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RAV4 Drivers Club Guide To The Toyota RAV4 Run-Flat (BSR) Tyre System
This guide has been written to hopefully explain the BSR run flat system fitted to the Toyota Rav4 T180 and SR180
Many owners have bought their cars without knowing this BSR system, so here I will try to explain what it is and the options for replacing it.
What is the BSR system?
This is a Run Flat system which is different from other types where the sidewall of the tires used is highly reinforced so that if a flat or blowout occurs the car effectively runs 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 runs on in the event of an air leak. The tires are actually normal tires. It is a development of a World War II military vehicle.
There is also a lubricant inside the tire that lubricates the tire and the BSR ring in the event of a blowout. Otherwise, the friction generated would destroy both elements.
The system is supported by TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) which illuminates a warning light on the dashboard if there is an air leak…
The pros of this system..
This means no need to carry a spare wheel.. And.. Err well that’s really it..
The tires must be removed by a special and very expensive machine that is only available to Toyota dealers and a few independent tire dealers.
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 come time for new tires and can be very inconvenient in the event of a flat.
Owners report very expensive replacement or repair costs!
Well, owners can just live with what they have and put up with the huge cost of replacement or repair.
Completely remove the existing tires and BSR system. You can have the tires removed by an equipped dealer as described above. Cost is around £45 per wheel OR just cut the tires off and remove the inner rings using an angle grinder.
The TPMS system can be kept or removed and toggled to prevent the dash light from flashing.
Once the tires and rings are removed, normal tires can be mounted on a normal tire machine from any tire dealer and any brand can be used.
You must notify your insurance company if you remove the BSR system and install normal tires.
There is probably no extra premium as the car will be like the latest spec SR Rav4. I.e. no BSR system and tire repair kit in trunk.
It is possible to remove the tires and the BSR ring then refit the tires but this will void your insurance as the tires have a symbol on the tire wall designating them as Run flats. Which of course without the BSR rings inside are not! This could mean that a driver who is not aware of this could face problems if deflation occurs and he or she continues to drive…
Wheels with the added weight of the BSR system and the lubricating gel are huge compared to a wheel equipped with normal rubber.
The suspension has two elements to contend with:
The spring weight. This is the weight of the vehicle, its passengers, cargo, etc.
Weight without springs. This is the weight of the wheels, tires, brakes, etc.
Freeing the suspension from the unsprung weight allows it to get down to the job of controlling the sprung weight. This makes for a far smoother ride without the banging and bumping that the increased weight of BSR-equipped wheels imparts. Remember that the tire walls are not reinforced.
Ride quality IMPROVES MASSIVELY when the BSR is removed!!!
If you trade in a BSR equipped RAV to a Toyota dealer one of the first questions asked will be does it still have faults?? Because otherwise the car in their eyes has been radically altered and cannot be sold on the Toyota approved car scheme.
Other traders may or may not ask depending on whether they know the system exists in the first place…
I hope this helps
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