When I bought the Mini back in 2012 (used) the guy I bought it from said he’d just had four new tires put on it, all of them run-flats. That means you can drive on one of them for roughly 100 miles if it deflates to get someplace where you can have it fixed.
Uh-huh. My right rear tire showed signs of being low yesterday, so when I went out today the first place I stopped was a Chevron station at the bottom of the hill to get some air into it. I got it back up close to the 35 PSI it’s supposed to have and drove about a mile to Office Depot to get a pen refill. I got out of the car there and the tire was damned near flat again.
Fortunately, right next to that Chevron station is a tire place, one that’s been around for 50-60 years. It’s reputable and its people know me; I’ve been going there for years. So I turned the car around after buying my refill and went right back there. I showed them the tire and asked if they sold run-flat tires. No, they said, so they’d try to patch the one that went bad. I sat down in the waiting room to wait.
A few minutes later the clerk found me and said “You know what? None of these tires are run-flats. They’re just ordinary steel-belted radials.”
“But, but,” I sputtered, “I was told they were all run-flats when I bought them!”
“Well, they’re not. So what do you want us to do?”
“Do you have a radial that will fit the wheel?” I asked.
“Lemme check,” she said. Slight delay. “Yep.”
“Okay,” I said. “Lemme have it.”
So they did, at the cost of $153.96 for the tire and a service plan.
But. This car is meant to have run-flats. There is no space for a spare tire anywhere in the car without eating up what little storage space there is. So now I’m faced with either riding without a spare and hoping for the best or buying four run-flat tires at $286 or more apiece.
That’s not a fun choice at all.