Michelin Zero Pressure Tyres
For high standard of equipment and In all fairness Michelin are not the only company to make a run-flat product. Most tyre companies including some budget tyre brands make a run-flat tyre.
Michelin’s call their tyre the ZP or Michelin Zero Pressure.
This of course refers to the fact that when the run-flat tyre deflates, it will carry on running with zero air in the tyre. This is exactly what the run-flat does. Because of the much stronger
side walls the tyre will not deviate from its course. The driver is warned about the deflation from inside the car by the TPMS system (tyre pressure monitoring system).
Let’s face it our roads are probably the busiest in Europe. Consequently, nobody enjoys having to change a wheel at the side of the road. In fact they now warn us to stay well away from the car. Preferably, at the top of the embankment. Importantly, while the recovery truck turns up! Because of the many accidents caused by broken down vehicles. Of course, being hit from behind by other vehicles who lose concentration and smash into them.
With the Michelin Zero Pressure run-flat technology fitted to your car. Then this will be avoided. These tyres will lose pressure from a nail or a screw penetration. But your car will keep a straight line and you will be able to drive home. Albeit at the reduced speed of 50 mph, but the tyre will let you travel 50 mile. Naturally, which should be enough to get you out of trouble and have the tyre changed
Michelin Zero Pressure Tyres-Can you mix run-flat tyres with normal radial tyres?
Michelin recommend that you should never mix a Michelin Zero Pressure run-flat tyres with a non-run-flat normal radial tyres. The only exception to this rule is if you were stranded in the middle of nowhere. With the only tyre depot for miles around could only get you a normal tyre. Subsequently, then this would be acceptable as a last resort, get you home step and the tyre must be changed back to a run-flat as soon as possible.
The Michelin Zero Pressure run-flats have completely different sidewalls; they are made of much thicker materials and are known as “Self-supporting tyres” or SST’s. They have two other identification markings on the sidewalls.
1: ZP allows you to drive at 50 mph for speeds up 50 mph (most of the M1 motorway at the moment)
2: ZP SR allows you to drive for 20 miles at 50 mph
Michelin Zero Pressure offer the same ride capabilities as a normal radial tyre
The first time I drove a BMW Mini that was equipped with run-flat tyres I thought I was in an old truck going down a cobble road. The ride was horrendous, and my staff, who regularly test drive cars say that this is a common thing, the ride is very hard, because the sidewalls are so thick and re-enforced. Michelin claim that their Zero pressure tyres are not the same and give just as good a ride as their normal radial tyre range.
Although I have not tried out as car fitted with Michelin Zero Pressure, this has got to be a step in the right direction and I will try out these tyres as soon as possible to quantify their claims.
However some fleet companies are now looking at the Michelin , because of the more comfortable ride and also improved fuel consumption. These tyres have been tested by fleet company Alphabet’s Operational Services Manager, Andy Williams,
He explained: “The comfort compromise everyone used to associate with run-flats has disappeared with the latest technology of tyres.
I have tried Michelin’s new Zero Pressure (ZP) range
Trust me, you can’t tell the difference from standard tyres. Yes, there have been critics of run-flat tyres in the past, but Michelin has answered all of them. It is high time fleet managers start to embrace the new technology as it has so much to offer.
The combination of a smooth ride and the increased safety is something they just can’t afford to ignore. The fact that a tyre keeps its shape when it loses pressure could be life-saving in the event of a tyre blow-out.”
As I have stated earlier this means that the fleet car user can now safely drive the vehicle to a tyre centre or garage and have the tyre replaced.
This will help to reduce down time caused in the past by the driver calling out the emergency services because they are not able to change the wheel themselves, or the car is stranded in a dangerous place.
For the private drivers who are fitted out with run-flat tyres it would be well worth trying out these new Michelin Zero Pressure, because of the better and less harsh ride, that is associated with the other run-flat makes of tyres.