Mini Cooper – run flats or not?

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  • Mini Cooper – run flats or not?
  • Mister P
    Member

    Looking at putting new tyres on a Mini Cooper, 205/45 R17 size. It currently has run flat tyres on it. Do I need to put the same on or do non-RF tyres improve ride?

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    Definitely non.

    gobuchul
    Member

    Get rid of the run flats. Awful things.

    Expensive and very harsh.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    Watching with interest. Non run flats are said to improve the ride quite substantially and are much cheaper. Never had a car with them but looking around now so interested in real world experience. Was chatting with an X1 owner recently who told us the same thing as we’d flagged up ride comfort plus we wanted all-season tyres.

    eruptron
    Member

    Don’t forget to buy an inflation kit or rac membership if you go none runflat.

    teasel
    Member

    Cooper’s are already a harsher ride than some so anything to help soften is going to be a good thing.

    Lose ’em.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    Don’t forget to buy an inflation kit or rac membership if you go none runflat.

    This.

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Subscriber

    Don’t forget to buy an inflation kit or rac membership if you go none runflat.

    I’ve still got a car with a spare wheel and jack. Is that very old fashioned?

    Premier Icon aidanoggy
    Subscriber

    Mrs A has run flats on hers and they’re fine, she got them because she works shifts and doesnt want to have to stop for a puncture in a remote dark place when she’s tired. So some good reasons to get them.

    Rockape63
    Member

    I had a 2007 Cooper s with 17 inch run flats. After my wife drive me home from an op at the hospital I never went in it again. I was bleeding!

    So…..no!

    Premier Icon orena45
    Subscriber

    We’ve got run flats on our One. They give a very harsh ride and, not sure whether it’s the run flats or a Mini trait, but they slide badly on manhole covers.

    That said, without realising, I a 50 mile dual carriageway round trip earlier in the year on a flat front. A normal tyre would’ve blown…though I might have realised sooner!

    teasel
    Member

    not sure whether it’s the run flats or a Mini trait, but they slide badly on manhole covers.

    That’s a manhole cover thing… 😉

    johnners
    Member

    The car manufacturer will maintain that if the vehicle is designed for runflat tyres then the suspension will be tuned with them in mind so it shouldn’t be harsher, and that swapping for conventional tyres may adversely alter the handling.

    Having said that I’ll be considering swapping mine when they wear out. I think the ride on my car could do with softening, nobody will repair a runflat if you get a puncture, they’re quite a bit more expensive than conventional tyres and there isn’t the same choice, particularly with all-season tyres.

    Premier Icon orena45
    Subscriber

    Ha…slippery buggers!

    But it is a bit unnerving when you go over one through a turn and for a split second, the steering suddenly lightens and catches as you go over it. Never had that with any other car but presume it’s down to the lack of give in the sidewalls meaning the grip breaks away more suddenly with the change in surface grip.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Swapped the runflats on mrs njee20’s Cooper Clubman and it was a revelation. Handled better, cheaper and far more comfortable!

    mamadirt
    Member

    Get rid of the run flats – scary as freak in the snow!

    johnners
    Member

    Get rid of the run flats – scary as freak in the snow!

    That’s very disappointing, I’ve a set of winter runflats on my car at the moment!

    wolfenstein
    Member

    runflat are are awful things , not very friendly with road studs in motorway.. but what are the options

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    but what are the options

    Ordinary tyres and a tin of spray. That’s what I have on my car not least as front/rear are different size.

    wobbliscott
    Member

    You can’t rely on tyre inflation kits – i’ve attempted to use them twice now with no luck. The first time the hole in the tyre was too large for the sealant to seal, and the second time the damage to the tyre was too severe as it was a split in the sidewall. You really can’t beat a spare wheel or space saver, or run flats. I guess the boot in a mini is too small for a spare wheel or space saver so run flats appear to be your only option if you want complete assurance of being able to get home in the event of a puncture. But in 25 years of driving i’ve only ever had 3 punctures over about 6 cars, so a pretty rare occurance.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    @wobbli I hear you but quite simply no space in my car for both a spare front and rear wheel, in fact no space for even one. As above RAC/AA/manufacturers recovey. Also 30 years of driving with zero punctures (crosses fingers)

    Premier Icon sofaman
    Subscriber

    For the paranoid (me), one can still put a spare in the boot, as well as a couple of cans of tyre weld, pump etc.

    Last two flats I had would not have been fixable by tyre weld.

    Overall though – very glad I ditched the runflats on a 3-series, and can also run winter tyres much more cheaply. Much more comfy, and less tramlining. AFAIK, the thing about suspension was just BS.

    dekadanse
    Member

    When Mrs D bought her Cooper SD 5 door as an ex-demo in April, they thought it had run flats fitted – the ride was surely hard enough. But then they decided her tyres were not run flats after all. So this shows that even Mini dealerships find it hard to tell the difference!

