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2011 535i Tires and Rims

techman9techman9 Posts: 18
Has anyone else had that same problem with tires and Rims on a 2011 535i this year. I know that potholes have been bad the year but replaced two rims and two different tires. I also had a front and rear alignment. Coast was a mear
$2800, Wheels are 19" Light alloy V-spoke wheels style 331-with all-season run-flat tires
I had the car out for a day, drove different roads to avoid the potholes and the problem is back again; a vibration in the steering wheel and the car drifts a bit, I have to bring the car back in to the dealer again this week.


  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    I've always avoided the optional, lower-profile tires and wheels. Yes, they may look better (subjective) and handle better (not that many people actually ever make use of them), but where I live, the roads at the end of the winter are not too great, and the cost is just not worth it to me. While the 19-inchers aren't that much lower, that extra little bit can make a difference. Not as bad as the 20 or 21-inchers but still every little bit makes a difference. There are a few companies that can straighten the wheels (unless cracked) for far less than buying a new one if it comes to that. They often have some the same style, and can exchange it rather than you having to wait and send yours to them to be straightened. BMW and nearly all car manufacturers warn about larger wheels in the user's is not a warning to be is fairly common. It might be a different story if you lived say in FL where it is uncommon to have frost heaves or potholes caused by freeze/thaw cycles.
  • techman9techman9 Posts: 18
    so latest update, I now have 4 bent rims and a new tire problem with one tire. I did not drive over any extraordinary road conditions during the day I had the vehicle back forom the first bent rim incident.

    I contacted BMW customer service. After a week and no call back I contacted them again. I had to pin them down to a time when they would call me call to address the issue. The outcome of course is they they are refusing to do anything for me. I asked to be put in contact with the BMW district manager and they did not know who that is and would not find out (I asked for this info on the first call to CS). I have driven a BMW loaner for a week over the same roads as my own vehicle and I do not have any problems with the rims on the loaner vehicle. I contacted my selling dealer and they have not returned any of my calls.

    In the end I will just have to rack this up to a learning experience, which is BMW does not really care about the customer; their customer service is nonexistent. BMW may have other great products but the 2011 535i is a mess of a car.
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    Unless originally defective, rims don't magically bend themselves! While it might not be a pothole, it could be a curb. You have to have hit something.
  • techman9techman9 Posts: 18
    and there you go with a great point, are the rims defective. 40 years of driving in my state, nationally and in Europe and never once have I bent a rim. Now within the course of a week I bent 2 one one occasion a 4 a day later. Also I did not hit any curbs and even if I did how would that bend all 4. There must be a big problem with the rims BMW is using or the suspension system on the 535.
  • baloo588baloo588 Posts: 5
    edited April 2011
    TO everyone with new BMW 5 series with bent rims, its not a surprise. My car which was only 1 month old had vibration in the rear at speeds 70-80 mph and it was a big annoyance. I had to go back to my dealer few times and they replaced 1 defective rear tire. The RFTs were replaced at 1,000 miles to Michelin non-rft and the vibration was still there!! I found a high quality german independent dealer that told me that they had another 2011 BMW 535iwith vibration due to 4 defective rims made and placed on certain cars leading to warped rims when they were strapped down for shipment to the US. My car had 4 bent rims too on the inner part of the rim and you could see the bend on it when it was spun on the Hunter Road force machine with your own eyes! I took my car back to the BMW dealership and while they could not admit the problem they confirmed it and replaced all 4 rims and the car is super smooth now. This was all in 2 months of ownership after I picked up the BMW on Jan 3 of this year. It was found out that BMW factory did not cure the rims for the 5 series properly causing some 5 series to come with small bends in their rims leading to vibration.
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    Interesting...I'm guessing since I'm picking my car up in Munich, the rims may not have been strapped to a pallet...anyway, I'll find out in a few weeks.
  • techman9techman9 Posts: 18
    Very interesting, your explanation certainly makes sense. Why wouldn't the selling or servicing dealer come clean about the issue. BMW customer service stated plainly, "we are going to do anything to assist you with the reapir." The dealers keep attributing the problem to low profile tries but I just don't buy it.

