Toyota Sienna Tires & Wheels

cdm3cdm3 Member Posts: 1
I have just replaced all my run flat tires with regular tires. I understand there is a repair kit for a spare tire that Toyota can install. It goes behind the 60 split of the 3rd row.

Does anyone know if this is a permanent fit? or can it be removed if you need to put the seat down?


  • tackdriver56tackdriver56 Member Posts: 3
    The Toyota part numbers for the "spare tire kit" are in this forum, and SiennaOwners forum. Search for the words "spare" and "deck". The deck part numbers differ based on carpet color.
  • jimd2jimd2 Member Posts: 3
    I am little late in responding to your dEc message but here is what I did. I purchased a set of Yokohama's (what a great ride). bought a small compressor and carry a couple of cans of flat sealer. Actually the compressor, aftermarket fot the Smartcar,Corvette and other run-flat cars, came with a can of sealant. I tried the compressor to make sure it works and it does. I'm gonna keep on rollin and never look back. If I have my first blow-out after 50 years of driving, then I will call "AAA".
  • johnsmithjohnsmith Member Posts: 3
    I'm thinking of purchasing a 2006 AWD Sienna. I see that it comes with a temporary spare tire. Does this mean that Toyota is no longer putting run flat tires on the AWD Sienna? I like the AWD, but I'd like to have convenstional tires if possible to avoid the run flat issue.

    Thanks in advance
  • johnsmithjohnsmith Member Posts: 3
    I answered my own question - the 2006 does come with run flats. Will the dealer swap them out for regular tires at not charge upon request. If so, what are my spare tire options?

  • haseebkhawajahaseebkhawaja Member Posts: 15
    My 2005 Sienna run flats have worn out at 37k miles. I am wondering if I should purchase a new run flat set for 1200 dollars or non run flat tires (I have not had a flat all this time, my van has no room for a spare). If I purchase non run flats then the 4 tires on the existing rims and the cost for an extra rim and an extra tire combined is almost the same. My confusion now is what is the use of buying run flats if non run flats can be used with run flat rims.
  • ckirkckirk Member Posts: 18
    I had one tire unevenly worn and below "tolerance" at 28,500 on '04 AWD. The dealer said the other 3 Bridgestone runflats were at 50% and recommended replacing at least 2 tires and alignment. I read a post somewhere that some had been getting free runflat replacements from dealer. I went back to the dealer and politely asked that Toyota offer me free replacement tires and heard how I was lucky to have gotten 28,000 and that it was probably an under-inflation issue, but they took my request to regional rep. They called back 2 days later and said Toyota was going to replace all 4 Bridgestone runflats, gratis. I forgot to ask if installation was free also. Service suggested Toyota was owning up to the runflat debacle.
  • heywood1heywood1 Member Posts: 851
    Your regional Toyota rep did the right thing. But you actually WERE lucky to have gotten 28K+ miles from your tires. Don't expect any better from your new set.
  • petroniopetronio Member Posts: 18
    I have come to the conclusion that runflats are not worth the potential benefit. On my first flat about six months ago (to a 2004 Sienna LE AWD), the dealership replaced all four tires under warranty because of the controversy. My second flat happened yesterday (Easter Sunday) in the middle of a 90 mile trip to Easter dinner at my aunt's. No dealerships or tire shops open on Easter! So I can't just have the service station repair the flat and be on my way. Instead, one long slow trip back home on local roads, defrosted chicken cutlets for Easter dinner and $$$ towards a new tire.

    I will soon be replacing all the run-flats with regular tires and a spare.

    Mike P.
    Poughkeepsie NY
  • jay47jay47 Member Posts: 2
    Hi all,
    just had my Dunlop runflats on our '04 Sienna XLE AWD replaced at 22000 mls for free (including alignment check and all labor, I paid absolutely nothing). There is now a service letter issued by Toyota on 10th April 2006 that all dealers should have. My bill says "Replace Tires TR7007 Combo A 1.6 done". Looks like a reference number for the service letter, so this might help you get the same deal if you have similar problems. They said this is a one time deal, so not sure what will happen if the Sienna continues to eat tires a this pace. The best the dealer could do is give me the Toyota consumer affairs number for that case. Well, we'll see ... .

