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



  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    RFTs are for those who live in urban areas and never venture away. Period. Full stop. The end.

    In general, I agree.

    But, as an exercise, I decided to call a few local (large, established) tire dealers to see if they had the GFT size tires to fit my 2010 328i (Sport Package).

    I live in the upstate of SC, a fairly urban area.

    After 5 calls, no one carried tha sizes in stock.

    So, it's as much a "unique" tire size as it is a tire "type" issue.

    The relatively "recent" explosion of specialty tire sizes and types over the last 1-2 decades has made it dramatically more challenging for tire dealers to carry complete lines of tires in stock.

    So, if you are in the boonies and lose a tire that happens to fall into this category, and you follow the recommended maximum mileage guidelines, you're screwed... GFT (w/space saver spare) or RFT.

    The lesson is no different for brand of car. Why buy a MB, BMW or MINI (at least, for a daily driver) if the closest dealer happens to be 200 miles away? You would be much better off in a vehicle with a dealership nearby.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,056
    . . .if you are in the boonies and lose a tire. . .

    I guess my biggest concern is with the need for special tire machines and the fact that almost no one will repair RFTs. Normal tires can be repaired more often than not, and outright replacement is rarely necessary, or at least that's been my experience.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,772
    2011 328xi with 17" all-season Continental runflats..

    Couldn't tell them from regular get-flat tires... I think the latest all-season runflats are pretty much a non-issue, as far as handling and ride...

    I'd still be worried about getting a flat out of town, and having to wait days for a replacement, but it doesn't surprise me that owners don't know the difference.

    I'm thinking that summer RFTs might be different, but haven't experienced those in the last few years..


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • With this discussion going on for over four years, it's apparent BMW will not drop run flat tires, since money talks, and they are still making boatloads of it. That said, it wouldn't be a big reach for BMW to offer the option of conventional tires for those who want them. BMW's take it or leave it line on run flats makes their current advertising campaign ("There are a million ways to customize your BMW.") lacking in credulity. After all, what's the point of premium car at a premium price if you can't truly customize it. BMW's line that run flats are safer because you don't have to risk your neck changing a tire at the side of the road is a limited argument at best as there are many situations where one could be more than 100 miles from an open repair shop (ie., rural Wyoming, at night, etc). I will still buy a BMW but when the run flats give up the ghost, I will definitely opt for conventional tires with a space saver spare, for the myriad of reasons said in earlier posts.
  • Firebird_EOUFirebird_EOU Posts: 250
    TireRack and TireBuyer have them it.
    RE960AS RF 225/45RF17

    If you need to replace your RFT let us know how well it works. It's supposed to be drive like non-runflat.
  • tutuvabenetutuvabene Posts: 3
    edited June 2011
    PS to my earlier message. I'll buy RFT when the price and treadlife are on par with conventionals. It appears that progress has been made in regard to quietness in running.
  • dcomoradcomora Posts: 1
    I bought my wife a 2006 330xi about a year and a half ago. I test drove the car over some rough roads and found the drive was incredible. The day we picked it up, we drove to a social event and I thought the car had bottomed out several times during the all know the story. I now suspect my dealer swapped tires after i purchased the car...
    We lived with the horrible ride and the incredibly annoying tire noise for a year and a half. Last week, one of the run flats, went flat...go figure. So I sprung for a set of new 25/45R-17 Michelin Primacy MX tires ($720 with shipping from Yesterday we had them installed. I am delighted to say that the car that I test drove is back!!! The car drives like a dream. The only noise I hear is the engine, instead of the overwhelming sound of tires...something that sounded like the flying saucer sound effect from a bad 1950's sci-fi movie. The other major benefit is that I can drive the a car. And not like a character in the movie "The Wages of Fear," (sorry for the 1950's movie analogies) where truck driver's are carefully avoiding bumps in the road to prevent their truck loads of nitro from exploding. My neighbor, who is a BMW mechanic, recommended the new set of tires and I'm back in love with this car and no longer cursing it out. I'll need to pick up a donut and jack kit which will sit in the trunk. Its well worth the investment and loss of trunk space. Good riddance to bad run flats!
  • puffin1puffin1 Posts: 276
    Yep,you have to register when you replace.,however I haven't had a problem and if I had to use a trickle I'd be upset. I just traded up and the first thing I had them do was to put grease around the terminals. I like German cars cabins and bells and whistles,but the computers are scaring me. I's exspensive to maintain a Beemer.I have a 2010 VW base HB 2.5 only because of the cabin display MFD etc and no problems. It has a 5 star rating and it's a five speed. I don't see an Audi that catches my eye though.So I'm sticking with what I know. I like RWD also.
  • trdsc2trdsc2 Posts: 4
    Having recently purchased a 2011 335d with Michelin PS2 ZP as OE tires, I am wondering if
    all of the bad reviews of the previous posts on other brands of RFT's applies to Michelin?
    So far I have not noticed excessive noise or other driveability issues.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    The Michelin's on my 2010 328i are far quieter than the Bridgestones on my 2007 Z4 coupe. Like most other technologies, RFT is advancing as well.

