Can I still drive with a damaged run-flat tire?

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My new BMW doesn’t have a spare tire. What would happen if I hit a pothole or curb hard enough to cut the tire?

Q. I purchased a new BMW and noticed it doesn’t have a spare tire. The dealer said the car had run-flat tires, but I assumed the car also had a spare. What would happen if I hit a pothole or curb hard enough to cut the tire? Can I still drive on it?

A. The run-flat tires on your BMW will allow you to drive without air in them for a short period at under around 50 miles per hour. If the tire has a hole in the sidewall, in some cases you can still drive for limited periods, but it should be done slowly as handling and even braking will be compromised. Most manufacturers don’t recommend driving more than 25 to 75 miles with a damaged run-flat tire.

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John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Car Doctor. He has over 40 years of experience in the automotive business and is an ASE certified master technician. Email your car question to jpaul@aaanortheast.com.

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