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BMW 3-Series Run Flat Tires

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Comments

  • kirkrkirkr Posts: 17
    2006 325xi with 59K miles. At 19,000 miles I was able to get rid of the Bridgestone RFTs and thanks to BMW was able to get the Continental RFTs for half price. The ride improved quite a bit but was still harsh on rough roads. With about a third of the tread left (so I could put them back on at trade time), I just replaced the Conti's with Michelin Primacy MXV4 GFTs. Now it rides like a BMW is suppose to - firm over rough spots without the teeth jarring. I should have done this 40K ago. I did get a Conti Comfort Kit, even though I have only had three slow leak flat tires in over four decades. No more RFTs for me.

    Regards
    Kirk
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,281
    "No more RFTs for me."

    We'll add your name to the ledger.

    In my case, the RFT situation was the straw that broke the camel's back in terms of purchasing my first BMW. There were a number of other factors as well.

    So, they've lost me as a first customer & you as a return. Something tells me they don't care.

    The fraction of people who possess a BMW that actually cares about how the car feels going over bumps around a tight corner under hard acceleration could all gather in a neighbourhood pub. Well, not really, but the BMW corporation has recently (say, over the past 10-15 years) aimed their wares squarely at those who want to possess the car rather than drive it.

    It's obviously (so far) a winning approach. The people who built the marque, based on how the car performed, have generally been kicked to the curb, but it doesn't seem to matter.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,380
    It's obviously (so far) a winning approach. The people who built the marque, based on how the car performed, have generally been kicked to the curb, but it doesn't seem to matter

    Correct, because now Bridgestone is advertising it's RFT's using a 5er!!

    Regards,
    OW
  • ventureventure Central PAPosts: 461
    We'll add your name to the ledger.

    You can add mine too. I was ready for a new car and didn't get a BMW this time.

    A few reasons, but the RFT is the main one.

    2014 Fusion, 2013 Impreza, 2011 Forester

  • xeyexeye Posts: 162
    For whatever it's worth, I have the ContiProContact RFTs on my '07 335xi while my wife has the Bridgestone EL42 RFTs on her '08 328xi. I have almost 15000 miles on mine and the tires look and ride like they did when they had just rolled off the dealer lot. They've always had a bit of a rumble under 10 mph when slowing down, but nothing annoying. My wife's Bridgestones ride like any other tire after ~5000 miles..

    My car handled like a dream last winter and I expect the same this winter for both my ride and my wife's 328xi.

    Neither of us flings our cars around as 1) we want them to last 2) we don't feel like financing the local police force and 3) there are just too damn many nutjobs behind the wheel in Boston Metro to take the risk.

    Having said all this, I was adamant about getting the Conti's on my car. As it turned out, it was pure luck as I had little choice in the matter, according to my salesman.

    Neither of us had had a flat and I don't worry about it in spite of frequent trips from Boston to Montreal via Interstate 89 in Vermont. Should it occur in one of the longer isolated stretches in inclement weather at night, you'll hear me cursing for miles. The alternative, however, of being reminded that I'm compromised every time I open the trunk and curse because the spare tire and jack don't leave enough room for groceries is, for me anyway, a less attractive alternative.

    As an aside, I have the power foldaway mirrors on my car. The other day as I pulled out of the sardine-can parking spot at my office, I neglected to unfold the mirrors. 30 seconds later, I heard an electric motor noise I didn't expect. Lo and behold, the car automatically unfolded the mirrors!

    I know the victims of the RFTs have very strong and valid opinions about the quality of the rubber and the mindset of the BMW engineers. However, when someone in the food chain at BMW thought about unfolding the mirrors to save my skin when I forgot (I know I'm not the only one who has experienced this), I'll just say thank you and pray I don't become one of the next victims.

    For now, I'll own and drive my twin-turbocharged hot rod like it's supposed to be driven. Don't think for a second I won't pass your [non-permissible content removed] like it's standing still given the chance!

