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BMW 3-Series Run Flat Tires



  • ARRRRGGG!!! You didn't buy tires from BMW did you. eh. too bad. Just chuck em and go to tire rack.
    Listen to me who is riding on a set of Bridgestones on my 09 335xi or ix, whatever.
    But I have three take off rft's from my 06 that I got rid of. One of them is going to be riding buddy in the trunk. Just in case.
  • No, I'm tirerack all the way ... just amazed at the number of folks I've read on this forum who have bought from BMW!
  • dkg42dkg42 Posts: 11
    4 Weeks ago I ditched the piece of crap EL42's, this was my second set, plus 2 additional replacements due to nails. 39,000 miles and 10 EL42's later, I went with a GFT set of Michellin Pilot A/S tires.

    WOW..what a great ride.. Smooth, quiet and wonderful cornering
  • Identical to my experience! With the set of Michelin Pilot A/S the car now rides like the car I thought I was buying.

  • Hi-

    I've now followed the run flat discussion (for 2 days!) with interest. have a 6-speed 2006 330i with cold weather, premium, and sport packages bought 2 yrs ago. Came with Bridgestone Potenza run flat 225s in front and 255s in the back, all on 18" rims. I have not noticed the tramlining or road noise issues others have griped about. I bought the tire warranty w/the car, so after the initial deflation for that, punctures have stopped puncturing my wallet.

    The issue is "winter" driving (30 mi roundtrip-- mainly highway commute) and some kiddie transport when not in the family Subaru. DC has a couple of snows and ice storms a year--storms may be more of wifely origin for driving the kids on tires that ARE worthless in 2 in of snow. I was looking at getting 17" rims and then all season tires- But the service manager said that people w/this car (I shoulda gotten an Xi!) who swapped out for all season tires have not really found it improved handling on snow or ice.

    Any SPECIFIC advice on "winter" rubber for Dec to March?? I've heard (here) people suggest the Conti Pro runflats--but if the basic premise is that "go flats" are an inherently better design for winter traction (with more options to choose from), I could tolerate a doughnut, jack and compressor in the trunk. Experience *(good or bad) w/any swaps would be great. I'd consider real snow tires but assume this would mangle the handling.


  • We bought a new 2006 330I and have 26K miles with original RFT tires and are just now replacing them. I agree they are rough riding. $600 for the front and $800 for the rear at National Tire & Battery (NTB). My 2007 Silverado P.U. rides better.
  • nkeennkeen SE PennaPosts: 316
    The Bridgestone LM-22 RFT on a 16" rim is an excellent choice for the 325/328; unfortunately it's not avaliable on 17" rims, required for your vehicle. How about Michelin Primacy Alpin PA3 ZP or Pirelli Winter 210 Sottozero RFTs?

    I can say that LM-22 gets me up a hill outside my office parking lot without fuss where base 325i's on EL42 all seasons struggle. The LM-22s handle wet snow, slush and freezing rain well.

    I can't speak for the Michelins or Pirellis, but I would go to a winter tire rather than an all season tire if I planned to switch seasonally. The right winter tire should leave you not regretting your choice of the RWD car over the compromised and heavier 4WD alternative.
  • My 2007 328 with 19K miles has worn out run flats and lots or road noise. Has anyone had luck getting BMW to replace the run flats (Turanza EL42 205/55R16 91H RFT) on 2007 328i? If so how did you convince BMW to replace? It seems to me the OEM tires should go longer than 19K. thx
  • Help...I just noticed my front RFT (Bridgestone) tires have wear on the inside edge. I only have 19,000 miles and can't believe I need to replace them so soon. I basically drive to the train and back each day (40 miles) very little wear and tear, so I was very surprised to see the balding so soon. I've had the car for 1-1/2 years and it is leased. If I replace them with the Michelin Primacy MXV4 tires (I've read on this site that they are a good choice) will I have a problem when I turn the car in at the end of my lease in 2010 because I no longer have RFT on the car? Is changing the type of tire the best thing to do? What other problems might I find (do I need new rims to do this?). Thanks for any advice.
  • Thank you. This link is very helpful.
  • I am just getting ready to replace my OEM Bridgestone RFTs on 2006 325i with Michelin Primacy MXV4 RFT, so that is an RFT option.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I am just getting ready to replace my OEM Bridgestone RFTs on 2006 325i with Michelin Primacy MXV4 RFT, so that is an RFT option.

    Hmmm, that's odd, per the Michelin and TireRack web sites, there is no such a thing as a Micheliin Primacy MXV4 RFT. As far as I know, the only versions of that tire currently on the market are GFTs. Do you have a link to a site that is selling an RFT version?

    Best regards,
  • Just go to tirerack and keyword search Michelin Primacy HP ZP ... also found on michelinman website!
  • nkeennkeen SE PennaPosts: 316
    A summer tire, rather than an all-season. From reading the blurb, Michelin appears to be pushing its ability to deform more easily (presumably than other self supporting tires) and to keep cooler when running zero pressure (presumably to allow repairs after having been run in a deflated state?)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Just go to tirerack and keyword search Michelin Primacy HP ZP ... also found on michelinman website!

