As new car technologies are advancing at a faster and faster pace, car tyres are also being improved. Unfortunately, the problem of tyre punctures still remains a real issue. Looking for new ways to protect the car while on the move, tyre manufacturers have released self-sealing tyres over the past few years, and the technology looks to only be increasing in its popularity.
Can tyres actually self-seal?
There are, in fact, tyres that are designed to continue operating even after they’ve been punctured on the road. Self-sealing tyres are only a subset of these tyres, which are more widely known as run flat tyres.
Self-sealing tyres were designed in such a way that they are able to support your car even after the tyre has lost all of its air pressure, thereby allowing you to make it safely to your nearest garage or even all the way back home.
Which manufacturers produce self-sealing tyres?
Self-sealing tyres have been gaining in popularity over the past few years, and tyre manufacturers have taken notice. Nowadays, you can find self-sealing tyres by browsing any of the following manufacturer’s catalogues:
Most of these manufacturers sell a variation of the Run Flat Tyre, or an RFT. Dunlop specialises in providing drivers with access to what the company calls self-supporting technology. Goodyear, too, categorises its road-safety tyres as extended mobility tyres, while Michelin calls its releases zero pressure tyres.
How do self-sealing tyres work?
Depending on the manufacturer, self-sealing tyres will work in different ways. Tyres that actively seal while you’re on the road, however, tend to use similar methods to protect your car. These tyres come with an extra inner lining that’s made to work as a sealing gel. If your tyre is damaged while you’re on the road, this gel will immediately seep into the gap left behind. As such, you’ll stop losing air pressure and be able to continue driving for many miles to come.
You will, of course, have to replace the damaged tyre, as it won’t be able to protect you from any additional damage you may still experience. The benefit of these tyres, though, is their ability to prevent tyre-related roadway accidents. Not only can you avoid pulling over while you’re on the road, but a damaged tyre that can seal itself is less likely to disrupt other drivers’ travel.
That said, it is worth knowing that self-sealing tyres have certain limitations. These limitations vary across brands in terms of what exactly they can seal:
Self-sealing technologies are bound to improve over the next several years, but it’s clear, right now, that they’re not a cure-all for tyre damage you may get while on the road. These tyres will help you get from Point A to Point B on a damaged tyre, but you’ll need to keep an eye on your tyre pressure to make sure you’re not doing more harm to your car.
What’s the difference between self-supporting tyres and auxiliary-supported tyres?
As mentioned, self-sealing tyres fall under the umbrella of the broader run flat tyres. These tyres can often be confused, as such, with auxiliary-support tyres. There are some similarities between the two products. Both are designed to improve the functionality of your tyres while on the road. While self-sealing tyres use a sticky interior lining to fix small punctures, though, auxiliary-supported tyres take advantage of a unique rim that comes with the car to which they’re attached to reduce tread wear.
Auxiliary-supported tyres use a unique tyre tread to create a ring around your car tyres. This way, the strain normally placed on a car tyre doesn’t wear on the tread but instead puts its pressure on the tyre’s rim. While these tyres do come in handy, if you want to save on replacements and protect yourself from rapid tread wear, they’re not as effective at keeping you safe on the road as self-sealing tyres. They also require specific car parts to work, making them an expensive up-front investment.
Tyres that actively protect your car from roadway damage only seem to be growing in popularity. Your options for self-sealing tyres are varied, but all of today’s available brands seem prepared to make your long drives a little safer.