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BMW 5-Series Tires and Wheels



  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    This is not to inflame you all, but why are you buying vehicles that are lowered, have less suspension travel, have low profile tires and live in cities with roads that are obviously not made for that kind of vehicle??? I realize this may be too late for some, but if these vehicles are daily drivers and you live in cities or suburbs with poor road conditions, that should be a consideration upon purchasing. Unfortunaely, BMW does not make a sport package for city driving, which could be ideal for your application.

    Although this may not help now, I would either get a beater for the daily drives(a Toyota Avalon comes to mind) and use the BMW for the weekends, or get a BMW with the regular suspension and wheels enjoying it as a primay care.

    The packages related to motorsport useage on poor roads seems like a big SELL and are counterintuitive.

  • ny540i6ny540i6 Posts: 518
    get a BMW with the regular suspension and wheels enjoying it as a primary car.

    Interesting observation.... if I look at my car (E 39), what i see is that over the different iterations "regular wheels" have included 16" 17" and 18", with tire aspect ratios ranging from 60 series, all the way down to 35/40 series. Are some more comfortable than others? Sure. Is there a bit of hype attached? Sure. I use my car as a daily driver. Other than swapping to snows each winter, I do nothing to cater to suspension, wheels etc. I just returned from a 1600 mile round trip to Indiana/Michigan, on roads of varying quality, and enjoyed every minute. Carving through Pennsylvania's mountains at 2 in the morning was an absolute blast, and part of why I bought the car equipped as it is.

    BTW, I also have a Camry that I rarely drive... lol
  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    Thanks shipo and ny540i6 for your replies.

    Actually tire performance is important to me, that is why I switched to PS-2 from the Pilot Primacy's. The PS-2 were highly rated when I purchased them 3 years ago and I was willing to give up on 10K to 15K miles of extra tire wear (compared to the Pilots) to get their improved performance. My driving takes me both on high speed runs and also on canyon runs. When I switched, I noticed a big handling improvement (however part of that improvement was probably from comparing worn Pilots to the new PS-2's).

    I guess I am thinking at what handling cost is there to saving $250 in buying the third tire. From your posts, it appears that the suggestion of mixing the tires is a bad one (that suggestion was actually given to me by the salesman at my local tire store). That is why I immediately posted my question here. Did not sound right mixing tires and treads.

    OK, then, based on your suggestions, what sounds best to me is either, as both shipo and ny540i6 suggest, to buy 3 new Pilots and use the Pilot from the trunk, or buy 3 new PS-2 tires and use them with the 12K mile tire. Right? Will I continue to notice a significant handling improvement if I choose the PS-2's over the Primacy's?

    As for how long I plan to keep the car, that is an issue of its own. However, I can safely say that I plan to hold on to the car for a while. Unfortunately my CPO warrantee expires December 30, 2007, but my payments do not end until Dec 30, 2008 (3-year lease plus 4-year purchase loan at 3.9%). It would be nice to own a car without payments. I am driving the car at a rate of about 10K miles per year right now. I assume some of the expensive repair items are about 10K to 20K miles away still (brakes, clutch, hoses, belts, radiator, suspension parts...). But then there is all the new cars coming out that handle better and are faster....
  • ny540i6ny540i6 Posts: 518
    "OK, then, based on your suggestions, what sounds best to me is either, as both shipo and ny540i6 suggest, to buy 3 new Pilots and use the Pilot from the trunk, or buy 3 new PS-2 tires and use them with the 12K mile tire. Right? Will I continue to notice a significant handling improvement if I choose the PS-2's over the Primacy's?"

    I notice a handling difference every time I do the winter/summer tire swap. Right now I am running Goodyear GSD-3s, however I have had the Michelin PS-2s, and like them a lot. If it were me, I'd go with the PS-2s, especially as you say that you do value the handling. The other good thing about the PS-2s is that they ride pretty well, so the trade off there is not a big one.