    Please understand that the Primacy HP series tires (RFT and GFT alike) are very different tires than the Primacy MXV4 (you originally posted about and which as I previously stated are only available as a GFT). The most obvious differences are that the HP ZPs are good for maybe 20,000 miles while the MXV4s will last more like 50,000 miles, and if you live in a snowy area, the HP ZPs are almost guaranteed to put you into a guard rail, snow bank or ditch when conditions get slippery.

    Best regards,
  • I have a 2007 BMW 328i sedan with about 17-18 K miles on it. After dropping it off recently for scheduled servicing, the dealer informed me that my rear tires are entirely worn down and are now completely smooth, without a tread. I stopped by the dealer an confirmed that the tires are in fact completely worn down. I have the sport package, so the tires are Bridgestone Potenza 050A II run flats.

    My question relates to my options moving forward. This obviously comes as a big surprise in having to replace the tires for a car that is relatively new with low mileage. Do I have any recourse in going directly to BMW or to Bridgestone in getting at least partial support for the replacement?

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Given that you have the Sport Package, no, you have no recourse. Why? Summer performance tires rarely last 20,000 miles on any car regardless of which manufacturer built it. If you are willing to give up some performance during the summer months, then you can opt for some All-Season GFTs for your car, and they will last roughly twice as long as the OEM tires that came on your car.

    Best regards,
  • well, i live in florida, so no problem with snow & ice! and i prefer to keep rft on vehicle, so options limited. bridgestone (and didn't like the bridge oems), cooper, pirelli or michelin looks to be about it ...
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,608
    Continental are your best bet. ContiPro Contact SSR RFT.

  • nkeennkeen SE PennaPosts: 316
    Wouldn't that be the ContiSportContact 2 SSRs for the Sport Suspension? There's a comment on TireRack about the rear tires being hard to obtain -- not sure how pertinent but worth considering.

    Having driven the base 328i with ContiProContact SSRs and Bridgestone EL42s, I found myself preferring the Bridgestones -- perhaps a slightly harsher ride but more responsive.
  • My wife is buying a 2006 330 XI premium package but not the sport package. We love the car but with all the chatter across the forums about RFT tires we obviously have to figure what to do when we need new tires. One question I have is if we decide to not replace with RFT tires and go with a spare could the spacesaver spare cause any damage to the fulltime all wheel drive and DTC system since the wheel size is different. :confuse:

  • johnsamjohnsam Posts: 55
    Hi "Jack"...John here.
    I have written/replied to many articles regarding the run flats on BMWs. As a matter of fact, I have argued back and forth with BMW North America about the fact that they allow such a poor tire to be installed on such a fine car. Let me define "poor". The original equipment Bridgestones have a wear rating of "1", the lowest possible wear rating. A BMW salesman once told me that the "1" rating allowed for better adhesion to the road. I don't argue that (for lack of knowledge) but I suppose a marshmellow would have better adhesion. Wouldn't last long though.
    My original RFTs (Bridgestones) on my 2006 330i (with Sports Package) lasted 24,000+ miles. I have now had the new set (4) for 12 months and have 34,000+ miles. At ten thousand miles, they are showing wear and I would suspect that I will get another 12,000 - 15,000 miles out of them.
    Another BMW salesman told me, and I quote, "Anyone who buys the Sports Package is considered one who will drive fast." .....BULLS__ __T. I am 65 and my wife is 60. We do not drive the car hard, This is not our 1st BMW. We know how they drive and their capibilities.
    Getting back to what I should be talking about, I carry a spare in the trunk even with the RFTs. Why?
    I live in the Springfield / Eugene Oregon area. If I had a flat (no matter what the reason) I could not get the proper RFT here. It would have to come from Portland, Oregon with a MINIMUM wait of a day+. Check your area for availability. You may be surprised. I carry a "donut" type tire eventhough it takes up space in the trunk. Enough said here about my trust in the RFTs.
    Recapping: BMW made a cost cutting measure when they installed the RFTs.
    1.) They no longer had to supply a spare tire /rim.
    2.) They passed along the "extra" cost of RFTs to the client (a normal procedure).
    3.) They used Bridgestones (with the 1 wear rating) as that was the lowest bid they received for a tire that met their requirements.
    4.) They no longer had to supply a car jack nor related tools.

    All cars will probably end up with RFTs in the near future. Perhaps then they will become readily available. (Get cought in a remote highway situation. What then?)
    The same BMW salesman's answer........"Get BMW assist on the phone and they will send out a free truck". HUH??????? Over 50 miles? HUH????? in mountainous areas not accessed by cell phones nor BMW assist in the car?

