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Check Out My Really Cool
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I gave up the run flats. Thanks to input from several folks on here I got rid of my rather poorly performing Bridgestone DriveGuards (horrible tires--sidewalls blew out on two and one kept having a slow leak). I have replaced them with non-runflat Michelin A/S 3s which so far feel great. My question, to those of you who have replaced your runflats with non-runflats, what is your contingency plan for when you get a flat?

In my case, I've got the AAA plan that has the 100 mile tow but even that won't be much help if I'm on highway 5 between San Francisco and LA at 3AM. I kept one of the old run-flats and I'm considering getting that installed on a new rim and hauling that around in my trunk but I'd prefer not to spend the money on the rim (and take up precious trunk real-estate) if someone has a better idea.
 

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I just have the plug kit in the trunk and the handy AAA membership just like you.
 

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Check Out My Really Cool
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Discussion Starter #3
I just have the plug kit in the trunk and the handy AAA membership just like you.
Good idea. Is there one that's better than others?
 

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really how often do you get a flat? I switched to non RFTs since 2006 and no flat so far. I am taking that risk vs using ****ty expensive RFTs
 

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I've been fortunate that in both flats I've had, I found in the garage. Otherwise, AAA.
 

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Check Out My Really Cool
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Discussion Starter #6
really how often do you get a flat? I switched to non RFTs since 2006 and no flat so far. I am taking that risk vs using ****ty expensive RFTs
Well, I get the whole "How often do you get a flat" argument, which is why I got out of the runflats to begin with but the law of large numbers says some day it will happen, and the law of Murphy says when it does it's going to be 3AM in the middle of nowhere--so, the whole risk v. reward thing says I should have a plan. So far, AAA and a plug kit sounds like the best one. Just need to find the right plug kit. Any suggestions, anyone?
 

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Breaking in the Pony
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In my case, I've got the AAA plan that has the 100 mile tow but even that won't be much help if I'm on highway 5 between San Francisco and LA at 3AM.
Actually, it will be.

My daughter found herself with a flat (not repairable) at 11 PM on Highway 5 on a Labor Day weekend. She didn't want to go to LA and then back to SF on just the donut, so she got herself to the handy 24/7 tire place at Lost Hills (Rt 46), where at least 4 other cars were waiting for repairs from nails that mysteriously appeared on I-5 just 3 miles up the road from the shop. She bought a used tire for short money and was on her way.

In any event, the 100 mile towing limit will get you to one of San Jose / Lost Hills / LA from any place along I-5 between those locations. You can't bet on SF, though, as you will end up 20 miles short on your towing limit if you happen to die exactly halfway between SF and Lost Hills.
 

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1)TPMS usually warns you long before you are all the way flat.
mostly i have had slow leaks even with visible nails.
2)I carry and air compressor and plugs
3) I have a cell phone an there are few places i go where there is
no signal.
 

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Actually, it will be.

My daughter found herself with a flat (not repairable) at 11 PM on Highway 5 on a Labor Day weekend. She didn't want to go to LA and then back to SF on just the donut, so she got herself to the handy 24/7 tire place at Lost Hills (Rt 46), where at least 4 other cars were waiting for repairs from nails that mysteriously appeared on I-5 just 3 miles up the road from the shop. She bought a used tire for short money and was on her way.

In any event, the 100 mile towing limit will get you to one of San Jose / Lost Hills / LA from any place along I-5 between those locations. You can't bet on SF, though, as you will end up 20 miles short on your towing limit if you happen to die exactly halfway between SF and Lost Hills.
^^ What he said.

For very long trips, I would carry one of my winter wheels as a spare, along with a jack and wrench.

As an aside, back in the day I blew the water pump in my old E34 525i just north of Kettleman City. AAA got me to the BMW dealer in San Luis Obispo, just under 100 miles away.
 

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Does your plug kit also have a compressor? I have both packed into my wife's SUV when we go on longer trips. Normally also have a toolbox packed, but we might have a trailer full of of ATVs being towed as well. That's the ultimate in back up plans! The whole family could ditch the car.
 

