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



  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,140
    jf....before I bought my 330i, I test drove one with the Briedgestones and one with the Contis. Pretty significant difference between the ride quality between the two. Breidgestones were what I consider "harsh". Contis were, for lack of a better term "creamy" in their ride quality in comparison.

    While it was only test drives, I can't say I noticed any differenece handling-wise between the two.

    There is such a big difference between the Bridgestones and the Contis, I can't believe BMW considered the Bridgestones as one of their OEM tire choices.

    From what I can gather, at least in my general goegraphic locale, Bridgestones gave way to Contis pretty early in the inventory cycle this year.

    I have heard of some who recently bought a 3 series that are still shod with Bridgestones, though.
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • mpt1mpt1 Posts: 12
    I had a similar experiene with the 330xi (no sport package though) until I put regular tires on it. Read my posts 184, 192, 200, 262, and 268. Hope it helps.
  • Thanks very much. Very helpful. I am going to talk to my dealer and see about them helping financially with switching (either to the conti's or to the micheline's) to non rft's. Fingers crossed.
  • bruceomegabruceomega Posts: 250
    I'm new to this forum, but have been suffering with tire noise and harsh suspension on my 2006 330Xi for a while. I have the Bridgestone RFTs, and this forum has been very helpful in understanding the issue.

    The BMW dealer, a Bridgestone dealer, and the tire / wheel road hazard insurance I bought are all saying its not their responsibility. Seems there are only two options: change cars or change tires.

    If I change tires to the Continental OEM RFTs, I have a couple of questions that I'm wondering if anyone can help answer.

    If I buy from Tirerack, and have them mounted locally, can I get road hazard insurance?

    Will the tire / wheel road hazard insurance I bought from the dealer carry over to cover the replacement Continentals? If not, will I still have coverage for the wheels?

    As an aside, we also purchased a 2006 X3 at the same time we got the 330Xi. I was leery of ride issues with the X3 after reading comments about a stiff ride from and others, so I made sure we did not get the sports package. We did get the 18" wheel option, but its with the standard suspension. The X3 has the same Bridgestone EL42 tires on it, although they are a different size and are not RFTs. The ride of the X3 is great, it is firm but not harsh, and does not bottom out like my 330Xi, so that is even further evidence in my mind that the EL42 RFTs are a problem.

  • Finally they answer back.You will find there response at the bottom.What i wrote here was the last letter I just sent them.Thank you for you re support.Eric and again happy reading!

    Hi Miss Zinkhan/Mr Duffield
    President CEO BMW Canada

    I just cant believe that you dont care at BMW about customer complaining about tose tires and the handling.I was expecting a better judgement from your part.It seem that I'm wasting my time for more than a year by writing to you at customer service or calling my dealer.By the way I'm sorry if at the beginning I was a fool by trusting the advice (and didnt ask the guy name or asking him to put that in the system) from my BMW dealer over the phone saying that the kind of handling was due to RFT tires and they were new!Anyway....Funny cause 2 of my friends were looking to buy your bread and butter 3-series.Guess what? they were waiting on YOUR decision to make their mind on my case.Dont get me wrong I like the car and my buddy too!But do you think they want to put up with that run around?I dont think so and I dont blame them.You?By the way one will go for Passat and the other one for the G35.Just to let you know.You losing around $90000-$100000 just by not replacing my tires for those RFT CONTINENTAL $800 at it a good investment $800 for $90000-$100000 an a chance to have repeat customer?You make the call.Before letting you go I would like you to answer few of my concerning regarding Jim Deloughery.Did he told you that those 2 front tires were defective and he was ordering 2 new tires at no charge?How come you re just giving me one.Jim told you about damaging my rim in front when he install the new tires?Jim told you that he was to call me back tuesday or wednesday and I had to call HIM back on thursday?What are you going to do about that?Sorry but enough it's enough.You dont seem to believe that I had problem since the beginning cause you dont have it on file and dont tell me that you are not aware about those BRIDGESTONE RFT EL 42-BMW problem.If you want a few good web site on that let me know.By the way there a good chance that you will find me on those web pages.I would like to get the e-mail or office phone number of the Worldwide President CEO for BMW.It will be appreciate it.I think it's the least you can do.Like you re saying at the bottom of your letter"I value the choice of my car and are sorry that you were unable to meet my expectations.For that reason this is my LAST BMW"Thank you all for your time and support and by letting down your real bread and butter....the CUSTOMER! :lemon:

