Toyota RAV 4 Sport Run-flat Tires

toyotagaltoyotagal Member Posts: 215
I see that the RAV 4 now comes with a model without the tire on the back. Which off hand I like better. However, I wonder about having only 4 tires and them "run flat tires". Questioning how those "run flat tires" ride as compared the regular tires.

It seems that you can go 50 miles on them after picking up a nail et al which is fine with me since I won't be driving anywhere that I cannot get it repaired more than 50 miles away.

Any thought?


  • kiltmankiltman Member Posts: 67
    From what I understand the ride is going to be stiffer from the thicker sidewalls on the tire, and the 18 in wheels vs the 17" on the other models. Also f you are leasing, how much will it be to replace those tires when you return it?
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USMember Posts: 900
    edited November 2010
    Run Flats on vehicles that didn't come with RunFlats?

    Not recommended:

    1) The ride on RunFlats is considerably harsher.
    2) In addition to the tire needing redesign to be capable of running flat, the rim has to be stronger (meaning thicker and heavier)
    3) The rim has to have what is known as an EH2 or EH2+ safety hump so the bead of the tire stays on the rim. Otherwise, the tire will debead itself and the rim will be ruined.
    4) The TPMS system is required so you know the tire has lost air. RunFlats don't feel much different when running flat.
    5) Repairing RunFlat tires is hotly debated. If you look past all the verbage, The problem is that when a normal tire is run flat, the sidewall gets damaged. This damage occurs with RunFlats, too, but much slower - which is why they say 50 miles is the limit for running flat.

    When repairing a normal tire, you can see this damage - sometimes on the outside, sometimes on the inside. On RunFlats, the damage is under the stiff rubber insert and you can NOT see the damage even if it is there! Clearly after 50 miles, there will be damage. If a RunFlat tire is damaged in the sidewall and then repaired, it could fail - just like a normal tire - and if that failure occurs at high speed, the vehicle could go out of control - and that's always bad. The failure will be sudden - just like a normal tire - and the RunFlat capablility will not be there.

    Overall, not a good reason to make the attempt.
  • ricschricsch Member Posts: 540
    The original post was in reference to the factory Rav4 Sport with the Appearance package which comes with run-flat tires and no spare tire, which personally looks great w/o that spare tire hanging on the back of the Rav.

    I'm quite certain that you can install a conventional tire on the rims when it comes time to replace tires.
  • toyotagaltoyotagal Member Posts: 215
    Replace the "Run Flat Tires" with "Conventional Tires"? What would you do for a spare tire? And I do understand they do ride rough comparatively speaking which may be good for younger people but not for this old gal.
  • ricschricsch Member Posts: 540
    Carry a can of tire sealant? How often does one get a flat tire?

    Many new cars are doing away with spare tires and come with a can of sealant.

    A guy I work with that has a BMW, says many a BMW owner changes to conventional tires and has roadside assistance coverage in case they have a flat.

    I personally think Toyota could design to do away witht the exterior mounting and have a space-saver spare inside. Maybe for 2012? They don't need to continue with the exterior-mounted spare "because that's the way it has always been".
  • bdymentbdyment Member Posts: 573
    I much prefer a spare. A can of sealant won't do much good for a blow out or a sidewall tear.
  • nfrancis88nfrancis88 Member Posts: 2
    I just purchased an '09 Sport (V6, 4WD), and indeed the ride is pretty rough. I didn't appreciate it until I drove it on rougher, pot-holed roads.

    In any case, I generally like a stiffer ride and better handling, but a little softer would be nicer. Does anyone know any adjustments that can be made (without compromising safety, of course). For example, can a slightly lower air pressure in the tires be used? Will that damage the tires over time? Affect gas mileage a lot? Can any adjustments be made to the struts?

    Thanks for any experience and advice!
  • drr98drr98 Member Posts: 80
    edited March 2011
    Since the Sport model comes with not only run flat tires but also stiffer sport suspension, your options for softening the ride are limited to replacing the run flats with conventional tires and/or the sport shocks with the standard shocks for any non-sport RAV.

    Either or both are quite doable. If you opt for non-r/f tires - get a can of tire sealant and a 12v compressor in case of a flat.

    If you ever do sustain a blow-out or sidewall damage, just call for roadside assistance to get the damaged tire/wheel or whole car to a tire shop.

    Very doable if you cary your cell phone and AAA card.

    Do not drive with tire pressure lower on run flat tires. This will not improve the ride at all as the sidewalls have no flex, hence no cushion.
  • aliminalimin Member Posts: 80
    Anyone replace their run-flats with conventional tires for the RAV4 Sport? I have a 2010 with rf's and will probably replace the tires next year, mostly to improve the ride quality. Thanks.
  • bim7bim7 Member Posts: 2
    I recently purchased a 2011 rav4 sport without the doughnut on the tailgate and I find it really uncomfortable on rough city streets. The ride is the same as a bmw 330i with sport suspension I owned a few years ago.

    So far I've changed the run flats for normal tires which helped some. Whats next, changing out the shocks? I'm guessing there is a somewhat more forgiving shock that offers a slightly less harsh ride, hopefully something in between the ride a limited offers and the harsh untuned sport ride. Suggestions?
    Thanks in advance.
  • aliminalimin Member Posts: 80
    What brand/model tires did you purchase? (I have a '10 RAV Sport and when the OEM rf's wear out, I'm planning to put on conventional tires, too).
  • chadbamachadbama Member Posts: 1
    I recently replaced my OEM 2010 RAV4 Sport run-flat Bridgestone tires after about 45,000 miles. I bought the Bridgestone Alenza HL as the replacement tire. The new tires have been great. Have a much better ride.

