If you’re going to be driving in remote areas or carrying a spare tire, you might want to consider run-flat tires. These tires have tough, reinforced sidewalls and an inner steel belt filled with a special foam that protects the tread and the sidewalls of your tire from damage.
This allows your vehicle to drive on flat run-flat tires for up to 50 miles without additional damage. They can also withstand most obstacles that don’t completely puncture the tire, giving you some extra mobility if you’re in a tight spot.
Can You Put Air in Run Flat Tires?
Yes. Run-flat tires, while traditionally requiring the use of a spare tire, can also be inflated with an air compressor. It is easy to find yourself in these situations and have no idea what to do next. So we’ve put together this guide to help you get back on the road quickly
Why you might need to fill a run-flat tire
Before we dig into how to fill your run-flat tire, let’s talk about why you might want to do it. Run flat tires are designed for those traveling over rugged terrain who don’t want to risk getting stuck by a flat but don’t have time for a full repair or replacement of their tire.
If you fall into this category, it might be wise to invest in the best mini compressor for run-flat tires.
Run-flat tires rely on two things for their ability to continue functioning even after suffering a puncture: stiff sidewalls with a layer of reinforcing hard rubber and a flat resistance technology, or FRC. FRC is essentially an inner steel belt that acts as the tire’s spine while protecting the softer rubber that makes up the tread and sidewalls of your tire.
As the name implies, run flat tires can continue to support a vehicle after sustaining a puncture. From that point, however, your ability to keep going will depend on the size of the cut you received.
If the cut is small enough to not interfere with the flow of air, you’re good to go. However, if your tire continues to deflate and you’re unable to stop and fill it up (or swap it out for one of your spares), you may find yourself in dire straits.
How do I inflate my run-flat tire without using a spare?
You will need an air compressor hose and a power source for that hose. Connect it directly to the valve stem of your flat tire, then turn on the power switch and press down on the pedal until you hear the hiss of escaping air.
What if I don’t have a power source for my air compressor? It may be possible to siphon air from another vehicle and put it into your tire.
Do this by attaching one end of the hose to your run-flat tire and the other end, to the valve stem of the tire from which you want to siphon air. Let off a little pressure from both tires so you can hear a hissing sound as the air goes through the hose.
When no more hissing is heard, stop pushing on the pump and disconnect it from both valves. Check your gauge after waiting at least five minutes and add more air if needed.
when to put air on run-flat tires?
As we mentioned above, the primary purpose of a run flat tire is to give you enough time to get back to where you can either repair the puncture or replace the tire.
Therefore, the answer depends on how long it takes you to get back. In general, however, there are main reasons why you might have to fill a run-flat tire: A vehicle with run-flat tires encounters a puncture over a hazard that cannot be driven over (or around) without incurring additional punctures (e.g., sharp rocks).
A vehicle with run-flat tires encounters a puncture over an obstacle that can be driven around but results in a slow leak (e.g. sharp edges of a damaged tire). A vehicle with run-flat tires encounters a slow leak.
In the first case, if your vehicle can’t be driven over the hazard without puncturing additional tires, you’re going to have to stop and fill up your tires.
In both the second and third cases, however, it is best to drive on the tires until they are at risk for further damage (i.e., until they blow out). If your tire is already leaking or you expect it to soon, you should stop driving immediately.
How much air should I put in my run flat tires?
The short answer here is that it depends on what kind of run flat tire you have. In general, though, the maximum recommended inflation pressure for a run-flat tire is between 40 and 60 PSI, depending on the vehicle manufacturer.
For most cars, that should be enough to get you back to a service station or your home. If you’re driving a large RV or other higher-profile vehicles, you may want to check your owner’s manual for recommended inflation levels.
A note on run-flat tires and proper inflation Run-flat tires are designed to provide you extra travel time in the case of a puncture.
However, if you underinflate your run-flat tire, you increase the risk of a dangerous blowout when cornering aggressively or driving over potholes. The best way to avoid this problem is to keep your vehicle properly maintained. When checking your tire pressure, you should also get into the habit of periodically checking the sidewalls for cuts or damage.
Robert Anderson is a world class motorhead who rebuilt his first carb at age 10, his first engine at age 15, and completed his first full hotrod build when he was just 18! Previously, he has ran a part warehouse, delivered pizzas, and managed the service department for a $20 million/year revenue dealership. Robert knows cars like few others and he is passionate about sharing his knowledge.