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How Does a Run-Flat Tyre Work?

  • Tyres-Safety-Tips/Guides-FAQs

Run-flat tyres are the only type of tyre that can keep you mobile regardless of the type of puncture you experience. Strengthened sidewalls allow you to drive for up to 80km at 80kmh once it starts to lose air. From a safety advantage, run-flats provide stability and reliable handling should your tyre be punctured, causing you to lose control of the vehicle.

There are various types of run-flat tyre systems:

  1. Self-supporting
  2. Support ring or auxiliary-supported
  3. Self-sealing – a variation of run-flat technology (RFT)

We take a closer look at basic construction and how they work to keep you moving.


self supporting
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When a conventional tyre goes flat, the sidewalls get trapped between the rim and the road – continuing to drive this way will quickly destroy the tyre.

Self-supporting tyres feature stiffer, thicker, reinforced sidewall construction consisting of layers of rubber and heat-resistant cord. This prevents sidewalls from folding or creasing under pressure. If a puncture occurs, the rim is suspended from the road and your car is supported so that you can continue driving for a while longer. The tyres also offer stability and handling so that you can maintain control of the vehicle.

Support ring

supporting ring
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Also known as auxiliary-supported, this system consists of a hard rubber support ring attached to the wheel. This type of run-flat tyre employs a ring of hard rubber that can support the vehicle’s weight should the tyre lose air.


While this does not work on the same principles of RFT, their key purpose – to keep you moving for a period of time – is the same.

Self-sealing tyres are designed with the same construction as a conventional tyre, along with the added benefit of an inner lining of polymer sealant. When this tyre is punctured, the sticky gel-like substance fills the hole to prevent more air escaping, and coats the hole to form a permanent seal.

A little less effective than true run-flats, a certain amount of air is lost until the hole is completely closed, but will at least allow you to continue driving in order to reach a safe place. However, a puncture or cut suffered in the sidewall of a self-sealing tyre or a too-deep puncture in the tread will force you to stop on the side of the road.

The Bridgestone DriveGuard Run-flat tyre


Due to their stiffer sidewalls, most run-flat tyres don't provide the most comfortable ride. Bridgestone DriveGuard has taken run-flat technology to new heights, removing the old disadvantages to match the features of a conventional tyre, including comfort, low noise levels, and improved grip in the wet.

The  Bridgestone DriveGuard tyre offers the following features:

  • Leading-edge Run-Flat Technology built in.
  • Masterfully engineered to keep you moving for up to 80km at speeds up to 80km/h without disruption.
  • Can be fitted on any conventional vehicle rim.
  • Is made using Bridgestone's proprietary Nano Pro-Tech technology, which evens out the distribution of sulphur bonds between the carbon molecules in the compound.
  • Less internal friction prevents heat generation in the sidewalls.
  • Cooling fin moulded into its sidewall reduces heat build-up.

Interested? Visit a Supa Quick fitment centre to learn more or get a quote for Bridgestone DriveGuard – for the ultimate in run-flat technology.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes only. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of the content.


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