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BMW 3-Series Run Flat Tires

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Comments

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,397
    That just about says everything regarding a true sport set up with RFT gear. The GFT route is the ONLY way to go at the present time if one considers value high on the list.

    Regards,
    OW
  • rloyderloyde Posts: 4
    Excuse my ignorance, but what :confuse: does the acronym GFT stand for?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Sorry, I coined the acronym a couple of years back to mean "Get Flat Tires", and it seems to have taken hold since. :blush:

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • bobsapbobsap Posts: 14
    I have a 335xi, with the Conti RFT tires and 3500 miles...although they are hard on potholes etc, on the road at 75mph, they are smoother than my prior 2005 545i GFT tires and I get 28mpg...to go to the GFT tires, get a spare & jack, does not seem worth the ride???
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I know that if I end up with a car shod with RFTs, I'll probably skip the jack and the spare and just opt for one of these:

    http://www.tirerack.com/accessories/conticomfortkit/index.jsp

    ;)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • boskiboski Posts: 4
    I need some info before placing my order with Tire Rack , please
  • cctdicctdi Posts: 82
    I picked up my 335xi 4 months ago, equipped with the 225/45/17/R continental from factory. It is a fun car to drive even by comparing the 07 S8 that I drove for a while, however, the car feels bumpy on rough surface road.
  • I didn't read all the posts, but I did not see where anyone has posted the correct information about the Bridgestone Turanza el42's. These tires had a feathering or scalloping problem that would cause abnormal roadnoise. This problem has been amplified by drivers not checking their tire pressure. We get cars in here every day with 15-20psi in them. Yes, the tires have a problem, but people need to learn to maintain their vehicle properly as well. BMW will replace all 4 tires free of charge from 0-10,000 miles, and will pay for 50% from 10-20,000 miles. BMW will pay the labor. The affected tires were built prior to the 22nd of 2007. They are the 205/55/16 el42 RFT's and the 225/45/17's built prior to 26th week of 2006. The newer versions are not supposed to have this problem, but personally I still prefer the Continental runflats as they seem to wear better and are cheaper to boot. As a side note, don't blame BMW for not repairing runflats, that is a tire manufacturer suggestion, and if BMW allowed tire repairs and a tire failed, they could be held liable .I highly recommend purchasing the road hazard policy from your selling dealer(or other source) to cover your tires in an event of a puncture.
  • I believe I've mentioned pressures on here, as my experience lead to running even higher pressures than BMW first suggested. Even BMW have increased some of their recommended pressures as time has gone by. I'll go along with the pressures are too low thinking/observation. Something else to note, if you don't do long trips, running correct/increased pressure is even more important as the tyres (tires) don't warm as quickly as GFTs and are slow to get to full working pressure. This adds to the 'toe and heel' wear.

    Plus it is known in the UK that folks lower the pressures to try and get a better ride. But some of us who have been experimenting, find pressures at or above BMW's normal load rating are best, as the sidewalls don't then carry all the load . The crown of the tyre does, like a normal tyre.

    HighlandPete
  • blueroadblueroad Posts: 10
    While it is true that road surfaces and driving habits can cause tire failure beyond what BMW can be held responsible for, I don’t let BMW off the hook on the RFT issue. I bought a 325 for my wife partially because of the expectation BMW created that the car was as maintenance-free as technology could make it. The oil lasted longer, normal maintenance was free for the first 50K miles, and heck, you didn’t even need a spare. They forgot to mention that you might need $1500 in tires before you got to 50K, that any blowout would be ghastly expensive, and the noise would remove any pleasure the car might otherwise provide. They failed the good faith test that the added expense of the BMW would be justified because of the effortless, cost-free 50K of driving pleasure one could expect. Indeed, that is what I gifted my wife, but the gift was not as advertised. And they tried to blame the customer, claiming they (EG, my wife) were at fault for not checking tire pressure weekly. It’s a great car, but BMW failed at component testing, customer expectations, and customer relations. All tires fail in unpredictable situations. That’s different than putting a flawed design on their car that creates unexpected expense and aggravation for the customer.
  • I'll agree BMW has failed on this RFT issue. I have fitted Koni FSD dampers to try and get the RFTs to run better, but still no true BMW. I run on Goodyear F1 non run-flat rubber and now have a 'real' BMW. What really gets at me, we never had the option to have RFTs and/or a spare wheel in the 3-series. I'm a BMW kind of guy, but this issue has tested the limits, only my own solution means I enjoy this car. No thanks to BMW or Bridgestone (with whom I've had extensive debates and meetings) I might add.

    HighlandPete
  • I hope you didn't seriously expect to get 50,000 miles out of a set of tires on a vehicle designed to be one of the best handling cars sold.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,397
    Thanks for representing our discontent with the manufacturers. They fail to listen and are staying with this technology.

    It cost me $250 more than would have for the RFT in my 3 year lease so far (1 flat RFT). I just changed out the free set of Conti RFT's with new Conti's so there will be about 9K miles on them at turn-in with enough rubber for the new owner for about 20K miles.