    We had some inner tire wear, especially on the right front. Right rear and left rear showed the same pattern, but I am not sure whether they were just rotated through the front right postion. At 18500 mls we got he alignment adjusted (which we had to pay for), but decided to leave the tires on there for another while. At 22000 mls my wife had a slow puncture indicated by the tire pressure warning system. She re-inflated the tire and drove home for another 50 mls or so. When I looked for the nail I noticed that the inner treads of the right front tire were worn through the first steel weave. Looked really bad, and was likely the cause of the slow pressure loss. Glad she did not have a blow-out and roll-over!
    Over the course of 3500 mls we went from uneven wear to near blow-out. So guys and gals out there, if you drive a Sienna (AWD?), do check your inner tire edges for wear frequently, and do check them if you notice a pressure loss. Don't just assume you picked up a nail like we did!

    best regards
    Jay, Houston

    P.S.: frequent (mandatory) tire rotation is a bad US habit that has been abandonned in Europe about 20 years ago. It just makes sure that a) you ruin all 4 tires before you notice any problems even if you only have a problem in the front or rear, b) you then cannot clearly locate the problem and c) you only notice problems after you are past your 1 year warranty on alignment. In Europe people rotate only every 10000+ mls or so, so any problems are clearly visible and attributable to a wheel location.

    Also posted on
  • tspencertspencer Member Posts: 4
    I read a message from someone who tried putting on regular tires, and they said it bounces down the road, since the suspension, and particularly the shocks, are set up for the run flats! They said that it was another waste of money. The spare is an ok idea, but you'll probably do better if it's a run flat tire. Who knows what one regular tire with 3 run flats will do to your handling. Regular tires have a very flexible sidewall, while run flats have a hard plastic insert built into the sidewall to hold up the car when the tire doesn't have any air in it, and it doesn't flex much. I don't know if it would even be drive able like that. Keeping a run flat spare sounds like a good idea, for those times when you're on a trip and can't find a tire store open (i.e. weekends) or can't find a run flat replacement tire until it's ordered. That could take days.
  • jiminycricketjiminycricket Member Posts: 1
    We just purchased a 2004 Sienna and so far so good after one week! We would like to purchase some "almost new" tires that are 235/65/R17. We understand the original tires were 225/60/R17, and it has 225/55/R17's on it now. Does anyone know if the tire size we would like to get will fit OK? Thank you.
  • user777user777 Member Posts: 3,341
    perhaps this would help you:

    it looks to me like the sidewall height (152.75mm) would be increasing a fair bit over what's on their now (123.75mm), and what it would have had as original equipment (135.0mm) for the 17in rims.

    the other OEM size for your car would have been 215/65-R16 with a sidewall of 139.75mm.

    if it were me, these tires would be unacceptable as the stiffness of the sidewall in cornering would be less than it is now so it would handle less well when cornering.

    also, it doesn't seem a good match to me in terms of overall resultant wheel diameter (rim diameter + 2* sidewall height). check that. it might throw your mileage and speed measurement off too much. original overall diameter would be 17 + (135)*2/25.4 = 27.63". alternate OEM would be 16 + (139.75)*2/25.4 = 27.0" (pretty good agreement between both OEM tire sizes for the R16 vs R17).

    but the tires you are looking at getting: they would be 17 + 2*(152.75)/25.4 = 29.03" overall diameter


    ((29.03" - 27.0") / 27.0") * 100 = 7.5% difference in overall diameter over OEM spec.

    If not the speedometer variation, nor the handling issue, are you willing to loose the 2+ inches of clearence in the wheel well / fender area over the OEM spec'd tires? not me.

    i hope i did this right. check the numbers and the interpretation. regards.
  • plumekussplumekuss Member Posts: 18
    I have a 2004 XLE that has doet 20,000 miles. Went in for an oil change and came out with new brake pads. Also just had to replace tires. This does not sound right for such little mileage. Any ideas?
  • beernutbeernut Member Posts: 329
    I have two questions:

    Did you need brakes? Did you need tires? You say you got both, but didn't say why.

