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BMW 3-Series Run Flat Tires



  • I cant stand the noise anymore!! I buckled and tomorrow I am getting a new set of run flats after 25K miles on my 330i sport. The guy at the tire place said he has seen many irrate BMW owners since the new 3 series came out. Its costing me about 1260.00 out the door installed. Oh well hopefully somewhere down the line they will be cheaper, but for now my sanity if worth more than the tires
  • owner6owner6 Posts: 89
    Slow Down,
    You should be able to get a new set of Contie's for 1/2 the price. Out the door for about $600.00 max @ 5 % State Tax. Thats Tire City price in Maryland. Make sure you tell them to be careful withe the Wheels.
  • Bottom line is that it is not BMW's fault. I am a realtor and had 3 different people in the car in the last 3 days and they were not car people. They all said "your brakes are poor". I am done explaining and just said "yes". I am getting my Blizzaks put on early and shipping the EL42 to Bridgestone "FREIGHT COLLECT" to their CEO's Front Desk. Not kidding either, as I will provide anyone the airway bill #. It's about time someone should stand up to their product.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,609
    Yes, be carefull with the rims. My advice is buy the tires and make BMW install for free because of the complaint.

    A Goodyear dealer wrecked my rim replacing an EL42 and the rim costs $350.

    Mounting/Balancing at BMW should be about 65$ per tire.
  • gerapaugerapau Posts: 211
    65$ per tire? Are you sure? That sounds like a lot.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,609
    It should be cheaper if you do all 4 tires at cost me $65 replace the el42 onto a new rim, balance and install on the car.
  • I had all 4 of my new Continental RFTs mounted at the same time, using a local installer recommended by the Tire Rack web site. The price per tire for mounting, balancing, and new valve stems is listed at $43.00 for 45 series RFTs. My total bill, which inlcuded an alignment, taxes, etc. was $327 (I took my old tires with me so there was no disposal fee).

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,609
    Bruce, where did you have the service done? Was it BMW?

    It looks like the alignment was ~$129 and tax $26 (8%)

  • adolf2adolf2 Posts: 9
    I was one of the first 2006 3 series owners to complain about the tires.
    After 10000, miles my dealer replaced the tires with the Continentals at no cost to me. I was told BMW will take care of it. My car is not a rental. I don't know if that makes a difference.TireRack list the price for Continentals
    RFT $103.00 per tire.So far I like those tires much better.
  • BMW replaced two EL42 tires at no charge,Due to bubbles on the sidewalls.They told me Bmw needs to replace the shocks because they can't handle the weight of the transfer case an extra 300lbs.This is a problem for the 330xi.Right now the tires are taking the beating for the shocks.I have to wait till jan 07.May be then I can start to enjoy this car.
  • cbp1cbp1 Posts: 11
    I have a 2006 330i with Bridgestone Potenza run flats. So far, no problems, but I only have 3000 miles on them. Can anyone tell me if they are supposed to be rotated and if so, at what mileage? Thanks for the help.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Can anyone tell me if they are supposed to be rotated and if so, at what mileage?"

    The quick answer is "No".

    That having been said, if you are driving an AWD model or a non-SP model, then I would if I were you. Why? The same reason as one would rotate tires on any other car that has the same size rubber at all four corners, extending the life of your tires and keeping tire noise to a minimum.

    As for what the duration should be, well, I used 7,500 miles on my 530i and it worked perfectly.

    Keep us posted on what you decide to do.

    Best Regards,
  • adolf2adolf2 Posts: 9
    Sorry I ment to say the car is not least.
    Just getting old.
    I did have to pay for the frontend alignment.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Sorry I ment to say the car is not least.

    I take it that your car is the most then. :P

    Best Regards,
  • waiwai Posts: 327
    If this is a FWD, can we rotate the second and third time after 15,000 miles interval to save time and cost assuming that the front tires will wear out two times faster than the rear tires?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Uhhh, which BMWs are FWD?

    As for rotational intervals, I think that the tire compound is more of a factor than whether a car is AWD, FWD or RWD. For my cars that run All-Season rubber, 15,000 miles is my rotation interval out of the gate. For my cars that have softer Summer/Performance rubber I rotate at ~7,500 miles, errr, sort of.

    Basically I put winter rubber on in the Fall and then in the Spring I remount the Summer rubber on the same side as where they came from except I switch them from front to back. In the fall I do the same with my winter tires when I remount them.

    Said another way, "Relax", tire rotation interval is very much a gray zone and a couple of thousand miles either way ain't gonna make much of a difference. That said, DON'T take that same attitude with your oil change intervals. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • OW,

    I had the work done at Craven Tire Company, Falls Church, VA (DC metro area). If you're familiar with the area, they are on Columbia Pike just north (?, going towards DC) of Baily's Crossroads.