    BTW, I'd put the 12K used tire on the front end of the car to start with. Those are a directional tire, so the rotation swap would be front to back only, and I would put it on the non-drive side, to minimize wear when you move it to the back later on (sorry, I never remember which rear wheel is the powered "dominant" wheel).
  • I have a 2007 530xi. It came with Goodyear RS-A's which are an "all season" tire.
    I've generally had found the performance of all season tires in snow acceptable on the AWD cars I've owned (the AWD seems to make up for the shortfalls of the all season tire).
    Anybody have comments on this setup for a New England winter? (assuming that it actually snows this year).
  • ny540i6ny540i6 Posts: 518
    Couple things.... first, the RS-A has never impressed me. I've had them, and other than a soft ride, it was a mediocre performer.

    Second, Even with AWD, I would go with dedicated snows, on a different set of wheels. Bottom line is, touring tires give up quite a bit, with single purpose rubber being way more capable.
  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    Update: I purchased three PS-2's (to go with the almost new fourth tire). Needless to say, I am thrilled with the improved handling. Thanks again for the advice.
  • ny540i6ny540i6 Posts: 518
    Hey, anytime. Glad it worked out.
  • ahk9ahk9 Posts: 3
    Anyone know why2005 BMW 545i have difference tire size for rear and front?
    Also, My buddy wants to trade his 545i tires for my 530i tires which are both 18".
    Is it okay to exchange rims and tires even though 545i has different rear and front tires? Will it be a problem to have different tire sizes for 530?
  • church38church38 Posts: 6
    Have a 2004 525i with the sports package and the 530i 18 in rims. Original tires on car were Goodyear Eagle NCT5 RSC 245/40R18 93W. Had tire issues in Texas and BMW dealer replaced them with Yokohama AVS ES100s. Car has a crazy howling sound when going down the road. My F-150 is quieter going down the road (really). The cheapest I've found the original tire for is $400 a pop (tirerack). Has anyone used any other tire (GoodYear Eagle F1 GS-D3 ROF) on similar model with good to moderate results with tires not being so noisy? I don't remember the care being that noisy with the original tires. I don't think I need to maintain run flats on the care, it does have a spare and the dealer also said that I didn't need to maintain run flats but if I can't get a tire that runs down the road without making the noise I may have to go back to them. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  • ctshorsectshorse Posts: 13
    Closing a lease deal next week on a 535i with sport. Concerned a little about the stories I've read of previous models with this package. Should I get the extra tire/rim warranty? I seem to recall reading issues with flat tires and cracked rims with this package. I live in the burbs, raely go into the city and do mostly highway driving.
  • I have 22,000 miles on my '07 wagon. 90 % of my driving is city - stop and go - and my front "run-flat" tires are wearing at the edges. BMW said that they do not rotate run flats, so I am looking for new tires. II have already noticed a change in braking distance and don't trust these anymore. I am sticking with all season tires to avoid fall/spring changes. I have had no problem driving in the snow.

    Does anyone have suggestions for tire type? Should I just get more run flats? I Also, I am assuming I have to have BMW change them even though it will cost more up front. Is this correct? With any tire-related work, a sensor goes off and it ends up in the shop anyway. Currently it is going in for the window trap function (3rd time for this). This happened right after the annual inspection even though it had nothing to do with windows. I was expecting a sensor to go off after the inspection and it did. I think next year I will have BMW do the inspection.

    Thanks for any ideas on the tires...
  • ron2hoffron2hoff Posts: 2
    BWM refuses to acknowledge that their rims are defective and crack as a result of normal driving, especially their 18 inch rims when coupled with run-flat tires. We have a 2006 530i with standard 18-inch alloy rims and run-flat tires that came on the car. The car is driven 90% on Los Angeles freeways, and the other 10% on well-paved local roads. The car has never taken off road or driven on a particularly bumpy/potholed roads. Nor do we take speed bumps at 40 mph, run over curbs, or not slow for a pothole . . . events that might possibly crack a rim or break a tire. I tell you all this because BMW’s excuse for not replacing 2 cracked rims was that the cracks must have been caused by the driver impacting some object, like a pothole, rather then a result of a defect in the design of the rim. In the past several years we have owned 3 BMWs . . . but this will be our last.

