Replacing Run-Flat Tires With Regular Tires on MINI Cooper

Run-flat tires on MINI Coopers have a very bad reputation, and many owners complain about their performance and longevity.

Facts that make many potential buyers of these BMW-produced city cars ask is there an option of replacing run-flat tires with regular tires MINI Cooper?

You can replace run-flats with regular tires on a MINI Cooper, and many owners of these cars find it a preferable option. Furthermore, when specing your new vehicle, standard tubeless tires are an option you can choose.

Run-flat tires are often maligned by the general public and car enthusiasts, and many car mechanics also have a very poor opinion of them.

And also recommend swapping them with regular tires. Let’s see why.

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Replacing Run-Flat Tires with Regular Tires on Mini Cooper – Can It Be Done?

Run-flat tires that BMW puts on MINI Cooper cars are the most common type, self-supporting tires.

They have reinforced sidewalls which makes them capable of supporting the weight of your car even when without air, for a limited time.

In all other regards, they are almost the same as regular tires.

But most importantly, they use the same rims as regular ones, which makes them interchangeable.

In other words, yes, you can swap run-flat with regular tires on a MINI Cooper.

How to Replace Run-Flat with Regular Tires on Mini Cooper?

The best way to replace run-flat types with regular tires is to visit BMW’s dealership or any tire shop you feel confident about.

Theoretically, run-flats can be replaced with a pair of tire irons and a little bit of knowledge and skills.

But, they have reinforced sidewalls, which means that you have to use a decent amount of force to pry them off the wheel.

Chances to bend the rim’s lip are quite high. So, it’s better to leave it to professionals with proper tools.

Are Run-Flat Tires on Mini Cooper Good?

Run-flat tires on a MINI Cooper will keep your car safely planted on the road, and get you through a bend.

In that regard, they are as good as regular tires. But, they come with several disadvantages.

The first problem is the rougher ride. Run-flat tires are much stiffer than regular ones, so all the vibrations and small bumps that regular tires absorb, run-flats can’t.

Because they are heavier, as they have more rubber in them and have higher rolling resistance, fuel consumption goes up.

Lastly, they on average last around 6,000 miles less and are 50%-200% more expensive to replace.

Related: Run-Flat vs. Tubeless Tires (In-Depth Comparison)

Why Replace Run-Flat with Regular Tires on Mini Cooper?

Two main reasons to replace run-flat tires with regular ones are the ride comfort and the financial side of having them.

Run-flat tires are stiff, and can’t soak up all small bumps in the road the way regular ones do. Which makes driving a MINI with them less comfortable.

But there is also the fact that they cost much more and their treads last much shorter.

This means that you have to replace them more often at a higher price than the regular tires.

Why does MINI use run-flat tires?

Two words, boot space. By having run-flat tires on MINI Cooper, BMW can offer their customers a vehicle with a larger boot, because they can ditch a spare tire from it.

Do Run-Flat Tires Blow Out Less Often Than Regular Ones?

No, run-flat tires do not blow out more or less often than the regular type, with everything else being equal.

But, run-flat tires are more likely to be unrepairable after a blowout. What’s the problem? Thick sidewalls.

If you drive them when flat, the sidewalls carry the weight of your car. This pressure, combined with heat generated by their rolling, slowly kneads the sidewalls.

After some 20-30 miles, run-flat tires lose the ability to hold their original shape.

While the puncture can be repaired, such a tire still has to be replaced.

Is the BMW Mobility Kit useful?

BMW Mobility Kit is optional equipment you can buy with your MINI Cooper. It’s a kit with an air compressor with an integrated sealant container.

Its function is to help you quickly patch your punctured tire and get to the nearest shop where you can do a proper repair.

Is it useful? Absolutely. It takes much less space than a spare tire, doesn’t produce an uncomfortable ride, and doesn’t cost nearly as much as replacing run-flat tire.

According to NHTSA, 85% of faulty tires are due to slow leaks that can be noticed from TPMS warning and can be easily and sufficiently mended with this kit.

Conclusion

Replacing run-flat tires with regular tires MINI Cooper or not is a dilemma many owners of these BMW-produced city cars are facing.

Mainly because of the question can it be done?

The answer is yes. And replacing them will help you with the expenses of changing tires due to tread wear and aging.

While for the majority of tires-related road problems, BMW Mobility Kit is a sufficient fix to have in your car.

Sources

https://new.minimania.com/MINI_Cooper_Run_Flat_Tires__Explained

https://www.bmwakron.com/blogs/1468/akron-bmw-service/run-flat-tires/

https://www.shopbmwusa.com/PRINT/342