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BMW 3-Series Run Flat Tires



  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    My theory is that they did not in fact bleed down in unison, but bled down within the tolerance of the system to the 16psi floor. Given the stiff sidewalls of the RFTs, it wouldn't surprise me in the least that once down to 16psi, the pressure will go no lower unless there is an actual puncture.
  • Your wear problem is common with RFT's
    I ran them 2 times on a 2003 330i & 2 times on a 2006 330i. NEVER AGAIN !!!
    After the 2nd set "prematurely" showed metal, I switched to Michelin Sport Plus staying with the larger rears (Sports Package). Not only is the initial price less, but the wear is longer. I have run the conventionals for 10 months now and see NO WEAR at all even though I have approx. 12,000 miles on them. (Of course I carry a "donut" spare and tools and air pump just in case.
    I would NEVER return to RFTs. Those who will say that RFTs have improved will not be argued with. I am so much happier with the Michelins.

  • As above, explained by shipo.

    The wear you describe is typical of running low pressure. Will occur on the 'loaded' camber side of the tire, the load is taken by the sidewall rather than the whole tire.

  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,932
    edited September 2011
    I just completed European Delivery of a new 335iS delivered with Michelin Pilots.

    In just over 1,000 miles of driving on a wide variety of roads, I found the ride [ even with these fairly low profile 18” RFTs ] to be absolutely perfect – at any speed and on every surface we encountered.

    - Ray
    Happy BMW driver . . .
    2016 BMW 340i
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,334
    I have to say that whoever serviced this car should have spotted the low tire pressure. My service guy checks things like this at every service on my MINI. If his boss sees him breezing through a safety check, he's going to get flak for that, too.

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  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Long story short, it is the vehicle owner who is reponsible for keeping the tires inflated up to spec.


    Unfortunately, autos have become so "self-reliant and self-reporting" in the last few years, that many (through no fault of their own) have become accustomed to "no messages/warning lights" means "no problems".

    TPS systems are a great example of systems that are mis-represented as "fail-safe" monitoring systems, when that was never their design. Yet, many car companies/salesmen sell them as exactly that, so its not unreasonable for an owner that isn't familiar with the system's inner workings to make that assumption.

    The bottom line is this....

    Read your owner's manual. These systems are explained in detail there, and there is information there that will tell you what a system "will and will not" do for the car/driver.

    In my experience, probably less that 10% actually take the time to look at the manual. I doubt if most folks would even notice if the car didn't come with one any more....
  • very frustrated with the concept. all i do is deal with the tire light on any of my 4 bmw's!!!!(z4 128 135 and x3). ok concept issue: wedding 250 miles away. need to be there in 5 hrs. light comes on. what do i do? miss the wedding??? ANY scenario where you have to be somewhere at a certain time that is more than the 150 miles at 50 mph will get you there, WHAT HAPPENS???? you miss the meeting, wedding, game, or whatever else is important to are people not revolting against the concept. i just tried to get home from 200 miles away when the light came on: towed at 25 miles to go. this is not even considering how bad the tires perform, or last. all i do is replace these pos's! help
  • rt4rt4 Posts: 13
    Made the mistake of stopping by the local BMW dealer a few weeks ago-----darn, what beautiful cars!
    So, will more than likely be getting serious about a 328x in next few weeks.
    Am from old school so am not very enamored about the run flats----- will drive from local dealer to nearest tire store to pick up spare and throw in trunk.
    Question: can I run a donut spare with rest of tires being full size? I only ask because if any of you look at some of the Suburu forums, the drive train is very critical of difference in tire diameters-----assume this is not so with BMW due to their type of AWD.
    Speaking of that, hate to get off the run flat on this forum, but can one of you explain exactly how this 4wd system operates-----i.e. computer (electric) signals? mechicanical sensors? Also, if the rear wheels loose, say, 100% of their traction, will the fronts wheels then assume that much?
    Reason for asking----- I live west of Denver in mountains-----some very serious hills and curves (including my 200' uphill driveway), and I would be getting snowtires for sure, but still would like to hear from some of you with practical experience in poor winter conditions.
    Appreciate your wading thru all of this, but real life info is so much better than a salesman or service advisor ( I've talked to both).
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 63,124
    BMW makes a donut spare that is full diameter... Same rolling circumference as the stock tires... It's just skinny..

    So, that won't affect your AWD..


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  • Any one know where I can get a donut to fit a 2007 328 with Sport package? Can't find one that fits and I need to ditch the run flats or the car.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    If I'm not mistaken, your dealer can sell you one.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 63,124
    I'm not sure if they make a donut that fits the E90, except for the '06 325i sedan...

    Leatherz has one.... but, they specifically exempt the E90, except for that one model.... They say it won't clear the brakes..


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  • chewy2chewy2 Posts: 19
    My BMW is a 2007 328i sedan. How about front wheel RFTs wearing the outside edge faster than any other part of the tire? Just need camber adjustment?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,334
    Toe in or toe out. If you can see a marked and obvious wear difference easily, then the tires are toast anyway, and alignment may not do any good.