    Best regards


    Dear Mr. Fournier

    We acknowledge receiving your email dated August 23, 2006, regarding your concern with the Bridgestone runflat tires with which your vehicle is equipped. We appreciate the time taken to express your concerns.

    It was with genuine concern that we read of the unfortunate circumstances related to addressing the issues surrounding the damage to the tire and the resulting replacement process. As it is the common desire of BMW and its retailer network to maintain customer satisfaction, we have reviewed your letter and have taken the liberty of contacting Jim Deloughery, Service Manager at Elite BMW and our Regional Aftersales Manager to further discuss this concern.

    Mr. Deloughery informed us on June 19th the vehicle was diagnosed by Elite BMW as the tire pressure light was illuminated. The retailer’s findings were that a piece of steel in your right rear tire and that the tire would need to be replaced. At that time no decision was taken to replace the tire as this would not be covered under warranty. On August 11th, you contacted Elite BMW due to same tire now being completely flat. For safety reasons, BMW does not recommend repairing runflat tires as this repair may potentially compromise the structural integrity of the tire.

    As explained to you during our telephone conversation on August 23, tires are warranted by their specific manufacturer. Your authorized BMW Retailer can assist you in addressing your concern with the specific parties. Mr. Deloughery has advised us he did contact Bridgestone and due to the mileage on the vehicle they would not assist in the replacement of your tires. Mr. Deloughery also advised us there are no records of this concern being mentioned at 2000 kms.

    As a gesture of goodwill BMW has provided you with one tire at no cost to you. We trust that you understand that this is our final position in the matter. We value our BMW customers and are sorry that we were unable to meet your expectations.

    Thank you for contacting BMW Group Canada.


    Customer Service
    BMW Canada

    c.c. Elite BMW : Jim Deloughery, Service Manager
    Regional Aftersales Manager
  • Hello bmw owner or soon to become(please don’t do that).Here is the letter I have sent to BMW President regarding those BRIDGESTONE RFT EL 42.You wont believe it.Read it its worth it.

    August 23 2006
    Mrs. Leah Zinkhan/Mr Lindsay Duffield
    Executive assistant/President CEO BMW Canada

