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A little background: Back in the day I bought a Mini Cooper that came with run flats. After going on the MINI forums, I was surprised to see how many owners said the first mod you should make is to replace the run flats with conventional tires. They said the difference in ride quality and cabin noise would be dramatic. Of course you now have to buy a tire repair kit.

As everyone knows, run flats are extremely stiff and because of that they transmit vibrations thru the car instead of absorbing them as compared to non-run flats. They also tend to be much noisier for the same reason. Anyway, after driving over several potholes and feeling the fillings in my teeth beginning to come loose, I couldn't wait to try running the car with non-run flats. All I can say is that everyone was right. The non-run flats turned it into a different car. But in a good way. The cabin noise was virtually gone, and the ride was MUCH smoother.

So, has anyone noticed issues that could be related to the run flats? In reading reviews of the C7, the one common notation is that the cabin tends to have a high level of road noise. As soon as I read that I thought its probably the tires. Unfortunately I won't have my C7 for another couple of months so I dont have any first had experience.
 

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They are a bit louder, I replaced them at 1200 miles when I went to aftermarket z51 sized setup for my car. I did not dump them because they were run flats, just did not want to pay for an RF for an "around town" tire. I really did not notice any hard ride quality with the RF. I have a "base" stingray. That being said, I kept my 18/19 wheels and tires, did not sell them, because for long trips, - sometime late at night, I want the safety of the RF feature. In fact, I am doing a 3000 mile trip in October, and my 19/20 Crays with Nitto Invo tires are coming off, and the stock wheels and RF tires are going back on.

by the way, watch what you read, it's all subjective when perceptions are involved, I don't think either tire made the cabin "very loud'....
 

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Run flats, because of their dual nature, will never be as perfect as non run flats. However, unlike the two to three pound penalty of previous Corvette factory run flats, Michelin made huge improvements in C7 tires, including: reduced weight penalty -- now about one pound; reduced noise penalty -- now just a decibel; and, much greater dry pavement cornering/handling -- a major reason why a "no option" StingRay will do 1.0 G, a Z-51 will do 1.07 G. And the new Michelin run flats also result in significant improvements in wet weather handling.
 

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I picked up a large bolt in a tire on my 2003 and drove over a hundred miles to find a Goodyear dealer who repaired the tire. So run flats work. I just don't want a flat on the Corvette that a kit wont fix or I am at night on a long highway and its raining or cold -- lazy am I. Comes with age and experience. Charlie aka cutnout
 

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I picked up a large bolt in a tire on my 2003 and drove over a hundred miles to find a Goodyear dealer who repaired the tire. So run flats work. I just don't want a flat on the Corvette that a kit wont fix or I am at night on a long highway and its raining or cold -- lazy am I. Comes with age and experience. Charlie aka cutnout
Charlie; You raise an interesting point. Are there any conditions under which you can't "drive to repair" a damaged tire? If there are, what sort of circumstance occurred that made that the case? I understand there will be circumstances where the tire can't be repaired. I am just wondering about the drivability issue?
 

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Run Flats worked great for me!

you cant drive if the sidewall is severly damaged and cannot function, the tire will self destruct when you try to drive...I've seen a few do this...
I was driving on Hwy 59 in Houston about a month ago and hit a huge metal object (about 10 inches in length) going about 70 mph, it bent my back rim and punctured the side wall of my Michelin runflats. The tire pressure went to zero immediately and left a huge gash in the sidewall. I kept driving at about 55 mph for about 11 miles with no problem at all.
 

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How can you use non-run flats if there's no spare, middle of the night, and AAA can't even help you?
 

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tire_repair.JPG
Found this on Amazon -- small air compressor and plug install tool. Plugs, plug-insertion tool, and awl are inside the handle. These attach to the small end of the handle. As the ruler shows these item are small and they fit inside the small storage compartment at the left rear of the hatch area. Plugs will work for nails, small screws, and staples. Plug diameter is 1/8 inch. However, I would probably use SLIME with this small air compressor before trying to insert a plug.
 

