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BMW 3-Series Run Flat Tires

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,266
    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.

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  • 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:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,266
    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.

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  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    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?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,266
    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

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  • 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:
    -- http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.efceb01/456#MSG456

    Acronym Finder entry (can't get the link to stick, you'll need to cut and paste it into a browser):
    -- www.acronymfinder.com/Get-Flat-Tire-(GFT).html
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Not an issue... We all knew you meant RFT .vs. GFT...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,266
    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?"

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  • 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?
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    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.


    Update:

    I now have a new front tire, and the issue has been resolved.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,266
    edited August 2011
    There have been people posting in these forums who say that they rejected a BMW as a buying choice because of the RFTs. I never followed up on that but that does indicate that there can be a very strong negative reaction to RFTs indeed.

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  • puffin1puffin1 Posts: 276
    Well,it seems to me that the RFT tread is a never ending story.Six months ago I posted on here I swapped over to Cotinental Pro Contacts and I'm happy. If you guys think a Michelin rolls better and u can squeeze an extra mile why buy a 3 series AWD. My 328i isn't made for snow. Alot of people say you can't put one tire on an XI espescially after 15k.
    All I know is before my wife got her Lexus,she had a Subie GT and they told her the same thing.So she buys 4 Nokia's. Good bye Subaru. Who said ,"$185.00 for a Trek bike tire?"That's a shocker. :shades:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,266
    I don't actually know the "rule" on a 328xi, but on a Subie it was "no more than 1/4" variance in CIRCUMFERENCE (not diameter). So these AWD systems are fairly sensitive to this seems to me.

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  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Point well taken, but from one with a background in statistics, the relatively few (but highly vocal) complaints probably aren't that significant overall.

    Case in point... When the iPhone 4 first came out, it was blasted with complaints about reception issues... Again, highly vocal and public.

    Now, I haven't done any research on it, but on the surface, it seems Apple hasn't suffered from those complaints.

    Lots of folks also moan and complain about BMW losing it's way by equipping the majority of it's US fleet with auto transmissions, but the company is having record sales.

    It's easy to fall into a trap of forming an opinion based on insufficient information, and I am as guilty as anyone of doing it.

    But, like an old statistics professor taught me years ago, when there are millions of samples, a handful of points on a graph don't necessarily translate into a trend.

    Well, that's my opinion.
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  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,550
    In late 2006, shortly after driving one of the first BMW 335i Coupes in the area [ at an introductory event, near Atlanta ] I chose to order a new Corvette – with Run Flat Tires.

    Not my first choice for tires – but I had no issues in 30,000+ miles of [ um ] somewhat spirited driving.

    I am aware of the issues and the risks, but this time ordered a 2011 BMW 335iS for European Delivery – with Run Flat Tires.

    Essentially, as with the Corvette, my choice offered more positives and fewer negatives [ the RFTs ] than any other available option – for MY particular set of personal priorities.

    YMMV.
    - Ray
    2 weeks to pick-up – in Munich . . .
  • :( I hit a deep pothole at night on my street two weeks ago in my '11 335i conv. with 3,500 miles. I had reported two of them to my town three days earlier but it was raining heavily and I didn't see the one I hit because it was filled with rainwater. So the next time I drove the car I noticed serious vibration at 55+mph. Took it to the dealer who said the tires were fine but both right side rims were bent, the front rim with a w and the back rim flattened. Told me the back might be repairable but the front not. Tires are 18" Continental pro Contact all season RFTs. I got a '10 328i conv. loaner with Bridgestone RFTs. They are horribly noisy.

    I asked SA if BMW had a TSB out for the rims/tires combo as they are totally unsuitable for cars sold in the northeastern US. He suggested Kevlar rims!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,266
    or how about tank treads?

    I'm wondering if you can claim this damage on your insurance, as a road hazard claim?

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,837
    Would that be under comprehensive or collision? Once you pay the deductibles and chance having a chargeable claim.... I'd say it wouldn't be worth it..

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,266
    Yeah that sounds right...highway department's not responsible, BMW is not responsible and the insurance company will punish you for making them responsible. :P

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  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I can't say for other states, but in SC you can get repaid from the dept. that is in charge of that particular road's maintenance (some roads are locally maintained, others by the state) for tire/wheel/suspension damage if you take the time to get a police report on the incident.

    In fact, the local news had a story on a couple of months ago about that very topic.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,266
    I could see that if the pothole were truly atrocious. A hole deep enough could wipe out any wheel on any car.

