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BMW 3-Series Run Flat Tires

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Comments

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I'm thinking I wouldn't recommend you hold your breath. BMW is now in their sixth model year of mandatory RFTs and there is no sign that they have any intention of reverting to GFTs. That said, it isn't really all that expensive to re-tire and set your car up the way it should have been in the first place. :P
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Bang for the buck, the tire getting the best/most buzz in this segment right now is the Continental ExtremeContactDWS at $94 per tire.

    I'm running Michelin Pilot Sport A/S tires and cannot recommend them enough, they're $134 per tire and provide all the grip I could ever want in non winter conditions (and even then they're not bad).

    Honorable mention also goes to a few other models:
    $152 -- Michelin Primacy MXV4
    $112 -- Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S
    $119 -- Michelin HydroEdge
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 795
    I've got a lot of experience interpreting complaints and here are a couple of things you need to consider:

    - No matter what product we are talking about, you will find complaints.

    - No matter what brand we are talking about, you will find complaints.

    - Sometimes customer's expectations are pretty high, and that will generate more complaints. Certainly a BMW owner will have high expectations - and sometimes that expectation is not realistic.

    - The only real way to find out if the complaints are excessive is by comparing against otherwise identical things.

    - Run Flat tires have been a source of complaints on BMW's. Part of this, is just the normal problems associated with high performance tires. Part of this is just the normal problems associated with BMW's alignment specs. Part of this is just the normal problems associated with BMW "No Rotation" policy. Part of this is just the normal problems associated with the cost of the tires.

    In other words, there are a lot of reasons why folks would normally complain, but because these are unusual tires, the complaints are all being grouped as though they are all unique to RunFlat tires - which they are not.

    - But there are some legitimate complaints about RunFlat tires. Sorting this out is difficult for the uninitiated. Just be aware that there are many folks who have BMW's with RunFlat tires who are quite happy with them - some were not aware they had RunFlat tires at all!
  • Of course you will get complaints on any widely distributed product.
    Of course these are individual anecdotes.
    But the problems with BMW RFT's are not some illusion, like aggregating UFO anecdotal reports as proof. There is a systemic problem that BMW has reacted to with dodge and denial.

    In our anecdote, my wife is an extremely conservative driver, and her tires became incredibly noisy at less than 10,000 miles, and BMW would not replace them. Many others had flats and were stunned at a cost they had not anticipated since all the marketing was "No maintenance fees until 50k" Sure, tires can be an exception, but such an exceptional cost of ownership so quickly should be disclosed.

    They are forced by law to disclose expected gas mileage as an estimate of ownership cost, just as drug companies have to disclose side effects, even if not extreme. There is no law that requires disclosure of the costs of RFT in the "Some may experience..." category, but they could have been forthright about it.
  • GREAT PHILOSOPHY!
    GREAT WRITEUP!
    Experience is a wonderful method of comparison. Have run 45 sets of RFTs in 2 BMWs and after the fifth set, will not run again. 122,000 miles of disappointment (re early wear / rough riding / is enough to make a change. First set lasted 21,000 miles / second 25,000 / third 25,000 / forth 26,000 / fifth 25,000. Pattern here! Now at age 67, I would like some reliability in my life.

    John
  • edwardsfedwardsf Posts: 187
    edited November 2010
    shipo, How does the inflate in a can concept work anyway?

    Specifically, I would think there would be two problem scenarios: 1) where the puncture is big or where the puncture is in the sidewall - a can of foam does not seem like it could repair the tire and you would have to get the car towed. 2) In long journeys in rural areas (as described above in the post about Nevada). How many miles does that foam last?

    For instance on Highway 395 in eastern CA, you probably cannot get a BWM tire in the 500 miles in between Santa Clarita and Reno. So you would have to wait in say, Big Pine or Lone Pine or Tom's Place a few days (certainly till Monday) for a garage to get it.

    Not that I don't like Big Pine but....
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 795
    I'm sorry, but it seems my post is being mis-interpreted.

