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BMW 3-Series Run Flat Tires



  • johnsamjohnsam Posts: 55

    Since new (2006 330i - all options except sunshades) (now nearing 48/9,000 miles) I have gone through 2 sets of Bridgestones and I will not go through another. This 66 year old does not drive hard (although I may speed a bit :) ). Love the car and will look at the 2011's when that NEW model 330 series is introduced. Depending on how it looks, I would buy another with the provision that Michelins are installed AT NO COST to me or the warranty. (Tires are not warrantied by BMW anyway).
    When new I equipped the car with a "donut" spare / electric jack and tools as I was concerned that the RFT may experience a flat and no larger rear tire be available. I have to admit I have never had to use the spare nor have I experienced a puncture.
    I feel that BMW has done an injustice to it's customers. How many are people that have no idea what RFT is and would not even think of asking? Nor would they research RFTs before committing such an expense?

    ONLY MY HUMBLE OPINION AND EXPERIENCE with 2 sets of Bridgestone RFTs.

    John Griffiths
    Springfield, Oregon
  • ffxjackffxjack Posts: 47
    I was very close to closing the deal on the G37x but couldn't quite pull the trigger. I test drove that, the Lexus IS250 and BMW 335xi and the only one that really was fun to drive was the BMW. However, the salesman gave me a price that would be about $250/month more than the Infiniti. Also, now I'm reading that their oil changes are every 3750mi with the synthetic esther oils which really will increase the maintenance costs and time hassles...may as well try to go for the BMW.

    Now, if I can find a dealer that will give me a reasonable price without the Bridgestones before the holiday incentive runs out tomorrow.

    Just for clarifications, what should I ask them for if I refuse the Bridgestones. A quick internet search actually priced the Continental ProContact SSR RFT to be cheaper than the Bridgestones.
  • bigkevbigkev Posts: 33
    TELL THEM that you insist on Continentals! They won't lose a deal because of that and all they do is swap them from another car because they land with either Bridgestones or Continentals fitted. I live in Australia and I have had experience with both brands and have posted my findings. The Bridgestones are also dearer here, but I don't know why because they are CRAPPP!!! and mine were made in POLAND. I found out from a BMW salesman that a deal was done and Bridgestone built a factory in Poland to make runflats especially for BMW. The Continentals are 100% better. I agree about the Lexus - went through the same exercise a couple of times and having owned 2 lexus GS models and wanted a smaller car it would be the go, but after driving around for a few hours it got very cramped feeling and the seats were real uncomfortable. Also had a "bumpy'' ride.
    Nissan don't sell the infiniti here anymore (used to) and their best car is called the Maxima, which is very good and cheapest of the three but they want all Nissans serviced every 6 months. A complete ripoff! I do very low mileage and the Beema will go for 18 months to 2 years between services, and the costs are also a ripoff but not as bad as some cars. Hope you work it out. Kev :)
  • radcarradcar Posts: 1
    An addition to the many complaints. I have a 2006 325xi with sport package. The Bridgestone original tires were noisy, harsh. A slow leak from a puncture at four months was evaluated by the dealer as not fixable, as it would void the warranty. As they had no replacement in stock, and the warranty seemed worthless if I had to replace the tire, I had it plugged at a tire store - problem solved. By 7,500 miles, the tires were so noisy, the dealer replaced them. The second set had to be replaced at about 17,000 because of the noise. This time I got the Continentals. Fortunately, the dealer (P & W in Pittsburgh) was very honest, and my only monetary cost was the mounting of the 3rd pair. These only lasted 15,000 before wearing out. While I corner hard on winding Pittsburgh hills, and average 80-85 on the highway, I don't stess the car. The dealer claims this is average life for these all season tires because they are high performance. I consider that pretty low performance, especially for over $1,000 a set.
  • johnsamjohnsam Posts: 55
    2006 330i All options except sun shades (including Sports Pack)
    First set lasted 24,000. At that time they were so worn and noisy that they were replaced with same tires. (Bridestone's) Second set now at 46,000 and should be replaced probably May-June.
    As you know the Sports Package tires cannot be rotated so replacement is the rule.

    UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED should be stamped on these tires.

    Probably wiill look at other car makes this Spring.

    66 year old BMW lover but who hired the tire buyer?
  • how much does it cost now for a RFT on a 06 325i? are the RFT more expensive than other tires?
  • can you just change the RFT's to Non-RFTs? and what else are the other problems you can tell me about the 06 325i..looking forward to buying a used one.. thanks
  • xeyexeye Posts: 168
    "While I corner hard on winding Pittsburgh hills, and average 80-85 on the highway, I don't stess the car."

    Maybe not the car, but you're definitely stressing evidently sub-standard tires for your driving style, to be sure.

    If I'm ever in the Pittsburgh area, I'll definitely be on the lookout for an '06 325xi averaging at least 15-20 mph over the speed limit,
  • i put a set of avos non run flats on my 06 330xi and the only difference was a softer more comfortable ride and due to the tires not having steel side walls the car did not handle as well. not a big deal for street use but might affect track times.
  • bigkevbigkev Posts: 33
    yes you can fit non runflats but you wont have a spare. You can buy a spare kit and put it in the trunk but it takes up space. I did this and it was fine. The ride in the 325i is very firm and 'choppy' with the runflats. also fuel consumption is very heavy around town and the steering is stiff. :)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The GFTs (Get Flat Tires) you put on your 330xi didn't handle as well? That's odd, very odd. Why? Because most folks who mount GFTs on their BMWs in place of the factory RFTs report a significant improvement in handling. Go figure.

    Best regards,
  • johnsamjohnsam Posts: 55
    YES the RFTs can be changed to conventional tires.
    What I would check before you make such a change is check with the BMW dealer you are contemplating using to make sure you are not compromising your warranty AS FAR AS THEY ARE CONCERNED. BMW North America has no problem with it as long as the replacements are of equal or better "quality" as they put it to me in writing. ((One would think that the dealer would always agree with BMW NA, BUT????))
    Our present BMW is a 2006 330i loaded except sun shades. Seeing that it is "loaded" one would think that more should go wrong. We are happy with the car (46,000 miles). The last thing that went was the navigation computer. Warranty covered some $1,800.00 in parts and labor. The cylinder head was replaced under a "silent" warranty (ticking when starting cold) Other than that pretty normal. Wears very well. My wife and I were saying that other week that except for one door "parking lot ding" , it looks absolutely NEW in and out.
    I feel that you can't go wrong buying a BMW except for the tire problem. I have owned many makes of cars since 1963 including "exotics". I would recommend this car to anyone. Buy new or with warranty (to 50,000 miles including everything even oil changes).(NOT air / gas / tires)

    As long as you feel good driving it, go for it. Even us 66 year olds love them.
    (neighbor bought the most expensive Lexis. It parks itself (mine takes my help) but his takes so long to park that I can park, do a 1 min. job, then leave and he is still parking.

    Springfield, OR
  • johnsamjohnsam Posts: 55

    I have no idea who you have been talking to. Perhaps those who you spoke to ran extremely poor tires before thay changed to RFTs. I have been following the response of those using RFTs since 2006. VERY LITTLE has been ++++++ while the ---- has been vast.
    In my 41 years of driving I have NEVER been so against any product as I am about RFT's The concept is great! But on the cars that I have had them on, they actually have proven UNSAFE after 24,000+ miles. I an 66 and do not drive poorly / off the paved road / at an excessive speed (well maybe a little fast) / nor in snow, Then again we are driving BMWs are we not?

    Springfield OR
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Uhhh, you have me at a loss...

    If you read back in this thread for at least four or five years you'll see that I am very much against the use of RFTs, pretty much for the same reasons you are. The flip side is that I am just as strong of a proponent of good old fashioned GFTs (Get Flat Tires), which is what I said (or at least meant to say) in my recent postings. :confuse:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    The tire noise on my friend's 328ix is the most horrendous I have ever heard, short of a lumber truck. Fortunately she is nearly deaf (well, not fortunately for other drivers perhaps).

