Had an incident last night in the dark. Fired up my Mini S with run-flat tires and off I went on a dark street. With a minute or so, I get a message that my right front tire is low along with the "whole nine yards" warning on the center panel. Since the car was driving OK, I proceed to a gas station 5 miles up the road where I intended to get out and see what the tire looked like.
It didn't look flat to me, but I pulled ahead to the air pump (which was in a dark area and me without a flashlight). I thought the air hose read 20 PSI, but I couldn't tell for sure. So I gave the tire a good shot of air and it still seemed to read about 20 PSI.
I then decided to drive home (about 25 miles away), following the manual's instructions to limit the speed to under 50 MPH. It was an uneasy ride home, thinking i might get stranded anywhere along the road (it was midnight). Made it home, parked the car and decided to look into it in the morning when it was light.
In the morning, I pumped up my air compressor, inserted it into the tire in question (right front) and I think it read around 25 PSI. The tire pressure instructions in the driver's door panel along with the manual state that with run-flat times, the pressure said the Mini S that I have should have 41 PSI in all four tires. So I pumped the right front up to 41 PSI and then checked the other 3. All of the remaining 3 said they had about 30 PSI so I pumped them up to 41 PSI also.
I'm guessing the dealer gave the car to me with 30+ PSI in all four tires and the right front went below what ever turns the tire warning on. According to the manual, the standard Mini tire pressure should be around 30 PSI.
41 PSI seems very high to me, but "when in Rome..." Does anyone know if this high tire press is because the tires are run flat? I would suggest anyone with run flat tires check their pressure to avoid an uneasy situation that I found myself in.
I've read a few complaints here about run flat tires, with some stating they are going to replace them with conventional tires. Can that be done with the standard wheels that come on the Mini? In my reading today about run flats, it appears that the wheels have a different rim that would prevent standard tires from mating up with these wheels. Is that true statement?
41psi is really high, no wonder the cooper S has such a hard ride!
I recently replace my 16" run flats with standard tyres and it's now a lot nicer to drive, the bumps aren't as harsh and it's not as noisy on the motorway. I think the effect is greater when replacing 17" ones.
Normal tyres are ok to fit on runflat rims but runflat tyres must not be fitted to normal rims despite what some tyrefitters may say. (This is because the runflat rims are shaped to locate the tyre beads more firmly for the runflats when actually running flat).
41 psi is the recommended pressure for the 205/45-17 non-runflats on my Roadster, so this isn't an unusual pressure - even if many people (including car dealers, tyre fitters, etc) think all car tyres should have 30 psi in them.
Perhaps I should have mentioned that my Mini S is a Roadster.
Thanks for that info.
This, the Mini does have a hard ride. My previous '05 seemed to have the same ride so I thought it was a Mini thing. So, what did you do about the lack of a spare? It's my understanding that IF a Mini has run-flat tires, there is no donut spare. Looking under my Mini rear end, I can see where a donut tire would be stored. Not sure I would want to venture out on the roads without a spare if I were to replace my run flats sometime in the future.
Interesting that the manual has different pressures for the convertible, the coupe and the roadster (all slightly different). My tires are supposedly rated for up to 150 MPH! My max is about half that.
I have a can of "flat mate" ib the boot. Basically it's a pressurised sealabt so puts air in the tyre and seals the puncture. Obviously won't work with a blow out though.
I also have a compressor which i might leave in the boot.
I agree that the ride is hard AND noisy;probably not acceptable if it was my only ride. That said, my Roadster is the most FUN car to drive that I've even owned. Sure turns a lot of heads, especially when the top is down.
Did you replace your run flats when there was a lot of rubber left? Unless one is sliding around corners, burning rubber with rapid acceleration or hard braking, I would expect the factory run flat radials to last 30-40K (mileage I may never see as we have 3 vehicles).
'12 Passat (wife's car)
'12 Range Rover Evoque (my main hauler)
'13 Mini S Roadster (my fun machine)
I wouldn't own the Mini if I didn't have my Evoque to haul the big stuff. Really big stuff goes in my trailer.
I wanted to replace them for a while then i noticed one was right near the limit and the others were 3-4mm so just bought a set. Even on the cooper s on 17" the ride is meant to be a lot better and you get more grip from the non fun flats.
Yeah, my mini is actually the wife's car but i find it fun to drive. My other car is a 3.0l V6 mondeo so plenty big enough for when we need to move stuff or going on a long drive, but the mini is great about town
And in the manual. Over 50 years ago (before steel radials) it was very common to check tire pressures after getting gas. The last few cars I've bought, I didn't even lift the hood/bonnet to see what the engine looked like.
So, flash ahead to today when I bought my Mini a tad over 2 months ago. I didn't look at the engine OR check the tire pressures (brand spanking new Mini). I guess I assumed the engine had oil and the tires were pumped put to standards, which apparently they weren't. Besides the tire that falsely said I had a flat, the other 3 tires only had about 32 PSI on average. I blame this on the dealer or maybe the service department. Or MAYBE I should take the blame for driving a vehicle with tire pressures that were far below the 41 PSI recommended.
So, if anyone reading this is buying a new Mini, better check your tire pressure to be sure they at the recommended levels. I wonder if the dealer purposely had the tire pressures low for a smoother, softer test ride???
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