    Regards,
    OW
  • dannys1dannys1 Posts: 7
    I leased a 330xi that came form the factory with Goodyear (go flat) tires. They lived up to their description. I had two flats in the first month. I replaced them with Michelins that got 40,000 and had plenty of tred at the end of the lease. I leased a new 328xi last week and only found out they were runflats when they tired to sell me the insurance for $800. The problem is, why don't they just give you a good tire instead of one a go flat or run flat that is prone to go flat. Please tell me if you were able to use you factory rims that came with run flat tires to put on go flat tires.
  • Yes, you can put non-runflats on a runflat rim. I recommend leaving the tires that are on it there. The car does not come with a spare and a runflat tire can get you home. Runflat tires are the wave of the future and most cars will be outfitted with them. Ck your tire pressure at least once a month(check by using a tire gauge,not just visual) and you'll get good mileage out of them. I recommend running 35psi front and 40psi rear. That's a little more than factory settings, but it seems to help them last longer.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Yes, you can put non-runflats on a runflat rim. I recommend leaving the tires that are on it there. The car does not come with a spare and a runflat tire can get you home."

    Funny, I'd recommend just the opposite and suggest that the OP takes the RFTs off and saves them for lease end or resale. In their place I'd suggest a good set of GFTs and the following kit:
    http://www.tirerack.com/accessories/conticomfortkit/index.jsp

    "Runflat tires are the wave of the future and most cars will be outfitted with them."

    Ummm, personally I think the jury is still out on that one, and given the significant backlash from owners of RFT equipped cars, I'm thinking that if anything, the trend is heading back to GFTs. Case in point, Honda has switched from exclusively equipping the Odyssey Limited with RFTs to making the RFTs an option. I predict that other manufacturers will follow that trend, and sooner or later all of this RFT silliness will just go away.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,306
    ". . .sooner or later all of this RFT silliness will just go away."

    Sure hope you're right, and sooner than later.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,669
    hasn't Michelin just abandoned their entire fancy-pants RFT design? I think so.

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  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yes, and no. True, they've announced that they're putting no more R&D into PAX, and that there will be no new models or sizes of existing models, however, for the time being at least, they are going to continue to produce the tires for the replacement market. It will be interesting to see how easily Odyssey Limited and Acura RL owners will be able to find PAX tires in eight or ten years.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,669
    That's easy to answer---they won't. Try and find those metric sizes they put on BMWs 15 years or so ago. You can find them, but bend over.

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 30,545
    TRX... they put those on Mustangs, as well.. I think those were all in the '80s..

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,669
    Up to very early 90s I think on Bimmers.

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 30,545
    Yeah... probably on the E34 M5..

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  • That's not any better than a can of fix-a-flat. It even says it will damage the tpm sensors. Not a good alternative.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I completely disagree. In the unlikely event of a flat, yes, you'll lose the TPMS sensor. So what? Given that RFTs cost a premium over GFTs, the cost of a replacement GFT and a new sensor won't cost you all that much more in the end (assuming you're driving a non-SP vehicle, the RFTs on the SP cars are so much more expensive than their GFT brethren, that a sensor and a new GFT should cost you less than a single new RFT).

    Then there's the whole factor of reparability. Unless a GFT has damage to the side wall or within one inch of the shoulder, the tire is usually repairable. On the other hand, many shops and BMW dealerships flatly refuse to repair RFTs due to the possibility of them having been "run flat" and suffering non-visible/internal damage to the sidewalls.

    All in all, I'm thinking that if you took one hundred RFT cars and one hundred GFT cars with fix-a-flat cans, and drove them each 50,000 miles, you'd find that the cost of maintaining the tires will be significantly less on the cars with the GFTs.

    The one has to ask, what dollar figure are you willing to put on ride and handling? By all accounts, a cheap set of Kuhmos will transform a car from a harsh riding and skittish handling beastie to a well mannered, more comfortable and much faster car (in the twisties that is) than that same car would have been had it still had the factory RFTs on it.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • oriole54oriole54 Posts: 2
    i have a '07 328xi. i just replaced the factory 16s rfts w/ 17" great looking aftermarket wheels without a sensor. is there anyway that i can get rid of the annoying tire pressure idiot light that keeps coming on?

    thanks, oriole54
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    As far as I know, no, there's no way you can turn the light off. Your best bet would be to buy some new sensors and have them installed in your wheels.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • oriole54oriole54 Posts: 2
    shipo, thanks for the response. i thought that would be the answer. i'm also noticing that the new wheels and tires are actually louder than the run flats. could i have missed something?

    oriole
  • bizunitbizunit Posts: 5
    Hello. I am new to the forum.
    Ive read alot of the posts but not all. Im considering a 2008 BMW 328i sedan (no sport upgrade) for 24 or 36 month lease. Two questions...
    1.) Do the 2008's still have these same tires and huge issues or did they improve?
    2.) Is this tire problem so much an issue to look at other cars in this range? (also considering a Mercedes C300 sport)
    3.) If I go with the BMW and they still have tire problems...should i get the tire insurance or just buy better tires right away (and use theres for return or resale) or just test my luck with the tires that come with it with no insurance.
    THANKS
  • mjbauermjbauer Posts: 19
    I have a 2008 335xi and I don't have any problems with the RFT's. I believe there were problems at one time but it seems to be solved. Now there may be a personal preference for or against RFT's but I don't think there are problems anymore. There are pros and cons but I did not let it bother me. So far I have no regrets after about 3500 mikes on a variety of roads and surfaces and many types of driving. The car is quieter that my 2005 Acura RL at all speeds and is a joy to drive.

    I did not get tire insurance and this car is a much better car to drive than a C300. It is more of a driver car, Go out an drive both extensively and pick the one you like. They are both excellent cars and you will enjoy them.

    my $0.02 worth, your mileage may vary
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