    So after all this talk, is the general consensus here that the only fully satisfying solution is to replace with GFTs?

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

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I've been participating in this discussion since its inception on 2-Nov-2005, and after tallying up all of the folks that seem to be satisfied with most aspects of their RFTs, I still have several available fingers on my first hand. Said another way, yeah, there are a few folks who love them, precious darned few. ;)

    Best regards,
  • bigkevbigkev Posts: 33
    Just read your post(s) and have this question -- .When your bridgestones wear out (or before) do what i did and fit ordinary tyres? I bought the spare kit and changed to Pirelli after only 3 months with my 07 3 series because I couldn't handle the Bridgestones, and it spoiled the whole experience for me. The difference was amazing; I;m not kidding! I went through all the bull s..t about warrantees if I changed to non runflats and finally sent a fax to BMW Germany. Answer was, OK, fine, we are now making a spare kit as an option which you can buy if you want to do this.
    Since then I have traded that car on my last ever car (wife says it will be) which is the latest 3 series diesel, brand new still wrapped in plastic straight from the 'Fatherland' and I insisted that they get a car which had CONTINENTAL tyres (runflats) on it and let me test it for a day. I did, and am very pleasantly surprised at the ride and handling. I'm not even considering changing them, and the car handles as well as one fitted with conventional tyres. The Bridgestones are downright dangerous in heavy rain and on undulating, potholey roads. They 'tramline' and bang and crash and make the car dart all over the place. If you ever buy another one, try the Continentals, but why don't you fit the normal tyres to the car you have? You've got a spare. You should have enough sense to work this out at your age! I worked it out when I was only 65! (took me 2 years though). :blush:
  • johnsamjohnsam Posts: 55
    Finally someone that saw and still sees the light! BUT YOU START OFF BY STATING THAT YOU HAVE A QUESTION....THEN MAKE A STATEMENT WITH A QUESTION MARK. You lost me. What is your question?
    I don't know where I mislead you re the comments that I made on the RFTs. I do have the "sense" to change to a better tire. That is what I have been preaching in this column for years.
    Tried a 335D a few weeks back. Local fealer allows me to take a car for a day whenever I care to. Not my bag what with the cost of diesel these days. Still smells like a diesel. Went to visit a friend in hospital that day. He asked me if I had been working on my pride and joy, a 66 Vette. The small was carried on my clothing even though I noticed nothing. Told the BMW dealer about it and the reaction was, "Well you must expect the diesel smell". Guess he is right as I was loading / unloading the truck with groceries with the engine running.
    I think I will wait for the restyled 2011 3 series before I buy again. I bet we will all have to cope with RFTs for a long time to come.
    Till then, as I have repeatedly stated, I will run these RFTs till Spring, then consider changing to another make of tire or car.

  • bigkevbigkev Posts: 33
    Hi John = You're right, I forgot to put 'why don't you' change tyres etc after I typed I have a question. Put it down to age, and being a poor typist. When I referred to you being old enough to have the sense to do it etc I was kidding you because I'm also 66, and feeling every day of it. Nothing meant. Seriously, I am really pleased with the diesel and the ride is fine with the Continentals As I said when I replaced the non runflats on my 07 model it made all the difference. Anyway, its 7pm and time for my warm milk and bed. Goodnite. :blush:
  • johnsamjohnsam Posts: 55
    Continentals........HUMM. Never tried Continentals. I am tempted towards Michelin but as yet have not decided. Appreciate your comments.
    Just received a "prod to order - European pickup" from BMW NA on the upcoming 2011 3 series. NICE INDEED! The "pictures" are merely drawings so a bit difficult to commit for 11 months away. We did that for a 2001 but so little changed from the 2000, there was no guessing involved. I will still have to do the new tire thing as the Bridgestones will not last after July - August.
    Hope all is well.
    John - Springfield OR (sunny and high 50s today - nice)
  • niacinniacin Posts: 5
    My question is this. My BMW '06 currently has run flat tires. As the tires are coming up for a change, can I put on regular radials or must I have the RFT put on? And will there be any adverse effect to the cars handling without the rft's. Thanks
  • celkancelkan Posts: 27
    After evaluating messages in this forum, several months ago I replaced the Conti runflats on my '06 325i by regular tires. I bought a large can of Fixaflat in case of emergency; the can says it has been reformulated so it does not damage tire pressure sensors, and in any case the sensors are not very expensive.

