How Much Weight Can You Put In A Toyota Highlander RAV4 Drivers Club Guide To The Toyota RAV4 Run-Flat (BSR) Tyre System

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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 flat run system fitted to the Toyota Rav4 T180 and SR180

Many owners buy cars without knowing about this BSR system, so 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 that differs from other types where the sidewall of the tire used is strongly reinforced so that in the event of a puncture or deflation, the car effectively rides on the sidewall.

BSR (Bridgestone Safety Ring) is a system that uses a ring that is attached to the tire around the rim. This is what the car rides on when there is deflation. The tire is as effective as a normal tire. This is a development of WW2 military vehicles.

There is also a lubricant inside the tire that lubricates the tire and the BSR ring in case of deflation. Without this, friction will destroy both elements.

The system is supported by a TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System) that illuminates a warning light on the dash in the event of deflation…

The advantages of this system..

It means that you don’t need to bring a backup.. And… Err, that’s really it..

The minus..

Tires must be removed by special and very expensive machines that only Toyota Dealers and some independent Tire Dealers have.

Only one type of Bridgestone tire can be used with the BSR system. No other brand or model of tire will work.

This makes for an expensive replacement when it comes time for new tires and can prove very fun in the event of a puncture.

Owners report very expensive costs to replace or repair!

Choice…

Good owners can only live with what they have and bear the perceived great expense of replacement or repair.

Or

Remove the tires there and the BSR system is complete. You can have the tire removed by an Authorized Dealer as described above. Cost around £45 per wheel OR just cut the tire and remove the safety inner ring with the help of an angle grinder.

The TPMS system can be retained or removed and modified to prevent the light from flashing on the dash.

After the tire and rings have been removed a normal tire can be fitted to a normal tire machine by any Tire Dealer and any brand can be used.

Insurance Implications…

You must notify your insurance company if you remove the BSR system and fit normal tires.

There is no additional premium as the car will be the latest specification SR Rav4. IE no BSR system and tire repair kit in the boot.

It is possible to remove the tire and BSR ring and then refit the tire but this will invalidate the insurance because the tire has a symbol on the tire wall which designates them as Run flat. Of course without BSR rings inside they are not! This could mean that this uninformed Driver could be in trouble if there is deflation and he continues to drive…

Ride Quality

The wheels with the extra weight of the BSR system and the lubricating gel are huge compared to the wheels fitted with normal tires.

Suspension has two elements to contend with:

Weight gain. This is the weight of the Vehicle, its Occupants, Cargo etc.

Unsprung weight. This is the weight of Wheels, Tires, Brakes etc.

Eliminating unsprung weight suspension allows you to perform the task of controlling sprung weight. This increases the distance of the ride surface without collision and thumping that the increased weight of the wheels equipped with BSR gives. Remember the tire wall is not reinforced..

The ride quality improved a lot when the BSR was removed !!!

A consideration…

If you trade in a BSR equipped RAV to a Toyota Dealer one of the first questions to ask will be does it still have a flat run?? Because otherwise, the car has been radically modified and cannot be sold under Toyota’s approved car scheme.

Other dealers may not even ask depending on whether they know about the system’s existence in the first place…

I hope this helps

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