be patched but it is dependent on the severity of damage.
- These are long lasting since they can cover distance even after being punctured.
- Patching is a better option when compared to plugging since it is safer.