    Tyres require to be run on incredibly high PSI levels – 37-38. Even my Saab estate only needs a max of 35. So this adds to the sharp feel Minis have. Suspension is sharpest in Sport (max go-kart) setting and best in Green setting, so suggest that for all but mega-roadhogging, Green or Middle setting gives you a more comfortable ride, as well as saving a bit of fuel.

    Love the Mini, but my main problem is TOO MUCH INFORMATION! It tries to tell you too much all the time, so driving it is never relaxing. I also wonder just how reliable it will be when all these info gizmos start giving up when the car is 6 or 7 years old.

    CountZero
    Member

    I’ve still got a car with a spare wheel and jack. Is that very old fashioned?

    Still quite a few cars have that, although mostly at the cheaper end of the market, or a space-saver, which has a 50mph restriction on it. The majority seem to have a flat kit fitted, and I’ve come across a few with run-flats, but they seem to be less common.
    I’ve driven over 10,000 miles since September, but in lots of different cars, and fingers crossed I’ve not had a tyre issue yet, most runs are between one and two hours.

    ulysse
    Member

    Yes, run flats, the tyre pressure sensors run off the abs reluctors, the change in radius of of an under pressure tyre resulting in a measured speed differential throwing up an under inflated tyre state in the tps . So change the tyres from what wasn’t fitted at the factory, or even one worn with three with full tread… You get the picture

    Premier Icon steveh
    Subscriber

    On the 3 series I had it was a simple case of pressing a couple of buttons to reset the TPM in the event of tyre change etc. All you had to do was retell it what was normal.

    ulysse
    Member

    Not on a mini, Steveh…
    Even on Peugeot /citroen it’s possible with diagbox/pp2000 to reset the tyre sizes, even go up whole radius from 14″ to 17″, but mini was a head scratcher, with matched branded tyres on each axle turning out to be the only solution.
    That said in pp2000 I turned of the wheel radios and bsi receiver, and deleted the tps system from my pain in the arse 407

    Premier Icon Rio
    Subscriber

    Mrs R’s mini came with Pirelli runflats and then had Dunlops fitted. Both felt as though it was running on the rims. We recently put on a set of Firestone runflats and it’s transformed the car; it’s as though it now has suspension. Not sure what conclusions can be drawn from this but it may be that recent runflats are better than the older ones.

    mamadirt
    Member

    That’s very disappointing, I’ve a set of winter runflats on my car at the moment!

    Well things may have changed since we last owned a Cooper but back when we last had snow (2013?) it was sticking to the run flats turning them into balls of ice.

    johnners
    Member

    On the 3 series I had it was a simple case of pressing a couple of buttons to reset the TPM in the event of tyre change etc. All you had to do was retell it what was normal.

    Same here, it doesn’t monitor tyre pressure directly, it uses tyre diameter as a proxy in the Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. It relearns “normal” over the first few miles after a reset. The Mini has the same TPMS working off the ABS sensors.

    back when we last had snow (2013?) it was sticking to the run flats turning them into balls of ice.

    I’m counting on them being winter tyres to make a bit of a difference!

    teasel
    Member

    But it is a bit unnerving when you go over one through a turn and for a split second, the steering suddenly lightens and catches as you go over it. Never had that with any other car but presume it’s down to the lack of give in the sidewalls meaning the grip breaks away more suddenly with the change in surface grip.

    I have a 2009 Clubman at the moment – lovely little car and handles pretty well. But… there’s this one corner on which the back will always step out and as you put it, the front goes light briefly. I suspect it’s a sunken manhole cover but haven’t been that concerned to stop and look. It’s a stretch I only do in low light so always catches me. This glitch could be a characteristic of the car because I haven’t used run flats yet. It could also be that I’m more than likely a shit driver…

    b r
    Member

    You really can’t beat a spare wheel or space saver, or run flats[/I]

    The rescue ‘services’ are reasonably well set up now, when my wife had a puncture (just as she got to work) the RAC came out and the tyre was shot plus no space saver just a kit/compressor – they took the wheel off and then returned with a new tyre (exact spec Michelin to replace the damaged one). She paid the RAC man.

    Good service.

    We’ve now just bought a BMW with 20″ runflats, ride is decent enough and plenty of grip – certainly better than the car it replaced.

    b r
    Member

    Tyres require to be run on incredibly high PSI levels – 37-38.

    Low-profile tyres and/or high-load tyres usually need this IME, my last car had 35 profile tyres and was 39psi.

    Our Cooper S benefited greatly from ditching the 17″ run flats and replacing with 16″ non runflats (different wheels obviously)

    Premier Icon somouk
    Subscriber

    Bin the run flats. Terrible terrible things.

    CountZero
    Member

    Not 100% certain, I’ll have to check, but if I get a puncture I have to call someone out regardless of what’s fitted, except for runflats, because I’m not permitted to actually touch the car if something breaks, which is fine by me, let someone else get their hands mucky by the side of the road!
    😀

    jkomo
    Member

    Had two quick Mini’s ditched the RF’s on both. Definitely improved the ride massively, and loads cheaper. No problem with the pressure sensors.

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