    Brakes at 20k could be possible if your driving habits made it so - its a heavy van, and lots of stop&go with a heavy foot could use up brakes that fast.

    The tires are more suspicious. The combination of a heavy van, front drive, low tire pressure, misalignment, bad roads, etc. could shorten the tires' life to 20k but most of those things would have to be happening at the same time. Are you good at maintaining the tires? Pressure? Alignment? Rotation? Did the van come with factory Michelines? I, personally, hate them but my new 06 has them, too.

    20k does sound very low for tires. I'd ask the shop "why?".
  • plumekussplumekuss Member Posts: 18
    When the dealer tells me I need brakes, I proceed. I am not in a position to know any better. My wife does mostly suburban driving so I guess there is a lot of stop and go involved - but still, 20k miles for brakes? I read about a Technical Service Bulletin issued by Toyota in Dec 2003 (TSB # BR 009-04) and I dont know what its about but I called the service manager to discuss it. Left a message and he called me back but I was not around to take the call.

    The tires for sure needed replacing - while I am the furthest thing from a car guru, I can see when tires have worn flat. Nobody can tell me the reason. They checked the alligment as part of the tire replacement (at a tire place because I happened to take it in for a tire repair caused by a nail) and showed me a printout (meant nothing to me) that pointed out I needed adjustments so I had them make them at another $69 a pop. I am diligent about tire pressure and rotation (always do when I am at the Totoya dealership for an oil change or service).
  • beernutbeernut Member Posts: 329
    Again, the brakes... maybe. But the tires at 20K? I don't get it either.

    You answered my question, though. The tires were replaced because they were worn smooth, not because of failed components, crooked wear, etc.

    What brand of tires were they? Is there a notice out on them? Were they 40K or 60K tires? Maybe you have a prorate coming back to you.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    If you watch carefully every day you will see at least one car "cruising" down the road with the brake lights shining brightly. Many drivers do not realize that with modern day BOOSTED brake systems (and powerful engines for "masking the effect) just the slight weight of your foot "resting" on the brake pedal will result in dramatically reducing brake pad life not to mention FE.

    Amazingly this can happen even with cruise control. We all know that cruise control will be automatically cancelled with brake application. What we don't always realize is that the brakes can often be applied, lightly, without depressing the pedal to the point wherein the microswitch is tripped and shuts the cruise control down.
  • beernutbeernut Member Posts: 329
    Excellent point. And one that I failed to think of. Left foot braking and dragging or resting that foot on the pedal is a culprit. Also, continual last minute hard braking, as practiced by Mrs. Beernut, also takes a toll on pads.

    Here's another one: Partial application of the parking brake. My wife and I took a Corolla out for a test drive at a dealership a year ago or so. The parking brake was pulled only one or two clicks. Since it was a strange car to us, we didn't notice the handle being up a little nor did she notice an accelerator problem. She just drove along like nothing was amiss. After five or six miles, the familiar smell of burning brakes caused me to recommend a precautionary stop. Yup, they were smokin'!!
  • plumekussplumekuss Member Posts: 18
    They were Michelin tires that came on the vehicle. I bought Goodyear replacements.
  • beernutbeernut Member Posts: 329
    My Sienna is only a week old and has the same tires as yours, no feedback yet. But from previous experience, "Death to Michelin - Long Live Bridgestone!"

    I've always found M's to be very slick on wet pavement and they don't particularly last long. I was disappopinted to see them on my Sienna. B's, on the other hand do both well.
  • tech_arttech_art Member Posts: 33
    recieved the mail today.
    toyota finally did something!
    coverage for run flat tires(AWD model) uneven wear extended to 36K/3year.
    if you previous paid for it, toyota will reimbuse u.
  • roseyckroseyck Member Posts: 5
    I have a 2004 AWD Sienna with Dunlop run-flat tires. My first pair were replaced at 9700 miles. I apparently blew out one of the tires, but did not get a tire pressure warning. I took the car into the dealer for poor handling, was told there was nothing wrong and drove the car 50 more miles until it became impossible to handle. I took it back to the dealer who then identified the blown tire, on the verge of disintegrating, but also noticed that all four tires were measured at 2/32 and all needed to be replaced. Dealer put in writing that the car, with those tires, was too dangerous to drive off the lot, so my car sat on the dealers lot for nearly 2 weeks until I found replacement tires via the internet. After 2 days of trying, the dealer told me he could not locate new tires for me.