    I am NOT saying there aren't problems, I am merely pointing out that many of the complaints aren't caused by the tire's ability to operate without inflation pressure. For example, rapid treadwear is the result of the tire being a high performance tire with a tread cpompound being selected for grip rather than wear. Also, irregular wear is caused by BMW's camber spec.

    Put another way, if BMW were to discontinue the use of RunFlat tires, the rapid wear and irregular wear complaints would not be solved.

    I hope this clarifies things.
  • dohrmcdohrmc Posts: 14
    What a shame that such a good car should be stuck with such a potential problem. I will be buying a new car in the next few months, and the RFT are a deal breaker for me.
    If I am up in the North Georgia mountains, or have a flat headed for the Gulf beaches cutting across Alabama, I will be there for a while.
    Sorry BMW, you are out of the running for my next vehicle.
    There is no chance the Germans will backtrack on their decision to go to run flat tires.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The inflate in a can product can pretty much refill a tire and stop the leak unless it is a catastrophic puncture (very rare, so rare in fact that in my million and a half miles of driving I've never had one). As for how long it lasts, as far as I know, it isn't a "foam" per-se, but a latex sealant that hardens; it will supposedly last for a very long time (like a thousand miles or more), long enough to get you out of the desert and then some.

    http://www.tirerack.com/accessories/detail.jsp?ID=38

    The downside of course is that you will typically need to either repair the TPMS sensor or replace it after usage of the sealant; however, given the cost of replacing one or more RFTs versus the cost of repairing/replacing GFTs, you'll still be ahead of the game if you buy a new TPMS sensor after each use of the sealant.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited November 2010
    "For example, rapid treadwear is the result of the tire being a high performance tire with a tread cpompound being selected for grip rather than wear. Also, irregular wear is caused by BMW's camber spec."

    If what you say is true then why have many BMWs with long lasting All-Season RFTs also trashed their tires in short order, and why, when said RFTs are replaced by GFTs of the same type, do the tires last a long time and not get noisy in the process?

    "Put another way, if BMW were to discontinue the use of RunFlat tires, the rapid wear and irregular wear complaints would not be solved."

    I completely disagree; I've had two BMWs equipped with GFTs, one with all season tires and one with summer performance tires. The car with the all seasons was turned back in at lease end with 45,000 miles on the clock and the original factory tires were still going strong; I was able to project at the time that those tires were going to see the far side of 60,000 miles before they needed to be replaced.

    The second car was turned back in at lease end, also with the factory tires on it; however, given the fact that I had moved to New Hampshire and needed to buy a set of winter wheels and tires, the factory tires only had about 20,000 miles on them. That said, 20,000 miles on summer tires is not too bad, especially when the worst of the four still had 6mm of tread depth (the BMW-FS minimum tread depth is 5mm).

