Serving customers across Birmingham and Solihull

What Are Run Flat Tyres?

Run flats are tyres that are specifically designed with reinforced sidewalls. This means that if you get a puncture, you can continue driving on them at a limited speed for a limited amount of time. Getting a puncture is the most common reason for a mechanical breakdown and it can be a very scary experience. Run flats make this experience drastically less scary, there is no need to pull over on the road side and try to change the tyre.

The general guideline for run flats after getting a puncture is you are able to travel up to 50 miles at 50mph. At this point, it is advised you change your tyre. This can differ depending on the tyre brand and the weight of your car.


How Do Run Flat Tyres Work?

The reinforced sidewalls in run flat tyres act as an extra barrier against wear and tear. They will also continue to support the car in the case of a puncture. Producers such as Continental, have developed technology that increases safety and driver experience.

It is important to not forget that it is not advised to go past the 50 mile range limit. It is very important to change the tyre when possible. If it is not changed, you will run the risk of damaging the wheel itself which will be a lot more expensive than simply replacing the tyre.


Are Run Flat Tyres More Expensive?

Run flat tyres do tend to cost more, up to 50% more. The increased cost of run flat tyre is counterbalanced by the additional safety that they provide in the case of a puncture.


What Are The Benefits of Run Flat Tyres?

As aforementioned, the major benefit of having run flat tyres is safety. Run flat tyres allow you to travel up to 50 miles, allowing you to reach somewhere safe to change the tyre rather than having to change the tyre on the side of the road (a very dangerous situation to be in!). Run flats will also give you more control of the car in the event of a puncture. Another benefit is there will be more space in the boot, as a spare wheel isn’t necessary. It also means there is less overall weight, improving fuel efficiency.


What Cars Have Run Flats?

Run flat tyres are only fitted to new cars which have a tyre pressure monitor system (TPMS). This is what will produce a warning on the dashboard when your run flat tyre gets a puncture. If your vehicle does not have TPMS, it should not be fitted with run flat tyres.


How Do I Know If My Vehicle Has Run Flats?

To find out if your vehicle has run flats, you should inspect the tyre sidewall. Different manufacturers have their own run flat markings. Here is a list of the best selling run flat tyre brands and the symbols they use::

  • Michelin- ZP
  • Goodyear- ROF, EMT
  • Continental- SSR
  • Bridgestone- ROF, RFT, RSC
  • Dunlop- DSST, ROF
  • Pirelli- RSC


Longbridge Tyres

If you are not sure how to tell if you have run flat tyres on your car or if you need more information on run flat tyres, Longbridge Tyres are experts in working with tyres and a whole host of different vehicles. We have been locally supplying and fitting tyres for our customers for over 20 years. Please get in touch with our expert team on 0121 457 7582 or fill out our online contact form.

The Importance of Tyre Tread

In terms of safety, there may not be a more important component on your vehicle than its tyres. As tyres have evolved, as has their role in road safety. Tyres are made from specifically formulated rubber compounds and the way that the tread is engineered provides specific safety features.

Stopping Distances

If your tyres have an effective grip, this will lower your stopping distance, which means you will be able to brake better when needed. This is even more important when performing an emergency braking manoeuvre.


Aquaplaning happens when a layer of water builds between the wheel and the road surface, causing a loss of traction that can prevent effective braking and limit handling. When the tyre has sufficient tread, it helps to disperse the water between the tire and the surface. As the grooves are worn away, their ability to do this is reduced. Aquaplaning can be very scary and extremely dangerous. The more tread the tyre has, the better contact they have with the surface and the less likely you are to lose traction in wet conditions.

If these two reasons aren’t enough to ensure that you check your tyre tread depth, the risk of being fined £2,500 and getting three points on your licence should encourage you to do so. This is per tyre too, which means if all four of your tyres don’t have a minimum tread of 1.6mm, you could face a fine of £10,000 and 12 points on your licence.

How to check your tyre tread

One of the most important checks you can do on your care is its tyre tread depth. If your tyre tread is worn, it means that the contact patch between you and the road is past its best. By law, motorists are required to check that their tyre tread depth is at least 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre and around the entire circumference.

The 20p Test

This is a simple, quick and easy way to check your tyre tread. Take a 20p coin and insert it into the tread grooves on the tyre. Your tyres are above the legal limit if you can’t see the outer band on the coin. If you can see the band, your tyres can be unsafe and should be inspected by a professional.

Longbridge Tyres

If you are uncertain about whether your tyre tread meets legal standards or are looking for new tyres, Longbridge Tyres are experts and will be happy to help. Longbridge Tyres are a premier tyre dealer in the Birmingham and Solihull areas, supplying and fitting tyres for over 20 years. We stock a wide range of excellent tyre brands to suit all. Please contact us on 0121 457 7582 or fill out our online contact form.

The Differences Between Wheel Tracking, Wheel Alignment & Balancing

Wheel Tracking / Wheel Alignment

What is wheel alignment and what does it do for your car? Essentially, wheel alignment, also referred to as wheel tracking, helps your tyres perform better as well as ensures they last longer. Alongside these key elements, wheel alignment also helps improve the handling of the vehicle and keeps it from pulling in one direction or the steering wheel from vibrating when driving.


Do My Tyres Need To Be Balanced?

Tyre balancing is a key part of car maintenance – it helps make sure that weight is evenly distributed around the entire circumference of your car.


Do You Have These Must-Haves in Your Car?

Summer (or winter) holiday planned soon that requires a long drive? There are a couple of items that are must-haves for your car. Strap yourself in and be prepared.

When you’re out and about, it helps to be prepared. Unfortunately, you will not always bump into a good samaritan type stranger who has everything you need in an emergency. It helps to have a few key items in your car already. 


10 Fun Facts About Cars

Most of us rely on a car on the daily. It’s our go-to mode of transportation. A place where road trips begin, endless games of eye-spy are played, and a bubble where we can sing at the top of our lungs when the workday is done during our commute home.

No matter whether you’re on your first car or your fifth, we all secretly love our automobiles. So let’s learn more about them – as we seem to spend so much time inside them.

Here are 10 interesting facts about cars that you may not have heard about before.


Are You Summer Ready? Get Your Car In Shape With These Summer Car Care Tips

As we head further into the spring, we begin to ask ourselves: is my car ready for summer? A lot changes over the autumn and winter months, which means certain checks need to be done.

Forget about your summer body. It’s time to start thinking about caring for your car and prepping it for summer instead! Before you plan your summer and all those epic road trips or holidays around the UK, it’s important to give a little TLC to your vehicle and prepare it for the good times ahead.


3 Tips for Fuel Economy in Winter

The winter season poses many challenges to drivers, particularly with regards to fuel efficiency. As temperatures drop below freezing, many drivers use their vehicles in a more fuel-inefficient way, how can you combat this?


How Do Winter Tyres Work?

When the temperature starts to drop, it is advisable to switch to winter tyres. But what is the difference between summer tyres and winter tyres? How do winter tyres work compared to summer tyres in the cold weather?


4 DIY Car Maintenance Jobs You Can Do At Home

Cars need regular maintenance to help improve the overall performance and to safeguard its longevity. While taking your car to the professionals for servicing and an annual MOT is crucial, there are a few car maintenance jobs that you can do yourself at home. Let’s take a look at them.

Here are 4 basic car maintenance jobs that you can do yourself at home.