    I'm not saying RFTs do not drive nicely. Mine do. But I am saying that when they wear out this time, I will consider a "3 - 4" wear rated tire and not a RFT.
  • Thanks John. Looks like availability here in Pittsburgh PA is not too bad. I will at the least get the BMW inflator kit or make one up for her or will get a spare. She works 6 hours from here in Louisville KY and makes the drive about every other weekend. Tires will be an expense with this car but they aren't cheap for any car anymore and I like some of the safety features of this car. I'll likely opt for softer tires with a better traction rating in all season tread just due to the likelihood of snow through the Ohio valley for about 5 of the 12 months. Thats why we opted for the XI anyway. It will probably be better than her old Mitsubishi Eclipse turbo AWD that she used to drive and If it gets real bad she can use my Jeep.
  • lehrer1lehrer1 Posts: 54
    Hi John
    I have 06 325i.
    Good article, I am 100% with you.
    Best regards, Igor
  • In March 07' - I leased a 2007 BMW 328i sedan with the RF's Bridgestone Teuranza EL42 & was talked into the Easy Care Warrant for approx. $500 (which is garbage by the way). The noise started around 5k miles so I took the car in on 03.26.08 & of the dealer said the tires were fine. No mention of the bulletin!!!

    I was unaware of the "Technical Service Bulletin (TSB)" #10026984 dated 09.01.07. Anyway, on 01.22.09 I took the car in for service with 10,326 miles & a list of items (tire noise still on the list). Long story short: the service advisor told me I need to replace the tires (per service bulletin) & BMW would pay 50%. Why not 100% I asked, ...well you are over 10k miles and that is the policy. Hey I am only over by 326 miles cut me some slack - NO WAY!!! The policy is 10k miles. The dealer said they were doing me a favor since not only were they paying for 1/2 of the tire cost they were paying 100% of labor & installation. Bull crap! Also, as part of this drama my car needs an alignment - cost $150...

    Talk about being irritated - cannot describe it! If only I had known about this TSB -certainly I would have taken the car in before it hit 10k miles. Who wouldn't!!! Give me a issue with the dealer, BMW Corp. and Bridgestone: I received NO NOTICE that these tires were under a TSB, defective or whatever. Of course I made several calls, spun my wheels & ended up angry each time! The dope at Bridgestone was the worse yet. So anyway, after going back & forth...bottom line -I paid the $511 for the 2 tires and got 2 for free - so to speak. Same f___g tires though & could not get any other brand. Also, I told them I am not paying for the alignment and they finally agreed after much noise.

    Based upon my research, these blogs on & edmunds, perhaps we have a class action as clearly these RF's tires from Bridgestone were NOT RIGHT from day one; BMW knows about it & continues to put them / sell them on their vehicles. I am not letting this go! If anyone out there has additional input please respond.
  • rflrfl Posts: 100
    My new BMW(330xi) came equipped with the Conti Pro Contacts...since when I ordered it I said I would NOT accept delivery with the Bridgestone tires. These tires are GREAT! My last one had the wretched Bridgestones and my dealer replaced all four of them with 8K miles at NO CHARGE with Contis. This seams to be at the dealer's discretion. If I were you, I would replace the tires with the Conti's at my own expense---probably about $600-$700( and then I would sue the dealer and BMW in my local small claims court for the $$ spent in replacing the Bridgstones and the new Contis.. It'll cost you $50 or less in costs and believe me, they probably won't even defend it. Arguing with the dealer or BMW is like talking to a chair. I think if you bring that action you'll get your $$ back and have a little fun with them as well. It'll sure get their attention! Don't know where you live, but here I find the local small claims courts are VERY consumer friendly and businesses hate them. It's worth the shot. Forget the class action nonsense...only the lawyers make any $$ in those. If more people took the small claims route instead, BMW might get the message.
  • Quote
    The dealer said they were doing me a favor since not only were they paying for 1/2 of the tire cost they were paying 100% of labor & installation.

    end quote

    I guess they think people can't read..They submit the claim to BMW and it is paid to them per the following on this TSB

    All claims submitted in conjunction with this SI will be paid at the following rates:

    100% part and labor reimbursement as noted below, up to 10,000 miles on the tire.

    50% part and 100% labor reimbursement, from 10,001 to 20,000 miles on the tire.

    Defect Code
    36 12 93 57 00

    I guess I need to subscribe to a service so I can check on and read all TSB's
  • Thanks for the advise. I live in Palm Beach County, FL and will pursue a small claims action as that make more sense than dealing with lawyers.
  • John:
    Thanks for sharing your information with me. I got a 2007 328i with 25k miles. I just got a nail on the sidewall. I took it to Les Swab and they told me to leave it alone. When I called the BMW dealer, they told me that I need new tires. I was shocked to hear that RFT wears so darn fast. I am reading about RFT and I am thinking about changing to non-RFT. Did you find any tires that you would recommend that is not RFT for this car? Anybody else have any experiences. Thanks.
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