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Old 30th December 2017, 08:04 PM
BenzBoy BenzBoy is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Sydney - Centre of Civilisation
Posts: 6,530
Default Run Flat stupidity

On here I reckon we all know that a run flat tyre is a waste of time:
Read how long they last:

Anyway, a friend recently bough a large British built 4WD and drove it to the Hunter Valley. Yes, it got a puncture on the highway on the first day of being used. Madam took it back to the showroom and deposited it on the showroom floor demanding satisfaction - as one does when spending half a million dollars. The dealer is supplying a spare and cradle at their expense...
No; not a Mercedes; they won't even supply a spare for all the tea in China.
Given that you have only 80 Ks to complete your journey on a run-flat it would make sense to buy only from good reliable Korean companies that don't use run-flat disasters......
What brand of car? You can work it out from the price...
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Old 1st January 2018, 12:54 PM
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WGB WGB is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Perth Western Australia
Posts: 1,280
Default Re: Run Flat stupidity

Hi Brian,

My wife's 165 2014 ML 350 bluetech came as new with runflats and a spare - admittedly a space saver.

My 2014 222 S350 bluetech came with a strange oblong hole in the boot floor with a large battery sitting in the middle and runflats but no spare. At about 20K one of the front 20 inch tyres started to delaminate but fortunately I was at home in my garage when I noticed it.

Two new front tyres later I descended on the agents and requested a spare - "certainly Sir - available ex-Germany $5k". This sum magically became $2.5K and when I said I would pay that they said "There are a number of 222 S Classes in the country so they would use me as a test case".

End result - space saver spare wheel from an ML, Spacesaver tyre from a VW Tourag, Genuine M-B jack kit and wheel brace ( as none comes with the car as standard), Canvas wheel cover(spare must be stored in boot) and set of specific wheel bolts for metal wheels.

Total cost $950.

This proved very useful when on the next country trip I delaminated one of the rear tyres but I was able to drive the last 250 km at 80kph on my new space saver spare and thus get home.

Usually the spare in it's cover sits in the garage while driving around town and only goes into the boot for longer trips.

Apart from the cost saving there is of course a weight saving which helps the manufacturer with fuel economy testing - but in a big country like ours it can be potentially life threatening not to have a spare.

Fortunately Grand Lodge provides me with a Holden Caprice V which has now done 53K of country running around WA and comes with a full sized spare.

When I hand it back later in the year I am seriously considering fitting my S Class with a set of 18 inch wheels and tyres as the 20 " look great but are not very practical for long distance running and the lack of a spare is downright indefensible.


Last edited by WGB; 1st January 2018 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 1st January 2018, 02:11 PM
c107's Avatar
c107 c107 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Sydney
Posts: 1,204
Default Re: Run Flat stupidity

Even in the city these run flat options don't take into consideration that it can be difficult to find a tyre retailer open 24x7 if you don't get a flat during business hours. I lost a whole day of a holiday after getting a puncture on a Sunday in Norway and trying to find an open tyre place that not only had a tyre, but a wheel as well. Apparently once you put the 'tyre goo' in the tyre after you've driven on it a bit there is a fair amount of work to get the wheel ready to mount a new tyre.

On my E350 there is a space saver, but there is a spare tyre well. When I get my new tyres soon I am going to save the best tyre and get a cheap 16" mercedes alloy as a spare. The E350 is my wife's car and with 3 children under four I need the NRMA to be able to change the wheel for her and for her to be able to drive the car as normal until the next Saturday when I get get the tyre fixed.

I find it incredible that an S class doesn't even have a space saver.
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Old 1st January 2018, 03:22 PM
BenzBoy BenzBoy is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Sydney - Centre of Civilisation
Posts: 6,530
Default Re: Run Flat stupidity

The ML has a space saver which I used once in town in the wet and the car was quite unstable. I kept to 50KPH much to the annoyance of the traffic on the M2 but I believed I had no option. Faster was not safe. When I leave the CBD I take a full sized spare with me in the boot.
Everything else has a proper spare and of course the PII has 2 spares but I'm not sure I could change a wheel on that beast; it's hard enough lifting one wheel let alone getting it aligned and on to a splined hub.
Run-flats are supposed to be safer in that they don't suddenly lose air and that would be OK if equipped with a spare.
Not all upgrades are progress ... sadly.
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Old 1st January 2018, 07:15 PM
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Oversize Oversize is offline
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Location: Melbourne
Posts: 4,428
Default Re: Run Flat stupidity

Madness that it seems they have to be replaced when you get a puncture. A full size spare is a bit of dead weight and I'm a RACV Total Care Member. Sometimes I toy with the idea of just ditching the spare and getting a tow if I get a flat. Easy and cheap to put a tube in a 'normal' tyre, but my 'solution' is hardly convenient and won't work in the outback.

It's been a long time since I had a flat, but I'm probably just tempting fate so I best keep that quiet!!

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Old 2nd January 2018, 02:10 PM
-bb- -bb- is offline
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Location: Newcastle
Posts: 579
Default Re: Run Flat stupidity

We bought a new SUV recently, and I ditched a couple of options because they only came with run flats and no spare. I never thought I would be getting blank stares asking if we can option something as basic as a spare tyre.

We don't live in a large city and do a lot of country road driving, and even if we were able to quickly get a replacement, I can't cop having to replace a tyre after a puncture instead of getting it repaired.

So, with the likes of BMW and Mercedes off the list, which is saying something because the Mrs liked the BMW and I liked the Merc, we ended up with a Volvo parked in the garage, spare tyre and all.
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