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BMW 3-Series Run Flat Tires



  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,458
    BMW has been equipping it's cars with RFT's for years now. I would think that we have reached the point where there are enough autos equipped with RFT's that there is a sufficient demand for longer tread life tires, yet I don't see any on the market.

    Now, you've stated many times that mileage is dependent on the driver, and to a degree that's true.

    I'll wager, however, that you would be hard-pressed indeed to find anyone with 80,000 miles on a set of RFT's. And, one would have a difficult time convincing me that most BMW owners today put performance ahead of tire life longevity. Especially with so few manual transmissions sold in BMW's in the USA.

    The funny thing is, overall, I probably fall into the category that supports RFT tires and technology, yet I see there are many valid concerns and complaints about the tires.

    Sticking one's head in the sand and denying that there aren't significant issues, maybe even problems, with RFT's is, IMO, not a very effective way to resolve the issue.

    But, then again, if one doesn't acknowledge there ARE issues, there isn't any point in discussing it, is there?

    I'm not necessarily referring to you in that comment, but there isn't any shortage of folks within BMW and the tire industry that fall under that umbrella. Ask any BMW owner who has had problems with RFT's and discussed it with their dealer. See what their response is...
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,458
    I was lucky enough to find a lonely self-tapping sheet metal screw with my left front tire on my 2010 328i convertible yesterday.

    Price of the new replacement tire on $310.00.

    Fortunately, I have the wheel and tire insurance, so my out of pocket will be $0.00 for the replacement. Now, only 1.25 more tires to go, and I will have broken even on the insurance cost...

    Any way you cut it, that's a high priced tire. It could have been worse... The rear tire cost is $405.00!
  • I got rid of the RFTs on my MINI and bought 4 -17" Bridgestone RE 760s, mounted and balanced, for $645 out the door. I couldn't be happier.
  • rflrfl Posts: 100
    I got away even cheaper! $207 Plus $35 installation for a Bridgestone RFT on a 3500 mile 2011 X3 with a pinhole leak no bigger than a corn flake crumb. They are IMPOSSIBLE to plug (even if you find a willing tire dealer (they do exist).... but I chalk it up to auto expense and am grateful that it got me home without going flat. Oh...did I mention that it happened during Irene here in the northeast. Whatever the's part of the cost of owning a car. I will NEVER be without RFT's again.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    So are you saying you actually like RFTs?
  • Even RFTs can only be driven so far however.

    I know some people like 'em...I just don't know how they tolerate it. Maybe I'm just not "getting it", I dunno.

    Besides, if you had say a 328ix and you lost one RFT with say 15,000 miles on it, I'm not sure they'd let you put just one new tire along with 3 other well-worn ones.
  • kyfdx@Edmundskyfdx@Edmunds Posts: 25,979
    I've driven a few 328xi loaners in the last couple of years... I can't tell the difference between the all-season runflats on them and any other all-season tire..

    Considering the replacement cost, I'd rather have regular tires and a spare.... but, for that type of car, the driving experience difference is nil..

    Now... performance runflats on a MINI? Those suck..

    The new car I pickup on Saturday will have performance runflats.. I'll report back, once I get it home.

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • rflrfl Posts: 100
    You betcha! Didn't at first...this is my 5th BMW with RFT's. But just wait until you get a flat racing to get home with an oncoming will bless the RFT engineers. I know all of the arguments against them...I've made most of them as well as you Shipo...cost, inability to plug them, lousy performance, wear, handling, ad nauseum. Yes...I'd sacrifice them all for the safety and peace of mind in a "flat tire in the wrong place at the wrong time" scenario. In fact, I am so sold on them now that I wouldn't have GFTs with a spare. I cannot change my own tire (i'm a senior!) the ability to get to someone who can or get me home is worth everything! If you can afford two new BMW's (as I have)... $200-$300 for a tire is chump change.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Choice is a wonderful thing; BMW apparently doesn't agree. :(
  • kyfdx@Edmundskyfdx@Edmunds Posts: 25,979
    Does any car manufacturer give you a choice in tires, though? You pretty much take what you get..

    Though not runflats, almost every OEM tire has been crap, in my experience... and, I'm too cheap to take them off before they are worn out.. the only difference here, is no spare.


    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,700
    edited August 2011
    Well fine, then BMW should have an optional "Hurricane Package" then, just like they have a Cold Weather Package, but don't force these....these......THINGS....on us. That's my only gripe, and I think that's a reasonable position (if I do say so myself) :P

    To be fair to the other side, I've only had personal experience (regular driving) with three cars equipped with GFTs,....but they were all bad.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "To be fair to the other side, I've only had personal experience (regular driving) with three cars equipped with GFTs,....but they were all bad."

    All of your GFT experiences have been bad? Have you ever had a good driving experience relative to the tires you were riding upon? :confuse:
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,700
    edited August 2011
    Well sure. I like the tires that I replaced my GFTs with. :P

    My major "bad" experience with GFTs were twofold (one MINI, two BMWs, a 2007 and 2008):

    1. unbearably noisy

    2. premature wear

    A fair question though: "Would I have replaced by GFTs with another set of GFTs if I had been able to drive home in a rainstorm one night with a flat tire?"

    Answer: No, it's still not worth the trade-off of 364 days of noise for 1 day of convenience. I have green slime, I have an air pump, I have AAA with 100 mile towing.

    Some members of the GFT Alumni Club even have a spare tire!

    If GFTs are now quieter and less expensive to replace, I'd change my tune for 2012.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,458
    I fully agree... Choice of tire construction type (not tire manufacturer) is always preferable to no choice of same.

    In theory, I like the "promise" of RFT's... But, they fall short in practice.

    I picked up the screw Sunday around noon. I called to get an appointment to get the replacement tire Monday AM. I asked to be notified before the appointment if the tire wasn't in stock and available, to which the service "arranger" agreed to do.
    I went in today, Tuesday for my 10 AM appointment... You know where this is going, don't you?
    No tire in stock...we will have one tomorrow.

    The good part was that I was never stranded, nor did I have to change the tire before continuing on down the road... That's the "promise of RFT technology" I like.

    You can see how that "promise" translated into reality.

    Still, I'm not upset about it. Perhaps it's a rare condition that my sized tire wasn't in stock, or maybe it's an all too common occurrence. In the end, it simply is what it is.

    I'm too old nowadays to let minor things like this get my blood pressure up...

    Anyway, that's my opinion...
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Ahhh, I think I see the problem.

    RFT = Run Flat Tires
    GFT = Gets Flat Tires

    Me thinks you actually like GFTs and don't like RFTs. Yes, no?
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,700
    edited August 2011
    Oh yeah---MY TYPO---I like GFTs more than RFTs yes. Good catch!

    Yes, everyone, please self-correct my post #2969. :P
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited August 2011
    Nearly five years ago I was struggling to come up with a short-hand way of refering to regular "Gets Flat" tires for a post I was composing; little did I know that post in this very thread (link below) would actually lead to an entry in the AcronymFinder database. :shades:

    Original post:

    Acronym Finder entry (can't get the link to stick, you'll need to cut and paste it into a browser):
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,458
    Not an issue... We all knew you meant RFT .vs. GFT...
  • So how come I didn't know? :P

    I am fascinated though, by reports of people who are happy with RFTs--I'd really love to drive one of their cars and hum the holiday tune "Do you hear what I hear?"
  • rflrfl Posts: 100
    You don't like BMW's position on RFTs? You DO have a choice. Buy a Chevy! (or...sarcasm aside), how about a Mercedes. I would rather have the BMW with the "forced RFTs" than the alternatives. Choice.... ain't this country great?
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