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  • A pothole that could ruin two rims is atrocious by definition. The total cost is within my $1,000 deductible. But here is the kicker -- a couple of days after hitting the PH the Check Gas Cap light and Service Engine Soon lights came on. Then went off. Took two days for the dealer to check it out and finally found there was a rodent nest near the fuel vent line and they had chewed into the line causing a slow leak. Another $900 in repairs. I've got to find a way to keep the critters out of my garage, and to use the car more often.

    The car is not a lemon but it does have bad Karma -- with 176 miles on the ODO I was stopped at a stop sign minding my own business and was hit across the front end by another car, causing about $10K damage.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,266
    Ah accidents like that are just part of the totally random nature of our lives. Wrong place, wrong time.

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  • I took my 325XI into the dealer for an inspection. The dealer showed me that all four of my RFT tires had worn down to the belt on the inside wall of the tire. Not the outside of the tire but the inside of the tire - all four tires... How could a tire wear down on the inside wall of the tire, let alone all four tires? I was very suspicious about how this happened. Even though I had four Run Flat Tires on my car, the internal belt of the tires were exposed on the inside portion of the tire walls. As I was leaving the dealership, the mechanic who had looked at my car (not the Manager of the shop) came up to me and told me that all four of my tires had 16 Lb of pressure! Not 32 or 34lb's (or whatever the standard is), but 16 pounds of pressure - on each tire! Could that be why the tires wore down to the belt on all four tires? I brought this to the attention of the service center Manager at the BMW dealership and he said "what do you want me to do about it". I asked him about the tire pressure and why the vehicle did not display a low tire pressure - on all four tires, mind you, and I was told that the tire pressure sensors on the car measure all four tire air pressures and average them out. If all tires have the same pressure then no alert is activated - such as all four tires having normal air pressure or all four tires having a very low 16 pounds of pressure (pretty stupid if you ask me). Now, not only did all four tires have 16lb's of pressure - how do all four tires lose pressure - evenly - over a period of time - with all tires losing pressure equally??? All I can think of is that when I last took the car into the BMW dealership, the dealership should have checked the tire pressure on all four tires... I guess they did not do that - or they were too inept to check tire pressure on a standard vehicle maintenance checkup... My Run flat tires were evedentally running flat all the time - thus causing excessive wear on the inside wall of the tires where no one can see the damage. I could have been killed as well as my family if those tires blew out while driving. And then for the dealership to NOT take any responsibility for the low air pressure on all 4 tires is negligent. What the Hell !!!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I take it you have an older 325xi model; yes, no?

    FWIW, there have been a number of different methodlolgies for implementing TPMS systems; it sounds like the system on your car does in fact measure differential rolling speeds which it can then use to figure out which one tire out of a group is low on pressure. Said another way, if all four of your tires were losing pressure at about the same rate (not at all impossible), then the TPMS system wouldn't catch the fact that the tires were low.

    Long story short, it is the vehicle owner who is reponsible for keeping the tires inflated up to spec.
  • Very old - 2006. Hmmm... Have you ever seen all four tires lose pressure at the same pace within a year after having the tires installed? Personally, I have never seen that nor can I believe that had happened. Of course, maybe the planets all lined up and the Aztec calendar will be correct too and the earth will end in 2012. Seriously, when you count on the BMW dealership to keep your car in good running order - you don't expect all tires to lose the same amount of air at the same rate of pressure over a period of time.
  • I should also add that I purchased the car in 2008 (with the new RFT tires installed by the dealer) and I had to replace all four tires one year later because of the damage to the inside wall of all four tires. Oh well - at least they did not blow on the thruway...
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    A 2006 325xi does in fact have the "older" TPMS system which uses the ABS system to calculate if a tire is low.

    FWIW, I've had several cars which have had tires which lose air at about the same rate; granted I've never waited long enough before checking them for the pressure to get down to sixteen pounds, but I don't think this is at all outside of the realm of possibility. Keep in mind the TPMS system does allow for a several pound variance between tires before it triggers a light or an alarm (otherwise you’d be getting an alarm all of the time; my current cars have a six pound variance), and what might well have happened is that the tires all lost pressure within the tolerance of the system down to sixteen pounds (which I assume is probably the floor for your tire/wheel setup baring an actual puncture).

    I've never/ever expected my dealership to bear the full responsibility for maintaining my car; I simply don't have the time to be bringing it in every month for a checkup. If you don't either bring your car in that often, or check the pressure yourself that often, then the responsibility for keeping pressure up to snuff is yours and yours alone.
  • One possible answer to this mystery is that either a dealer or an owner had a broken tire pressure gauge, so 16 looked like 32 across the board. Statistically, the chances of being set wrong is far more likely than four tires bleeding down to 16 in unison.
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