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Ditching the Run Flats


stooH
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I've finally got to a point on the tyres of my car that I could justify replacing them, they were allowing me to get ever more sideways and with the recent couple of showers after long periods of dry weather i'd noticed how slippy the roads were.

So i've decided to ditch the run flats on the car. From reading review on t'internet a lot of people have suggested that they degrade the ride quality quite a bit and i've never been overly happy with it on the car, particularly at motorway speeds. I've found it a touch jittery and particularly prone to tramlining which some have suggested is because of the stiff side walls.

So the Potenzas are off and i've had 4 Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetrics fitted. I've only driven the 20 miles or so into work this morning on them so it's a bit hard to tell if there's been a major change, however, early impressions are good, there are a couple of raised bumps across some of the roads in, i've always noticed in the past that the car kind of jumps over them and the traction control light comes on, didn't happen this morning but i'm going to monitor it for a few days and feed back properly.

Anyone else ditched the run flats and noticed a marked improvement?

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My A4 came with 19" run flats (Dunlop SP Sport or sumfink) despite not being advised of it. Some did have 'em, some didn't. I've got the dymanic suspension so maybe that's why I've never had to complain about them. The fron't now need doing after 18k miles (lot sof small journies and car park lock to lock moves). Rears probably have another 6-9 months use.

I'm not sure what to do but I need to decide quick as they're borderline for the imminent MOT.

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I'm a fan of run flats (strange I know). And even went as far as ordering the no cost RF option on my M135. The car was delivered with (well it was delivered on continental RF winters) Bridgestone S001 run flats as opposed to the oem pilot super sports. I swapped to the Bridgestones 4500 miles ago and have been super happy with my choice. I don't doubt that the michelins have superior dry road grip, but in the wet the S001s are great and very progressive. The ride is very good on the adaptive suspension and the biggest thing for me is the steering feel. The stiffer side walls work better with the very highly geared electric rack of the M135 from my experience. Also the Bridgestones seem to be outlasting the super sports by a factor of 2 and you get the (debatable) security of the run flat functionality. I couldn't be happier.

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I swapped from Runflats on my old 330i and it was a lot nice to drive. Less thrashing and more compliant. Plus from a cost prospective I changed all 4 tyres for the price of only the rear runflats.

I wouldn't change them early just to swap them as some have done but the difference was noticeable and a welcome improvement.

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Both rft and suspension improvements have made quite a difference over the past few years, so depending in your driving style they aren't as bad as they used to be.

BUT, they aren't as good as non-rft's.

No BMW M cars come with them fitted, Porsche don't fit them to their cars, neither do AMG. Think that's proof enough that a performance car is better off without them.

I have rft's on the 135i and it makes it twitchy in bumpy corners or when trying to put the power down on anything but smooth Tarmac.

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One simple question to those that have swapped from RFTs to non-RFTs - how do you now handle punctures? Spray foam stuff? Space saver wheel?

I'm convinced the ride and handling qualities of RFTs are entirely dependant on the car model, wheel, tyre combination. I was ready to change mine if I felt there was a significant improvement to be had, but I've been more than happy with both ride comfort and handling with the 19" Bridgestone RE050As on my E92 M Sport. And I'm convinced the strength of the RFTs has protected the alloys from pot hole damage more than once. The car itself is a perfect compromise between performance and practicality and the RE050As seem to mirror that.

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Fitting non rflt's make such a difference to ride quality,certainly on the the M Sport setup.This is on my to do list,as for punctures i always keep a mobility kit in the boot,or you can buy a space saver.

i use non rflt winter tyres from around Dec-Apr and have never had a problem with punctures.

As someone has already said,BMW now offer the option of non rflt tyres when buying new,but M models have never been fitted with rflt's..+++

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Interesting point about the tyre weld and tyre inflator, how well do they work? I've not got anything at all at the moment so need to consider it. Worst case I'd just call out the RAC but if you can limp on somewhere it would be useful. With the tyre pressure indicator i'd imagine you catch any punctures early and the chances of a complete blow out are minimal these days i'd imagine.

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How well does Tyre Weld work?

Not very, I wouldn't rely on it, and would never, ever, be without breakdown cover on a car with no spare wheel.

There are a very limited number of situations where you get the 'perfect' puncture and Tyre Weld can help, but even then, once you've used it, the tyre can't be repaired, which means a replacement and possibly two on cars that are sensitive to differing tread depths.

If you have a spare, you can swap it and have the puncture fixed (usually).

I have a Conti Mobility kit in my Galaxy, I had to use it once and it was an abject failure, not only that, but once i'd used it, the 12V pump that you screw the gunk bottle into was useless, the gunk dried out blocking it solid, I complained to Ford and they sent me a new one, which I just use as a pump (and a very good one at that) but would never screw the gunk bottle into it again.

Edited by Tipex
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AA say scillyisles is right:

Spare tyre

You don't have to carry a spare and it does not have to comply with the legal requirements while it is stowed away. However, when fitted to the vehicle (for example, following a puncture) it must then comply with the law. The spare is not tested in the MOT but the examiner may draw your attention to an unserviceable item as a matter of courtesy.

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If its not a MOT thingy, then maybe its police or road recovery terms?

How impressed would a road side recovery be if you have a flat, and had no means of attempted fix before they are called out?

Anyway sealant is useless, fecks the possibility of vulcanised repair, and if you find a garage that will do a repair they charge a few hours labour to remove the sealant that didn't work.

Back on topic, if you go to Costco as we did they refuse to do run flat to normal tire replacement unless you ge a letter from the manufacture / dealer saying its ok. Weird, but that's what we had to do!

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Fair enough, i've just bought a bottle of Slime and a compressor, it may be useful it may not but gives a little bit of a backup, i've got BMW emergency assistance with my car anyway although not sure what there take would be on me calling them out if i've replaced the run flats with normal tyres...

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Thinking it through, the Caterham is road legal and has neither a spare nor an inflation kit. Mind you, it doesn't have much at all, which is probably why I never noticed that. It also spends a reasonable amount of time on a trailer behind a tow car that has four spare wheels & tyres in it, but that's by the by.

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As others have mentioned I had a compressor / tyre weld and was always covered by roadside recovery.

And just to make sure I also called my insurance company to tell them and they didn't care but I got them to record it on my insurance anyway so they couldn't come back to me and say, 'but you didn't tell us' etc.

As for protection of the alloys, the replacements had a better bead to protect the alloy than the original as it happens so I think there were better than the originals in that respect.

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