    After reading all of the threads on many websites about BMW’s problems with these rims and run-flat tires, it became quite clear what the problem is. The rims were designed too weak to take the impact of normal on-road driving. The problem is exacerbated by the run-flat tires, which are very hard and have strong sidewalls resulting in too much of the normal road force from small bumps being transmitted to the rim rather then absorbing some of the shock in the tire. Confirming the hundreds of comments on reliable Internet sites about the faulty rims and too hard run-flat tires is the reviews of Bridgestone Potenza RE050A Run Flat tires on cites from every supplier of these tires. In general, the comments conclude that the combination of weak 18-inch rims and 245/R40/18 Bridgestone Potenza RE050A Run Flat tires (original equipment) was a very bad mistake by BMW. One comment, similar to most, says: “These tires are terrible! Harsh ride, noisy and prone to impact bubble in the side walls from hitting small potholes. . . I am going to switch to non run flats . . . What was BMW thinking when [they] picked these tires?” [ =%2Ftires%2Fbridgestone%2Fsize%2FviewProductResults&pc=25428&ar=40&rd=18&cs=245]-

    We asked the Service Manager at Santa Monica BMW to replace the rims under warranty. Not only was he rude, but he was uninterested in any discussion about comments on many websites about the defective rims. It seemed apparent to me that he had been through this problem all too often before and did not want to deal with it again.

    I then called BMW NA Customer Service. They were very nice, but totally useless. After four phone calls and escalation to a customer service supervisor, I began to understand the way it works. Customer Service has no authority whatsoever, all they could do was call the Service Manager at the dealership and get the same answer you had already had gotten. They seem to be in business of playing “good guy” to take the heat off of the Service Manager by providing the same answer as if it came from an independent, higher authority at BMW, which it does not.

    Not willing to accept the result, I contacted the Director of Parts and Service at Santa Monica BMW, and told him of our displeasure with how his Service Manager had handled the problem, and asked him to involve BMW NA regional “team” to evaluate the problem and try to get some help. To his credit, he seemed very professional and appeared to want to help. He clearly understood the problem . . . you should be able to drive a BMW on normal streets and not have the rims break. Next day, he got a response from BMW regional team . . . “they would not participate” . . . meaning they would not cover it under the warranty or assist the dealer in any way.

    My next step is to contact the General Manager of BMW Santa Monica and alert him to the problem. We certainly won’t be buying any more cars at Santa Monica BMW so he loses a loyal customer because the service folks won’t handle this problem. No response from the GM of Santa Monica BMW after two calls.

    Next step is a letter to the CEO of BMW North America, and a compliant with U.S. DOT about the situation with these failing rim/tire combination. Perhaps DOT will investigate.
  • OMG i am in the same exact situation. I tried all venues like you. I have replaced about 8 tires and 4 rims. I don't know what to do at this point. I was going to try regular tires. Did you have any luck???
  • I have gone through the same sernerio as you. I have purchased 3 rims $450 each including installation. Each time due to the crack rims it has destroyed my tires. It does not matter if it is run flat or if you change the tires to regular tires. It is obvious that there is a defect in the mechanics in the wheel, rim or tires. I did research on how tire rims get cracked with the tire association of america. The information I received confirms a defect must exsist in the way the vehicle was engineered in respect to the tires, rims, run flats or whatever.

    I must admit I have spent at least $2,500 just in tire and rim repair within the past 3 years. I can no longer afford the high cost of repairing rims and tires. I contacted BMW corp office and just as you said, they are nice but ultimately support the car dealer. They do not care about the consumer.

    This whole deal with cracked rims and 18' tires smells like a class action law suite to me. BMW need to own up to the defective rim/tire/mechanics of the wheel problem before someone really get's hurt.

    Normally, I do not get involved in b logs but this needs to stop! something has to be done!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    When you bought your car with the 18" wheels did you not read BMWs disclaimer that low profile tires can (and very often will) lead to tire and wheel failure? The fact is, if you go to a low enough profile on the tires, pretty much any vehicle will suffer tire and wheel damage unless literally 100% of the driving is on glass smooth roads.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,637
    Looks like bmw18_rimsucks was another "One post and on to the next forum" serial complainer...

