Run Flat Tires

My Toyota Sienna AWD Van goes thru a set of tires at about 12,000 miles at $250 a tire. Would switching to non run flat tires last longer? Toyota has replaced 6 tires for me saying they know they have a problem, but will not replace anymore. I have 54,000 miles on the van and it’s on it’s 3rd set of new tires. Toyota in it’s infinite wisdom has no spare tire on this vehicle or any place to put one. So if regular tires would be better do you have any ideas where to place a spare? Thanks for your time.

I would opt for regular tires. As far as spare I would simply make sure to have an auto club with towing like AAA or maybe your car insurance offers one(usually cheap) to tow the vehicle if disabled. You can always carry can of fix a flat in dire emergencies.

Did the Toyota dealer ever check the alignment? Make sure to perform this. 12k miles is way below average even for run flats.

Run flat tire technology has not gotten to the point where there is long tread life. I bought a new GMC Envoy several years ago with run flat tires and got about 10K before the tires needed replaced. They were noisy and the road feel was terrible. I switched to Michelins and had over 30K on them before I sold the Envoy. Toyota has made a series of marketing blunders in the past few years but they do offer a “dealer installed” spare tire kit. Your AWD model has the spare just inside the rear hatch when it’s installed.

I’d get regular tires, an auto club (check with your car insurance co., sometimes you can add that much cheaper than AAA, etc), and I would buy a good tire inflator that runs off the car battery.

Just so we are clear on a few things:

Run Flat tires do not wear quickly because they are Run Flats. They wear quickly because they are:

a) OE tires, which are designed with wear qualities far down the list of priorities.

b) High Performance tires, which trade grip for wear

c) Or both

It is fair to say the ride from a Run Flat is harsher.

In the case of Toyota Sienna’s, these Run Flats are not high performance tires and the OE tires have a 360 tread wear rating - pretty low.

You can find plenty of tires that will wear better, but be prepared to suffer some fuel economy in order to get high wear ratings.

The only thing that gets run flat is your wallet…For the cost savings on a set of tires, you can have your car towed home or to any tire store…It might not look pretty, but there is room in there somewhere for a spare…

Do those tread wear numbers really mean anything?

My wife got 55k out of Bridgestone RE92a’s that had a tread wear rating of 160. My Bridgestone RE960’s with a treadwear # of 400AA are well worn at 45k miles.

The dealer said there is no kit to place the spare tire in the vehicle does anyone know the part number. If I have to have a spare in the vehicle, I want it to be safe.

Turns out this has been a real sore point for Sienna owners, class action lawsuit, etc. The spare tire kit requires removal of the 3rd row seat (and elimination of the major benefit of getting a minivan, it would seem) according to this discussion:

That’s Ridiculous That These Vans Have No Spare. I Hope That Was Pointed Out To You Early In The Buying / Selling Negotiations. Toyota Saying They Have A Tire Problem, But Not Fixing It Is Ludicrous.

Speaking of tread wear ratings, it’s my understanding that these numbers are to be used to compare tires within a certain manufacturer’s products and aren’t meant to compare tires of one brand with tires of another brand.

My spare would be on the roof, even if I had to put a rack or hold-down up there, if I ever had the misfortune of buying an AWD Sienna. It wouldn’t be pretty. Could it possibly become a projectile in a crash ? Possibly, but it would need to be secured like it was part of the vehicle.

How about a 2" receiver hitch with a carrier ? It’s not pretty and a little ackward, but . . .

What model year is this van ? Maybe you could just move up the van’s replacement date, get rid of it, and steer clear of Toyotas.


Well, to be fair, Toyota says it has an acceleration problem and isn’t sure if it’s even fixed yet…

My 2006 Sienna Limited AWD with run flats are on the third set of tires at 60K miles. I’m fed up with run flats and ordered a full size spare from and switching to regular tires. The regular tires can’t be any worse that run flats. I didn’t find any posts reporting Sienna’s with regular tires, so I’ll post my findings with the new regular tires in the coming months. If the regular tires are just as bad as the run flats, I’m trading in my Sienna for a Honda minivan. Toyota dealers would not cover the worn out tires under warranty, so I’ll no longer be a Toyota customer.
There’s plenty of room to lay the spare tire flat in the rear storage with the third row up. During cargo usage, you can tie the spare tire on the roof or just go naked for a short while.

“Toyota dealers would not cover the worn out tires under warranty”


Yet another car owner who has not read the actual details of the multiple warranties that came with the vehicle. By reading those details, you would have found that the tires are warrantied by the tire manufacturer, not by Toyota. And, this policy is followed by every vehicle manufacturer with which I am familiar. This policy is not something unique to Toyota.

And, unless the tire warranty that came with the vehicle has some very unusual wording, the tire manufacturer warrants those tires against defects in materials and workmanship, not against wear-out of the tread. It is possible to purchase some new tires that are warrantied against premature tread wear-out, but this type of coverage would be highly unusual on the tire warranty that comes with a new vehicle.

There might well be some rational arguments that you could come up with for not buying another Toyota, but early wear-out of the tires is not a rational argument for buying from a different vehicle manufacturer next time.

Personally, if I had run flat tyres, I would order a set of regular tyres today.

I would never, never, never buy a car with run-flats.

How has Toyota replaced 6 tires for you and you’re on your 3rd set?

Wait a minute. You have a van, and you can’t find a place for a spare tire?

You have bigger problems.