Run flat tires afford drivers the peace of mind as they allow them to get to a service station in the event of a puncture.
What’s less straightforward is what to do after you get to the shop or if you should even make the trip at all. Here’s everything you need to know about handling a punctured run flat tire.
Can Run Flat Tires Be Repaired?
A damaged run flat tire can be repaired, but it’s difficult and they often have to be replaced with a new one. Some manufacturers outright advise that you don’t even attempt repairs. Run flat tires are made to allow you to drive on them to get to the nearest service station, and the internal structure may sustain extensive damage in the process. Other than being potentially costly to fix, some of this internal damage might be undetectable at first, so it could be dangerous to continue using the tire.
To learn more about what to do with a punctured run flat tire, including patching, plugging, replacement, and more, keep reading!
Can Run Flat Tires Be Patched?
It is possible to patch a run flat tire, but it would have to be one with damage that’s very close to the surface that also hasn’t been driven on for too long after the puncture.
A patching job should be considered only when you’re completely certain that the puncture didn’t reach the sidewalls and the car hasn’t been driven since the incident.
Can Run Flat Tires Be Plugged?
Like patching, whether or not a plug can be used to repair a run flat tire depends on the extent of the damage.
If the puncture didn’t reach the sidewalls and you haven’t driven on the wheel since then, it could be plugged.
Can You Repair A Run Flat Tire With A Nail In It?
If the puncture in a run flat tire is caused by a nail, you probably should replace it as opposed to attempting any repairs.
A nail is more likely to breach the sidewalls, and most repairs only focus on the tread, so you could end up with a tire that’s still compromised on the inside.
Can Run Flat Tires Be Filled With Air?
Even though run flats are made to work even at 0 PSI, for normal use, they should be treated like normal tires, and you should adhere to your car manufacturer’s tire pressure recommendations.
After a puncture, assuming the requirements discussed in the previous sections are met, you can reinflate the tire.
Can Goodyear Run Flats Be Repaired?
Goodyear does repair their run flat tires, but under strict guidelines that are similar to ours and they recommend repairing the tire only once if absolutely necessary.
They won’t repair anything outside the treads, damage to the sidewalls and inner liner, or any damage that would render a regular tire unrepairable.
Can Pirelli Run Flat Tires Be Repaired?
Pirelli outright discourages the repair of punctured run flat tires because of the possible internal damage we’ve outlined above.
Instead, they have a warranty that, while strict, provides for replacement if the tire becomes unserviceable.
Can Continental Run Flat Tires Be Repaired?
Continental run flat tires can be repaired after a thorough inspection by a qualified tire professional, but the company advises against repairing ones that have been driven on after a puncture.
Can Bridgestone Run Flat Tires Be Repaired?
Bridgestone says that repair is possible but only after a thorough inspection and under specific conditions.
They recommend that you seek the services of a qualified professional as well as your vehicle’s manufacturer before driving on repaired run flat tires.
Can Michelin Run Flat Tires Be Repaired?
Michelin’s guidelines are in line with ours, i.e. repair is possible only if the sidewalls haven’t been damaged.
They also advise against attempting repairs in the event of multiple punctures, less than 1.6 mm of tread depth, aged rubber, and damage to the tire bead, including rust.
Can Hankook Run Flat Tires Be Repaired?
Hankook run flat tires can be repaired, but the company has very strict guidelines in place.
For starters, they discourage repair outside of the conditions mentioned above, and the warranty is voided if you conduct improper repairs.
They also don’t conduct repairs if the tire was operated at less than 15 PSI or if there are abrasions on the tread, bead, sidewall or interior.
Can You Patch A BMW Run Flat Tire?
BMW run flat tires can be patched if the puncture didn’t breach the sidewall and you didn’t drive on the underinflated tire.
Can Mercedes Run Flat Tires Be Repaired?
Again, you should look at the extent of the damage to determine if you should repair or replace; if the puncture has extended beyond the tread and/or you’ve driven on an underinflated tire, you should probably avoid repair.
How Much Does It Cost To Repair A Run Flat Tire?
How much you would pay for repairs depends on how much damage the tire sustained and your actions following the puncture.
If you act fast and don’t let it get worse, you could be looking at between $15 and $30 to fix the puncture.
Can Run Flat Tires Be Replaced With Regular Tires?
You can swap out all your run flat tires and replace them with regular tires if you feel that buying a new set of run flats after an incident isn’t worth it.
What’s not advisable, however, is mixing run flats with regular tires, and especially not new and old ones.
Experts recommend that you match all your tires so they wear evenly and handle similarly, run flats or not.
If you don’t, the loss of harmony across wheels affects your car’s performance and could cause issues in your vehicle’s internal components such as the drivetrain.
Can Run Flat Tires Be Rotated?
Assuming all your wheels are matched, run flats can and should be rotated to ensure even wear across the board.
They differ from regular tires only in how they’re built to handle punctures but other than that, they should be treated the same in terms of maintenance.
To find out more about run-flat tires, you can also see our posts on how long do run-flat tires last, if you can replace run-flat tires with regular tires, and how common are flat tires.
Run flat tires can be repaired via patching and plugging, but it’s often not the best idea to do so because their complex internal construction makes it difficult to determine the full extent of the damage.
If replacement is absolutely not on the table and your only option is repair, you should ensure that the breach didn’t go past the tread into the sidewalls.
You should also ensure that you did not drive on the tire in an underinflated state because otherwise its internals could have been subjected to the strain of directly carrying the vehicle’s weight.
Most major tire manufacturers agree that replacement is the better route to take over repairs for these same reasons.
Run flat tires should be maintained just like regular tires, including rotating them regularly and making sure they have the right amount of air pressure to reduce the risk of punctures.