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Run Flat Tires

Since auto manufacturers are realizing that eliminating the spare tire from a car can create more space for other accessories and increase fuel efficiency by decreasing the carís weight, more and more vehicles are being sold without a spare. Instead manufacturers are equipping new car models with tires that have been especially made to travel anywhere from 50 to 150 miles after being punctured. These run-flat tires will perform long enough for most drivers to get to a place where the damaged tire can be repaired. Many drivers appreciate the safety factor of a tire that does not need to be changed by the side of the road.

There are generally two different ways of making a run-flat tire. Most run-flat tires have reinforced sidewalls that support the car when the air has escaped, so the car can continue to be driven. However, stiffer sidewalls could result in a harder ride and lower handling performance, so it is wise to research the individual design before buying. The other run-flat tire design has a tire within a tire. This second tire (referred to as a tire insert) only comes into use when the outer tire collapses. This more complicated design, however, allows the outer tire to be more flexible and thus retain smoother riding and better handling characteristics.

Like most things in life, there is a trade-off for the convenience and safety of run-flat tires. Run-flat tires weigh more than regular tires, and they can be more expensive both to purchase and repair.

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