    The regular tires (I forget the exact type but I did the research) were a small but noticeable improvement in handling and quietness. So far I have had no problems.
  • johnsamjohnsam Posts: 55

    Still have BMW wheels? If so........
    Still have BMW warranty? If so check with local warranty invalidation problems. I did 2 years ago and he nixed conventional tire replacement. Then went to BMW NA and they ok'd. Appears local dealer was not aware of BMW North America's policy. If you do not still have BMW Warranty AND NO EXTENDED WARRANTY THAT "MAY" BE A PROBLEM, then you have no problems whatsoever changing to conventional tires.
    One fellow that I was blogging back & forth tha other day recommended Continnentials. I prefer Michelins myself but that is merely my preference.
    Be careful to keep your sizing correct especially with the Sports Package being different front and rear.
    I have had to change my Bridgestone RFTs twice in 48,000 miles and will go conventional this time around. THEY WILL BE DUE FOR ANOTHER CHANGE BY THIS SPRING AS THEY ARE WEARING POORLY AGAIN. I love the concept (have always carried a donut spare and tools just in case) but the wear problem with tires with a "1" wear rating is not acceptable especially when they cost whet they do. Mine are again getting to the unsafe stage (this set has 23,000 miles) as they track POORLY on "rutty" concrete. Luckily we have no snow here. That would be desasterous. Have driven for 51 years........Love the car..Very concerned about the tires.

    Springfield OR
  • I was given the same response from the local dealer as others. They said I could not put regular tires as the suspension was tuned specifically for the run flats...
  • bigkevbigkev Posts: 33
    Yes you can - I did it. I put Pirelli tyres on and it was a different car. There is no reason whatsoever not to do this - warrantee is NOT AFFECTED. Go for it - you'll feel like you have a new car, handling and ride were both IMPROVED out of sight. :)
  • bigkevbigkev Posts: 33
    Hi John
    I replaced the Bridgestones on my car when it was only 2 months old because I couldn't stand them as I have said before. I fitted Pirelli's and they were much better. The new car I got this year has the Continental runflats and they are so much better than the Bridgestones. I fitted the Pirellis because I couldn't get Michelins the right size and spec for the car at a reasonable price. Here is Australia we pay double for just about everything auto. For example, Lexus IS 300 $68,000. Govt gets 40%.
  • niacinniacin Posts: 5
    Just got back from the dealer after having the 35,000 check. They informed me that the tires needed replacement. The cost $1450 plus tax. Thats quite a bit for four tires and from what I have read ordinary tubeless aren't up to par. Before i shell out this kind od dough, somebody has to have found a tire that will work on a "02 325 Thanks
  • xeyexeye Posts: 168
    Was there a zero missing from the 35000 miles on the '02 325, like maybe 350,000 miles?

    Just wondering how long this car was parked, and if the inevitable flat spots are the reason for the new tires?

    You could also get only 3 replacement tires and make only left turns...
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,749
    '02 325 doesn't have runflat tires, does it? Is this an '06, maybe?


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • niacinniacin Posts: 5
    Yes it is an '06 and yes it has ONLY 35,000 miles on it. Also, the rims and tires are original. They came with the car. Some one suggested Perillis but here in Pensacola, FL., there are no dealers. And I find out that the sensor on the tires will have to be calibrated if regular tires are installed. $1450 + tax is a lot of money but if other tires will not work whats the option? Buy a KIA? thanks.
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