    As we spoke ealier today here is my story.Sorry for the writing I'm french.
    After reading and talking to a different garage(BMW) that i was not
    the only one having problem with those RFT bridgestone tires i decided to
    write my story.This is my second new BMW i owe a 2006 325I.I live in
    Canada and i only have about 25500km or 18000 miles on it.Problem start
    after 2000km.Tires where noisy and handling was different so i call
    different BMW dealer an look around for answer they told me at Elite BMW
    Ottawa,Canada that it was normal cause the tires are new and they are RFT
    so the handling is different.I said ok with time it should be better.Not
    exactly.It's worst.Sometimes i think i have problem with my directions at
    slow speed cause it vibrate.Over 20000km,to make the thing worst i ran
    over a scew.So itook my car to my BMW dealer.They inform me to my surprise
    that you can extract a srew from a RFT.So I have to replace the tire.Cost
    $400 including inst-bal and taxes.So I ask that everytime I have or hit
    something with that car I'm gonna have to replace that tire??? $400
    each???They told me yes.I said ok ill think about that.Imagine my car was
    not running great at first with 4 new tires.let say im changing that tire
    im gonna have 1 new and 3 used wright!Do you think the ride gonna be
    better???I dont think so.My other option its to change all 4 ($1600)even
    if 3 tires still good.What to do???I call BMW customer service line on
    August 10th speaking to Stephanie telling her about my problem and she
    refered me to Jim Deloughery at Elite BMW.He call me wright after saying to
    me that he's gonna have a look at my car on August 18th and work something
    for me.Im very disapointing in that car just because that RFT even if they
    change it I dont understand why BMW did the switch for those RFT anyway.
    On friday aug 11th i woke up an find that the tire that had an nail in it
    i had a flat RFT.Remember I was suppose to go back to my dealer on friday
    aug. 18 th?Call the service manager Jim, back on Monday aug 14th telling
    him about my problem that i couldnt wait till friday.So he had a look at
    it an just by passing his hand(honest to god) on my 4 RFT,said that
    something was wrong with the 2 front tires.He didnt even have to test
    drive the car!!!After complaining and talking a bit about my problem(by
    the way he was trying to deny it) with the handling and tires he told me
    that he's gonna try to get 2 brand new tires from Bridgestone for me.Again
    i was telling him about getting 2 new tires in front 1 with a nail at the
    back an another one but used at the back.Do you think that my car gonna
    run great with 2 new only?I dont think!So again saying to me that he'll
    see what they can do with that,an call me back later on Monday.I was on my
    way back home when my BMW dealer Elite,Ottawa,Canada call me back saying
    that i have to come back cause bridgestone wants the serial numbers for my
    tires and tread measurement.So i had to go back tuesday morning aug. 15 in
    order to give them the information.So i went back with that.I told me that
    he is trying to get me 4 new tires from Bridgestone.While I was waiting
    for my car i've look around on their lot to see if their 3-series was
    equipped with Conti or Bridgestone.It was about half.Anyway he is suppose
    to call me back this tuesday or wednesday.Even if they replace with 4 new
    should I have confidence with those Bridgestone tires???No.Remember my
    dealer Elite Bmw,Ottawa was supposed to change at least 2 tires and was
    trying for 4 tires.So i went back on friday August 18 th 2006 ,so they can
    change my tires.Arrive there at 8h00 am.The service manager Jim Deloughery
    told me that he didn get info since tuesday from Pierre the regional BMW
    service Manager....very customer oriented!!!So told me that he's gonna
    order 2 tires(EL 42)right away to install in front of my car saying that
    Brigdestone was back order so he cant get 4...I said ok.wait for about 2
    hours.Went back to get my car guess what?...He had just install 1
    tire!!!another bs from that manager Jim saying that he was enable to get
    the other tire on time ... I had to leave at 11h00 am cause I was heading
    to Buffalo,NY about 6 hr from my place!.I tolm him that I was not happy
    about that run around the entire week and ask him why that he had wait to
    order those tires in the day i was leaving!!!What he did its first he
    install the new tire in front and the one that was in front at the
    back.Again saying to me that he'll get back to me this week.Do you think
    that it was safe for me to drive 6 HRS with tires like
    that???Anyway....... Got back to me on tuesday August 22 telling me that
    BMW WONT DO ANYTHING FOR MY PROBLEM!So Im stuck with:1 feathered tire at
    the front,the other one at the front new,the one that was at the front now
    at the back(feathered) and the one I had at the back still there.WERE
    TALKING BMW HERE RIGHT?How can you promess something to somebody and lyied
    about it?IT WONT STOP THERE.I just call back customer service and I was
    talking to Richard Deschamps over there telling him the run around.He took
    some note and tolm me that he will get back to me no later than tommorow
    with a answer.I told him that I was done with Bridgestone and what I want
    to be done was to get 4 new CONTICONTACT tires like other customer did at
    NO CHARGE.So he call me back saying AGAIN that they can do anything cause
    I have to many KM....easy exit.But I'm complaining since the BEGINNING.He
    wanted me to contact Bridgestone with my problem I said what?.Who sold me
    that car BMW or Bridgestone???After all I just want my car to run like a
    brand new one.Remember I have been dealing with that problem since I had
    2000 KM.How can a company like BMW can threat their customer like that and
    think that the customer gonna back to BMW.I tought you were customer
    oriented.I'm a just tired of the run around.I'm in that business and I
    dont think that you cant afford to lose customer for $800 set of
    Continental rft tires(at tire had other cars before like
    Saturn,Vw,Mitsubishi and had problem before but at least they were happy
    to fix my problem and RUN AROUND!How come I had better service
    with those companies???I guess my BMW was not expensive enough or I didnt
    buy a 7- series?I thought you where the best in service..... Why do I
    have to go through that???Why are you giving me such a hard time.I just
    hope that I'm gonna be able to be satisfied(finally) with that car.I just
  • Here's one for you. At 4:30 p.m. one week ago, I leased a new '06 330i sport/prem/cold pkg. Has 18" Bridgestone summer RFTs.
    My first new car in a long while BMW after 3 '95 Audi S6's in various degrees of tune.
    Finance guy offers me wheel & tire insurance for $450. I'm a car guy but I'd never heard that Run Flats can't be patched. I asked to wait a day on that insurance while I research it, and drive the new car off the lot, to a meeting, then home. Get up early the next morning, pull out, and the low tire pressure warning comes on. Sure enough, a screw through the tread on the rear. Went back to the dealer who "let" me sign up for the insurance which covered the bill of $426 for one rear Pontenza! That is an outrageous price, but even worse is I must travel thinking about where might I buy a RFT if I ever get a flat. Hope it doesn't happen on a weekend or holiday.
    Also annoying is the tire insurance doesn't cover winter wheels and tires, even if they're BMW.
    Does anyone have experience with 18" all seasons on an '06 330i in the snow (P Zero Nero m+S?)? In light of the expense of the Run flats, I may buy a set of all seasons, wear them out, then turn the car in with the RFT's as required.
    Can we speak as a class action to BMW to get them to get us tires with a spare and jack?
  • I noted several postings here that the Continental RFTs are quieter and have a smoother ride than the Bridgestone RFTs.