    However, there are some very "rabid" RFT haters out there, and for many of them there will never be a suitable RFT available.

    Personally, I"m neutral. I do wish BMW would give the option of a space saver spare, but that doesn't appear to be in the cards. Obviously, it isn't a deal- breaker for me...
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,056
    an RFT in Winnemucca, Nevada, at 1:30 in the morning on a Sunday (and a tire changer that can deal with it), then my issue with these damn tires will be well on the way to being solved.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,602
    I just have trouble with the concept---RFTs are like the answer to a question nobody asked. It's a technology pushed on consumers for the manufacturer's advantages, not ours. They get rid of spare tires and wheels, we get more expense and tires that are no more durable than the former types.

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

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited July 2011
    I guess I see it differently. It just isn't an issue to me.

    Carmakers make decisions on what to offer all the time, and we (as a customer) either take it or pass on it. For example, Model X comes with a Bose stereo, but you prefer a different stereo brand... The choice is to accept the Bose or pass on Model X.

    And, there really are some advantages to RFT's... As I think I have posted here before, my neighbor was well off the side of the interstate hwy changing a flat when he was hit by an incredibly drunk driver and killed instantly. If his car had RFT's, he would probably be here today.

    Now, that doesn't mean ther aren't disadvantages to RFT's... just that, depending on the situation, they may work for you OR against you.

    Chew a tire up in Podunk, WY, and you have a real problem. Even then, in many cases, that isn't limited to RFT's alone. If my 328i BMW (Sport Pkg. - 18"wheels) shreads a tire there, there's little chance I will find a 255/35-18 RFT OR GFT locally (in stock).

    Still, if I had the capability to carry a spare designed into the vehicle, I might make it to a larger city on a space-saver spare... maybe.

    That's why I think BMW should at least offer the space-saver space in the trunk (like my wife's 2005 MINI convertible that came equipped with RFT's).

    But, I knowingly bought the car with RFT's, so I accepted the risk.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,602
    Well I'm not so sure that unfortunate (tragic) scenario is really a booster for RFTs though. He could have driven off the road on a regular tire---sure, ruining it beyond belief but you've seen those police chase videos----I'd trade a tire and rim for my life anyday.

    Besides, if you run a RFT while flat for an appreciable distance, it's ruined as well.

    It's like tires are going flat left and right these days. I have way more bicycle flats than car flats (by about 100 to 1 !!!) and I don't see any RFT bicycle tires being marketed.

    (cue commercial: "bicyclists, what if YOU have a flat tire while crossing a bridge in a narrow bike lane? You need the all new TREK RFT tire---only $185, for that peace of mind!")

    You'd laugh, right?

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

  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,056
    edited July 2011
    If my 328i BMW (Sport Pkg. - 18"wheels) shreads [sic] a tire there, there's little chance I will find a 255/35-18 RFT OR GFT locally (in stock).

    Very good point. This is the other half of the RFT fiasco -- NO SPARE TIRE. When I'm driving in bumf*** western U.S. out here, which is pretty much my only choice, I have absolutely no expectation of getting a replacement tire. What I do want is either: 1) a tire that any normal truck stop or 24-hr service station can repair and put back on the car, and/or 2) a spare that matches the other four tires -- I'll put it on and drive back to Phoenix. Then I'll take however long it takes (2-3 days) to replace the tire, if that's what's required.

