Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

BMW 3-Series Run Flat Tires



  • I agree with you.....RFT are not lucky charms useful to fend off bad luck, because your case is definitely off the chart in terms of bad luck. Perhaps, I should have started at RFT 101.....the technology is a safety one aimed at avoiding tire blow-ups. It may marginally improve certain handling characteristics since the walls of the tire itself are thick enough to support the weight of the vehicle and the extra rigidity may help under given conditions. At reduced speed (I believe they are rated up to 50 MPH when deflated/punctured etc) it also allows the vehicle to be operable for a decent mileage (yes I agree no east- to west- coast trip type of mileage). Nuisances abound as well and there is plenty of point raised in that regard in previous posts.
  • I agree, 5 y and that kind of money are not justified IMO.
  • At least my 328 kept its value, best way to remedy the problem is to get rid of it. Sold it for almost what I paid two years ago.
  • the technology has nothing to do with safety. an act was passed to make cars as light as possible combined with the ridiculously high cafe standards and perrelli and goodyear (i think) developed this tire saving weight on a spare. bmw wont let it go and are into it big time. they also have now put a 4 cyl in a 5 series and new 3 series will be 4 cyl. ideology over performance. ask any dealership (at least on the east coast) and they will tell they have stacks of complaints. supposedly only a problem here. but 101 is having a spare. period.
  • from wikipedia:

    "A run-flat tire is a pneumatic vehicle tire that is designed to resist the effects of deflation when punctured, and to enable the vehicle to continue to be driven at reduced speeds (up to 90 km/h or 55 mph), and for limited distances of up to 100 miles (160 km), or even 200 miles (320 km) depending on the type of tire."

    Now if you are in a situation where having the last word is a must have...fine.... I will certainly not reply to random text that has no substance. And let me be clear is perfectly fine to use posts to vent some frustration...what I am arguing is your 'reinterpretations of facts that are obvious enough be even in a simple wikipedia description... Incidentally in the same wikipedia description the possible performance gains are briefly discussed.
    Take care and wish you only good things...
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I'm with Steve on this one.

    US FE standards and legal acts have little effect on non USA sold cars, yet the Germans get the same run flats and no-spare option that we are served up.

    Must not be too big of an issue to BMW... Their sales continue to set records each year.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Must not be too big of an issue to BMW... Their sales continue to set records each year

    No question about that. Selling a lot to soccer moms and trophy wives who want to look good behind the wheel ;) . Those are the ones for whom the argument about "not having to worry about changing a flat on a dark country road" is targeted.

    A lot different than the driving enthusiast's market of 20 or 30 years ago.
  • bmw definitely could care less. its their green mantra. what about the blowout on the dark country road and there is no spare? i would rather have the spare. what about when the tire light goes on when you have a 5 hour drive? and believe me the tire light goes on all the time. i guess one must forget about plans and get to a tire store that has run flats (and make sure you drive 50 mph and find a store within a 100 miles). trophy wives? how about because they are a great deal and maintenence is included. trophy wives? really?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    Exactly ----"fear marketing". Works well, too.

    I'm waiting for an automaker to have a commercial for AWD with a zombie wielding a dagger behind the car as a hapless person tries to spin out of a ditch during a rainstorm.

    Volvo, Saab and Subaru have all sold a lot of cars in the past using this "danger" approach.

    Not that we don't all want "safe" cars, but of course in reality, no car is "safe"--some are just less dangerous than others.

    If RFT didn't suffer damage so easily I might feel differently but they seem vulnerable, just like regular tires, only in different ways.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    MB has also ad ads recently using the "danger" approach, with allegedly real drivers telling stories like " I didn't even the car stopped ahead, but luckily my Mercedes did....".
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    Rememeber that Saab ad---"it gave its life for you"?

    Also, the guy who visits the junkyard and views his wrecked Subaru--it was just like he was going to visit his father's grave--lol!

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • kja2kja2 Posts: 1
    edited February 2012
    I replaced the stock Conti RFTs (run-flats) with Hancook GFTs (regular go-flats), and it was the best decision I ever made on this car. I just put my second set of GFTs on with no regrets in over 4 years of using normal tires. GFTs last 2x as long, are more comfortable, quieter, wear evenly, handle better and cost about half as much. As for potential flats, I carry 2 cans of Fix-a-Flat in the trunk, and a AAA card, but I've never had to use either. The tire shop I use started recommending this solution to their customers (even though they make 1/2 as much money selling regular tires) as customer satisfaction is much higher and they don't get upset customers returning to complain about the noisy tires, poor ride, and premature wear. As to the safety argument in defense of RFTs, this is just silly; what are you to do with a blow out, or hitting an object that destroys the tire? RFTs are not immune to these hazards and only work when a small nail or other minimal object pierces the tire, which can be simply fixed with a can of Fix-a-Flat to get to a tire shop. As to weight savings with no spare, RFTs weigh 5-8 lbs more per tire than a normal GFT (20-32 lbs total), so about the same as a spare and jack. The decision to use these horrible tires must be for space savings in the trunk by the vehicle manufacturer and a push by tire companies as they make so much more money on replacing RFTs (half the life, 2x the margin).
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Another in what seems to be a million mile long stream of opinions on RFT's .vs. GFTs.

