A long time ago I suggested that, when it comes time to get tires, that you skip getting run flats and go with a normal tire. Improved ride and handling, plus they are cheaper. I still think that is the way to go.
Pictured is the Pirelli Eufori@ Run Flat and it costs $US205 from tires.com for a 205/45r-17. For comparision, the same size Kumho Ecsta AST non-runflat costs $US99. On a set of 4, that’s a huge savings!
“But db”, you say, “what happens if I get a flat?”
Most of the time, at least for me, flats happen when I’m near either my house or work. I’ve been lucky to not get a flat during a road trip or when I was in unfamiliar territory (or a desolate stretch of I-70). I’m also a huge cheapskate as I’ve mentioned before, and paying an extra $US400+ for a set of tires doesn’t work for me. Finally, I have a spare, so I don’t worry about it.
But for you that don’t have a spare, might I recommend the following.
- For everyday around town driving, keep an extra wheel with tire at home. You get a flat between home and work, or driving around town, you could easily have someone fetch that and bring it, along with the required tool, to you. Handy too for those morning when you wake up to a flat tire. That’s the worst! To save a few bucks, the wheel doesn’t even have to match, just make sure it is the same diameter (16″, 17″, 18″)
- For longer drives (3-4 hours), get a can of fix-a-flat or a AAA Card or both. Carry the spare if you are going to be travelling on roads less traveled or desolate areas.
- For even longer drives (MTTS anyone?), maybe carry that spare wheel mentioned above in the back seat. You can get covers for them to they don’t make the interior all icky and you can pick up a bottle jack at every automotive parts store on the planet.
Run flat tires are expensive, don’t provide the greatest ride (although on the R56/R55 it is better than the R53) and don’t handle as well as their non-runflat counterparts. Also, if you have a Cooper, you already have a spare tire (check under the boot and read your manual), so getting run-flats isn’t necessary.
Comments are open if you have anything to add or want to ask a question.