    I submit that not only does the RFT design contribute to rough riding and skittish handling, it also contributes to accelerated and irregular tire wear that causes the tires to get noisy and to be replaced much sooner than if the tires on the car were GFTs.
  • 1. Were you losing air pressure in the tire to lead to the cracked wheel diagnose?
    2. Was this from dealer or indie shop?
    3. Did you recall hitting something for the 2 days you had DWS?
    4. Was there vibration that caused to diagnose bent wheels?
    5. Could the bent wheels existed from previous tire set?
    7. How many miles on the car?
  • Thread is still good but noisy. My 1st set thread was low and replaced at 36k miles.
  • I wasn't losing any air even thought the rim was cracked. I hit a hole on a main street where I live and when I kept a previously schedule appointment with my dealer to check my tires for the problem with excessive noise and a harsh ride they found no problems with the tires but they refereed me to BMW customer service in New Jersey who refereed me to the law firm that handled the tire class action. The case was closed. But my dealer said they would give me a 50% discount on a set of tires if i agreed to buy a new 528.
    I took the car to Firestone and guess what, they found a bubble in the wall of on of the tires. I had them put a new tire on but they didn't notice the crack either. 5000 miles later when I bought the DWS set they noticed the bent rims but not the crack. I drove home and returned the next day for a rebalance because the tech? felt balancing a wheel down to .25 was good enough. At this point after spending $625 for tires, $189 for alignment and $15 for tips they didn't want to mount a tire on the cracked rim. Safety issue I was told. I ordered a jack set and 3 wheels to replace 2 bent wheels a the cracked one and had the job redone by a very reputable shop in my area. Now the car rides so smooth and so quite I can't believe it. Also the walls on the DWS's don't flex so the handling is just as the rfs tires. I was considering a 2011 525 but ater 2 bmw's with rft's, I have had enough. Maybe a Lexus. Oh well, time will tell. Car is a 2009 335ix bought in October of 2008 with 26000 miles. The noise and hard ride started at around 5000 miles. The dealer didn't know anything.
  • BMW RUN FLAT TIRE
    BEFORE YOU ARE GOING TO PURCHASE A BMW, BE AWARE THAT THEY COME FROM FACTORY WITH RUN FLAT TIRE, THAT MEANS THAT YOU DON’T HAVE A SPARE TIRE IN YOUR CAR SO YOU HAVE TO PAY EXTRA APPROXIMATELY $ 27 A MONTH ON YOUR LEASE OR FINANCE FOR A TIRE INSURANCE AND THE DON’T TELL YOU ALL THAT I MENTIONED BEFORE UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE THAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO CLOSE THE DEAL, BMW SAYS THAT THEY USE THOSE TIRES FOR SAFETY REASON, BUT FOR ME THAY ARE A NIGHTMARE BECAUSE THEY ARE SO SOFT THAT THEY DON’T LAST LONGER THAN ANY OTHER PERFORMANCE TIRE AND THEY GET FLAT VERY EASY, THAT’S NOT ALL WHEN THEY SELL TO YOU THE CAR THEY SAY THAT IT IS VERY EASY TO CHANGE THE TIRE IF THE RUN FLAT, YOU JUST HAVE TO SHOW UP AT ANY BMW DEALER AND THEY CHANGE YOU THE TIRE FAST, WOW THAT SOUND GREAT!, BUT IT IS NOT LIKE THAT, ONCE YOU SHOW UP AT THE DEALER YOU HAVE TO DROP THE CAR FOR A DAY BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO CONTACT THE INSURANCE INSPECTOR TO GO BY THE DEALER AND INSPECT THE TIRE AND YOU HAVE TO BE LUCKY IF THE AGREE TO PAY FOR IT, AND ALSO YOU HAVE TO BE LUCKY IF THE DEALER HAVE A LOANER, IT HAPPEN TO ME THREE TIMES SO THIS IS NOT CASUALTY, SO YOU SPEND TWO OR THREE DAYS OF YOUR WONDERFULL LIFE JUST TO CHANGE A TIRE, WITH OTHER TIRE YOU JUST HAVE TO GO TO ANY TIRE STORE AND THEY FIX IT FOR YOU IN 30 MINUTES.
    WORLD GREEN CAR AWARD 2008
    BMW WON IN 2008 THE WORLD GREEN CAR AWARD, THAT’S IRONIC, BECAUSE THE RUN FLAT TIRE DO NOT ACCEPT REPAIR SO IT DOESN’T MATTER IF THE TIRE HAVE 3 OR 1,000 MILES ON USE AND GET FLAT THEY HAVE TO DISPOSE THE TIRE AND EVERY BODY KNOWS HOW CONTAMINANT FOR THE ECOSYSTEM ARE THEM AND IT DOESN’T MATTER THAT SOME ARE RECYCLED.
    IN THE OTHER HAND STANDARD TIRES CAN BE REPAIRED AND LAST LONGER AND YOU DON’T HAVE TO DISPOSE THEM BECAUSE THEY HAVE A LITTLE NAIL ON IT, THAT CAN BE REPAIRED AND YOU CAN ENJOY THEM FOR THEIR LIFE SPAM.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Dude, take a chill-pill, STOP FRIGGIN' YELLING (it's rude and difficult to read), and then scan the over 2,700 posts in this thread. What you're upset about is ancient history.
  • bigkevbigkev Posts: 33
    why don't you fit GFT and buy a donut spare? I did because I didn't like the runflats. Problem solved - rides better, can be repaired. Lots of others have done it too. Better than buying another car which isn't as good (Merc, Audi) both of which I've owned and traded on BMW. Otherwise just accept it like - no good getting all uptight. :cry:
  • bimmer4mebimmer4me Posts: 266
    edited November 2010
    I have a 2008 328i. I have some questions and or concerns. Will the flat tire monitor be thrown off by the smaller radius of a space saver spare, and will it show a constant state of alarm? Would the traction control system think a wheel is slipping and keep applying brakes on one wheel. Shipo, you appear to be very knowledgeable with BMW's. What is your opinion? I currently have Cont. RTF's and have no issues with them as some others do. When it comes time to replace my tires and if I decide to go with GFT's, I'm not sure what back up system is best in the event I get a flat. Goo and compressor or donut and jack?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,432
    I don't think a BMW spacesaver has a smaller radius, does it?