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • fbachnerfbachner Posts: 1
    I am a conservative driver who needs A/S tires for Boston driving. Am considering Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S tires. Any comments or suggestions.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Excellent tire for your purposes. I live just north of you in New Hampshire and am currently rocking the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S tires on my car; they currently have about 41,000 miles on them and will easily last until the snow flies late this year. :)
  • ravkravk Posts: 1
    I own 2008 BMW-535i with sport package (with low profile tires). It now has low 40,000 miles and less than 4 years (under factory warranty). Back in January 2011, one tire on the rear passenger side has started loosing pressure and I took my car to deal service asking them to check. Dealer service adviser told me to replace tires. Since these are low profile tire and BMW dealer charges approx. $150 more for same tire (including installation charges) than Costco does, I got two tires replaced by Costco tire department. Even after replacing tire, that wheel was not retaining pressure. I took my car three times to the same Costco store to get that tire fixed. Fourth time, tire technician at Costco store told me that there is a crack in the alloy wheel and hence he asked me to replace wheel before they do anything. I took this car and cracked wheel to BMW dealer’s service center. Since it is still under warranty (4 years, 50,000 mile all inclusive warranty), I thought dealer would cover the cost. BMW service adviser told me that the wheel crack was due to outside influence and crack was on the outer side of wheel and hence he explained that with all probability, it would be caused by driving on pothole and hence he said BMW would not cover parts and labor for this work. I called BMW NA. customer service and asked them if they would cover this wheel replacement under factory warranty. BMW NA customer support person told me that if BMW dealer service advisor concludes the cause as defective part/design they would cover. If not, they would not. Customer service representative asked me to get second opinion if I am not satisfied with first one. Estimating cost of my time and effort, I decided to absorb that cost and asked same dealer service advisor to replace the wheel at my expense to get it over with.

    Exactly after 6 weeks, my other tire started loosing pressure. I took this car to same Costco store where I replaced tires and have them do the tire service. Their technician told me that there is crack on the wheel and due to this, tire was damaged beyond repair and hence Costco store manager told me that Coscto would not cover tire although it is only 6 weeks old and only few hundred miles on it. I took this car and wheel in the trunk to the same BMW dealer service center and met same service adviser. I got same response from the service adviser. I explained him that from my engineering background, I cannot accept that it is due to outside influence. I also pointed the fact that the visible crack was on the inner side of the wheel. After service adviser’s refusal to cover, I called BMW NA customer service and have them record my complaint. Having called them earlier, I did not expect any meaningful answer. Now I have complaint recorded with BMW NA. I want to find out if any class action law suite currently being litigated or in the past. If yes, I want to be part of the class action lawsuit plaintiff.

    It is hard for me to accept that two alloy wheels crack in 6 weeks time due to outside influence. I think alloy wheel is too soft or has defective material. My car has less than 50,000 miles and is less than 4 years old. Based on BMW promise, BMW supposed to cover maintenance and warranty for first 4 years or 50,000 miles (whichever comes first). In reality they do not. I hope someone put the end to this deceitful marketing.
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    My guess is that there are ways to determine if the crack is the result of fatigue or an impact. The testing may cost more than it's worth. But, on low profile tires, doing something as inoccuous as hitting a speed bump too fast could crack both wheels. This gets to be a bigger deal the lower the profile of the tire.

    It's also possible that the methods of the tire changer could crack a wheel, but most of the modern machines are pretty good at protecting them. The simple expedient of overinflating the tire to help seat the bead can be problematic as well. It usually damages the tire but could damage a wheel under extreme situations.
  • I am in exactly the same boat with a cracked wheel that started as a slow leak; changed from RFT to non-RFT and BMW just told me I have a cracked rim (same old story, "you must have hit a pothole..."). They said the other rim is bent but not leaking and I should replace both (18" on 530i).

