Angie's List: Run-Flat Tires - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Angie's List: Run-Flat Tires


The days of changing a flat tire may be over. Spare tires are disappearing. However, the run-flat tire is profiled as one of the newest driving innovations.

"For most having a flat tire can be their worst nightmare, especially if they are caught on the road when it happens. Being prepared and knowing exactly what you've got when shopping for a car is going to be important. Don't be afraid to ask the dealer, what comes with the car and how does it work," said Angie Hicks, Angie's List Founder.

Manufacturers are saying so long to the spare tire. Experts say it's all in an effort to increase fuel economy, to decrease vehicle weight, and to provide more trunk space.

They say many new models are now equipped with inflator and sealant kits or run-flat tires, which are designed to go at slower speeds after a tire has been punctured.

"Standard low tire cannot withstand zero pressure. It has to have pressure to keep the tire inflated. A run-flat tire does not need any pressure for a short duration of time until you can get to a shop that can repair or replace it," said Chris Cooper, Auto Service co-owner.

Landon Toll says he used to drive a car with run-flat tires. He says he never suffered a flat, but he did have to replace his run-flat tires which experts say cost about a third more than traditional tires.

"I had the car for about three years and drove with 32,000 miles about and in that time I replaced the rear tires twice and the front tires once. In total, the three years I had the car I spent a little over $2,300 just in tires alone," said consumer, Landon Toll.

Experts say run-flat tires are more expensive.

"A run-flat tire will run much stiffer. You don't get much of a cushion in there. Standard low tire will run nice and quiet and a run-flat tire will run a little bit stiff. It just depends on what kind of ride you are looking for," said Cooper.

"The ride was definitely stiffer with the run-flat tires. Every bump that you would hit you would feel a little bit more. There were times that I would be kind of scouting ahead, looking for potholes, trying to slalom around and try to avoid them," said Toll.

Experts say some run-flat tires can be repaired if punctured. They say it depends on the manufacturer.

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