    I think they are full-height tires, just skinnier...

    New TPMS monitors read a signal from the tire valve... they don't operate off the ABS system, any more.... though, your TPMS light will probably still be on, because evidently your tire is flat, if you are using the spacesaver.

    Also, no issues with traction control if the spare is full-height, though you will occasionallly trigger the stability control in turns.. But, the spare is just for emergencies.. it isn't like you are going to drive on it for weeks.

    But, if you aren't having issues with your runflats, I'm not sure I'd switch.. just my $0.02

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • thanks for your input!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Kyfdx beat me to it. :)
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,432
    Hey... even this blind pig can find an acorn, occasionally..

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    He-he! ;)

    FWIW, I'm hating on the word "blind" these days. Why? Because Mr. Murphy doesn't know when to quit. In this case, my wife (who was carrying the family's insurance through her company) got laid off last year, just after I was diagnosed with a cataract in my right eye. Unfortunately said cataract wasn't at all bad (I still had 20/20 vision in spite of the cataract and my age), and insurance wouldn't cover the surgery. Fast forward to this year and, per my ophthalmologist, I’ve been told "my eye has fallen off a cliff;" I'm now legally blind in that eye. Annoying. :(
  • So your repair costs weren't because of the DWS tires you put on -- your original post made it sound like it was DWS tires' fault. I was planning to get them also. What do you have as flat protection?
    In your case the tire protection would have made out.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I am NOT saying there aren't problems, I am merely pointing out that many of the complaints aren't caused by the tire's ability to operate without inflation pressure. For example, rapid treadwear is the result of the tire being a high performance tire with a tread compound being selected for grip rather than wear. Also, irregular wear is caused by BMW's camber spec.

    Put another way, if BMW were to discontinue the use of RunFlat tires, the rapid wear and irregular wear complaints would not be solved.


    Absolutely correct!

    Tire wear is directly related to:

    1. Rubber compound used in construction (soft .vs. hard)
    2. Setup of the car's suspension.
    3. The driver's characteristics (spirited .vs. tame)
    4. Road and environment conditions (road quality, temperature, etc.).

    As an example, my wife got over 55K miles out of the run-flats on her 2005 MINI, with visible tread left. On a Dodge equipped with non-run-flat Goodyear GT's, I had bald tires at 35K miles. Back in the 1970's, I had a Ford Courier pickup with 6-ply tires, and when I traded it at 100K miles, it had the original tires on it.... with tread still present. Of course, even when the truck was new those tires had practically NO grip and would break loose on the Interstate in a rainstorm if I floored the gas pedal at 70mph...