    I just called Tirerack for their opinion. They commented that the Continentals would be quieter, but they doubted I would notice much if any difference in ride quality as both are RFTs with stiff sidewalls.

    I'm trying to decide if its worth spending the money to replace the Bridgestones, with have 7,500 miles on them, with Continentals to try and mitigate ride harshness and bottoming out. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  • FYI, my dealer tells me that Bridgestone has changed their rubber compound to address the issue. Not that helps you now, but, perhaps it gives you another angle on dealership replace or helping you switch out. Waiting on more info on comparing these 2 tires as well.
  • rflrfl Posts: 100
    Do not even think about it twice. The difference between the Continentals is like night and day. You will start to LOVE the car again.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,612
    I have a 330XI with SP. The sport package on the xi does NOT include sport suspension tuning as on the i.

    I had an EL42 flat and replaced with new also. I can tell you the RFT's will all be more rugged on ride quality. My experience is the same, harsh over any uneven bumps. The tires do last with zero pressure as I rode mine for 100 miles on empty.

    I do notice a striking handling difference over the '06 330i i drove for 1,000 niles earlier this year. The suspension might not be sport-tuned but deffinatly is tighter rhan the standard i non-sp.

    Even though BMW does not recommend patch, I will run with patch next flat because there is no way to keep tire wear even unless you by 4 new at the high cost.
  • Thanks. Good to hear. I have been hearing that in a few places now. Hopefully treadwear and puncture issues are better with the Contis as well.
  • Which Conti RFT model are you refering to since they have more than one model. I just saw the "Conti Procontacts" at Tire rack but with no reviews. I havd OEM on my 330i and they are NOISEY to say the least. No flats yet than goodness. I do have the insurance friom the dealership. Is it transferable to any nnewer tires. :confuse:
  • I am looking for best OEM all season RFTs for an 06 325xi (with 17's w/ sport pkg.) to start with/change to... Have heard nothing good about any Bridgestone OEM RFTs. Dealer has stated this has been remedied, but, have nothing in writing to confirm. Waiting on delivery and have been hearing zero good about RFTs. Am considering AAA Plus instead of BMW insurance. There has been some talk of being able to repair/plug the tires if no sidewall damage and short distance on flat. Sorry, don't know about BMW insurance transferability.
  • The Continentals I just ordered are the ContiProContact All-Season RFTs. I assume this is what others here were referring to as alternatives to the Bridgestone EL42s.