    If you like what RFT's bring to the table, and don't mind the negatives, then run RFT's.

    On the other hand, if you don't like RFT's and prefer GFT's, the run GFT's.

    They both have their advantages.... and their disadvantages.

    I just wish BMW would allow for the carrying of a space-saver spare option, so we could finally move beyond this "tire" thing.

    What you have done seems to be working for you, and I'm happy for you. Others see a different value in running RFT's, and frankly, in their cases it also seems to be working for them.

    There is no "ONE" right answer, IMO...
  • boston303boston303 Posts: 35
    An "ACT" which might be called legislation, was passed to increase CAFE standards. Fuel economy. It did not say cars necessarily had to be lighter, smaller, wider, lower, nothing like that. ContinentaL and Bridgestone have been the major suppliers to date of run flat tires. Weight saved by losing a space saver spare tire is comical. The cons outweigh the pros on these tires to date. Damaging to the argument is the supposed internal email at BMW Finance stating that owners of leased Mini's returning the cars without the OEM run flats will no longer be penalized.. When does this fall through to BMW's? Always told the change was not possible or appropriate yet it's fine on a Mini? I think run flats at best should be an option for those wanting whatever they believe run flats provide (at a seriously increased price). Good luck to those drinking the coolaid. While BMW Finance distances itself from BMW, there is a message here.
  • boston303boston303 Posts: 35
    Who suggested these tires are part of a "green" strategy by BMW?? Seri0ously, let's send three times as many tire carcasses through the "Possibly" recycling system and even that is hard to consider as a "green" process.
  • boston303boston303 Posts: 35
    BMW has tried to pioneer and at some point if possible these German engineers should shift gears and offer a standard Go flat alternative. Mercedes sales are also way up without run flats.. Oh and don't look to that other small auto engineering company VW/Porsche/ run flats. BMW is a great company with good cars but these tires are simply flawed and the general consumer simply does not understand. Let's not forget Ford's issues with Firestone tires some years ago. It's not about how smart they were but how they reacted.
  • I have an 06' 330i with run flats and though they are expensive, I haven't had any unusual problems with them at all. I ran over a nail on rear tires which had maybe 1/3 life left on them, so I just replaced both of them. BMW tire warranty which I paid around $600 bought one of the tires and I bought the other. I happened again with the front tires maybe a year later, and again the warranty picked up one tire and I bought the other. I I had 25,000 miles on the rear and close to 30,000 on the front. All in all, I would say buy the warranty! I do think the next time I need to replace, I might try conventional tires with nitrogen. If the ride can be improved, then I'm all over that! ;)
  • boston303boston303 Posts: 35
    edited April 2012
    Given the expense of the tires and the short mileage life, yes 25,000 is short life, the poor performance of the tires let's consider that these tires cost about 4X more than go flats. When was the last time someone had a flat? Last respondent actually had one with a run flat... Go figure. They ride uncomfortably, are noisy especially within 15-20K miles, yet the most impressive admission as to their quality and acceptance comes from BMW Financial which will now accept Mini's off lease with NO PENALTY if they no longer have run flats on the car... That says a lot and I am waiting for BMW to admit go flats can be installed on BMW's just as easily as they can on Mini's. Glad for insurance options that some may have opted for but still the tires are aweful. That someone thinks 25K miles is acceptable for a $400 plus tire (that is the high cost inflated for short mileage) simply shows how little one knows about tire performance and value. If I am paying that much I want serious G's capability.. That would be Ultimate... These tires may yet reach a point where they work but they are not anywhere close at this point. BMW should offer an option of choosing run flats or go flats at purchase.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited April 2012
    I don't know of any instance where BMW has told customers that GFT tires can't be installed on their vehicles...especially since M series cars come with GFT tires and a repair kit, but no spare.

    While I share your opinion that BMW should offer the option of GFT .vs. RFT at the time of purchase, along with the trunk space for a space-saver spare, I also recognize the potential positives the RFT tires provide in certain circumstances.

    A $400 tire on a $15,000 car is expensive.... Not so much on a $50,000 car. Both cars will get you to your destination, but some elect to pay the extra amount for the nicer car.