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Check Out My Really Cool
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Discussion Starter #11
Anyone care to share a URL to a good plug kit?
 

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1)TPMS usually warns you long before you are all the way flat.
mostly i have had slow leaks even with visible nails.
2)I carry and air compressor and plugs
3) I have a cell phone an there are few places i go where there is
no signal.
I hate runflat ride. But, a year ago, I found myself a half hour (by highway) from my home and runflats saved me from a great loss of time after sudden loss of tire pressure (not a sudden explosive blowout, and not a slow leak that TPMS might warn about). So having runflats saved me when TPMS failed to warn me in advance of a slow leak. The tire would not hold any added air using the compressor, and I could not find the source of the leak to plug it.
 

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1)TPMS usually warns you long before you are all the way flat.
mostly i have had slow leaks even with visible nails.
2)I carry and air compressor and plugs
3) I have a cell phone an there are few places i go where there is
no signal.
I hate runflat ride. But, a year ago, I found myself a half hour (by highway) from my home and runflats saved me from a great loss of time after sudden loss of tire pressure (not a sudden explosive blowout, and not a slow leak that TPMS might warn about). So having runflats saved me when TPMS failed to warn me in advance of a slow leak. The tire would not hold any added air, and I could not find the source of the leak to plug it. The 'flat' run-flat was at the end of its treadlife, so no great loss. I drove to my tire store; but I have a conscientous tire retailer that will not sell and fit me with go-flats when I have no spare. So I outfitted a new set of Bridestone Driveguards, against my fundamental desires to convert to go-flats.
 

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Good idea. Is there one that's better than others?
Plug kits are mostly all very much the same and work fairly well:

https://www.autozone.com/tire-repai...e-t-handle-type-reamer-plugger-kit/486791_0_0

I also have the compressor in my trunk that will inflate a tire fairly quick and had it a couple of years, I have grown quite attached to it:

https://www.harborfreight.com/12v-100-psi-high-volume-air-compressor-69284.html

I also happen to have the same AAA membership with 100 mile range as you do. Consider the fact that you ONLY have to tow to a shop, not necessarily home which may be further away on a trip. Often overlooked AAA coverage also offers a $750 "trip coverage": it's if car is disabled 50 miles or more away from home.
 

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I had a plug kit, small compressor and mechanically handy.
But I never travel without my AAA card and two charge cards for safety.
 

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Nobody mentioned towing coverage as part of your auto insurance. Maybe not available where you live but for me it's about $20 per year and covers trip insurance too. I think it would kick in if you had AAA and had to go over 100 miles.

Yes, there is a difference in tire plug kits. The tools will bend with the cheap kits. Buy a quality kit.

Slime makes a small repair kit with a compressor and slime leak sealant.

Also, run flats can only be run flat if theres a leak in the tread area that causes loss of air. If the leak is in the sidewall they can't be run flat.

As for regular non-run flats, if you have that same leak in the tread area you can fix it with the tire plug or slime and a compressor. If the leak is in the sidewall then you can't fix it but the run flat would have been unusable with the same damage.

One thing to consider is who's driving it. If it's me, I can plug it and pump it up. If it's my wife I don't want her to have to do that - run flats would still be of value in that situation.

On my wife's X3, we replaced the tires with the run flats. The original set got over 40K miles on them and seem to ride just fine. So why not spring for the same replacement tire and have peace of mind?
 

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I have a full size spare tire. I bought an OEM Rim for $20 and I mounted an older but still usable tire from my workplace. It does take my trunk space up and someone suggested I put it on a roof rack like a Land Rover!!! It beats waiting for a tow imo. I put a lot of miles mostly on rural places and the space it takes isn’t bothersome .

Oddly enough I’ve NEVER had a flat tire in my life. Then again I check my tire pressure every week and I even re-seal my beads and replace valve stems periodically.


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