    I need to check my receipt again, as I thought they told me the alignment would be about $200.

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,609

    I will rotate tires tomorrow as you specify. I see some slight cupping on outer tread shoulders in front at 11,600K. As you say, tires are 225/45 on front/back so it makes sense to me to do this.

    I will switch front to back, back to front on each side.

    Why does BMW spevify not to rotate the tires? Was this something new for 2006 or is this somthing to do with the offset sizes on some models? Did this occur in past models?

    BTW, I notice noise intermittent at slowdown but never at highway speed with these tires. They are wearing pretty even, however.

    Thanks for your advice.

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Why does BMW spevify not to rotate the tires?"

    My understanding is that there are two main reasons:
    1) Like you speculated below, cars with staggered tire sizes cannot have their tires rotated and as such this is a moot point for most non-AWD SP equipped cars.
    2) I've heard suggestions that BMW believes that tires "wear in" to their location on the car and that the cars' balance could be upset by rotating said tires. Personally I believe that this point is a bucket full of bilge water, but hey, I'm not a BMW engineer. :blush:

    "Was this something new for 2006 or is this somthing to do with the offset sizes on some models?"

    Something new for 2006? Nope, it's been around since I started researching the E46 back in 1998.

    "Did this occur in past models?"


    Best Regards,
  • Oops, I had incorrect information on what I paid to mount my tires. Craven charged me $30/tire for mounting and balancing, $3/tire for valve stems, and $209.95 for alignment. This, plus shop fees and taxes, brought the total paid to $370.27

    The mounting costs they charged me were less than what is listed on the web.

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,609

    That's half the price I paid for the one tire at BMW in Eatontown, NJ. Craven obviously has the correct machine for the mag rims.


  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,609
    Dear Shipo,

    I could not rotate my tires today because there is a center lug underneath the BMW logo cap that needs a special tool. The manual did not warn me but advises to buy special tools from BMW.

    Can I get this tool anywhere else?

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Ummm, no, I don't think so.

    Unless something drastic has changed, there is no central lug anywhere, just the five lug bolts. I suspect that your wheels are simply stuck. Assuming that's the case, all you need to do is to work them a little and off they'll come. Worst case scenario, turn around facing away from the wheel and pop the outer most edge of the sidewall of the tire with your heel, first one side and then the other. The wheel should then come right off.

    Best Regards,
  • pdhvpdhv Posts: 1
    go to your dealer and complain, they can replace them under warrenty if you have less than 20k miles. we are using conti run flats on the e90's now. they are cheaper and a better tire. they may make you buy an alighnment, but still cheaper than replacing out of pocket
  • About 3 weeks ago I replaced my RFTs on my e90 330i with basic Kumho performance tires. My RFTs are now in my garage rafters waiting to be slapped back on the car at lease end.

    Since that switch I've noticed:

    Ride is quieter
    Car handles uneven pavement and potholes without upsetting chassis
    Handling is sharper - taking corners at much higher speeds
    Road feedback is markedly improved
    Mileage has gone up
    Acceleration feels different (won't say faster, just different)
    Car overall feels more nimble, more point and shoot

    Essentially, ditching the RFTs I am reminded of my 03 330i ZHP but the e90 with non-RFTs handles even better.

    Anyone unhappy with RFTs, I strongly suggest you consider putting real tires on the car. The change is marked and all for the best...
  • cbanctcbanct Posts: 17
    Has anyone tried using Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires ?
    Michelin's website lists them as options for the 330i. They are not runflats though so that can be a problem.

  • Why would it be a problem? RFTs = garbage that compromise ride, handling and performance.

    Many folks on bimmer boards have switched to Pilot Sports. The e9x's suspension is FAR better with real tires.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hey Blue, I'm very much enjoying your experience with your new GetsFlat Tires (GFTs) as it can be used as vindication of sorts to some comments that I made here in the TownHall just prior to the release of the E90. In those comments I opined that the ride and handling of the E90 would be vastly improved by the reduction of unsprung tire weight via the simple process of putting real tires on the car instead of the heavy/sluggish RFTs.

    The funny thing is that I was immediately shot down each and every time I made such comments because many folks believed the BMW marketing rhetoric claiming that the suspension of the E90 had been "optimized for Run Flat Tires". Ummm, yeah, right. To my way of thinking, a suspension that can effectively cope with RFTs will improve immeasurably with the lighter and more responsive GFTs, I mean, unsprung weight is still unsprung weight no matter how you cut it.

    Best Regards,
  • So if you switch real tires, what are you doing about a spare? A can of fix-a-flat?
  • What happens with a Porsche or an M3 with a flat? They get out their tire repair kit (Tire Rack has the continental kit which is the same as the BMW one). Same here. I've got the continental kit in my trunk.

    How often do you get flats?
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