Changing runflats for normal tyres "voids your insurance"?

AMc

Distinguished Member
I just booked to have the worn fronts on our '05 Mini Cooper S Cabrio changed using Black Circles (saving £20).
After a puncture in one of the good rears I had to have the whole tyre replaced because no one would repair a run flat so I decided not to bother with Goodyear Excellence run flats again.
As the Mini is no cop in the snow I figured I'd give Michelin Cross Climates a try instead of the run flats fitted.

Then I rang the fitter direct to arrange to have the alignment done at the same time. He who told me if you want to replace run flats you have to change all four at once or your insurance may be void. Slightly alarmed I called Aviva and they confirmed that as long as the tyres are the same width, height and diameter then they note the change but there is no problem with the insurance.

Not used this fitter before but it's a small local chain so I'm hoping this wasn't the start of a load of bollards from them. Obviously when I mentioned the run flat puncture repair problem he told me they were happy to repair run flats like any other tyre :facepalm:
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
My Mini was given an MOT advisory for "incorrect type of tyre" because the previous owner had fitted one normal tyre on the OSF, still a runflat on the NSF.
But that's mixing tyre types on the same axle.
You're matching tyres on the same axle, so your guy is wrong.
 

un1eash

Distinguished Member
Is a bit funny that he says it will void your insurance where this is rare as most insurance companies dont care but then says he will repair a runflat which isn't the norm by most tyre fitters.
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
Is a bit funny that he says it will void your insurance where this is rare as most insurance companies dont care but then says he will repair a runflat which isn't the norm by most tyre fitters.
Yup - rang a number of places, some said they would then changed their minds including the BMW dealership. So I gave in and paid almost £100 for a new tyre when there was a load of tread on the punctured one and the screw was well inside the tread. Even the fitter who swapped it agreed on a normal tyre it would have been repairable no problem.
It's the only time I've swapped a single tyre - I normally replace in pairs when one is beginning to get down to the tread indicators.
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
Two possibilities here, really.

1/ The guy is just mistaken
2/ He's dishonest and trying to sell you four tyres in the hope you won't check
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
Dunno - he might be taking the mickey but as I'd already bought the tyres through Black Circles the most likely outcome would be me changing the order to Goodyears again.
He sounded on the level, I guess some insurers may consider a run flat "safer" or changing tyre types as a modification. The internet is full of similar stories, the Aviva website doesn't mention it so I'm glad I called and had it confirmed as OK and noted on the policy.
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
Covering their backsides, IMO.
USA driven anti litigation 'well we did point it out' rubbish.
Same argument that people use when I say I only use winter tyres on the front.
They can 'recommend' all they like, I'll decide (and there's no law to say otherwise).
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
That was might thought too. The fronts do all the pulling and most of the stopping. We had to replace the rear discs a while ago as they'd corroded. According to my mechanic who I trust, lots of small cars with discs all round do so little braking with the rear discs that corrosion creeps in from the edges without being scrubbed by the pads so he ends up replacing discs and pads more often than you should need to to pass the MOT. His advice was stick the brakes on hard now and then to clean the rears. Given how little wear the rear tyres are showing I can see what he means.

Weirdly BC "resolved" their case while I was replying. I might try a couple of spirited turns and brakes if I can find suitable, empty roads once they've been fitted but my guess is within the bounds of normal road use nothing will be obvious. I just hope that should we get some snow I can make it up and down the minor hills on the school run this year :)
 

un1eash

Distinguished Member
At least no-one has said you need new wheels to change from runflat to normal tyres.
That used to be a favourite.
That use to be BMW's response saying normal tyres won't fit on a run flat alloy.
 

Aerojon

Active Member
runflat tyres have a totally different handling characteristic to normal tyres due to the stiffened sidewalls..
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
runflat tyres have a totally different handling characteristic to normal tyres due to the stiffened sidewalls..
Depends on what you define as 'handling'.
Actual 'chuckability' and cornering ability, no discernible difference between runflat and normal tyres on my Mini.
Vast improvement in tramlining though, far less with normal tyres.:thumbsup:
Same with ride, vast improvement on normal tyres with the better bump absorption.:thumbsup:
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
Totally different? I'm slightly skeptical.