    For some, the negatives are outweighed by the capabilities RFTs provide... lower mileage, harsher ride, higher price.

    Others don't see any advantage to RFT's at all, even though they do allow your wife or young daughter to continue driving to a safe spot in a bad area late at night with a flat. Of course, that isn't applicable to everyone.

    That's why I would like to see tire type choice as an option.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 4,562
    edited May 2012
    Your post is very inaccurate.
    1. The price is not $400, it is close to $250-$300 (at least for those I have - 225/45/17 and 255/40/17 from 328i w/ sports package. Now, more extreme low profiles (18" wheels, wider/larger sizes) likely will cost more.
    2. But so would same brand and model GFT. It is unfair to say that RFTs cost so much and compare that price to lower brand/model of GFTs - it is not apple to apple.
    3. 25K tread life is not function of RFT, it is function of ultra high performance summer. GFTs of that type last exactly the same. Just ask new owners of C-class or IS with similar sports packages - they get new tires at 20K as well. Nothing to do with run flat.
    4. I have owned a new 328i with RFTs (ContiSport 2 SSR) for six months not. I don't find them harsh, noisy, or any of those adjectives people throw in their descriptions. I fully expect them not to last for very long - that is their nature and if I got similar GFTs, they would not either.

    I'm under impression that many people simply decided to hate those RFT regardless of actual facts on the ground. They read those are evil incarnate, so nothing good can come from them. It is possible that those first RFTs were worse and indeed were harsher and noisier, but they are evolving. My only real complaint is lack of availability of all-season tires of that size (just one model from Bridgestone) and not enough brands/models overall and inability to repair them if losing all air. I believe if you have a slow leak and not let the air out, the tire can be repaired if the puncture is on tread wall.

    I also think the technology will evolve and improve, probably fairly soon.

    2018 430i Gran Coupe

  • boston303boston303 Posts: 35
    I don't totally disagree run flats may at some time be viable. BMW should offer an option. For the money and the mileage life of the tires, I would suggest getting vastly better performance from GFT in terms of handling albeit I might not get much more mileage. However, I could get GFT's that substatially have longer life at lower cost. Now if I am driving an automatic transmission I shouldn't even be in this conversation as I would not know about handling on a bet. I would suggest you are quite wrong. Needless to say Mini owners have figured this out and BMW Finance agrees with them.

    I love this "For some, the negatives are outweighed by the capabilities RFTs provide... lower mileage, harsher ride, higher price. "

    Did I just lean into a left hook??

    Case seems well made.
  • boston303boston303 Posts: 35
    3. 25K tread life is not function of RFT, it is function of ultra high performance summer. GFTs of that type last exactly the same. Just ask new owners of C-class or IS with similar sports packages - they get new tires at 20K as well. Nothing to do with run flat

    Simply not true. These tires are hardly performance tires. I have been on the track and am a National SCCA champ. If I want grip I know where to go on My BMW and my Honda S2000 these tires fail in many ways. Tell me another German manufacturer who uses these tires? BMW VERY specifically says you cannot replace the tires with GFT's Sorry you may be misinformed.
  • boston303boston303 Posts: 35
    Daughter and Wife is a good sound bight. These are hardly high performance "summer" tires. They are billed as "Mud and snows" I expect more mileage from utilitarian tires which at best is what these can be called. When did you last have a flat?Last time I did I replaced the tire before AAA showed up which was very quick!

    Great discussion and I may get opinionated but hope not to be obnoxious!! Best
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 856

    I'm afraid you are going to be attacked for this post. Some people just simply don't want to hear reasonable expanations. Everything you posted is correct, but it flies against the wind called "RFT are evil".

    Good luck.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,754
    When did you last have a flat?Last time I did I replaced the tire before AAA showed up which was very quick!

    It happened to me, just last Friday... I was down for about 20 minutes, and still made it to work on time (another 17 miles away).

    Of course, I have a spare... If I had runflats, instead of being at work, I would be on my way to a tire store (that likely wouldn't have my replacement in stock).

    To be fair, that's my first flat tire of this millenium, but I'm glad I have a spare (an option that BMW doesn't provide, along with the runflats).