    I was disgusted to learn this rim problem is not uncommon, and that BMW is not backing their product... ARG.
  • techman9techman9 Posts: 18
    I have a 2011 535i. I have had 6 bent rims since November and had to replace 3 tires. BMW won't step up to the plate to fix this problem.I have never had a bent rim in over 40 years of driving. I'm bringing it to the feds to see what they will do or just dump the car it rides like a tank.
  • techman9techman9 Posts: 18
    OK now its 8 bent rims and 2 more tires. I called BMW again BMW still doesn't want to recognize the problem.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Not to absolve BMW of not offering higher profile wheel/tire combinations, but their web site and sales literature does alert folks to potential tire and wheel damage when running with low profile tires.

    Personally I believe the problem "demand" in that folks have become so conditioned to "believe" the larger the wheel in relation to the overall diameter of the tire looks "better" and is a good thing for handling (it isn't beyond wheel sized of 16"-17"). Many manufacturers have been caught in this trap as they've found that if they offer a car with say 17" wheels and 18" wheels, the car with the smaller wheels rarely (if ever) sells.
  • I don't disagree about 17" being adequate, however, the main issue here is that wheels being sold by BMW are failing, sometimes at an extraordinary rate such as experienced by techman9.

    BMW gave me a similar response; sorry, wheels are not covered. I did finally take the car to a local shop here in northern CA (Wheel Technologies) and they repaired the wheel; they showed me the three cracks present in my wheel. They also told me they see this problem at least ONCE a day for later model BMW and Mercedes cars.

    This does seem to confirm (at least to me) that BMW really does have a problem with their alloy wheels; they simply aren't strong enough to hold up to normal streets, at least here in CA. I decided to wait until I need new tires to have my other bent wheel repaired at this shop.

    I have NEVER had a broken wheel in my life before this car (30+years of driving), and it is unfortunate that BMW doesn't seem interested in dealing with the issue. I'll certainly keep this in mind for my next car (at least if I go with another BMW I'd make sure to get the wheel insurance)!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Before I finally wised up and started buying "downsized" wheels I managed to bend wheels on Mazdas, Audis, VWs, and even a Chrysler. By the time I bought my BMWs I was "smarter" and made sure the wheel/tire combo I was ordering for my cars (yes, I factory ordered both BMWs) was sufficiently tall for my driving environment. That said, I really wanted the Sport Package for my 530i, a package that came with a wheel/tire combo that was at the very narrow end of my acceptable range; I simply ordered a "minus one" set of wheels and tires and used them for November through April duty.
  • tfetfe Posts: 1
    Experiencing flats on my 2011 550. Less then 10,000 mile on my tires. I've had 3 flats so far and always have to wait days before BMW can find an available tire because there is a huge problem getting the tire. I am sitting with out a car now, that makes 1 week because they still haven't found a tire.
    Please very one with this tire problem call and write to BMW nationally and locally so they will fess up to this mess.
    I do not feel safe taking my car farther then 50 miles away from a BMW dealer because that is as far as a run flat will go and I don't want to get stuck in Tim Buck 2 while I wait another week plus for a replacement tire to be found.
    I haven't experienced a bent wheel.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Which wheel size do you have on your 550i; 18" or 19"?

    FWIW, the wheels for your 550i can be "downsized" to either 17" or 18" which will imbue the tires with an extra inch or half inch (depending on what you have versus what you might opt for as a replacement set) in sidewall height. The taller the sidewall, the lesser the chance of tire and/or wheel damage when abrupt surface imperfections are encountered.

    For my part, there's absolutely no way I'd own a 5-Series with 19" wheels; they're almost guaranteed to suffer tire and wheel issues unless you drive on glass smooth roads all of the time.
  • tfe, are your unfortunate flat tire events related to a cracked wheel, or are you just having problems with your tires? I wasn't clear from your post. My tires never went flat as the pressure sensor would light on the dash (saying I had a flat tire) but in reality really it was low pressure (around 20 psi) due to the slow leak caused by the cracked rims. Since I have had my 1st cracked wheel repaired (knock on wood) I haven't had any more events, but my repair was only done 3 weeks ago...
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