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Flat Tire and No Spare - 2014 BMW i3 Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited May 2015 in BMW
imageFlat Tire and No Spare - 2014 BMW i3 Long-Term Road Test

Many cars utilize tire sealant and inflator kits in lieu of a temporary spare, and the weight- and eco-conscious 2014 BMW i3 is one of them. We finally put it to the test.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • miata52miata52 Posts: 114
    So if you use the sealant you can't plug the tire? Seems like a waste.
  • sharp_caisharp_cai Posts: 11
    it's not bad at all for the money you spent on the RFT. If my F30 gets one, then I will be spending $500 plus.
  • kirkhilles_kirkhilles_ Posts: 151
    I was thinking that the sealant was a great idea... until I read that $50 price tag. Yikes! Makes Fix a flat quite the bargain at $5 or so. $200+ isn't cheap for a single tire replacement either, especially given the fact that you only have 4,200 miles on the vehicle. Since you just replaced the one, you'll be replacing it again when the other 3 are needing replacements, so in my mind that $250 is just money flushed down the toilet.

    Could the tire not be repaired? Its not near the sidewall, so I thought this would be a perfect type to be repaired. I'd be pretty annoyed if this happened to me on my 4 month old vehicle.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Sealants make a mess but don't prevent repair of the tire from what I've read. The shop may charge extra to clean the coating out. The other wrinkle with sealants is that they can gum up the TPMS.
  • goaterguygoaterguy Posts: 64
    As stated "The owner's manual calls for the tire to be replaced as soon as possible," Edmunds simply followed manufacturer recommendations, I'm sure they knew the tire could be repaired. It's not unlikely that that tire will find its way back to the market as a slightly used one. Check Craigslist.
  • s197gts197gt Posts: 486
    also, if you drive too far on a flat tire it should not be repaired. may or may not be the case here. i know my wife drove with a flat to the exit and vehicle was towed in. we had a road hazard warranty. i expected a repair but when they took it off they said i got a new tire because it was too damaged.
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    So you had the situation I speculated upon...and the answer is that in the second-largest city in America, it took one day to get another tire. Not too shabby. Wonder what it would have taken in Peoria.

    And my concerns about no choice, no deals are still valid. There is another factor at work here, too - last year, I had to buy tires for my then-3-year-old car, and I was able to get better-performing tires that were not on the market when I bought the car. I doubt anyone is going to introduce an improved model of this tire 3 years from now, so in addition to no other choices, I don't believe the OEM tire is going to improve any.
  • never been stuck on the road with a flat tire in 37 years of driving

    probably tomorrow
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Stuck, or just had a flat you had to change?

    I get about two a year.... :'(
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,126
    miata52 said:

    So if you use the sealant you can't plug the tire? Seems like a waste.

    Plugging a tire isn't an approved repair. Tires should be removed from the wheel so it can be inspected and then if OK repaired with a patch and plug assembly.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,126
    stever said:

    Sealants make a mess but don't prevent repair of the tire from what I've read. The shop may charge extra to clean the coating out. The other wrinkle with sealants is that they can gum up the TPMS.

    This actually needs to be investigated. Most manufacturers also require that the TPMS sensor be replaced if the sealant has been used.

  • zimtheinvaderzimtheinvader Posts: 580
    " The driver's side tire was reading 20 psi. A few seconds later, it dropped to 16. Time to get off the freeway. Now."

    On the plus side by having actual pressures rather than a "hey, there may be a tire that is low" warning that so many cars now have you knew to react quickly to the issue.
  • tatermctatumstatermctatums Posts: 107
    Long live the full size spare!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited January 2016
    I'd settle for a space saver (and have) and I've also swapped out a space saver for a full size before. Getting one to fit in the trunk/hatch is the issue these days.

    The sensors are great and have saved me from having to put the spare on two, maybe three times. Got enough notice that I was able to get to a shop. And that's without the nicer sensors that provide an actual psi readout.
  • mlin32mlin32 Posts: 35
    I think it's perfectly reasonable to just have a can of sealant and compressor thesedays, especially on this i3 which probably spends most its life in urban areas. Heck, I ditched the spare tire in my own car.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Good point - I drive a lot of rural backroads and gravel and wind up in the boonies far from tire shops (and cell coverage) now and then.
  • gslippygslippy Posts: 514
    This is why I purchased a space-saver spare for my Optima Hybrid. If this had been a sidewall slice, you'd be waiting for a tow, and would still have to replace the tire.
  • sillytpassillytpas Posts: 1
    edited February 2017
    These tires have very thin sidewalls, if you drive very far at all on rim it’s $trash. I went straight to a very reputable tire dealer who wouldn't touch it having been slimed .. It got me home and held air all night. Blew out the new day. Mobility system did get me out of a jamb though! Glade to have purchased extender wheel & tire protection.
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