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BMW 5-Series Tires and Wheels

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Comments

  • Past experience with non-runflat tires is NO predictor of how you will fare with run flats. Before run flats, I had been driving almost exclusively on 45 profile tires for almost 20 years and had never had a tire fail due to an impact.

    Driving on the same roads at the same speed with BMW 45 profile runflats was a nightmare. I previously had had no idea how bad the roads I regularly drive on are.

    When I switched the BMW to non-runflats and lighter, stronger wheels, it was like getting a new car. Impact noise is WAY down. Ride and handling are better. And, the pothole problem completely went away. It is like I am driving on different roads.
  • After thinking about this for a little longer, here is what I would do if I were you:

    Cancel your insurance.

    Use the money you save to buy a good set of non-runflat tires and mounting with expert dynamic balancing. Plus a Conti inflation kit. You will still have a bunch of money left over.

    The new tires will make your car quieter, better riding and better handling. And, you will have no more problems with potholes than you would have had with any other car.

    If you get a puncture, the the Conti pump will re-inflate your tire and inject sealant that will allow you to drive at least as far as you could with a run flat (or a temporary spare).

    The only reason that we also have a full sized spare is that we spend too much time a long way from anywhere and wanted the peace of mind of knowing that we could always get home.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,458
    So, what you're saying is that the wheel and tire "protection" insurance is a money loser for the agent selling it, since wheel and tire issues are practically guaranteed with RFT's.

    Obviously, you don't understand how insurance works...

    Folks either seem to love or hate RFT's. And, it isn't too difficult to pick out either side by the comments they make.

    Past driving experience is the sole best predictor of what one might expect in the future, all other conditions being equal.

    There's a huge difference, however, between prediction and guarantee.
  • Not saying that RFTs are guaranteed to fail. Our oldest daughter and her husband wore through the RFTs that came on their 328xi with no failures. The same is probably true of most people who drive where the roads are reasonably good. Those of us who drive in areas where roads aren't so good are much more likely to have continuing problems. Ask Car and Driver about their experiences.

    It just seems to me that if you are worried about RFT's, it doesn't make sense to spend the money on the insurance. For considerably less money you can mount a good set of non-RFTs and carry a Conti Mobility kit.

    When the RFTs wore down, our daughter replaced the RFT's on their 328xi with conventional all-seasons. "That transformed the car", she said. "We should have done this from the beginning."
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    Depending on the size of the hole, the mobility kit may not seal it. But, while it may take awhile, you do have the free towing!

    From a functional viewpoint, the advantage of a RFT is you choose where to stop within the max range of the safety margins. With regular tires, you must stop right away, or you'll trash the tire and probably the wheel (and maybe more, if the shreaded tire takes out brake lines, etc.).

    RFT are getting better...Tirerack said on some of the newest generation ones they've tested, they rode as well as the equivalent normal tire in the same brand's family. The Goodyears I have on mine are not the greatest, but I do have some RFT winter Michelins I run for part of the year, and they're actually quieter and handle almost as well along with being a softer compound which lessens impacts.

    Luckily, so far, I've not had a problem and hope to keep it that way!
  • I recently put new Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires on my 2003 530i with sport package (tire size 235/45-17). These tires are Consumer Reports highest rated high-performance summer tire and got very good user reviews on Tire Rack, where I bought them. So far I like them, but they are somewhat noisier and not as smooth riding as I would like. I still have a few days to exchange them under Michelin's 30-day guarantee, and I'm considering going with Michelin
    Primacy MXM4 instead, to, hopefully, get a bit quieter and more compliant ride. If anyone has experience with either of these tires (or comparable Michelin) on your BMW, please let me know your thought/recommendations. Thanks!
  • Nice to see another e39 out there. I currently run Toyos on my e39 M5 but aren't a huge fan. Lots of M5 owners really like the PSS', I'm a little surprised you're having issues. I prefer an A/S setup to summer, so I'd recommend the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus or the Conti Extreme Contact DWS. The DWS' are a little soft on the sidewalls but the tread isn't directional so you can at least rotate side/side. I love the Michelins though.