    It's the magic daily double -- crap no-one-can-work-on-them tires or ones that no one is willing to patch, combined with no spare.

    Oh boy.

    The Germans have no concept of western North America or Australia -- it's big country with very limited services. Apparently they don't want to include those of us who live in such places in their demo. I guess it makes sense, given the number of social-climbing people living in densely-populated areas.

    The fact is that BMW no longer care about enthusiasts; they care about people who will buy (or more likely lease) the cars in ever-larger numbers.

    Oh well.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Regardless what any of our opinions happen to be, at the end of the day sales usually wind up driving production policies. Overall, few wish to purchase a polka-dot paint job on a BMW, so we aren't given that as an option.

    While we all probably agree that having the capability to have some type of spare in a new BMW is desirable, enough buyers don't seem to care. And, as long as sales continue to increase, I really doubt we will see any spare tire options.

    In fact, we may see the mandatory RFT issue pop up on other manufacturer's products due to BMW's continued success.

    It wouldn't be the first time.

    I agree that the modern BMW is oriented to urban environments as well. Four year service included in the price of the car has reduced value if the nearest dealer is 250 miles distant.

    But, that's nothing new, either. In my lifetime, television evolution has been driven by the urban environment much more so than the rural environment ( after all, where I grew up, there were only 2 channels one could the 1950's and early 60's).

    On another point, I don't think I have ever seen a bicycle RFT. Seems like a popular solution for competitive bicycling. Maybe Mr. Shift_Right is onto something there!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,602
    edited July 2011
    The reason people don't care (although apparently many do) is because people today are used to regular tires rarely going flat anymore IMO.

    Who has had a flat in the last 5 years? Not me. Sure it happens, but when's the last time you saw anyone on the road changing a tire?

    Fact is, most buyers don't even KNOW their car has run-flat tires. I have a friend who didn't even know her BMW was all-wheel drive when she bought it. :surprise:

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

  • rflrfl Posts: 100
    Used to hate 'em.... now 4th BMW with RFT's. They are markedly improved- smooth ride and they last as long as most GFT's- and they can be repaired if you find the right tire shop for a minor puncture and can be replaced as inexpensively as GFT's if you get them from Tire Rack.
    It's worth the piece of mind... a sixteen year old grandaughter of a friend had a flat on the road at night with a GFT...scared the hell out of her...he went right out and bought her a set of RFT's. I would not have a car without run flats. Period. Welcome to the 21st century!

    Suck it up.

    They are here to stay!
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,772
    Got a roofing nail in my rear tire, just a few weeks ago... :(

    It still held air.... no tire place would plug or patch, because it was within 1" of the tread edge... Friend of a friend plugged it for me... 3 weeks later, no issues.. (saved me $350-$450 for a new tire).


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,602
    edited July 2011
    Her parents lets a 16 year old drive at night by herself? :surprise: This is a problem way beyond RFTs IMO. I don't even think that's legal, without an adult to accompany her.

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

  • boston303boston303 Posts: 35
    ...Correction. They don't know until they have to replace them at 15-20,000 miles at the tune of roughly $250 per tire. I can guarantee that they know then. Then they are shell shocked with the very poor performance and unreasonable cost.Did they know this when they bought the car? Clearly not. They bought this car for it's reported status and no longer because it actually functions better than a Ford. (oh, fine pick another car).. The point is those people would hardly no the difference. The ultimate driving machine with an automatic (which the vast majority of cars sold in the US are) is an oximoron; sad to say. BTW my daughter is on her way to a THIRD set of run flats for her Mini which has onlt 46,000 miles on it and has run snow tires for three winters since 2006. So her tires did not even average 15,000 miles. I no of no other way to say it than this is simply pathetic. BMW and Mini should be totally ashamed of their design and decision. Of course it takes forever for German engineers to admit they are wrong....
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited July 2011
    Who has had a flat in the last 5 years? Not me. Sure it happens, but when's the last time you saw anyone on the road changing a tire?

    Yesterday. On I-85, in SC.