    Goodyear paid for a set of replacement tires at that time. Faced with the lousey choices of run-flat replacements, I opted to put on Blizzak winter run-flats and alternate them with the new Dunlops. So far, I have put 17K miles on the Dunlop run-flats. Last week, when I went in for service, reporting a noisey and choppy ride, I was told the tires were cupped and worn and needed to be replaced soon. When asked why these tires could not be replaced under the new warranty, the dealer told me that the tires were not so worn as to need immediate replacement so they were not eligible for replacement under the Toyota warranty. When I asked what the tire tread measured when they suggested I replace them soon, the service rep said that information had not been recorded but that the tires would definitely need to be replaced before winter. Of course, I have 600 miles left before the car hits 36K miles and the warranty period expires!

    Any suggestions for me out there? I am going to discuss this further with the dealer's service manager to see what they are willing to do. I spoke with someone from the Toyota Experience Center (don't you just love that?) and was told that if the tires were not completely shot at 17K miles, then they would not replace under warranty. She did say I could seek reimbursement for the first set of tires and could in turn, purchase new tires with my reimbursement money. We'll see what happens.

    This time, I am going to file a complaint with the Pennsylvania Attorney General.
    Has anyone out there taken this step?

    I don't want to put run-flats back on. Can anyone suggest an alternative that you've been happy/or at least OK with?

    I like car, but it's way more expensive than I ever figured. The gas mileage has been poorer than average and I am furious at what this tire fiasco has cost me! :mad:

    I'll stop complaining and await your sage advice. Thanks RCK
  • ohresohres Member Posts: 46
    I noticed the uneven wear problem on my 2004 Sienna AWD when the vehicle had about 5k miles on it. Also had the transmission problem and a noise problem. I followed the directions given by Toyota, trying to fix the problems thru the dealer service, customer service and the arbitration (per Toyota CS's suggestion). But nothing worked. On the arbitration, the board send me a notice that the tire problem will not be considered during their review since Toyota's Warranty does not cover tires (I accepted this as a biased opinion). The vehicle has about 21k miles on it with the original tires, gets rough while braking and very noisy even if the tires still have some more useful life. I asked a PA Lemon Law firm to handle my case and I will have the first court hearing at Philadelphia Court in September 2006.
  • roseyckroseyck Member Posts: 5
    Good luck.

    Today, I was lucky enough to see the service manager in the VERY crowded waiting room of my dealer's repair area. I loudly recounted my nightmare with these tires and asked why, when the second set has lasted only 17K miles, they had refused, last week, to replace them under the new extended tire warranty. The service manager told me to return Wednesday and he would put a brand new set of tires on my Sienna and would bill the expense to Toyota. These are not what I wanted. I am going to regular tires and a spare, but I will do that in 10-15K miles when these fail again.

    So far, between Toyota and Goodyear, I have had 2 sets of the Dunlops replaced at their expense.

    I am still going to pursue a complaint with the PA state attorney general. I would be pleased to hear how your case fares in court.