    One item they did fix, I had very active steering. The shop forman went on a drive with me and stated that the steering was normal for a BMW, he did a software update and eliminated the problem. Again, never admitted to the problem and never reviewed it with me but non the less he did the repair.
  • am92014am92014 Posts: 1
    I just had the identical problem with my 2011 535i bought in November. Potholes (and not even big ones). All four rims bent and all four tires with blistering. >$4000! Luckily I have the wheel/tire insurance which fully covered it but they still made me pay $200 for alignment. Ridiculous that they asked me if I hit something - obviously BMW knows there is a problem. I hope it doesn't happen again as I do love the car and would recommend it to anyone.
  • james_m3james_m3 Posts: 5
    I read this entire thread, and I'm glad I did. I am having the same issue right now with my 2011 535. Three of the wheels are mysteriously bent, causing substantial vibration when I drive at or around 30mph, and again at 60mph. Also, after only 6 months of leasing the car, three tires have needed replacement -- all of this is after very low-milage, casual driving in Los Angeles. It makes no sense. I would like to be in touch with you directly about this. I'm sure there are other people with the same issue.
  • techman9techman9 Posts: 18
    Update Two more bent rims for a total of 8 bent rims. Two more tires with bubbles (3 on one 5 on another) for a total of 5 replaced tires. So since I purchased this car in November I have spent another 6k just on wheels and tires.
    This car has to go.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited June 2011
    Why don't you just put a smaller diameter wheel on your car? If you were to buy a nice set of 17" wheels and wrap them with a set of 245/50 R17 tires you'd be good to go.

    A tire wheel combination as suggested above will not degrade the handling of your car at all, however, the ride will improve and your ability to get away with encounters with pot-holes and such will be dramatically improved.


    I just configured a set of wheels and tires for your car over on and here's what I came up with:

    A set of 17x8 Rial Salerno wheels: $556.00
    A set of 245/50 ZR17 Continental Extreme Contact DWS Tires: $660.00
    A set of TPMS Tire Valves/Sensors: $212.00
    Shipping: $104.40
    Total: $1,532.40

    It seems that the above solution would be far cheaper than chucking your car and going with something else. Yes, no?
  • techman9techman9 Posts: 18
    This a great idea Shipo and thank you. I did ask the service manager at the dealership where I am having my car serviced. He had reservations to downsizing the wheel due to the suspension system, however he did want to swap out the wheels and tires for conventional non-run flat tires., of ourse he wanted 5400 for the set.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The service manager needs to get hisseff edumakated; downsizing wheels is an absolute "no brainer" for all cars (BMWs and non) assuming the following:
    - The overall tire diameter doesn't change
    - The new wheel size has the proper inner diameter and offset and such to clear the brake calipers and position the tires (from a lateral perspective) where they're supposed to be. That you'd be downsizing means there's also a pretty good chance the tire/wheel combination will be lighter than the OEM setup, and that will improve both the ride and the handling as a result.

    FWIW, for winter tire service folks have been downsizing the wheels on their BMWs for decades (literally), my cars included, and everything operates as it should. In the case of my 5er, it came with 17" wheels and I downsized to 16" wheels for the winter months; the ride was a bit softer, the handling softened a bit (more to do with the narrower winter tires and their ability to bite the pavement than anything else), and the ability to absorb a pot-hole hit grew enormously.

    As a suggestion, bluntly inform your service manager you're going to downsize (whether you really plan to or not) and see what he says. There are reports of some service managers claiming such a move will void the warranty (a silly notion), and if he does, ask him to put it in writing. If he’s bold enough to do so, send it to BMW in Woodcliff Lake, NJ; they'll tell you your warranty will stay perfectly intact.

    The funny thing with the wheel sizes larger than roughly 17" is that their only functional advantage over smaller wheels are their ability to clear large diameter brakes. The other pseudo advantage to larger wheels it the whole bling-looks thing, something I think you'll gladly do without in exchange for a setup that doesn't constantly get bent. :)
  • gosaintsgosaints Posts: 18
    I am doing PCD of a new 535i with sport package in two weeks. After reading this thread, I inquired about the Tire and Wheel Protection plan offerred by BMW. It's a five year policy, unlimited miles, unlimited incidents, no deductible. My dealer quoted $1,250. Ordinarily I would decline this coverage without giving it a second thought. But in light of the nightmarish posts I've encountered on this and other forums, it actually sounds like a good idea. Any thoughts or comparison quotes on this coverage?
  • techman9techman9 Posts: 18
    My selling dealer did offer a plan, 3K was the cost and it only covered one set of wheels and tires. I declined. Yours sounds like a deal but read the fine print carefully.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited June 2011
    I got the same plan for $850 on a 2010 328i convertible.

