This guide is written to hopefully explain the BSR run flat system fitted to the Toyota Rav4 T180 and SR180
Many owners have bought their cars without knowledge of 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's a Run flat system that is different from other types where the sidewall of the tyres used is heavily reinforced so if a puncture or deflation occurs the car effectively rides on the sidewall
BSR (Bridgestone Safety Ring) is a system that employs a ring that is fitted inside the tyre around the rim. This is what the car rides on in the event of a deflation. The tyres are effectively a normal tyre. This is a development of a WW2 military vehicle.
There is also a lubricant inside the tyre that lubes the tyre and the BSR ring in the event of a deflation. Without this the friction generated would destroy both elements.
System is backed up by a TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System) that illuminates a warning light on the dash if a deflation takes place …
The pluses to this system ..
It means that no spare wheel needs to be carried .. And … Err well that's about it really ..
The minuses ..
The tyres have to be removed by a special and very expensive machine that only Toyota Dealers and a few independent Tyre Dealers have.
Only one type of Bridgestone tyre can be used with the BSR system. No other make or model of tyre can be used.
This makes for expensive replacements come time for new tyres and can prove very inconvenient in the event of a puncture.
Owners report very expensive costs for replacement or repair!
The options …
Well Owners can simply live with what they have and put up with the what is considered huge costs of replacement or repair.
Remove the existing tyres and the BSR system completely. You can have the tyres removed by an Equipped Dealer as described above. Cost around £ 45 per wheel OR simply cut the tyres of and remove the safety inner rings with the aid of an angle grinder.
The TPMS system can be retained or removed and switched to prevent the light flashing on the dash ..
Once tyres and rings have been removed normal tyres can be fitted on a normal tyre machine by any Tyre Dealer and any brand can be used.
Insurance implications …
You should notify your insurance company if you remove the BSR system and fit normal tyres.
No extra premium is likely as the car will be as the latest specification SR Rav4. IE no BSR system and a tyre repair kit in the boot.
It is possible to have the tyres and the BSR ring removed then refits the tyres but this will invalidate your insurance because the tyres have a symbol on the tyre wall which designates them as Run flats. Which of course without the BSR rings inside they are not! This could mean that a Driver who does not realise this could run into problems if a deflation occurs and he or she carries on driving …
The wheels with the extra weight of the BSR system and lubricating gel is huge in comparison to a wheel fitted with a normal tyre.
The suspension has two elements to contend with:
The sprung weight. This is the weight of the Vehicle, Its occupants, Cargo etc.
The unsprung weight. This is the weight of the Wheels, Tyres, Brakes etc.
Relieving the suspension of the unsprung weight enables it to get on with the job of controlling the sprung weight. This adds up to a far far smoother ride without the crashing and thumping that the increased weight of the BSR equipped wheels give. Remember the tyre walls are Not reinforced ..
The ride quality is MASSIVELY IMPROVED when the BSR is removed !!!
A consideration …
If trading in a BSR equipped RAV to a Toyota Dealer one of the first questions asked will be does it still have the run flats ?? Because if it does not the car has in their eyes been radically altered and can not be sold under the Toyota approved car scheme.
Other dealers may or may not ask depending if they know about the existence of the system in the first place …
Hope this helps