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Run flats, because of their dual nature, will never be as perfect as non run flats. However, unlike the two to three pound penalty of previous Corvette factory run flats, Michelin made huge improvements in C7 tires, including: reduced weight penalty -- now about one pound; reduced noise penalty -- now just a decibel; and, much greater dry pavement cornering/handling -- a major reason why a "no option" StingRay will do 1.0 G, a Z-51 will do 1.07 G. And the new Michelin run flats also result in significant improvements in wet weather handling.

Summed up very well! Sidewall and tread compound are so critical to the type of use, and I agree w/the Michelin's as well.

And Glen is right on....driving on a flat tire (conventional) or even a very low inflated will damage the sidewall rendering it unsafe no matter how it looks re inflated.
 

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Charlie; You raise an interesting point. Are there any conditions under which you can't "drive to repair" a damaged tire? If there are, what sort of circumstance occurred that made that the case? I understand there will be circumstances where the tire can't be repaired. I am just wondering about the drivability issue?
Although the thread below may not directly answer your question Chip, post #13 gives some manufacturer recommendations on when you can safely repair a run-flat.

http://www.stingrayforums.com/forum/stingray-corvette-discussions/3669-run-flat-tire-repair-2.html
 

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Thanks Mobius; I am pretty familiar with the "can / can't fix" aspect, but have no experience with the degree of damage these tires can sustain and still be driven safely.
 

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If I were faced with this, I would do the following: slow down, find the nearest safe place to get off the road and take a look, and, if it didn't look too bad, I would drive it a little way to see how it felt and sounded. Based on that, as well as the circumstances (location, time of day, et cetera), I would decide then if I would try to limp somewhere or call for a truck.

I don't know if there is a definite answer on what to do depending on the damage. It all seems relative to the circumstances to me.
 

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Twice in my life, Annie and I coming home late at night, driving a car with run flats, got a indication of a flat tire, both times in places where I would not want to get out of our car even with an assault rifle on me, and was very, very glad we were on run flats. Yes, got a brand new tire the day, but got home safely each time.

Remember about seven years ago, believe it was in LA, where a famous actor's son, the latter driving a Mercedes, got out on the side of the road to fix a flat and was murdered. "To each their own," as to what risk they are comfortable with. Yes, run flats are a little louder, and on the race track not as good as an identical tire that is not a run flat, but to me, having just driven 4,400 miles in a C6 Z06 -- a car not known for its long distance comfort nor its quiet, I will gladly put up with a run-flat disadvantages for its personal safety advantages.
 

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Thanks Mobius; I am pretty familiar with the "can / can't fix" aspect, but have no experience with the degree of damage these tires can sustain and still be driven safely.
Another thread -- almost identical subject/content, has answer to your question. While we normally do not double post, feel this is a worthwhile exception to that rule:

A little Corvette run flat history. In the C4's a customer could choose run flats as an option. When GM was thinking of every Corvette coming with run flats (primarily for weight and cargo-packaging reasons), the ever cautious Chief Engineer Dave Hill (about 1995 as they were developing the C5), worked with Goodyear. They took a hole saw, drilled a hole about the size of a dime right through the sidewall of the intended C5 new run flat, had their test engineers drive that car from one coast to the other, obeying the 55 MPH maximum speed limit for a run flat then, again coast-to-coast without a problem. He decided that that was proof enough to make run flats standard equipment on every new C5.


(Closed that other thread, linked to this one.)
 

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Slime will mess up your pressure sensors.
Actually one of Slime's key selling points and differentiators is the fact it will not interfere with TPMs and can be easily removed from the tire if the tire is dismounted later on.
 

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Actually one of Slime's key selling points and differentiators is the fact it will not interfere with TPMs and can be easily removed from the tire if the tire is dismounted later on.
That was my (single) experience in using it. It cleaned up well and I had no issues after using it.
 
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