    I kept the best run-flat tire from the OEM set and will get a rim to serve as a spare for long trips. I have not been able to find a spare 18 inch rim thus far.

    I also have a can of Slime quick flat fix in the vehicle and have road hazard coverage through my auto insurance plan.

    Hope this helps.
  • aliminalimin Member Posts: 80
    Thanks! I've begun to look at replacements and your information is very helpful.
    Any issue with the tps? I've had the OEM run-flats repaired twice when the tps went off - dealer found screws each time - and I wouldn't have known that except for the tps light.
  • zigpepzigpep Member Posts: 1
    I replaced my factory run flats with conventional tires, had bridgestone duelers RFT, replaced with Goodyear comfort tred, a 70,000 mile all weather tire not a RFT. I replaced the Bridgestones when they had 46,000 miles and I was pleased with how the car handled with the RFT. Now with the goodyear conventional tires my rav4 feels like it is skating all over the road, almost hydroplaning and it is really bad in high winds. Dealer assured me I could use non run flats but ride is awful and a little scary. I have been told suspension was set up for run flats and conventional tires will not have the right percent of road contact and will not handle well. The cheapest set of RFT I can find will cost 1200.00 and I drive 24,000 miles a year.
    Anyone else had this problem and were you able to find a set of conventional tires that handled like th RFT. Thanks
  • tjfourtjfour Member Posts: 1
    I recently bought a 2011 sport, and just today changed out the oem dueler (death trap on snow/ice) for hankook winters (not run flat). The tire guy basically told me I was playing russian roulette by putting a non run-flat tire on a run-flat rim. He said don't be surprised if I have problems with that setup. I thought it was just the tire that was run-flat, but apparently it's the wheel too? He also said no guarantees with a regular rim (not run flat) and regular tire, as it's not what the manufacturer recommends. I had a hard time believing him, and left with my hankooks mounted on the stock rims. Anyone ever hear this, not to put a regular tire on a run-flat rim?
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USMember Posts: 900
    There are 2 kinds of RunFlat wheels - and one of them will not accept regular tires. But that ought to be obvious as the tire size being taken off is different. So it might be that the dealer is remembering that.

    It's also possible that the dealer is commenting on the fact that there is no spare, so a flat tire would disable the vehicle - or that driving on a flat tire will damage the wheel and those are expensive.
  • aliminalimin Member Posts: 80
    I have a 2010 Sport that had oem rf's - after 33K it was time to replace them (hydroplaning in the rain and not really good snow traction last winter were two reasons). The dealer gave me several options and after researching those and other tires, I decided on Firestone's Destination LE2 - P235/55R18. I agree with most that the rf ride was rough, but so far, I've only noticed a slight improvement in ride quality with the Firestones. Perhaps time will tell, especially in rain, if there is a significant change. Also, according to the dealer, the rf tires, because the sidewalls are so stiff, require extra labor to remove and extra labor to install replacement rf's on the rims (another reason to go with conventional rubber besides a much greater cost for the replacement rf's). I'll post more as the miles go by or if I find other issues.
  • nfrancis88nfrancis88 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks this is helpful info. I've got about 30K miles on my oem's now and am thinking about what I'll do when it comes time for replacement. From the sounds of it, I'm not hopeful that non RF's will help that much. If you don't mind, can you say how much the Firestones were (and how that compared to replacement run flats, if you priced them).

    Thanks in advance!
  • aliminalimin Member Posts: 80
    Drove about 290 miles yesterday (7/13) with the new tires, and I've noticed that the RAV seems much more "planted" and steering seems "tighter". And a vast difference in traction during the rain we drove through for the first 140 miles, which would be expected with new tires anyway. I paid about $170 although Amazon had them for $159 and I don't recall what Tire Rack's price was; the dealer includes free rotation that will make up some of the price difference. Plus, Firestone was promoting the tires with a $50 gift card with purchase of 4. I think the new RF's were well over $250; with the additional labor for removal and installation, I didn't think new run-flats made much sense. So I have my AAA card and a "spare tire in a can".
  • aliminalimin Member Posts: 80
    Another difference between RF's and conventional tires: weight. So I am noticing slightly better mpg with the new, non-RF tires; the dealer said the RF's weigh about twice as much as non-RF's. And ride quality is slightly improved, but not by much.
  • roobyrooby Member Posts: 1
    I recently replaced the stock bridgestone run flat tires on my 2010 toyota rav4. Only had 20,000 miles on them and they were worn out. They were horrible in the snow since new. The worst tires I ever had on a vehicle. Just replaced with the continental dws contra and bought a 17" rim for the base rav4 off of ebay as a spare for 90 bucks. I will only put spare in truck if I take a long trip and will always carry a can of fix a flat in truck. The treads on the new tires are awesome and the ride so much better. I finally have a piece of mind and not afraid to drive in the snow.
  • bonjbonj Member Posts: 1
    I had no idea there was even such a thing, as rims to be used for flat running tires only?
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