    Safe driving!

    xeye
  • bridgestones on my 06 330xi were sooooo bad. But my new 09 335xi has bridgestones and they seem a bit different. Softer ride(less firm walls?) handling? not as good as 06 rft's but I only have driven it for 1000 miles. So who knows.
  • Anyone on here know about tires?
    Ive got an 06 330i, lookin for some all seasons that handle the absolute best in dry weather (hopefully better than the TERRIBLE stock bridgestones that are on it now) and are decent in the winter. Dont really care about ride quality THAT much, but i dont want something really harsh. Care most about feel, want crisp steering response and sticky handling. Looking at:
    Yokohama ADVAN S.4.
    Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus
    Any help would be awesome i really need tires asap! Thanks!
  • rflrfl Posts: 100
    Read back a little of the history on this site and I think you'll find a major concurrance...replace the hateful Bridgstone's with Continental Conti Pro Contact RFT's (about $160 at tirerack.com) and you'll think you died and went to heaven.
  • Well I have to concur, but also add a qualifier. I have an 08 335xi with Bridgestone EL42's all four are 225/45 17's. And they are great so far with about 12000 miles on them.

    My initial concern stemmed from being a passenger in an 06 325 with the stock runflats. They were so noisy at low speeds in city driving I was very concerned about using them. I wound up test driving two 335xi's to double check the noise but they sounded like regular tires to me, no nosier than my wife's car and not as noisy as my M3 with Pilot Sports

    That being said, I will likely opt for snow tires as here in Michigan where we live we get enough snow to make good snows a valuable option

    I can understand completely the concern on the RFT's. I think that the early versions were terrible.

    I do believe BMW (and other manufacturers) made the decision for several reasons. First is cost, eliminating a tire and a wheel saves money. Packaging, if you don't have to find the space for a tire and wheel you get a lot of space back. Another reason is us. We don't like to be inconvenienced at all so stopping and changing a tire is not something we like to do.

    I suspect I drive a bit more aggressively than xeye but so far so good. I do not get the same level of handling as my M3 with the Michelin Pilot sports but I don't use that handling very often on the street very often in all honesty.

    So far the RFT's have worked very well for me so this short note is just my $.02 worth (and likely less valuable than that :-)
  • Theyre summer tires though. I need all-season i get snow occasionally where i live and i go skiing
  • kirkrkirkr Posts: 17
    I just put Michelin Primacy MXV4's on my 2006 325xi. These were the tires recommended by Tire Rack based on their testing of four different all season tires.

    Regards,
    Kirk
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,185
    So far the RFT's have worked very well for me so this short note is just my $.02 worth

    I am new here but just wanted to add my thoughts.

    They didn't explain that our (my wifes 335xi and my 328 Cabriolet) would have RFT until after we bought the cars and we were talked into insurance at $500 a car.

    I would rather have had a choice, I would have gone with regular tires, but my car has about 10,000 miles and my wife's 12000 miles and I can't say I noticed a difference yet. But the next issue, which I didn't think of at the time was snow tires.

    I called tire stores first, thinking BMW dealer is going to rip me off once again, but BMW price was actually better....and tire stores weren't that knowledgeable...in fact could be dangerous.

    I asked one if I really needed rims and he said not really, it's easier and less expensive to change over each season. This is not true as BMW explained and I'll explain later. This dealer told me snow tires could be under $200 each ($150 U.S.) but then I asked him if they were RFT's. He said no, those would cost $500 each and about $200 for steel rims ($400 U.S. and $150 U.S.).

    Then I checked BMW dealer. Special winter package. For $1700 ($1300 U.S.) they would put on 4 Blizzack RFT's, installed ($100) balanced etc., on steel rims, and with 4 covers to carry my other tires, and put 2 in the trunk and two on the back seat to take home. They said RFT's should really be on rims because removing a tire from the rim causes wear on the tire but especially with run flats because of the stronger sidewalls.

    What I don't understand is why I can get 4 tires on rims installed etc. for a total of $1700 when the tires were supposed to be almost $500 each when they sold the insurance program, unless they have come down a lot.

