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maintenance February 09, 2015

Is it okay to replace run-flat tires with conventional tires?

What are run-flat tires?

Run flat tires are unique because they have reinforced side walls, which allow you to continue driving on these tires after a puncture so you have time to get to an auto shop or pull off to a safe area to put on your spare.


Due to the safety benefits of these tires, many vehicles now come equipped with run-flat tires from the manufacturer.


However, when the run-flat tires have worn and have reached the time to be replaced, is it okay to swap them with non-run-flat tires?

 

Here's our answer:

 

Overall, the general consensus is that replacing run-flat tires with run-flat tires is recommended but not required.

 

If changing from run-flat to conventional tires, replacing all four tires is highly recommended.

 

Mixing run-flat and conventional tires can significantly reduce the stability of vehicle handling.

 

Also, check the vehicle’s owner’s manual for recommendations and potential implications for the specific vehicle in question. Virginia Tire & Auto would be happy to help with this step.

 

A quick list of the general pros and cons of changing to a non-run-flat tire:

 

Pros:

  • Conventional tires are typically less expensive than run-flat tires.

  • Conventional tires generally offer a smoother, quieter ride due to reduced sidewall stiffness.

  • Conventional tires often have longer lasting tread life.

     

    Cons:

  • A tire puncture can disable a run-flat equipped vehicle because most do not come with a spare or tire changing equipment.

    • Some workarounds for this are to:

      1) Plan to use Road Side Assistance

      2) Purchase and carry a spare and tire changing equipment; or

      3) Purchase and carry tire sealant and tire inflation pump.

  • When leasing a vehicle, many companies often require vehicles sold with run-flats be returned with them.

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