    Ove the last 3-4 years, my wife has had 2 flats (on RFT's-repaired in both instances) and my younger daughter had a flat within 2 weeks of me buying her a new set of tires... Fortunately, it was repairable as well.

    Years ago, when I was much younger, my father told me to never stop along the side of the road to change a tire... just drive on the flat to the next parking area/exit ramp and change the tire. Back then, most cars had inexpensive steel wheels, so ruining a wheel wasn't too pricey.

    On a modern car, especially such as a BMW, a replacement wheel can easily run $500+ alone, and adding a replacement tire can add $150+ to the mix, so in many cases I would suspect the car owner to be reluctant to continue onwwards with a flat. Of course (to me, anyway) my life is worth $750-1000.

    Fact is, most buyers don't even KNOW their car has run-flat tires.

    I agree... Overall, we probably have the least educated car-buying-public that I can remember in my lifetime.

    For the majority of new car owners...As long as it starts, and the ride is smooth, nothing else matters.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    FWIW, my wife got 50K miles out of the original RFT's on her 2005 MINI, so I know its a reasonable possibility.

    And, no, she doesn't drive like a blue-haired grandma, either.

    But, I also know that many drivers get far less mileage...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,602
    Do you live next to a nail factory? :P

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

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited July 2011
    No, but my wife works at a local hospital, and it appears that they have been doing non-stop construction there for the last 25 years.

    While I can't be sure, I suspect that's where she found (finds) the tire stabbers...

    The SC DOT has a mobile car repair service that runs along I-85 between Greenville and Spartanburg, SC (where I live, very close to the BMW plant). Its very common to see (in fact, its probably more rare NOT to see) the techs out changing someone's flat on a daily routine, especially during rush hours...

    Personally, I think the local tire centers pay someone to go out casting nails, screws, etc. along the highways... Brings in a lot of business...LOL!!!
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    edited July 2011
    Well, I've had maybe 5 tires go flat on me over that last 5 or 10 years, though only 2 required a changeover on the side of the road.

    1. One was piece of metal (looked like part of a seat belt clasp) that tore a slit in the tread. Had to replace the whole tire.
    2. Second one was when I rubbed a section of broken/jagged curb leaving the plant and cut the sidewall. Again the entire tire had to be replaced. (I think was was when I started paying for road hazard warranty).
    3. The other three or so incidents were caused by nails or screws that caused slow leaks, so I noticed the tires losing air and was able to get them fixed before they went flat. In fact, one of them was on my 2009 G37 which came from the dealer with a slow leak (nail or screw).

    Even with all those, I'm still not a fan of RFTs.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Given the option of RFT's or GFT's (with spare) on my 328i, I probably would have opted for the RFT option, but I would also have purchased a spare as well.

    That way, if I was displeased with the RFT performance, I could easily switch over to GFT's. As it was, that choice wasn't available...
  • boston303boston303 Posts: 35
    Yep, you probably also have an automatic transmission.. Didn't occur to you to ask about tread life, noise or cost when you bought the car, right? That would answer your comment about not caring. You never knew. Learning that tread life is 30 to at best 50% of go flat tires, yet replacement (and there is no fixing these tires as can be done on go flat tires..) costs are more than double the cost of go flats didn't even enter into your decision as you had no clue!! I bet you wear BMW logo clothing too.. The choice in tires is related to one's use of the car the climate conditions and comfort. BMW has relegated these factors to a one size fits all agenda which flies in the face of what BMW has represented since its' inception. The "M" series with stick shifts are perhaps still close to the roots of BMW... Anything less is as you said "not an issue" you buy the car for the historic rhetoric nothing more.. I'll send you an emblem..
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Wow! Someone has an attitude!

    Seeing as how my wife has owned a Mini since 2005, equipped with RFT's, I'm well aware of their characteristics and limitations.

    And, you should check your facts, along with that attitude you are sporting. She has had 2 RFT's repaired.

    But, why let little things like facts get in the way of your opinions?

    BMW builds what sells, like any other company. Just because you don't like the direction the company has taken in no way make it the wrong direction.

    I would bet most of the investors in BMW don't have any problem with their business decisions...
Sign In or Register to comment.