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BMW 3-Series Run Flat Tires



  • Perhaps it was me. ;)

    Glad you guys liked the write-up. :)

    I know if I opt for a 335i I'll spring for straight performance tires next time. Knowing my current car is a lease and due back by Mar/April of 08, I didn't see any reason to spring for tires that would need replacing in 12-14k miles. Hopefully, I'll get another 18k out of my current tires.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,355

    You have the rft's that you will put on at lease end, correct? I thought that was a great move and considered that.

    The conti ssr rt's are much quieter for the first 300 miles.

    I know you will most likely go with the 335i at the end of your current lease. Have you test-driven the current 335 yet?

  • RFTs are in my garage rafters.

    I have not driven the 335i for fear I will desire one keenly and loathe me car for the next year (when I will re-order). I'll hold off driving one until November 2007. Unless my sister tells me this month that she wants me car. Then I'll gladly let her take over the lease and go grab a 335i.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,355
    OK, then I guess I'll have to do it. I really am interested in the tire performance and plan to stay keen on that during the test.

    I also am interested why some dealers around the U.S. are not customer-centric on this issue and some replace with no hassle.

    I'll let everyone know what I feel after the test drive but promise not to rave too much an anything that will push you over the edge.

    Does anyone with a new 335i have any feedback of the tire performance on this board?

  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,240
    Be careful of putting too much credence into what you see/feel with tires on a test drive, unless the car has at least a hundred miles on it.

    I've been fooled more than once (the first time I thought it was a fluke) trying to push a new car and/or new tires.

    Sadly, tires are very difficult to evaluate before they have several hundred miles and quite a few thermal cycles on them. New tires slide like the dickens.

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,355
    Thanks, cdnpinhead, I was thinking about that after I posted because the dreaded noise did not show up when my car was new and the tires had not logged any real miles.

    Your point goes far in lending light to the fact that the EL 42's were used again on the 328 and 335 for 2007. We did not notice problems on the '06's until after thousands of miles!

    I assume we will need to wait for delayed feedback on the 335 as you have enlightened us to this fact.

  • skobolaskobola Posts: 207
    Re to "I also am interested why some dealers around the U.S. are not customer-centric on this issue and some replace with no hassle."
    I believe that depends on how good some dealerships have it. For example, there are 2 BMW dealerships in Miami, and buyers are waiting in lines to get Bimmers from them. Therefore, they are not that attentive to them! I got myself a Bimmer about $80 discount per month by buying it in New York instead in Miami. However, now I have to wait for some official move by BMW NA in regard to the tires, because I cannot afford to go to NY just to possibly change the tires, and as you may guess, the dealers in Miami will not entertain any change on their own, especially when I did not even lease the car with them. Therefore, I also believe that there should be much more initiative by BMW NA, and them not giving too much power to dealers, but that could be a completely new discussion...
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,355
    I would like to know what everyone thinks about an attempt to get BMW to recall the tires through a request to the I.I.H.S. or N.H.T.S.A.

    The members on this board have shared some good feed back to present to these organizations to open a case that would investiigate our claims based on perceptions that this could lead to a safety issue similar to the Explorer/Firestone case.

    As others have mentioned, since this is a fairly new product, it does not seem to be a fully tested effort based on the feedback.

    This would be a good way of presenting to BMW/Firestone (again) that they need to follow the lead of other upstanding firms like McNeil Labs who recalled the entire product during that case.
  • After so many complaints I think the N.H.T.S.A should investigate the problems with RFT tires.
  • owner6owner6 Posts: 89
    Check with the Board and see what type of Form we need to fill out. Than post on this and any other site and we can start flooding the NHTSA with complaints.
  • :mad:
    After being tossed around, (dealership to bridgestone to dealership) I'm finally told that the dealership will replace my tires...YAY! NO...they will prorate the purchase of new tires by $700. (I have over 20k miles on my car)
    So they want me to shell out money on new crappy tires.
    The road noise and vibration has gotten so horrible, that I don't even want to drive my beloved car.
    I never thought I'd have problems like this with BMW.
    I and sure as hell never thought I'd regret buying a BMW.
    If anyone has info on a form to fill out to have these non-gripping, air loosing, square wheels recalled please let me know!!
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,355

    I have requested the host set us up with the format to use to register complaints from this board and others. The goal is to flood the N.H.T.S.A. and the I.I.H.S. with enough fuel for them to open a case with the tire mfg.

    I know you will feel a little better when the Continentals are installed. They should last around 30K and the noise does go away. We just don't know long term how these tires will perform as wear-in progresses.

    I hope you are satisfied and thanks for offering to submit a complaint.

  • lipplipp Posts: 58
    I had the same RFT problems with my Bridgestones as have numerous others on this message board. I replaced them with Conti RFT's and the difference was great for the first 9,000 miles. Now they are getting noisy. I am scheduled for my 30,000 mile service on December 14th, and I will have them rotated at that time. Hopefully that will help. Overall I am pleased with the Conti's. They are much better than the Bridgestones but the jury is still out on the noise problem. If the noise worsens then we are back to the same issues as with the Bridgestones.

