How many of you are worried that if you suddenly pull a flat, your car will go careening into the sidewalk and injure yourself along with many others?
What if you get a flat and you’re in the middle of the highway with no repairment in sight? What do you do then?
Just like you, I’m also concerned that I will lose control of my car in the event of a flat and get involved in an accident. In order to address these concerns, manufacturers came up with run-flat tires which have ultra stiff sidewalls which prevent your car from absorbing shocks on the road and veering left and right.
Bridgestone DriveGuard Run Flat Review 2019: Why Should You Buy This Tire?
This tire is unique in a number of ways. It’s the first run-flat tire which has been designed as a replacement tire and not standard fitment. So if you have a car which isn’t outfitted with run-flat tires but you want the peace of mind that having them provides you, this is your chance to get them.
The sidewall is reinforced to ensure that it can hold the weight of the vehicle when the tire is flat. Instead of just making the sidewall really thick or putting in reinforcements, Bridgestone came up with an innovative design.
When a tire is flat, heat is more problematic than the weight of the tire. The heat builds up and causes the rubber to tear up. So Bridgestone put in a new, more heat-resistant rubber formula and also added tiny rubber “cooling fins” to the exterior of the sidewall.
This keeps the tires cool and less susceptible to tear.
Ride Control With a Flat
Consumers get run-flat tires because of the added safety, even if they have to compromise a little on ride quality. Without a flat, this tire might feel a bit stiff, and you might hear some noise and a slight vibration on your steering wheel.
However, that’s not what this tire is for. It is for riding safely with a flat. Bridgestone says that the tire can travel 50 miles at up to 50 mph without coming apart, which in my opinion is way more than enough. However, if you pull the whole 50 miles, it will definitely have irreparable damage.
Even when pushed beyond its limits, the Driveguard provided a smooth breakaway that could easily be controlled and put back into line, instead of snapping out. The car did veer a little to the left with the flat, but it was totally under control and never too unnerving.
This tire was designed to be an all-season tire, and when I took it out on rough roads, the vibration that I felt was very muted and much less sharp than a normal tire. Rest assured, the tire will perform great on uneven, gravelly roads.
When it comes to wet traction, this tire is outfitted with silica and special rubber polymers which make for better handling in wet and slippery conditions. The asymmetrical tread pattern also helps to channel water out of the car’s path.
Of course, the traction depends to a large extent on how fast you’re going. But there are separate models available for the different speed ratings (H, V, and W). This covers everything from compact cars to sports sedans.
The best thing about a run-flat tire is that you don’t have to worry about their durability. They were made to withstand the wear and tear that tires go through when you have a flat. So rest assured, they will definitely hold up well when you don’t have a flat.
The tire was designed to have an optimized contact patch where the tire meets the road. This design spreads the weight evenly across the entire surface of the tire, which keeps it running smoothly.
Then again, there is the DriveGuard warranty. Most auto manufacturers don’t extend the warranty to tires, but this one has a 50,000-60,000 mile warranty, depending on the speed rating of your car. There is also a one-year fix-or-replace warranty, which is applicable for both tread and sidewall punctures.
What Could Have Been Better?
As I said, this is the first ever replacement run-flat tire. As a result, this will mostly be installed in cars which didn’t have run-flats previously.
This might cause issues with the suspension and ride quality of the car, simply because the car was not designed to operate with run-flat tires. Cars with pre-installed run-flats were manufactured in such a way so as to compensate for the harsher ride, but if you’re putting this on yourself, your car will not have that luxury later on.
- Superior design and construction
- Cooling fins
- Very less swerving with flat tires
- Silica and rubber polymers for added traction
- 50,000 miles warranty
- An added layer of safety
- Harsher ride on non-optimized vehicles
- Slightly expensive
Run flat tires are made for a very specific segment of consumers who value car safety over everything else – be it ride quality, acceleration, whatever.
However, when comparing with other run-flat tires in the market today which are in the same price range, this tire is a clear winner. In fact, this tire isn’t just suitable for cars; plenty of people use it on their bikes as well.
So there you have it! If you are worried about losing control of your car when you are going pretty fast, and you suddenly get a flat, this tire might just save the day.