The majority of Mini models now come off the production line fitted with run-flat tyres. This is the case with almost all cars leaving BMW’s factories. These tyres negate the need for a spare tyre to be stored in the boot of a car. Since space is at a premium in a Mini, by the car’s very design, this is no bad thing. Additionally, the reduced weight of the car means better fuel consumption.
The main feature of the run-flat tyre, though, is safety. First and foremost, they make a blow-out, every driver’s worst nightmare, impossible. They can also be used for up to 150km after a puncture or other damage, so you don’t have to stop immediately. Admittedly this may have to be done at a reduced speed. However, for many drivers that’s still the best and safest option.
The traditional alternative was to effect a wheel change at the roadside. Invariably in the dark. Or the wet. Or on the hard shoulder of a motorway. It also relied on you being able to remove the wheel’s nuts there and then. This is not always easily done, especially if they have been over-tightened. To cap it all, changing a wheel is a patience-sapping task, best not attempted with a foul temper… Yet discovering that you have a damaged tyre is hardly likely to put you in the best of moods…
If a tyre has been damaged and its pressure lost, the tyre repair kit supplied by Mini in lieu of a spare wheel can be used. If that damage and pressure loss are only minor, run-flat tyres keep their shape, won’t deflate and allow you to just keep on driving. A warning light on the car’s dashboard will usually warn the driver of any such damage.
To offer this safety benefit, run-flat tyres are constructed with stiffer sidewalls than regular tyres. The setup of the car’s suspension and steering system is specially designed with this increased tyre stiffness in mind. As such, a run-flat tyre should always be replaced with a similar run-flat tyre. This is to preserve the car’s handling and performance as well as for safety reasons.
Replacing a run-flat tyre with a regular tyre is very much a false economy. If you fit a new regular tyre to a Mini designed for run-flats, you may think you’re saving a little bit of money. However, as soon as you drive away you’ll notice how badly this affects the car.
Importantly, run-flat tyres are designed to work with Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS). This technology is not fitted to older Mini models, since it hadn’t really been adopted when these cars were built. As such, there’s no reason to fit a run-flat tyre to a Mini without TPMS. You’d soon notice how odd the car would feel if you did so. Additionally, of course regular tyres are cheaper than run-flat ones, so you’d end up paying too much, too. There’s also a serious safety issue: if your run-flat was damaged, without TPMS, how would you know?
etyres supplies and fits a wide range of run-flat and regular tyres to suit all Mini models. These come at competitive prices which include the convenience of mobile fitting. We come to you, at your home or office, so you won’t need to make a trip to a tyre depot or garage. Further details of tyres to suit popular Mini models are available from the menu on the left-hand side of this page. Alternatively you can find tyres to suit your Mini by entering your tyre size into the search tool above. etyres’ national sales team is also available seven days a week on 0800 028 9000 to offer impartial help and advice.