I've been driving this car and its predecessor with run flats since 2007. I also drive cars with normal tyres all the time. I've never felt there was much in it. The mini feels harder but then it would vs a 2001 Mercedes A and a 2008 golf Gti (even on 18" wheels). I hope the ride will be better but really I'm looking for better wet/snow/ice traction and braking which the Current tyres are rated at B vs A for the cross climates. The mini in snow is pretty horrible. I had to drive the Gti over wet grass on a steep bank and nearly ended up going down the bank sideways, I suspect it will be hopeless if there is any snow, though wet braking is still very good.

A side by side comparison on the car would be great but as I'm not a motoring journalist that won't happen :(

If the ride or handling are absolutely shocking then I can afford to swap the good tyres on the back or get more goodyears for the front and sell the part used michelins. Somehow I doubt I'll need to bother.

Must pick up some tyre weld though. It always amused me that the car has a jack and wheel brace in the boot but no spare and runflats.
 

un1eash

Distinguished Member
Oem Bridgestone runflat to non runflat on the E85 Z4 and E90 3 series are night and day difference for the better. I really hated the runflats on the Z4.
The latest offerings from BMW seem to be pretty good though with runflats so I won't be looking at changing them anytime soon.
 

un1eash

Distinguished Member
If its a slow puncture and not fully deflated and driven on then it's no worse then a normal tyre to repair.
The tyre fitters sometimes just don't want the hassle if they repair a runflat and hours later it blows out because the owner wasn't 100% honest about how far it was driven while flat.
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
Totally different? I'm slightly skeptical.
I agree.
Makes me wonder if the poster has actually experienced the change or is just quoting theory.
The same theory that makes my car a deathtrap waiting to happen in winter, just because I don't bother with winter tyres on the back....;)
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
If it were "just" about run flat vs normal tyres then I'd probably have got replacement Goodyear excellence RF again. The cross climates are just as expensive. I've not minded the RF and while the puncture thing was a pain it's not that big a deal. Useful to know that there are ways to get a "normal" puncture repaired on a RF having been given a load of BS about it.

The main thing for me is about having 1 car out of 2 which can actually get my kid to school or more importantly home should we see any white stuff. For that I'm prepared to try the cross climates. I'm hoping the wet grip will be better and any ride improvement would be welcome but not essential.

The frustration is the lack of clarity between the fitters, insurers and suppliers. You keep wondering if what you're seeing is sound advice or an attempt to get in your pockets ;)
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
Be interested to see what you think of the crossclimates.
Although what I'm really interested in is their snow performance, so might take a while for you to report back on that. :)
I'm already assuming their dry and wet performance will be 'fine', goes without saying really.
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
Well we haven't had much snow here for a few years so it's entirely possible they won't see any this year either.

Goodyear Excellence are E for fuel, B for wet grip and 67dB for noise
Michelin Cross Climates are C for fuel, A for wet grip and 69dB for noise.

I'm expecting better wet braking, but if I'll notice in day to day driving who knows? The fuel efficiency probably won't be noticable as it's super charged :) & the noise is probably academic as it's also a soft top :D
 

Hpi_matrix

Active Member
I agree.
Makes me wonder if the poster has actually experienced the change or is just quoting theory.
The same theory that makes my car a deathtrap waiting to happen in winter, just because I don't bother with winter tyres on the back....;)
Do you really get an advantage running winters on just the front during a normal UK winter? I have done it previously but only when there was snow on the roads, the car certainly didn't feel right once the roads went back to a normal winter again.

Edit: Also I've assumed your doing this a fwd car?
 
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FZR400RRSP

Banned
Do you really get an advantage running winters on just the front during a normal UK winter? I have done it previously but only when there was snow on the roads, the car certainly didn't feel right once the roads went back to a normal winter again.
Edit: Also I've assumed your doing this a fwd car?
In snow, of course you get an advantage, they make the difference between getting somewhere and not, and that's why I fit them.
Outwith snow, not so much.
If I lived where so snow was rare, I wouldn't bother.
 

silent ninja

Well-known Member
If you put normal tyres on, how do you get around the BMW pressure sensor? I thought it only worked with run flats. I may be wrong.
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
If you put normal tyres on, how do you get around the BMW pressure sensor? I thought it only worked with run flats. I may be wrong.
Still worked fine on my BMW Mini.
No problems resetting it, no errors.
You're maybe getting confused with the fact a car fitted with runflats has to be fitted with a tyre pressure monitor by law, whereas a car without runflats doesn't?
The idea being it's the only way you'll know you have a puncture with a runflat, whereas it's pretty obvious on a normal tyre.
 

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