    I also noticed several choices in 225/45-17 RFTs listed by Tirerack, but only two were all-season.

  • rflrfl Posts: 100
    You got the right ones ! Wait 'til you get 'em on'll think you got a new car. (P.S..... seems that these are the same ones that BMW is now shipping as the OEM tires on the 3 series)
  • How long have you had the Conti Procontact RFT tires on your BMW. I have the Bridgestones on mine they are getting noisier day by day. There seems to be no reviews on this tire at It must fairly new to the market. I also noted that it has a tire wear indicator number of 400 Vs the 180 number on the Bridgestones which should indicate that they will last twice as long if used fairly conservatively. Maybe the rubber compound is not as soft. The speed type is the same as is the load capacity of heat resistance.

    I sure do wish Michelin had :mad: a model out in a RFT. None is listed at Tirerack. The Michelin web site has some info on it but doubt they are even in production yet.
  • I got the Continentals installed on Saturday, and they are most definitely an improvement! They are much quieter than the Bridgestones. They also provide a better, less harsh ride.

    I'm very glad I made the switch. I feel BMW made a big mistake using the Bridgestones.

  • Glad you like the Contis! Have you heard anyone say how they hold up? Frankly, I am seriously, considering NOT accepting delivery on my 06325xi and lose my deposit after hearing all this about BMW run flats!
  • I am 38 years old and have never purchased a new vehicle. I decided it was time to spend some of my hard earned money and enjoy what many people have experienced, their first new car. After exhaustively searching, I new the BMW 325i was the car I wanted. No B.S., no financing, just negotiate the deal and pay the ticket, until I read all the negative posts about Run Flat Tires. I work as an outdoor A.E. and cannot afford to have the down time or tire life that I have read about. To all who have posted, THANKS! You have saved one person from making what I feel would have been a big mistake. I still want the BMW, but I will wait and see over the next year how they decide to resolve the tire problem. If I am going to spend 37k in one stroke of the pen, I do not expect to have an issue with tires to the point that I actually have to get a special warranty because of flats, wear problems, and if that isn't enough a poor life expectancy (which means in my job a minimum of replacing every 6-8 months). It is truly a shame when a company like BMW has this type of problem on a car otherwise getting tremendous reviews.
  • Suggestion,
    No matter what new car you purchase (hopefully it will be a new BMW, 2007 they are great driving machines) , I suggest you purchase a used Toyota Corolla to drive during your work day. than drive the new car all other times. As far as the tires go, the new conties are fine. Dont give up your dream because of the tire posts, Life is too short. a little excitement goes a long way.
  • I guess I didn't mention I drive a Toyota Avalon (98 with 146k miles), thats my work car. I bought that used 7 years ago this November. What I did find out from one salesman today (I haven't confirmed with other BMW Dealer's) is California is no longer offering a warranty on the RFT's, so if you drive off the lot and get a flat or if the tire wears funny and you get that cupping which causes an unsmoothe ride, too bad it is estimated at $400 to replace at the dealershop. The salesman tried to say it was against the law to sell insurance. I suggested it was being stopped because the insurance company wasn't making a profit do to the high claims on the RFT. A Sales Manager in Las Vegas said they were getting a hi-volume of claims regarding the run flat tires and they were being told that they would most likely not be offering the insurance. He said it was because of flats from road hazards not the cupping problem.
  • I'm getting little scared of all the problems about the Bridgestone RFT's. As I was driving the car back from Steven Creek (San Jose) back to San Francisco, my mother stated that the tire noise was somewhat louder than my Infinit QX4.

