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RAV4 Drivers Club Guide To The Toyota RAV4 Run-Flat (BSR) Tyre System
This guide is written to hopefully explain the BSR run-flat system fitted to the Toyota Rav4 T180 and SR180
Many owners bought their car without knowing about this BSR system, so here I will try to explain what it is and the options for replacing it.
What is the BSR system?
It is a run flat system which is different from other types where the sidewall of the tires used are heavily reinforced so in the event of a puncture or deflation the car rolls effectively on the sidewall
BSR (Bridgestone Safety Ring) is a system that uses a ring that is mounted inside the tire around the rim. This is what the car rolls in the event of deflation. The tires are indeed a normal tire. This is a development of a WW2 military vehicle.
There is also a lubricant inside the tire which lubricates the tire and the BSR ring in case of deflation. Otherwise, the friction generated would destroy both elements.
The system is supported by a TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System) which illuminates a warning light on the dashboard in the event of deflation…
The advantages of this system…
This means that no spare tire needs to be carried.. And… Uh, that’s about it..
Tires must be removed by a special and very expensive machine that only Toyota dealerships and a few independent tire dealers have.
Only one type of Bridgestone tire can be used with the BSR system. No other brand or model of tire may be used.
This makes replacements expensive at the time of new tires and can be very inconvenient in the event of a puncture.
Owners report very high costs for replacement or repair!
Well owners can simply live with what they have and incur what are considered huge replacement or repair costs.
Completely remove the existing tires and BSR system. You can have the tires removed by a dealer equipped as described above. Costs around £45 per wheel OR just cut the tires and remove the inner safety rings using an angle grinder.
The TPMS system can be retained or removed and switched to prevent the warning light from flashing on the dashboard.
Once the tires and rings are removed, normal tires can be fitted to a normal tire machine by any tire dealer and any brand can be used.
You must inform your insurance company if you remove the BSR system and fit normal tires.
No additional premium is likely as the car will be to the latest SR Rav4 specification. IE no BSR system and a tire repair kit in the trunk.
It is possible to have the tires and BSR ring removed and then refitted but this will invalidate your insurance as the tires have a symbol on the sidewall of the tire designating them as Run flats. Which of course without the BSR rings inside they are not! This could mean that a driver who does not realize this could run into problems if deflation occurs and they continue to drive…
The wheels with the added weight of the BSR system and the lubricating gel are enormous compared to a wheel equipped with a normal tire.
The suspension has two elements to manage:
The suspended weight. These are the weight of the vehicle, its occupants, cargo, etc.
The unsprung weight. This is the weight of the wheels, tires, brakes, etc.
The suspension relief of the unsprung mass enables him to tackle the task of controlling the sprung mass. This adds up to a much smoother ride without the crushing and bumping that the increased weight of BSR-equipped wheels gives. Remember that the tire walls are not reinforced.
Ride quality is MASSIVELY IMPROVED when the BSR is removed!!!
If you trade in a BSR-equipped RAV with a Toyota dealership, one of the first questions will be whether it still has the run flats? Because if not, the car has been radically modified in their eyes and cannot be sold under the Toyota Approved Car Scheme.
Other dealers may or may not ask depending on whether they know about the system in the first place…
I hope this helps you
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