    You should check out m5board.com, the e39 discussion area, for tire recommendations. Lots of threads there.
  • I use Pilot Sport PS 2s on my 2002 530i sport package. I bought my latest set last May on clearance, they may or may not still be available. They have been the best Michelins I've ever used. Also, PS2s have been the last two sets on my wife's Saab 9-3 and I intend to replace them early next year with Super Sports.
  • wardie3wardie3 Posts: 1
    Our 2010 X-1 has had 3 RFT replacements since new- all pothole damaged. We are considering replacing the RFT's with Michelins on 850 kg rated alloy 16" rims (to give us another 1" of sidewall), but I am nervous about any 'consequences'. The tyre dealer has done his homework and assures me this will work, but he's selling a product and won't back up his assurances in writing....
  • atalaya505atalaya505 Posts: 18
    IMHO, the best thing you can do to improve a BMW is to replace RFTs with conventional tires. Our older daughter and her husband live in Washington, DC (lots of potholes). When the RFTs wore down they replaced them with Michelin all season tires and a Conti Mobility Kit. They say that the swap transformed the car. Impacts that used to jar the car are now handled with aplomb. Significantly quieter, smoother riding. Handling is at least as good. If they ever do have a flat, the Conti kit will give them about the same mobility that they would have had with the RFTs.

    I have had a similar experience with my 535xi. We frequently drive through pretty empty country from the Rockies to the Pacific. After spending over $1000 for a new wheel and complete 4 wheel alignment after hitting a modest pot hole at speed (and almost being stranded), I stacked the OEM wheels and tires in my garage and replaced them with five OZ rims mounted with Conti Extreme Contact DWS tires (for four season driving) and the Mobility kit. The full size spare takes up a bunch of trunk space, but we work around that with a set of suitcases and boxes that neatly fill the remaining space. We have traded trunk space for the piece of mind knowing that we are not going to be stranded 100's of miles from nowhere.

    The change transformed our car. Sharp impacts that used to shudder through the car are now hardly noticed. The car is much quieter and smoother riding. Grip is better, especially in the rain. And, for the first 20,000 miles at least, we had snow traction that was about halfway between that of standard AS tires and dedicated winter tires.

    I spent the $ on the OZ wheels because they are lighter and stronger than the BMW wheels. The damage to the BMW wheel had been so severe that I thought I needed stronger wheels. It turns out that I probably did not. The Conti All seasons absorb so much more shock that it is hard to believe that this is the same car.

    With the RFTs, the suspension set-up on this car allowed the suspension to bottom out on hard impacts. I had worried that this might still happen even with more absorbent tires. But, it turns out that it was ALL the RFTs. I was driving on tires with sidewalls so stiff that rather than absorbing impact they transmitted most of it directly to the rim — and from there to the entire structure of the car.

    If we had not made this change, we would not have kept the car.

    BMW will tell you that using "non-approved" tires voids the warrantee coverage on tires, wheels and suspension. But, when I had over $1000 worth of pot hole damage to my then-new 535xi with factory wheels and tires, they told me that this was road damage and not covered by the warrantee. So, it is hard to see what am missing. (And, since I still have my original tires and wheels, I can always put these back on if I need to.)

    Ditch the RFTs. You will never regret it. IF your X-1 has 45 or higher profile tires (as my 535 does), I don't think that there is any need to move to smaller wheels and higher profile tires. If it has 40 profile tires, then I would make the switch. 35's and 40's have awfully small sidewalls — which makes them less absorbent and more fragile.

    Good luck!!
  • acctprof1acctprof1 Posts: 2
    I bought a new 535i on May 28. It has the Continental 245/45 RFT. After the first road trip I called the dealer to come get the car and balance the wheels. The sun visor vibrated as I drove down the freeway and I could feel the vibration in the steering wheel and my rear end.

    The dealer replaced a tire that was out-of-round and checked the balance. According to them, everything is within the factory tolerance. However, I can still feel a vibration in the steering wheel. I asked the service manager if it was the RFT. He said bad ride with RFTs is an "old wives tale" and not a problem with newer versions (post-2008).

    I'm ready to try conventional tires.
  • barjeanbarjean Posts: 1
    My advice is not to have a flat if you have the run flat tires. I had one go bad today and found they are back ordered nationally until after August 18 and that is not a firm date!!

    My only choice was to replace all four tires with regular tires and now I have no spare! Spent 4 hours in the tire shop while they called every tire dealer within 100 miles including the BMW dealers and the BMW dealer laughed and said good luck! All this tells me that a lot of people are having the same problem, if no tires are available. The loud bang was also experienced when we hit a pothole and I suspect that is what put a bubble on the side of the tire. The series 5 BMW is 2011 and has 22,000 miles on it. I am not a happy camper!
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