Car Care: Readers air their views on run-flat tyres
Driven reader feedback on run-flat tyres
Thank you for the feedback on our recent Car Care story regarding run-flat tyres (RFTs). The response was fantastic.
Below is a condensed version of some of the many emails we received from owners.
We will let you be the judge.
Is on to his sixth BMW; the last two have been fitted with RFTs. He once suffered three punctures within three months. In every case the tyres required replacement. His current BMW 335i has been re-shod with non-RFTs which he feels offer better handling and vehicle stability.
Drives a 2002 BMW Cooper S fitted with run-flats and is convinced they offer an advantage. He once suffered front tyre damage on the Waikato expressway but was able to drive home to Auckland without any problems. Also feels the higher prices are not excessive.
His BMW 645i suffered a deflating tyre while driving to Taupo. They found a tyre shop in Putaruru which was able to repair the puncture. He has no issues with the high cost of replacement RFTs.
Initially had RFTs on his 2003 Mini Cooper but they were quickly replaced with conventional asymmetrical tyres after suffering from deflating issues. The high cost of new RFTs — $510 each — was the main reason for the change. Other benefits include less road noise, improved ride and better availability of the more conventional tyres. He doesn’t think RFTs are suitable for NZ roads.
Is a BMW fan and believes the major negatives against RFTs are the replacement cost and the uncertainty about being able to repair them. He also believes there are positives especially for owners like him who are in their late 70s. Fitting a spare is getting beyond his strength so he is reassured that he can drive for a limited time and speed to a place of repair. He has suffered two punctures, one of which was a faulty valve replaced at no cost.
Was once left stranded in Taupo for two nights after suffering a puncture. After previous issues, the RFTs were replaced with conventional tyres, a space-saver wheel and the appropriate tools.
He and his wife are both BMW owners and drive models fitted with RFTs. His wife has had one puncture in her 3-series. They were able to drive the vehicle into the city to have the tyre replaced. His X3 is another story. In the last three months, he has had two punctures on a 2.5km stretch of unsealed road from his farm gate. No jack or wheel brace, so it was a call to BMW assistance for help with the second puncture. He believes RFTs have their place but not on a 4WD. He would be far happier with the old-fashioned spare along with the appropriate tools.
His wife’s BMW 320i had RFTs until a nail ruined one, which meant buying two. Had trouble finding replacements locally and quotes were horrendous. Changed to conventional tyres and bought a small compressor. Better ride, handling unchanged.
Doesn’t think the price of RFTs is too bad when you own a brand such as BMW. Owners should shop around for the best price.
Recently replaced the RFTs on his BMW X5 with conventional Michelin Latitude XPs along with a space-saver wheel and noticed a vastly improved ride.
Lives in Kaitaia and owns a BMW X1. He can see no advantages in having RFTs unless owners live within 50km of a tyre shop that stocks them. He covers those disadvantages by having a new tyre on hand. He believes weight and fuel savings are minimal.