    By the way Blizzack are good, but Dunlop and Michelin have snow tires made out of similar compounds but they will last twice as long.

    Hope that helps someone out there :)

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • I put yoko advans on. The ride was a little softer so handling suffered slightly. Noise=none. New bridgestones seem ok so far after 1000 miles.
    I thing either one will do the job.
  • It has been the best part of a year since you posted your story. I was wondering how you fared with BMW Canada. I have not had much luck.

    When I bought my 2006 325xi, I was concerned about not having a spare. This concern proved justified because I had two punctures in the first year. According to the tire shop, this is much more common with run flats. However, I did not anticipate either the harsh run flat ride or the noise problems which began to be really noticeable after 20,000 km. Two BMW dealers absolutely refused to replace them with Continental run flat's or anything else other than the Bridgestone's (with me paying for two). I got nowhere with BMW or Bridgestone.

    As I was not willing to take my chances on a second set of Bridgestone's, I replaced them at my own expense with Michelin's and bought an extra (refurbished) rim to use as a spare. The car runs and rides a lot better but I am one of many BMW owners who feel very angry about the way BMW has handled the issue. Not only was my enjoyment of the car seriously compromised but I was expected to pay almost as much for two tires as I ultimately did for four. Instead of waiting until owners had major tire noise problems -- and even then stonewalling -- BMW should have dealt with this proactively. I can't imagine that whatever they saved will offset the loss of many customers in the future.

    I am hoping (but not hopeful) that BMW may ultimately decide it is their interest to compensate affected owners. I have kept my four run flats just in case. You seemed to have some success with BMW and there may be many others interested in how your situation was finally resolved.
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,185
    Just replying to myself in case it might help;

    Then I checked BMW dealer. Special winter package. For $1700 ($1300 U.S.) they would put on 4 Blizzack RFT's, installed ($100) balanced etc., on steel rims, and with 4 covers to carry my other tires, and put 2 in the trunk and two on the back seat to take home. They said RFT's should really be on rims because removing a tire from the rim causes wear on the tire but especially with run flats because of the stronger sidewalls

    Snow tires are now on. What was really nice was the dealer has great looking wheel covers with BMW logo...actually looks better than alloy wheels. Cost was less than a tire store which had to hunt for rims. Tire totes are really cool too. First run on the highway was good too. Snow coming tomorrow....see how they do.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • BMW Canada took no responsibility for the problem I had with a 3 month old tire. I've been checking around with dealers and, like you, am facing the prospect of having to buy 5 rims and tires. I was told that the run flats will be damaged when removing them from alloy rims. I feel totally cheated by BMW and am preparing to take this to the media.
  • It takes major muscle to remove or install run flats but I haven't heard that they will necessarily be damaged. I had a run flat removed and reinstalled on a different alloy rim (to use as a spare) without any apparent damage -- although I have not had to use it yet. My new "go flat" Michelin's were installed on the original BMW rims so I don't see why you would need to purchase new rims except for a spare. By the way, you can get refurbished OEM alloy rims from Detroit Wheel and Tire for about $150 U.S. plus shipping -- not cheap but much less than the $599 BMW wants. They ship promptly for internet orders.
  • nkeennkeen Posts: 316
    I have an '06 325i with sport suspension. I continue to be impressed with the Bridgestone RE050As that came with the car, although they are getting noisier as they accumulate miles (c. 15k). I bought a set of four LM-22 RFTs with 16" rims from TireRack for my first winter in the car, and find that they work well on snow and ice. The car tackled a hill that beat an Acura TL. But I do miss the sharp edginess of the summer tires when I switch over.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,050
    the only time RFTs are damaged during removal is if the operator of the machine is incompetent (not well trained) or if the equipment is not correct.

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  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,185
    I bought a set of four LM-22 RFTs with 16" rims from TireRack for my first winter in the car, and find that they work well on snow and ice

    I actually like the look of the snow tires better. They fill out the wheel well. And the BMW wheel discs look great....no big gaps where you can see the dirty insides of the wheel.

