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Tires February 9, 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 sidewalls, 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.

Conventional vs. Run Flat Tires

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.

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:

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.

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 our Anytime Roadside Assistance program;
  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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