    Are they that bad during wet (rain) weather? I would hate to hit the hills of San Fran with an inferior tires that have no attraction, especially during a light rain.

    And, what kind of action can I take to replace the tires? Such as assitance from the dealer.

  • lipplipp Posts: 58
    Don't even go near the BMW. It's the most over-rated car out there. I bought a 2006 325I with Bridgestone tires and they are a nightmare, but the bigger nightmare is BMWNA. They are the least customer oriented company in the car industry. They could care less about your problems and the dealers are no better. Keep going back to previous postings on this website and educate yourself fully before spending your hard earned money on a BMW. Look at the Lexus ES350 and the Infinity 2007 G or the 2007 M, before you jump to BMW. My 2006 BMW is the last BMW I will buy. Right now the Lexus is tops on my list for next purchase which is right around the corner. Remember, "BMW is the least customer oriented company in the auto industry".
  • I AGREE- bought a 2006 5xi and a 2006 325i
    Wrote, called and faxed NUMEROUS letters to BMW of North America. I have posted the same here before.

    They LIE and NOn-ATTENTIVE to customer complaints. Good-Bye BMw!
  • I have disagree with the last two posts. While I have grown uphappy with my Bridgestones and think they are a mistake I still love my 2006 330i. I have 14000 miles on it and really like it. Great car for sure. It is my 3rd BMW and is far superior to the last two except for the tires. No flats or any problems with the tires except for the road noise. My dealer here in Ft worth is fantastic and has been top rated for years. Never any dealings with the BMW National. I also highly recommend the Performance center delivery option. Good way to get acquainted with the car. Lots of fun on the test pad. Then take a drive just north of there along the Smoky Mountain High NP line drive. My performance vehicle saved my fanny tonight. I came around a bend in the road prepared for a tight merge with another freeway and there sits a numbskull at a complete stop just prior to the merge. A panic push on the brakes and a quick choice to swerve hard to the right to avoid the idiot successfully. Straight was a sure rear end collision. Left was into a guard rail and then still hit the stopped SUV. Not a scratch. This was on damp pavement in rain. The Bridgestones did well the car handled the swerve just fine thank you. Good reflexes on my part and good handling saved the day. :)
  • bdkinnhbdkinnh Posts: 292
    >Right now the Lexus is tops on my list

    If you want, I'll sell you my 2006 GS300. It's been back to the dealer around 10 times to fix problems, and Lexus has ignored all my complaints. The dealer has been responsive, but for every problem they fix two more crop up.
  • Can I ask which dealer and what kind of problems you have been facing with your GS300? I have a GS also in Dallas. Never heard of a Lexus (nor BMW) for one problem two popping up. I want to let my dealer know what kind of problem you're facing so that I can document and relate the issue with them if the same problem occurs. So, please tell us the dealer name and the warranty code/problem code number that Lexus fills out on your invoice sheet.

  • bdkinnhbdkinnh Posts: 292
    >Can I ask which dealer and what kind of problems you have been facing

    Dealer is Lexus of Manchester, in NH, but like I said: I've been pretty happy with the dealer. It's not their fault that Lexus built an unsatisfactory car.

    The problems I have been having are: dozens of rattles, creaks, pops, clicks, and squeaks; noises from the air conditioner; premature tire wear; and engine "chugging".

    >Never heard of a Lexus (nor BMW) for one problem two popping up.

    I'm not really sure what you're saying there.
  • Can you provide the warranty/problem code number that Lexus provides for your rattles; creaks; pops; click; squeaks; and noises from the air conditioner? I want to look it up and see how many incidence of such report at my dealership (Park Place Lexus). By the way, the Lexus dealer replaced (at 14,000 miles) all four tires on my old RX300 when one of the tire had a thread problem, the car kept pulling more to the right. I had to bring it to dealers attention 3 times, and they initially diagnosed it as torque steer but on the third try Lexus decided to replace all the tires.
Sign In or Register to comment.