    Thanks for the reply.
  • mkjj123mkjj123 Member Posts: 18
    My 05 XLE has Bridgestone and with just over 10,000 miles, the fronts are worn below the wear indicators. I rotated them to the rear, but another 10k and all four will need replacing. It's not necessarily the brand, but rather the model. I have Bridgestones on my truck and at $160 each, they are terrific tires. The ones the put on the Sienna are garbage. Other cars I've had included a warranty on the tires, directly from the tire manufacturer. I'm going to call the dealer to see if there is anything they can do. A $35k vehicle shouldn't need new tires after a years worth of driving, IMHO.
  • beernutbeernut Member Posts: 329
    Quite agree. My all-time favorite tires are Bridgestones. Do you have run-flats?
  • mkjj123mkjj123 Member Posts: 18
    No, they are not run-flats.
  • yangpayangpa Member Posts: 12
    Hi Mike, have you got your tires changed to regular ones? How was the experirnce? I am contemplating the same but having trouble to make a decision. Thx
  • ckirkckirk Member Posts: 18
    Has anyone used this product ContiComfortKit TireRack salesman suggested using it with Non-Runflats, in lieu of spare.
  • tireissuetireissue Member Posts: 3
    I have been led to believe that every Sienna suffers from this defect. The right rear wheel vibrates at all speeds and does not have a “true” rotation, compared to the other wheels. If you have a second car, you can follow your Sienna on the right side, and actually see it. I have made a DVD of it, and supplied it to Toyota. Toyota and the dealership so far have not given me a straight answer. They say it is just the way it rides, and comes from the road, which they say is a natural phenomenon. They have some measurement of interior vibration that they say is within specifications. I have driven a brand new sienna that had the same feel. If you notice any kind of vibration in your Sienna (chair, table, seat) that seems to come from the rear, I am guessing it is this problem. They have replaced all kinds of things, including the tires 3 times, the rims, the hub, and countless rebalancings and remountings. Now they are giving me a hard time about whether it is even a defect. Changing the tire initially softens the vibration, probably because of the extra rubber. But you can still see it. Aside from the annoyance of an unsmooth ride, I think this defect will lead to premature wear of suspension components.

    Anyone else notice this problem?
  • caravan2caravan2 Member Posts: 198
    This is that noticeable? This is troubling :mad: What possibly could be the fix?

    I hope they fixed this in 2007. This seems suttle... as you said, with new tires it less noticeable. Any suggestion how to test this condition.....

    People share your experiences... thanks
  • tireissuetireissue Member Posts: 3
    It is subtle at first. Many folks don't notice wife doesn't care. But once you see it with your eyes, you realize there is something wrong.

    I really noticed it when I rotated the tires and it became really bad.

    Toyota says it is not a defect because they can replace all the parts possible, including the entire car, and it won't get rid of it.
  • caravan2caravan2 Member Posts: 198
    Probably Toyota is correct that by replacing all the parts this will not be correct. It seems that there's a design flaw.

    This is realy bizarre.

    As you have sent DVD to Toyota, they must be shaking there head how did this happen. This will be difficult for them to admit it but they must take it seriuosly and come up with the solution for this and future models.
  • ohresohres Member Posts: 46
    Could you be a bit more specific about your observation, i.e., at what speed range it can be seen the best? I have a big ? on Toyota's explanations regarding on the tire wear problem on my 04 Sienna XLE Ltd AWD. Contrary to Toyota's explanation, the tires on my van show uneven wears that indicate that something is wrong with the vehicle itself rather than the tires. Could you explain a bit clearly on what does "not have a "true" rotation" means? Thanks.
  • kj2005kj2005 Member Posts: 17
    Like so many others we're having problems with these tires too. I checked online and the tires come with 11/32" of tread new. The minivan now has 21K miles and the tires were rotated every 5K miles. Driving style is Average with a lot of highway miles. Tire pressure is maintained properly.

    The problem is the rears now have 5/32 and the fronts 6/32 after 12 months. At 15K miles all tires had 7/32 tread depth.

    At 10K and 15K mile service appointments the advisor told me the 32PSI recommendation from Toyota (need to check the owner's manual) should be 35PSI and then 37PSI respectively due to the wear problems. At the 20K service a newer, and apparently less experienced service advisor, told me that 32PSI is the recommendation and that's what the tires have. I need to check them with my accurate tire pressure gauge once they're cold again.

    Like so many others this is disappointing that after a year and 21K miles on a $42K minivan I'm looking to get 4 new tires in the next 3 months which would be about 25K miles.

    Questions for this group: Is the TSB or other service bulletin that gets Sienna AWD owners new tires gratis still valid? Do I call Toyota or simply talk to a knowledgable service advisor when the time comes?

