What to do When Your Corvette Run-Flat Tire Loses Air

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What to Do When Your Run-Flat Tire Gets a Flat

This 2016 Corvette, with the Spice Red Design package, features Spice Red brake calipers behind new Blade accessory wheels. Photo courtesy of General Motors.

The idea of having tires that will remain safe while driving even after experiencing a sudden loss of air pressure can be very reassuring. These kinds of tires can suffer a severe puncture, but maintain their integrity. The driver will barely notice that a flat has occurred because there is no loss of control or wobbling when the puncture occurs. Here's what you need to know if you lose air or get a puncture in your Corvette's run-flat tires.

Run-flat tires have actually been around since the 1930s, but the cost has been prohibitive to the general consumer. They are often used for high security vehicles, such as those for politicians and armored vehicles. Today, there are some run-flat tires that are considered bulletproof because of their construction.

Advantages of Run-Flat Tires

Run-flat tires are becoming more mainstream , especially with moreautomobile manufactures offering them on vehicles as standard equipment. These can provide an extra level of safety to the mind of the consumer, and the idea of having these kind of tires is becoming more acceptable. Auto manufacturers that offer these are generally mounting them on high-end luxury vehicles and sports cars. Today’s run-flat tires are capable of carrying your vehicle an additional 50 miles at 50 mph, and even further if you drive slower.

SEE ALSO: 2014-2016 Corvette OEM Tires: About the Michelin Pilot Super Sport ZP

The Downside to Run-Flat Tires

However, there is a major problem with run-flat tires in today’s market. As they are still not widely used, they are also not widely carried and getting a replacement may prove difficult. In addition, run-flat tires cannot be repaired like conventional tires, they must be replaced. They are understandably more expensive than conventional tires.

SEE ALSO: Warning: Are Your Corvette Tires Unsafe?

What to Do When Your Corvette's Run-Flat Tires Lose Air

When a run-flat tire experiences a puncture it won’t look any different than it usually does. So how are you to know that it is flat? You vehicle dash board will tell you. All vehicles that come with run-flat tires also feature tire and wheel sensors that constantly check the status of the air pressure. When there is a loss of pressure, you will see a warning light on your dash.

SEE ALSO: Best Replacement Tires for a C6 Corvette

When You See the Warning Light

First, if you are able to safely pull over, stop your Corvette and inspect the tire. Look for any punctures or ruptures, inspecting both the sidewalls and the tread. If you don't see anything, you can run your hand over the thread to feel for any screws, nails or rocks thay may have puncutured the tire.

If you can't find any sign of damage, your tire may just be low, or you may have an issue with your tire sensor. The best way to rule out either possibility is by adding air to your tire, and re-checking the car's on-board tire pressure reading.

Your run-flat tire should maintain enough integriy to allow you to drive for short distances without damaging your rim, or other parts of your car. But be sensible, and drive gingerly to avoid causing undue harm.

SEE ALSO: How do Michelin Pilot Super Sport ZP Tires Perform for New Corvettes?

When you see the tire pressure warning light, the best thing to do is contact your auto dealership or tire store and take your car there to have the pressure checked. Remember, it is safe to drive on the tire for up to 50 miles or more so there is no need to worry about your wheels or rims. It’s possible that your tires are simply low on pressure due to normal wear and a top up of air will have you on your way.

However, if the mechanic finds that your run-flat tire has a puncture, it will have to be replaced and this can be costly and time consuming. More than likely, they will not have your tire in stock and it will have to be ordered. The good part is that since it is a run-flat tire, you can probably go about your business driving your car until the replacement arrives, depending on what you need to do, rather than having your car sitting at the dealership or garage.