auto

Can I use run-flat tires on an older car?

Tara Baukus MelloDear Driving for Dollars,
I saw a TV commercial for a new car with tires that could be driven when flat. I live in a pretty rural area with spotty cellphone coverage and would love to know I wouldn't get stranded by a flat tire, but I'm not ready to buy a new car.

Can I put these tires on an older car?
-- Tanya

Flat tire © Photographee.eu/Shutterstock.com

Dear Tanya,
Yes, you probably can get run-flat tires for your older car.

Run-flat tires have been around for more than 15 years, but historically they were only available on cars that had originally been designed to accommodate them, since they need special wheels and suspension features. This limited the number of cars that could use them.

Now, run-flat technology can be had on almost any passenger car from 2008 and later. That was the model year when tire pressure monitoring systems became required in cars in the U.S.

DriveGuard from Bridgestone is one type of run-flat tire that can be installed on most 2008 model-year and newer passenger cars and will allow drivers to drive for up to 50 miles on a flat tire safely and still experience a similar ride, quality and performance as non-run-flat tires when fully inflated.

TireRack.com recently conducted testing of run-flat tires at its 11.7-acre test facility and found that they performed as well as comparable tires that were conventional, non-run-flat technology and original equipment run-flat tires.

If you're buying new tires, read how to choose new tires for your car.

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If you have a car question, email it to us at Driving for Dollars. Read more Driving for Dollars columns and Bankrate auto stories. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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