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Run-flat tires

The Mini Coopers have run-flat tires as an option. Chatter on the web suggests that they make the drive harsher. Is that true, particularly on a tire as small as 16 inches? I have also heard they cannot be repaired, so a puncture will cost $150. True? Consumer Reports says the benefit of not have to change the tire in poor weather or in the middle of gangland outweighs all other considerations. I’m not sure I would agree unless answers to my other questions are comforting.

“Consumer Reports says the benefit of not have to change the tire in poor weather or in the middle of gangland outweighs all other considerations.”

That’s probably true for typical CR readers, the most risk adverse people on the planet. Personally, I wouldn’t bother with run-flats. I don’t even remember the last time I had to change a flat tire on the road, I would just keep good tires on the car and not worry about it.

I think a new one will cost over $200, and you probably have to replace 2.

You know why your Mini has run-flat tires? I’ll bet if you take a good careful look around the interior, you can figure it out…

Give up? You have no spare! BMW’s main reason for putting run-flats on this car and some of their other models is so they can eliminate the space and weight of the spare tire.

EDIT: Okay, casual googling shows that the non-run-flat equipped minis do have spare tires. But the extra cargo space might be a consideration when considering this option.

I would ass on it myself, but if you feel safer with the run flat tyres, and don’t mind the extra cost, harsher ride (I have heard from several sources that they don’t ride as well, and I believe they don’t have long tread life.) then it might be worth it. If I drove often in areas that I would feel very uncomfortable walking, I might consider it.

Save the money. Run flat tires need a pressure monitor and the system is prone to failure. You don’t need the headache. If you have a flat tire, drive slowly to a place that can fix it. Even if you have to replace the wheel and tire, it will cost less than having run-flats. Most run flats have special rims that will have to be replaced if you want to change back to normal tires. Winter tires will require different wheels. The run flats will ride like crap and wear out sooner.

Overpriced, harsher ride, and who needs the headaches?

Just about every time I’ve had a flat it occurred in my driveway when a slow leak caused by a nail allowed the tire to flatten overnight. The local co-op fixes them for 6 bucks and I can live with that.

And CR bites IMHO. I would love to be around a tire shop when a CR editor or “journalist” gets presented a bill for THEIR run-flats going south.
No doubt these people would be going ballistic then.

“And CR bites IMHO.”

I wouldn’t be that polite.

First the runflat installed may be harsh however you cannot make a blanket statement that ALL runflats are harsh as its simply not true.

I personally would avoid them if an option and get the regular tires. In my twenty years of driving I have had one flat and it was repairable.

Its too bad so many people take it as gospel. Its worth a glance but should not used sole source in any purchase. Amazing how much weight goes into what they publish.

There are two types of run flat tires. One has stiffer sidewall and thicker carcass so that it can continue some marginal level of support, the other has a “doughnut” wrapped around the wheel that supports the flattened tire. I don’t know which the Mini uses, but the BMW dealer can tell you.

Run flats with doughnuts cost a fortune to replace. If I lived near Liberty City, Watts, or Newark it might be worth it, but for me in NH there’s no way I could justify the cost.

Run-flat tires may appeal to the little old ladies who could not change a flat tire even in their own garage. They have little appeal to anyone who would normally change a flat himself.