    The question you need to answer is this:

    What are the general road conditions in your area, and what is your driving style?

    While it's true than some owners have repeated incidents of tire & wheel damage, it's also true that the large majority of owners don't. Also, insurance plans aren't offered at a price that costs the insurance companies $$$.

    Only you can determine if the plan offered is right for you, but again, most owners would come out ahead by banking the premium amount. Having said that, a friend of mine with an M3 bought the plan and had a damaged tire replaced with no hassles at all. He damaged the sidewalk by "curbing" the tire on a sharp edge. He's had the car for a year, and so far, he's still behind the curve on payback from the plan.... But, he has 4 more years.

    Good luck in whatever you decide...
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Correction: I meant to say he damaged the tire by scraping the sidewalk curb...
  • gosaintsgosaints Posts: 18
    Busiris, thanks for your input. Does your 328ic have RFTs and what is the diameter of your wheels? Sounds like you got a good deal at $850.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Yes, I have RFT's, as do all late model BMW's (except M series cars, I believe)...

    I have a 2010 328i convertible, a 2007 Z4 Coupe, and my wife has a 2005 Mini convertible.... all with RFT's.

    Both the BMW's are equiped with the Sport package (18 inch wheels).

    Personally, I have never had a wheel/tire issue, although my wife has replaced 2 RFT's over the years (tire punctures along the sidewall edge).

    Even then, it was cheaper to replace 2 RFT's out of pocket...

    Still, I recommend looking at your own driving history and environment before deciding. Do you get many flats? Hit a lot of potholes? Unusually bad roads in your area?

    Good luck?
  • gosaintsgosaints Posts: 18
    Thanks. I live in a suburb of New Orleans a/k/a the pot hole capital of the world. So I' m thinking I will spring for the protection so I won't have to worry every time I hit one.

    My 535 will have the exact 19" wheels that are the subject of an apparent class action over undue cracking issues.

    I priced the tires on Tire Rack and they are $415 each, excluding shipping, tax, installation, etc. so I figure that I will have close to $1k on each wheel/tire combo.

    I have always come out ahead on extended warranties in the past, so I will roll the dice and enjoy the peace of mind in the meantime. Plus, I got the dealer to knock off $50 (wow) so I'm at $1,200 for the protection.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Sounds like you may be making the wise choice for your circumstances...

    Hopefully, you will never need the insurance...

    Again, may the wheel and tire gods be merciful to you!
  • I purchased a 535xi with the sport package and 19" rim and low profile, run flat tires. Over a seven month period, I had 3 blown tires and 11 bent rims. All of the problems were a result of normal potholes.

    Its a known BMW problem that low profile, run flat tires do not have enough sidewalk between the road and the rim. I have this confirmed thru 2 very good BMW mechanics.

    Buyers beware.

    Further, BMW will not make good on the problem. Make sure you purchase the third party insurance.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The issue has nothing to do with BMW per-se and everything to do with folks who want bling looking wheels at the expense of both ride and handling; regardless of manufacturer, if you opt to equip your car with such low profile tires they will be susceptible to damage from "normal" pot holes. Had you checked before buying your car you would have found BMWs disclaimer regarding such a purchase:

    "Driving over rough or damaged road surfaces, as well as debris can cause serious damage to wheels, tires, and suspension parts. This is more likely to occur with low-profile tires, which provide less cushioning between the wheel and the road. Be careful to avoid road hazards and reduce your speed, especially if your vehicle is equipped with low-profile tires. Run-flat tires do not come equipped with a spare tire and wheel."

    Said another way, while BMW offers a large wheel and low-profile tire package for those whom insist on having their cars equipped accordingly, they also recommend against buying said package. So, while you may want to blame BMW for the wheels and tires you've damaged, I really don't understand your logic for placing the blame anywhere but squarely on your own shoulders.
  • the problem has more to do with poor engineering of the suspension systems on the part of BMW. Many automotive companies offer low profile tires and they do not result in the same issue. Go buy and Audi like I did, its faster, better handeling and well engineered.
  • A true BMW fan defending until the end. The problem is not with the buyer of these vehicles it is the automotive company that keeps offering the same cheap product, riding on the coattails of a reputation of days gone by.