    As for other RFT options I will research TireRack and other online resources to see what the best choices are for all season and longer tread life.
  • mlvcfpmlvcfp Member Posts: 1
    I am buying an '06 XLE with AWD. I have read a lot of posts about problems with the tires, and I read the lousy review the tires get on I know one can purchase non run flat tires, but where can the spare be stored. Can it be put out of the way like on a FWD model?
  • wheels13wheels13 Member Posts: 51
    What would the tire pressure be at 40 degrees F if it is 32 Lbs at 0 degrees. I am not able to keep changing pressure on these runflats as the temps change just to keep 44 Lbs in them. Thanks
  • crowartcrowart Member Posts: 25
    If I were me (and I am), I would just buy a regular spare and keep using run-flats.

    Sport drivers only ditch the spare for weight-savings anyway, so you may as well keep it with a regular non-sports vehicle.
  • goodcardrivergoodcardriver Member Posts: 6
    Why doesn't Toyota just put a spare in the AWD versions like it does on the RAV4, on the liftgate? It would make the car even bigger, but it would solve a lot of issues. I don't have a lot of confidence in these run-flats.
  • practicalpractical Member Posts: 53
    I'm thinking of getting one AWD, but all are with RFT.

    Many friends already told me not to get them. They have cars besides Toyota. Just checked, '06 AWD tires are not RF.

    1> is it very expensive?
    2> possible to get a non-RF on the same rim?

  • mnrep2mnrep2 Member Posts: 200
    1> is it very expensive?
    2> possible to get a non-RF on the same rim?

    1 The Bridgestone B380 sells for $155 a tire on Tirerack
    2 Yes conventional tires fit the Sienna. Not true for the Honda as they use the PAX system from Michelin which does require a specific style of wheel.
  • deepdropdeepdrop Member Posts: 89
    I have a set of four Blizzak Revo 1 snow tires that I bought from Tire Rack on steel wheels for my "06 Sienna. I'm moving south and don't need them. They were used only one season and are in great shape. Does anyone know of a good Toyota website where I could post them? Thanks.
  • furnefurne Member Posts: 3
    Apart from Craigslist, you could drop a line to me at [email protected]
  • subewannabesubewannabe Member Posts: 403
    Will conventional tires adversely impact the operation of the tire-pressure monitoring system ? The Vehicle stability control system ?

    My second set ( the ones Toyota supplied free of charge under the warranty extension) of run-flats will be due for replacement this fall at 40K miles +/-. I am trying not to be short -sighted about switching to conventional tires, as switching creates additional issues of spare tire storage, cargo space access, third row seat options, etc. Ive seen someone locally who switched and now carries a full-size spare on a roof rack. Talk about increasing your CoG , adding some horrific wind noise! The hitch-mounted spare adds a lot of weight behind the rear axle, essentially eliminates the convenience of the power rear door . And while I believe the decision to go with run-flats in the AWD is more a space -solution than a safety feature, the number of people killed each year while changing a flat on the shoulder or assisting someone trying to do so is staggering.

    I have an additional consideration in that I live on top a mountain and the tight switchback turns while descending and climbing the mountain eat the outside edges of tires quickly, so I know from experience that I will be changing tires every 20-25 K miles, no matter what. The higher cost of run flats will add up over the 150 -250 K I typically accumuilate on my vehicles.

    I welcome any thoughts.

    Mark in North Carolina
  • practicalpractical Member Posts: 53
    So it's not too expensive.

    1> Is RFT repairable like conventional ones? For instance, if a nail gets into the center of a conventional tire, a mechanic can repair it for $20.

    2> For how long a RFT last?

  • subewannabesubewannabe Member Posts: 403
    The Dunlop insert to the Sienna Owners Manual says punctures in their DSST tires can be repaired just like other tires,i.e., punctures in the tread can be plugged and /or patched. Finding a repair facility that has the equipment to remove the tire in order to do a patch is another story.

    In my experience, the less-flexible DSST tire is more susceptible to sidewall punctures due to less flexibility when you hit the edge of a pothole, e.g.

    Do not expect to get more than 25-30K on DSST tires, even in flat, highway driving.Much less on hilly, curvy driving...the outside corners of the tire wear quickly and unevenly .
  • kj2005kj2005 Member Posts: 17
    I've been measuring the tread depth on my DSST tires for 16+ months. We have about 27K miles and finally the Toyota dealer agreed to replace the tires (no charge) after excessive wear. At $240-250 per tire this was pleasant news to me! I only have to pay for an $80 alignment which is okay by me.

