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      03-08-2013, 09:39 AM   #1
Kiernan
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Run Flats - A mixed blessing?

Had my first experience of run flat tyres yesterday. As I was driving to work got a warning message and at first, thought it ws just dodgy electronics as the car didn't feel any different. Checked things over when I parked up and couldn't see anything obvious, so made a mental note to check things when I got home.

Good job I did as when I checked the pressures, found that one of the rears had no air in it, then discovered a nail sticking out of the centre of the tread.

I'd heard that these things couldn't be repaired, but thought I'd try a few places anyway. Turns out I was right, and none of the places I tried was prepared to touch a run flat tyre. Bottom line is that I'm getting a new tyre fitted this afternoon at a cost of 306! Not had a puncture for years, but think I'd rather have just chnaged the tyre at the roadside, and then pay a few quid for a cheap repair. The car's done less than 3,000 miles so the tyres still have loads of tread on them.

Anyone else had any issues with run flats?
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      03-08-2013, 10:51 AM   #2
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A runflat can be repair if you didnt drive on it with no air, after you have driven on it with no air, the sidewalls are compromised and the tire should be replace.
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      03-08-2013, 10:55 AM   #3
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RFT often look OK outside but show severe damage inside, requiring replacement. There appear to be discrepancies from various sources about the ability/efficacy of repairing RFT.
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      03-08-2013, 11:00 AM   #4
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That is correct. A good tire shop should inspect the inside of the sidewall before repairing any runflats. If one have driven on a runflat without air for good length of time, the inside of the sidewall will show wear.
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      03-08-2013, 04:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiernan View Post
....I'd heard that these things couldn't be repaired, but thought I'd try a few places anyway. Turns out I was right, and none of the places I tried was prepared to touch a run flat tyre. Bottom line is that I'm getting a new tyre fitted this afternoon at a cost of 306!
One of the reasons for having run-flat tyre insurance, for when you need to use the run-flat capability, and scrap the tyre.

The issue of repair is, as has been said, you are using up the "run-on-flat" capacity when you run with a puncture. Technically, if you keep the pressure up once you get a warning, as long as there is an internal inspection a tyre can possibly be repaired.

Many tyre shops here in the UK won't touch them, even if specific tyre manufacturers are saying it can have one repair, (if inspected correctly and is sound). Having spoken with a few decent shops, for one, they don't want to (or can't) carry the insurance liability, and two, they can't trust the customer for the distance driven at partial or zero pressure. As one guy told me, most users will say something like "I've come straight here, only got the warning a couple of miles down the road". Hence the policy of no repairs at all, imposed at many tyre shops.

To be fair I wouldn't trust the integrity of a run-flat, which has been run-on-flat for a distance. For me, it has done the job it was designed for and is now a suspect bit of kit.

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      03-08-2013, 04:09 PM   #6
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This is an issue and an argument/discussion which has been floating around since the introduction of runflats. And I'm not sure there is a correct answer to it. Yes, when it comes to the repair of puntured tyres I believe that on balance a runflat is not that much different from a conventional tyre. As long as the puncture is in the tread and a safe distance from the sidewall a runflat can be repaired - something that also applies to conventional tyres.

However as X-Men has pointed out the issue is the possible unseen damage to the sidewalls of a runflat. That is why there is a speed and distance limiation on the driving on a flat runflat. And a physical inspection of the tyre will not necessarily be able to detect this damage. As a result more tyre companies are recommending that runflats not be repaired but replaced (I notice Pirelli is the latest). Now of course this is probably nothing more than an attempt by the tyre companies to make you buy a new tyre. The issue for the tyre manufactures is that they have absolutely no idea how long the tyre has been driven on flat and therefore what damage has been done. Thus the blanket advise that the tyre should be replaced rather than repaired.

But the issue for the repairers is liability. If it is the official advice from the tyre manufacturer not to repair the tyre, it is going to take a very brave repairer to do a repair and then accept the possible consequences.

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      03-08-2013, 04:53 PM   #7
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On a side note: For whatever reasons, more tire manufacturers have stopped offering road hazard warranties.
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      03-09-2013, 05:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
One of the reasons for having run-flat tyre insurance, for when you need to use the run-flat capability, and scrap the tyre.
HighlandPete
I've never been a believer in these extras that are offered when you buy a new car, but in hindsight the tyre insurance would have been worthwhile. After all, there's nothing to stop me picking up another screw and having to go through the same thing all over again.

There are some very good points made here, and even if I'd found a place that would offer repairs, would it have been safe? When you consider that those four rubber circles are the only thing keeping you on the straight and narrow, seems a bit silly to compromise it all to save a few pennies.

I think the dealers and insurance companies are missing a trick here though. Whilst the dealer mentioned tyre insurance when I bought the car, they didn't try to sell it to me; it was more like a box ticking exercise. Likewise, when I bought my car insurance, they were trying to sell me breakdown cover, legal expenses and all manner of stuff, but nothing like tyre insurance.