    I am seeing more and more dissatisfied BMW owners on this board. Every time I open the message board I notice the consumer rating for the BMW 3 series is 9.6. That's very high. Only 37 people have rated this vehicle. If you are that dissatisfied with your dealer, BMWNA and your car in general, take a minute to rate it with Edmunds.

    As I have noted on numerous postings in the past, "we are dealing with the least consumer oriented company in the automotive industry." They really have done nothing to address or to resolve the RFT issue. They keep running and hiding. Sooner or later they will have to address the problem.

    The result of my experience with BMWNA, and with their dealerships in general, have helped me make a decision to never buy a BMW again.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I've been following this thread for quite some time and have a comment/personal observation that might could well be helpful.

    Premise: Unless I'm missing something, most of not all of the noisy tire complaints come from folks who have non-SP equipped "i" models and all "xi" models. Yes, no?

    Assuming that my premise is correct, there is a very interesting correlation to my 2002 530i SP. Yes, I know we are discussing non-SP cars here, however, hear me out. My 530i was one of the last (if not the last) BMWs available with a true Sport Package (i.e. summer tires and lowered/uprated suspension) that was equipped with the same size rubber both front and back. Given that summer tires typically last only a third as long as All-Season tires, they will tend to exhibit the same wear characteristics (both visible and auditory) as All-Season tires, only in fewer miles.

    On my car and after only maybe 8,000 miles I started hearing the first vestiges of the helicopter noises. Right about then I switched to my winter set of tires (I live in New Hampshire after all) and the noise immediately went away. Come the next spring I remounted my OEM set in the same position as where they were from the factory, and the noise immediately picked up from where it was the previous fall and continued to worsen. By ~9,000 miles I'd had enough and rotated my tires, contrary of course to the BMW recommendations. Problem solved. From there on in, I just used the helicopter sounds as my queue to rotate my tires.

    While I don't doubt that the Bridgestone tires (and to a lesser degree the Continentals) suffer from premature noise, folks who have these RFTs might well be able to extend their usable quiet life by rotating them from front to back.

    And another thing:
    While I don't have any idea what the future will hold for my commute, should it come to pass that I opt for an E90 (I'm thinking something like a 328i Sport Wagon here), I'll order an "i" model with the Sport Package and drive the factory tires until they get noisy (or they get to 5mm of tread depth, which ever comes first). By that time I should have been able to pick up four 17x8.0 Style 161 wheels off of E-Bay from folks who've upgraded their wheels and will then mount the same sized rubber as I had on the 530i, namely 235/45 R17 GFTs (probably Kumho ECSTA ASX). These I'll run for as long as I keep the car. Should I decide to lease (a distinct possibility for business reasons), I'll put the factory wheels and tires back on just prior to lease end and then sell the second set (as well as the third set of winter wheels and tires which I'll almost certainly buy from TireRack).

    I hope this helps. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Those 37 reviews apply to the 2007 model year only. But still, you are right - if anyone has not reviewed his/her 3-Series regardless of MY (or feelings about RFTs), please take this opportunity to do so by following the link above.

    Be sure to evaluate the car as a whole. If you spend your whole review fussing about the RFTs with no other constructive comments, it probably won't go up. Review your total experiences with your car, positive and negative (not the salesguy, not the dealership, not the service department, not the other cars you compared. just the car itself). Include your complaints about the RFTs, certainly, but just don't make that your only focus.

    Hope this helps. :)

    (Yeah, I'm also a CRR moderator. ;))
  • I brought my car in for service as the tire noise from the Bridgestone tires was so loud I couldnt hear myself think. I complained to the service people who told me that, at 30,000 miles my tires were worn out and needed to be replaced. when I bought the car (325xi) I asked about the run flat tires and was told that they would last around 50-60,000 miles so I wasnt that concerned that it would cost me $1,800 about every 2 years. To add insult to injury I purchased at tire and wheel guarantee for $695. what a waste of money.BMW should be ashamed and so should Paul Miller BMW in Wayne NJ. I'm going to put non-run flat tires on the car and purchase a spare. Based on the indifference from Paul Miller BMW I will never buy another BMW.
  • You bought a sport sedan and expected to get 50-60k miles out the tires? :O

    30k miles is a crazy amount for a BMW.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "You bought a sport sedan and expected to get 50-60k miles out the tires? :surprise:

    30k miles is a crazy amount for a BMW."

    Oddly enough, before brave1heart and I swapped cars (for a couple of days) and I had a chance to truly experience and appreciate the capabilities of BMWs Sport Package, I ordered a 1999 328i non-SP. When I turned that car in at lease end with 45,000 miles on the clock, the factory All-Season tires had an EASY 15,000 miles left on them. That said, most of those miles were consumed during my daily Tappan Zee grind, a commute that isn't exactly challenging to the tires. :-/

    Best Regards,
  • owner6owner6 Posts: 89
    I read all the reviews and it seems to me they were all done within the first 1,000 Miles or less. Only two or three tire complaints.
    Everyone I know with the Non Sport package RFT,s have had the problems. Starting anywhere from 5 K miles and above.
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