    I always keep the tire pressure around 35-37psi as recommended and the tires were always roatated every 5k miles.

    As an aside we did have one small puncture in the first 3 months and it was plugged like any other tire and we never had another issue.

    As I posted many months ago, it is disappointing that the tires are excessively wearing. The dealership did tell me the replacement RFT for the the 2006 Sienna AWD is a different Dunlop tire which has been improved---I won't know for sure until they're on the vehicle at the end of the week.

    At 20K miles per year of typical driving on this vehicle, it is still disappointing to be told or expect to replace the RFT tires once per year at a cost of about $1000.

    If someone wants, I could take some picture of my old tires before they're gone to show the wear patterns and then provide the tires specs and tread depth on the new ones.
  • jcortneyjcortney Member Posts: 7
    I just found this forum and would like to add my two cents about the Sienna AWD run flat tires. The bottom line is they do not work!! Very few tire shops can work on them!! They do not prevent you from stopping along side of the road. They make flat tires a very expensive thing to handle.

    I was coming home to San Jose from San Diego on interstate 5 when I felt or heard something strange. I pulled over and noticed the right front tire was low. Note no low tire pressure warning light came on the dash. I drove about 25 miles further to Kettleman city exit to look for help after 5 or 6 phone calls I found a regular tire 20 miles away and set out to get there. I only make it made it about 2 miles before the tire came apart and was throwing rubber up on the windshield. I pulled over and called Toyota road side for help. A tow truck was dispatached and the five of us, including my 90 year old mother, and the van were towed to Coalinga. The tire shop had been in businnes for 35 years and they could not get the bead off of the rim. In fact the only thing on the rim were the two beads after 2.5 hours of trying. Well spend the night and get the two truck back the next morning and get towed to Fresno where the Toyota dealer does not have any tire changing equipment but subs out all tire work. At least they had seen run flat tires and used a circular saw to cut the beads off the rim. Next problem was no Dunlap tires in Fresno only Bridgestone so they put that on and we are on our way home minus 510 dollars ($240 towing charges above toyota's allowance, $ 205 for a new tire installed and balanced, and $155 for three motel rooms this was reported to be the best motel in town I would sure hated to see the worst) and we were stuck alonside interstate 5. Since then I have had two other flat tires due to nails in the tread. The first was patched by Toyota and the second I had to replace as Toyota now states that the run flat tire can not be patched, another $270 ( 20 repair fee, 250 new tire in San Jose). On these two occurances the first one the low tire pressure never came on but you could hear the tire and the second time it did come on but not until the tire presure got down to 5 lbs. and I use a tire pump that I cary to inflate it.

    In my oppinion the run flat tires are a BIG design defect that does not work and the tire industry is not ready to handle.

    I sure wish I had followed by gut felling when I was buying the van and just waled away from it when I learned of the run flat tires.

    I was told that Toyota has a retrofit kit for a spare tire but parts cost alone are about $1000. I assumed this was an under van mount but I did not ask that question so I am not sure. I was also told that the first year model of th AWD still had the hardware for a spare tire like the non AWD model.

    If this is progress you can count me out. Turning a minor hickup of a flat tire, put on the spare, and maybe a new tire into a $500 nightmare is not progress.

    As for the saftey benifits I have not noticed any. Maybe on a blowout there is a little but in 47 years of driving I have had only one blowout. I dropped a tire in a pothole on a curve in Glacier national park and even bent the rim. A spare saved the day. I do not know what you would do with a run flat tire there.

    Does anyone know any details about spare tire possiblities on the Toyota Sienna AWD

    I now own a van that I am afraid to take out of town!!!!
  • lookingtobuy2lookingtobuy2 Member Posts: 1
    My dealer claims the run flat tires were never used in the Northwest region. Can someone confirm this?
    Also - I haven't been able to find specifics about how the car handles if you just install regular tires and carry a full size spare in the back. I'd love to hear your experience. Thanks!
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