Piston Slap: Run Flat Tires and Parties A, B, C

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta

TTAC commentator WheelMcCoy writes:

Hi Sajeev,

With MINIs, fun is directly proportional to repair bills. A couple with a 2009 MINI Cooper S bought an extended warranty which expires in February 2015. They hope to sell their MINI around then, but the run flat tires are worn down to their wear bars. To tide them over for 6 or 7 months, I suggested they buy some good handling low tread wear all season tires (they are in the Northeast) and an air compressor with goo. With normal tires, I’d argue they’d enjoy their MINI even more and might even want keep it after the extended warranty. But they are inclined on getting expensive run-flats to not hurt the resale value. Most likely, they will trade-in rather than sell on their own.

Appreciate your input and any alternatives we haven’t considered.

Sajeev answers:

Be it friendly advice on cars, careers, love, or whatever, a conversation between Party A and Party B about Party C is often a waste of everyone’s time.

I am not telling you to mind your own business. Far from it! Just make sure they aren’t getting reamed on the replacement tires’ price. That is, they need help saving money on the tires they want.

Considering the repair bills and America’s love of new vehicles, I reckon your (valid) truth isn’t applicable to your friends. If they want to trade in, instead help them get the most cash for the least effort. That said, depending on where (and when) they trade in, the receiving party might not notice the tire type. But if they trade MINI for MINI, go ahead and get factory tires.

[Image: Shutterstock user witsanu deetuam]

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

Sajeev Mehta
Sajeev Mehta

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  • WheelMcCoy WheelMcCoy on Sep 30, 2014

    CNET's Brian Cooley did a very good video on run-flats: http://www.cnet.com/videos/smarter-driver-understanding-run-flat-tires/ From July 2013, the info is current and my take away is: 1. run flats can cost 25% more than regular tires 2. a run flat tire can weigh 5 pounds more a regular tire 3. run flats still aren't easily available 4. traditional spares and tires have also improved He also mentions the pros of run flats.

  • Andrewa Andrewa on Sep 30, 2014

    Nip round to the local scrap yard and buy some second hand run flats off another mini? As far as spares go if you get a flat what happens if the locals think you are a witch? South Africans have burnt 12 witches or so this year already. They already know you are filthy rich, you are driving a vehicle, that's why they strew the road with puncture causing devices.

    • Rpn453 Rpn453 on Sep 30, 2014

      Sounds like run-flats are the way to go in that location, as well as armored vehicles and a good collection of fully loaded, chambered, and easily accessible firearms!

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