Is A Tire Repairable After Placing Fix-A-Flat In It RAV4 Drivers Club Guide To The Toyota RAV4 Run-Flat (BSR) Tyre System

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RAV4 Drivers Club Guide To The Toyota RAV4 Run-Flat (BSR) Tyre System

This guide is written to explain the BSR run flat system fitted to the Toyota Rav4 T180 and SR180.

Many owners have bought their cars without knowing this BSR system, so here I will try to explain what it is and the options to replace it.

What is the BSR system?

It is a Run Flat system that differs from other types where the sidewalls of the tires used are greatly reinforced so if a hole or deflation occurs the car effectively rides on the sidewall.

BSR (Bridgestone Safety Ring) is a system that uses a ring that is fitted inside the tire around the rim. This is what the car rides on in the event of a deflation. The tires are effectively a normal tire. This is a development of a WW2 military vehicle.

There is also a lubricant inside the tire that lubes the tire and the BSR ring in the event of a deflation. Without this friction the product would destroy both elements.

The system is supported by a TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System) that lights up a warning light on the dash if a deflation occurs…

Advantages of this system..

This means that no spare wheel needs to be carried.

The minuses..

Tires must be removed by a special and very expensive machine that only Toyota Dealers and some independent Tire Dealers have.

Only one type of Bridgestone tire can be used with the BSR system. No other make or model of tire may be used.

This makes for expensive replacements when it comes time for new tires and it can prove very convenient in the event of a puncture.

Owners report very expensive replacement or repair costs!

The options…

Property Owners can simply live with what they have and put up with what are considered large replacement or repair costs.

Or

Remove the existing tires and the BSR system completely. You can have the tires removed by an Equipped Dealer as described above. Cost around £45 per wheel OR simply cut the tires and remove the inner safety rings with the help of an angle grinder.

The TPMS system can be retained or removed and switched to prevent the light from flashing on the dash.

Once the tires and rings have been removed normal tires can be fitted on a car with normal tires by any tire dealer and any brand can be used.

Implications of insurance…

You should notify your insurance company if you remove the BSR system and install normal tires.

No extra premium is possible as the car will be as the latest specification SR Rav4. IE has no BSR system and a tire repair kit in the boot.

It is possible to remove the tires and the BSR ring and repair the tires, but this will void your insurance as the tires have a symbol on the tire wall designating them as Run flats. Which of course without the BSR rings inside are not! This could mean that a driver who doesn’t realize this could get into trouble if a deflation occurs and continues to drive…

Ride Quality

The wheels with the extra weight of the BSR system and lubricating gel are great compared to a wheel equipped with a normal tire.

The suspension has two components to deal with:

The bean sucks. This is the weight of the vehicle, its occupants, cargo etc.

The bean is unsprung. This is the weight of the wheels, tires, brakes etc.

Relieving the suspension of the unsprung weight allows him to get on with the job of controlling the weight. This adds up to a far smoother ride without the crashing and thumping that the increased weight of BSR equipped wheels provides. Remember the tire walls are not reinforced..

The ride quality MASSIVELY IMPROVED with the removal of the BSR!!!

A consideration…

If trading in a BSR equipped RAV at a Toyota dealer one of the first questions asked will be does it still have the flats to run? Because if he does not have the car in sight has been radically changed and can not be sold under the Toyota approved car scheme.

Other dealers may or may not ask depending on whether they know of the system’s existence in the first place…

Hope this helps

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