    We have about 3 inches of snow today so I'll see what happens in real life.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,185
    I was told that the run flats will be damaged when removing them from alloy rims. I feel totally cheated by BMW and am preparing to take this to the media.

    I asked BMW flat out....why do I need rims, why don't I just change tires?

    The answer was I can do that, but first it will cost $200 ($150 U.S.) each time I change over. All tires get ruined to some degree when they are removed or placed on rims. Run Flats even more so, because of the extra strength in the sidewall, so they highly recommend rims.

    I don't blame you for being upset but I wonder if any lives have been saved because of run flats? I think I would prefer regular tires, but the thought of changing a tire, on an icy bridge, at midnight, during a blizzard is not too good either. When i think about that, RFTs sound like a good idea!

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • tbotttbott Posts: 1
    I am new, but have been reading these posts for a while now. I have a 2006 325i sport pkg which means 17' tires. I love the handling of the car, but if the tires get in a groove, the steering gets tricky. BMW dealership now says I need new tires to the cost of $1550 plus alignment. However, I do not know if I want RFT's. I do not want to lose any handling, but I really hate the tire and the fact it "finds" grooves. I'm about through with my warrenty- 48,000 miles. Does anyone have any advice? I don't really worry about snow in Kentucky- I can drive my 4 wheel drive if we have any. I would really like to go to regular tires, and thinking of not getting a spare, just upgrade my AAA to cover towing ;)
  • I am on my second 3 series with run-flat tires. Current car is a 328xi 08 Coupe.

    The current tires are Continentals.

    AND THEY ARE FINE. There is a lot of whining on this thread. I'd ignore most if not all of it.
  • Switch to a set of good regular (GFT) tires (e.g., Michelin Pilot Sport) and you will find that not only is "groove steering" problem solved but overall handling will be immensely improved and the hard jarring ride will disappear.

    rprice
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,185
    There is a lot of whining on this thread. I'd ignore most if not all of it.

    Your comments are much appreciated. That was my gut feeling, but it is nice to have it confirmed.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • nkeennkeen Posts: 316
    My car has the same setup as yours. The RE050As do tramline, and tend to follow any camber changes in the road in a lively manner. You do have to stay on top of the car, but the plus side to this is that they are extremely responsive and grip well.

    I recently read a tuner article wherein the writer stated that he had replaced the RE050As on a 135i with Yokohama high performance GFT all seasons. The result was a better ride, but handling feel and ultimate grip were degraded. The writer introduced his comments by stating that he had not realized what an effective performance tire the RE050A was before he made the switch.

    The handling compromise of any car results from a number of factors working together. The last thing I'd do is discount the statements made by BMW that they designed their suspension specifically to partner with the RFTs.
  • I wouldn't ignore it. I'm about to get my third set of RFTs with 29,000 miles on my 328xi. The key is that my 1st 2 were Bridgestones. Dealer nicely replaced the 1st set at no cost because they said it was a known problem. The 2nd set is a different production run so replacement's up to me (at total cost of $1,300). BMW is now recommending Continental. So, it's understandable that drivers whose cars came with Continentals are wondering what all the fuss is about.
  • Hello tbott,

    I have the same car as you and I bought some Continental Conti Sport (not run flats). I love them. The car runs so much smoother. I highly recommend them. I bought them from a local Tires Plus. I paid less than $700 because of a sale they had going on.
  • kirkrkirkr Posts: 17
    I have a 2006 325xi with 60k. I started out with the Bridgestone RFTs replaced them with the Continental RFTs which improved the ride quite a bit. Then I put on Michelin Primacy MXV4 all season GFTs. The difference in the ride is immense. No more RFTs.

    Regards,
    Kirk
  • First, help needed: Anyone have experience with Michelin HP ZP Run Flat Tires?
    Second, comment: Anyone with enough computer savvy to seek help or offer advice here online should know better than to buy tires from BMW instead of tirerack.com!
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