As the guy in the tyre place said, we will have these fancy cars with expensive parts......
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      03-09-2013, 05:42 AM   #9
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We have RFTs and also winter tyres so the option of insurance for 300 for 3 years which is the cost of one tyre seemed good sense. (and good value!)
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      03-09-2013, 07:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiernan View Post

I think the dealers and insurance companies are missing a trick here though. Whilst the dealer mentioned tyre insurance when I bought the car, they didn't try to sell it to me; it was more like a box ticking exercise. Likewise, when I bought my car insurance, they were trying to sell me breakdown cover, legal expenses and all manner of stuff, but nothing like tyre insurance.
Myself and the dealer had a good chat about the tyre insurance - he said the average miles driven for each puncture is about 80,000. Seemed a bit high to me, but even if it was half that, I still thought that with my low annual mileage it was worth the risk of not getting the insurance (which we thought was about equivalent to 1.25 tyres worth). Time will tell if i was correct in not taking it of course.
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      03-09-2013, 07:42 AM   #11
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I'm seriously contemplating getting the tyre protection insurance retrospectively. I'm sure the dealer said this can be done, and at >300 quid a go I'm sure it makes financial sense as well.
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      03-09-2013, 08:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by am36 View Post
Myself and the dealer had a good chat about the tyre insurance - he said the average miles driven for each puncture is about 80,000. Seemed a bit high to me, but even if it was half that, I still thought that with my low annual mileage it was worth the risk of not getting the insurance (which we thought was about equivalent to 1.25 tyres worth). Time will tell if i was correct in not taking it of course.
Problem with averages, they mean nothing to any individual user. I had 3 punctures in 4-years while in my E39, one writing off a nearly new tyre. Went the whole ownership of the E91 without a puncture over 6-years. Law of averages, I'm due a puncture soon...

Some users of RFTs report going years with very few punctures, but once on RFTs getting many more punctures. Reports say there is no difference to averages with RFTs, but I'm not so sure. We seem to hear of more penetrations of objects. I suspect it is because the tyres are less pliable and may be more susceptible to picking up objects. Have no proof of that, but have read others thinking the same way. Softer tyre construction deflecting an object more readily. Maybe more are also on lower profiles with RFTs, that could be part reason for the increase users experience as well.

Anyone experienced this increase in puncture frequency, once on RFTs?

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      03-09-2013, 10:56 AM   #13
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No difference RFT vs non RFT regarding puncture frequency for me. My frequency comes and goes, 2-3 for a year followed by none for many years. I think its related to the construction you drive through. It was far worse when my neighborhood was being built. And then again when a new section opened up.

I have a local tire store that will repair RFTs but do say any sign of damage will require a new tire.

My dealer offers a wheel and tire insurance. I always go for that given the low profile rims as well as the cost of the tires.
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      03-09-2013, 11:12 AM   #14
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Its a pity we could not set up a forum voting poll on this subject:

How many punctures over the past 12 months?
Was the tyre repairable?
Was the tyre a write off?
Was a replacement readily available?
How much did it cost ( or $)?

This kind of information may help a decision whether or not insurance is a viable proposition.
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      03-09-2013, 11:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotta2 View Post
Its a pity we could not set up a forum voting poll on this subject:

How many punctures over the past 12 months?
Was the tyre repairable?
Was the tyre a write off?
Was a replacement readily available?
How much did it cost ( or $)?

This kind of information may help a decision whether or not insurance is a viable proposition.
Like someone said, 'law of averages'. You can flip a coin to determine if it's worth it or not, it does not matter. The key thing for me was also covering rims and also Winter tires and rims if I ever get a set. Once you pay for it, you forget about it, until something happens and then maybe you are glad you got it. Arguments can be made either way and there is no simple answer. Even the guy who made the nice Google spreadhseet (I found somewhere) that lets you plug in all kinds of parameters won't be able to give you the right answer in the end. Sure, you might take it into account but in the end it's basically a personal decision and you will never know in advance if it is really worth it or not.
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      03-09-2013, 12:01 PM   #16
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If the insurance companies paid out more than they received in premiums, then they would soon go out of business.

They have got to pitch the $premium to enable claims, operating costs and profit for the shareholders. Some will 'win', most will 'lose'.
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      03-09-2013, 12:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
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...Some will 'win', most will 'lose'.
Like the casinos. How lucky does one feel today .
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      03-10-2013, 02:54 PM   #18
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You can't put a price on safety - and if RFT's make having a puncture at 70mph safer, then that's a great thing. But they don't half tramline... and christ they are expensive!

I had a nail in one of mine on the 5 Series - thankfully i had the optional tyre insurance (cost 200 for 3 years cover I think.) The tyre cost 326 so I was glad I had taken it...
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      03-11-2013, 10:37 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiernan View Post
There are some very good points made here, and even if I'd found a place that would offer repairs, would it have been safe? When you consider that those four rubber circles are the only thing keeping you on the straight and narrow, seems a bit silly to compromise it all to save a few pennies.
Most tire stores here in the US will repair runflats. There is no difference between runflat and non-runflat tires as far as the tread area itself, all the magic happens in the sidewall. A patch in the thread area is not going to compromise safety. The honor system is best practice when it comes to your own safety. If you know you have driven the runflat tire with no air in it, replace the tire. If you have a slow leak and you keep the tire inflated, it perfectly safe to repair a runflat tire.
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      03-11-2013, 04:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plymjack View Post
We have RFTs and also winter tyres so the option of insurance for 300 for 3 years which is the cost of one tyre seemed good sense. (and good value!)
I'm glad I took out the insurance, its already paid for itself with the first tyre going.. although I wish they would sort out the supply issues for these things.
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      03-11-2013, 05:20 PM   #21
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I'm glad I took out the insurance, its already paid for itself with the first tyre going.. although I wish they would sort out the supply issues for these things.
Would you mind if I asked how much the insurance was? I'm waiting for my car at the end of the month and think its a worthwhile option. Thanks
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      03-12-2013, 01:15 AM   #22
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I *think* it was around 300-350 for 3 years covering 5 tyres, or was it 2 years.. so 1 tyre claim pretty much makes it worth while, and the claim process was easy.

Plush the service plus and tyre insurance were interest free for a year, so made it even more of a no brainer
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