    BMW is no longer the company they were, so they continue to bring cheap china made junk to anyone that will buy it. Its that simple.

    I have had no problem with the 2012 Audi A6 low profile tires and all. Oh and did I say much more fun to drive.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited October 2011
    Utter and complete nonsense; any car with a wheel and tire combination which features a sidewall height of less than four inches is highly susceptible to tire and rim damage. Audis with wheel tire combinations with sidewalls as short as those on a 5-Series with 19" wheels (assuming Audi even sells such a creature) will be just as easily damaged as those on the BMW.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "A true BMW fan defending until the end."

    Seriously? You sound like someone who knocks a brand for no other reason than you have nothing better to do.

    "The problem is not with the buyer of these vehicles it is the automotive company that keeps offering the same cheap product, riding on the coattails of a reputation of days gone by."

    Incorrect; the problem is the buyers of these vehicles who don't read the fine print and then when they mess something up they want to find someone to blame for their own screw-up.

    "BMW is no longer the company they were, so they continue to bring cheap china made junk to anyone that will buy it. Its that simple."

    Where'd you get that little gem? Oh wait, you like make stuff up on the fly. :P

    "I have had no problem with the 2012 Audi A6 low profile tires and all. Oh and did I say much more fun to drive."

    Most likely an irrelevant comparison. Why? BMW offers not one, not two, but three different "low profile" tire and wheel sizes for the 5-Series, and unless your Audi is equipped with a tire and wheel combination that is as low as the 19" setup on the 5-series, then you're comparing apples-to-oranges. Even if your tires have the same sidewall height, the comparison isn't terribly relevant. Why? Because lots of folks 5-Series cars and 19" wheels have (so far at least) no problems as they've been able (so far at least) to avoid road hazards.
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    While you could buy stronger wheels (say a nice forged one), you can still bend it (it may not break), but it would still trash a low profile tire if you hit a pothole or other defect at sufficient speed.

    Compared to Germany, our typical roads are trash...they tend to build them with MUCH more depth and a foundation designed to last ages. Ours are much thinner, and with the traffice and freeze/thaw cycles common to lots of the country, ours just plain fall apart quicker. Then, the quality of repairs, when required, just aren't always the best. If you want to complain, complain to the local and national government, and get them to actually spend the fuel tax money on road maintenance rather than other things...or, bite the bullet and pay the fuel costs those in Europe tend to pay...the gas costs about the same, the differences are in the taxes...more money to actually make and maintain decent roads. In the meantime, use higher profile tires...or, pay the consequences.
  • We shouldn't have to complain to the government for its bad roads, or blame the BMW consumer for not reading the 'fine print.' The issue with these BMW run flat tires is way too common. It's reasonable to expect when you buy a car (in the US or anywhere) that it can be driven on roads that have average wear and tear. If BMW does, in fact, have a disclaimer in their lease/sales agreements warning that the car isn't suited to normal American roads, it's reasonable to expect them to be more deliberate about bringing that disclaimer to our attention. After all, they're now selling a product that isn't capable of doing even the most basic of its functions -- traveling on roads. That's inexcusable. Sure... "buyer beware." But the person who referred to BMW's reputation had it right. There are too many people now having this problem. BMW has a responsibility to either stop making a product that won't function in its most basic capacity, or to go above and beyond the fine print to make buyers aware of its limitations.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The point you seem to continually miss regarding the BMW wheel issues is that the only complaints I've read with any consistency are those from drivers of cars which have opted to upsize the wheels not once but twice. Look at the aftermarket, there clearly is a market for folks who want to blingize their vehicle (at the expense of both ride and handling), and then when it doesn't work out, those of whom opted to buy their big weels from BMW want to [non-permissible content removed] and complain that it's BMWs fault their $2,000 upgrade didn't pan out.

    Regarding the disclaimer which I referenced a few posts back, it only applies to the largest of the wheel options for the 5-Series; it does not apply to the stock setup. Those with more "normal" wheel/tire setups have no more chance of suffering a wheel or tire failure than anybody else.

    Regarding the whole RFT thing, I, like many others, feel it was a stillborn idea on BMWs part, and will continue to criticize BMW until they revert to tried and true GFTs.
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