    BMW sets its cars up with reverse camber, which is great for handling in curves, but horrible for tread wear. This can be seen by following a 328i and watching the rear tire angle as the driver acelerates rapidly... the car squats down, and the spacing between the tires increases at the point where the tire tread meets the pavement.

    Generally speaking, comparing run-flats with non-run-flats is like comparing apples to oranges, unless you are comparing like tire construction rubber compounds. A softer tire wears faster, but gives better street performance. The harder the compound, the longer the treadlife.... all other things being equal.

    The issue is, most run-flats are also high performance tires....ie, softer rubber compounds. When owners replace them with non-run flats, they are also replacing a tire with one that has a different rubber compound. If the tire wears longer, they feel its due to the tire type, and ignore tire construction.

    Regardless if one believes this or not, it is indeed factual.

    Now, that isn't to say that run-flats don't have their issues. They are great for urban driving, but if one lives in a rural area (say....Wyoming), run-flats may not be the best choice for you, simply due to replacement supply issues.

    At the end of the day, however, I foresee the day when all new cars will be equipped with run-flats. Its a fuel usage issue. Weight of a spare and # of cars on the road....Its another way for car companies to eliminate weight and conserve space....thereby increasing fleet fuel economy.

    Of course, by then, supply won't be an issue, as all sizes and brands will be generally available.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited November 2010
    Your post confuses so many issues it is almost difficult to figure out where to begin.

    Fact: Prior to the RFT debacle, BMWs were capable of rolling on the same set of tires for a long-long time (and the vast majority of folks that have reverted to GFTs are getting great tire mileage on late model BMWs). My two (pre-RFT era) BMWs are just a few examples of this phenomena as well.

    You missed one metric: 5. Sidewall dynamics. The sidewall architecture of the Gen1 and Gen2 RFTs contribute to accelerated tire wear.

    Comparing how long a tiny Mini went on a set of (all-season?) RFTs to a Dodge with Goodyear GTs (tires that have never been known for longevity) is a bit disingenuous; don't 'cha think?

    Your comment about how most RFTs are performance tires is completely false. Fact: BMW sells far-FAR more cars shod with (supposedly long lasting) All-Season RFTs than they do with Summer Performance RFTs.

    To say the things you claim to be "Fact" are in fact, "False" is an understatement.

    At the end if the day I foresee RFTs going the way of the dodo bird; errr, that until pneumatic tires are gone from the market place entirely. Of course the non-pneumatic tires that are likely to replace virtually all automobile tires are themselves RFTs, but nothing like the crap foisted upon us in this day and age (see the Tweel: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tweel ).
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Sorry....

    I learned a long time ago to NEVER attempt a discussion with one who already has his mind made up, regardless of what the facts actually happen to be.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Apparently you're referring to yourself.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited November 2010
    You might find the link below somewhat enlightening....

    or, maybe not.

    http://blog.bavauto.com/bmw-e46/proper-tire-care-part-2-for-longer-tire-life-red- - uce-negative-camber

    From the link...

    Camber: This is the angle that the wheels/tires make when viewed from the front or rear of the car. If the wheel/tire is perfectly vertical it has zeros degrees of camber. If the top of the wheel/tire tilts outward, this is positive camber. If the top of the wheel/tire tilts inward (toward the center of the vehicle), this is negative camber. Too much negative camber causes the inside of the tire to wear much faster than the outside. This is especially true on BMWs and MINIs which come from the factory with comparatively high negative camber for better control at high speeds. In this case, economy had been compromised – you have to replace your expensive tires more often. This is especially true of BMWs and MINIs that have been lowered (Fig 4) and/or have plus-size wheels and tires.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Your point is? The fact is that BMWs have been getting good tire mileage for years now, the factory camber settings not withstanding, and the only significant change in how long tires last has been the change over to RFTs.

    FWIW, I won't argue that tires will last longer on cars without the rear camber settings that many manufacturers are using these days; just that the RFTs have greatly contributed to accelerated tire wear.
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