    I don't think they are "evil", just the answer to a question that was never asked... ;)


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • bbrammer1bbrammer1 Posts: 5
    Best solution I had for my RFT's is to get rid of the BMW. Best move I ever made. I did get 90% of what I paid for the car because I purchased it as a used CPO. It was a fun car, however, it was a joke when it came to the cost of tires, oil changes, alignment... Waste of money for what you get, after all, it's just a car, and a 3-series at that.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,935
    edited May 2012
    .. now on my runflats.
    [ 2011 BMW 335iS ]
    If there had been an option of same size
    [ 18" ] gfts AND A SPARE, I would almost certainly
    have chosen that option.
    As it is, the rfts appear to have improved
    and the BMW suspension appears better
    tuned to the rfts - based on test drives
    of previous BMW 3s over the years.
    For me, the ride and the handling are fine,
    for my driving - never going to track the car.
    - Ray
    Satisfied ..... One data point.
    2016 BMW 340i
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 4,562
    You ask, what other German brand puts RFTs. Of course none. I ask how long factory tires last on C350 or A4 with sports package? Answer - just about the same as 328/335 with sports package. Go to their boards or tirerack posts and read all those teary complains why, oh why do I have to get new tires at 20K-30K.

    You simply did not understand what I just wrote. All I'm saying SAME MODEL SAME BRAND GFTs perform about the same in terms of both grip and tread life. Now, in tire universe you can surely find something lasting longer with similar grip, but that's not the point - the point is about same universe.

    This is my third car with summer UHP tires. I owned Bridgestones, BF Goodrich, Yokohamas, Dunlops, all of them were GFTs (current Contis are my first RFTs), some were summer, some were all-season. The summer tires lasted 20K+, all-seasons lasted 30K+, no more than 40K. And all of them were quite noisy, some less, some more. I consider that a price of UHP tire - soft rubber gives a grip, but it wears and howls. It is possible that some manufacturers do a better job with mitigating that or achieving a better compromise. It is also fair to hypothesise that stiff walls of RFTs make such compromise much more difficult. What's not fair, is to say "I owned X model of Y brand on Z car and it was better than this one, so all RFT are just evil".

    Track use is what I call "specialty", where everything is focused on one thing - making shorter lap time. RFTs are not built for that and the manufacturers do not make claims they are. I would not use RFTs on track, either - makes no sense. You add weight and use something that has altered properties vs. technology that is proven. RFTs are specifically built so Joe/Jane Shmo consumer (i.e. me) gets a bit larger storage in the back and can drive a bit more. It's a result of German obsession with limiting waste (spare tires are just that in their view) and result of statistical analysis of costs to owners of one option vs. the other (No, I know, it may not work for you or even me, but they look at those differently).

    I never said I love those things - I'd rather have the GFT with spare, but BMW chose for me. I'm not exactly happy about it and it would be one thing I'd change in my new car, if I had such choice. What I'm against is demonizing things and making assertions by unfair comparisons, or using outdated evidence. All I know, my current 328 RFTs are not particularly harsh or noisy (though some surfaces do seem to bring the noise more than others), offer quite decent grip on my non-track driving and will probably wear early, just as GFT Dunlops did on my previous car (and those were much noisier). They are not perfect, but they are not evil incarnate.

    2018 430i Gran Coupe

  • blueroadblueroad Posts: 10
    There is no conspiracy to cast RFT's as evil. Maybe they have improved. Maybe the suspension has been tweaked to reduce tread wear. The posts are anecdotal experiences and opinions.

    Our anecdote and opinion is that no one mentioned RFT's during the sales process. What was emphasized was an expectation of zero costs for 50k miles of driving. At 12k miles we had to strip the RFT's because of roaring road noise. The RFT's at the time seemed to be such a problematic, inferior product that we went to Michelin's and accepted the chances we might get stranded somewhere without a spare. What galled me was the marketing of a worry-free, free maintenance "ultimate driving experience" in the care of BMW that quickly became BMW blaming us for the problems with their product.

    It's a fun car. Mechanically well engineered. But as a total package, it was not well-engineered, and they laid the blame on the customer. BMW has lost us as repeat customers.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 4,562
    That I can agree on. The "no maintenance, no worry, free, free, free" thing is, well perhaps not baloney, but to be diplomatic, an excaggeration. While the program does cover a lot of normal maintenance, it somehow "forgets" about wheel alignment, which is routine if you want to prevent uneven tire wear (yet, deemed as road hazard, so it's customer's responsibility). This is even more important on staggered tires, used on sports package.

    While I agree, one should not have expect that to be done every month, an allowance would be a proper thing to do, if you want that to be really "free". 12K is premature, but again, I have 7K and so far nowhere near "roaring noise". Will wait and see.

    I do like to have a discussion - people reporting noise or premature wear is fine. Having negative opinion is fine, too. I'm not smitten by the concept, either.

    All I want is fairness and correct comparisons, which for me is comparison to similar products. For example, to say touring GFT tires are "better" than performance RFT tires because of noise or wear, is unfair. However, if one takes RFT performance and swaps for a GFT performance and then gets 50K miles and drop of 3 decibels in the cabin (noise level cut in half), hats off. So far, I see no evidence of such to be happening.

    2018 430i Gran Coupe

Sign In or Register to comment.