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  • I premise, I have run my 2008 335xi for 3 years on the original set of Bridgestone RTF (more importantly running ~32,000 miles on them).
    I had never really considered them in terms of enhancing any 'sport driving experience' but rather a technology that makes sense in terms of improved safety (read "no tire blow-ups").
    So the safety considerations were really the trap in having me give no consideration to the fact that driving around Chicago is the last place to have a sport car set with RTF.
    From my 3 years experience and picking up on some of the posts in this forum I would summarize the following:

    - In an average metropolitan US area RTF tires make no sense (caveat, I am speaking about the Bridgestone set, I hear that some of you have had a much more positive experience with other Brands).
    - I have always driven cars with sporty dynamics and no cushy import or domestic vehicles so I am used to firm rides but my impression was that the RTFs were not matched to BMW chassis. Probably that type of technology requires tuning of shocks etc. to be of any worth.
    - Around Chicago I had many jarring impacts while driving on RTF, they were not good for either me or the car chassis and let to 3 new tires (an 1 wheel) being replaced (thank God I had gotten the tire insurance from the dealer because they are quite expensive).
    - I had no issue with wear but finally I did swap them for a new set of the same specs, but conventional, Bridgestones. The issue was the rubber was cracking (due to the abundant salt used in winter around Chicago). One reason for not seeing the excessive wear others have reported could be that the car was driven locally (Madison WI was probably the farthest destination) on roads repaved in the last 10 years using the new asphalt composite materials with transversal micro-grooving (like the south LSD etc) rather than coarser surfaces used elsewhere.

    In conclusion, and linking back to the title of my post..., perhaps RTF technology is not there yet, but surely there are additional factors that are in the way of getting the most out of them. The first reason could be the lack of modifying the car set-up to allow shocks to work harder since decreased pliancy and absorption of the thick wall in RTF tires would need to be compensated. The second is that being a new technology we as drivers are not completely aware of either their limitations as well potential.
    Personally I will keep a distant eye on what happens in this field but for the moment I am not going back to RTF.....after switching to the conventional set my experience with the car ride has been way more rewarding....and yet I would like to see this tech and the safety improvements it warrants move forward......Who knows may be I'll reconsider after test driving over pot-holes the 2014 i8 i plan to buy when it will become finally available.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,334
    didn't you notice how much quieter the new tires were?

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  • To be totally honest with you noise has not been an evident gain....Keep in mind, when it comes to cabin noise I have not been impressed at all by any of the models I test drove in the BMW lineup (once again, the Eden highway in Chicago was the ground for such tests and the pavement there may be rather coarse)...Back then to my astonishment found cabin noise to be on the same par even for the 535xi (never considered so never test drove any series 7 but have experienced higher cabin noise compared to other brands for the 3, X3 and X5 models). That said I consider it entirely acceptable considering that more often than not it is drowned by my own musical selections blasting via the premium sound system (arias by Maria Callas being the best at that). :)
  • reggie6reggie6 Posts: 26
    I just replaced the OEM run flats on my 2007 BMW 328xi coupe. They had 30K. I replaced them with get flats…the Continental DWS. I could not stand the noise any more and I contacted many many dealers and discussed it at length. I purchased a donut from Barvarian Motorsport for $335, it is the exact same donut I would get from BMW dealer in US if they would sell it to me. They won't. You have to go to Canada to purchase the donut kit. I don't understand why the dealers wont sell it here ( Im in the Northeast) but they all told me they can't order it, the orders get rejected.

    Meanwhile, I am thrilled with the Conti DWS, great handling in wet. Good handling in snow…we only had about a 5 inch snow so far this season but the car was so improved from my old tires it makes me wish I did this last year. Best of all, the noise is finally GONE….

    Not sure why the OEM were so noisy. We also have a 2011 535xi equipped with Conti run flats, same tire as my 2007 had, just different size. That car has 23 K and its not noisy. I called Continental and Tire Rack to discuss if the compound on the newer tires would create less noise if I got "updated" run flats. Clearly noise is an issue in the 3 Series, they told me they would be the same as my OEM. Maybe its the size of the tire...
  • however not in snow as this year didn't snow much. Definitely quieter and smoother over bumps. I did unfortunately had a side-wall puncture/flat from hitting a pothole after a week of getting it 20k miles later it's running fine. I also got a donut but no longer carries in trunk for the daily commute (save weight and shifts around in trunk.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,334
    Well the RFTs on my MINI used to sound like Maria Callas on a bad day. :P

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  • Oh My! That is the most alarming bit I have heard in so far on the topic. Let me recommend to restore your auditive sensory perception by listening to the Lucia di Lammermoor on EMI classic label or 'The very best of Maria Callas' or the more recent release by EMI classics 'The very best of Maria Callas'. There is still nowadays a good reason to believe the attribute "La Divina" bestowed on her was absolutely deserved. Make sure you buy the CDs, any digital compression cannot capture the 'dynamic qualities and timber' of such voice.
  • I'm a newby to BMWs and am picking up my first one next week. Was doing a little research on the RFTs that it has and am now concerned with the negative comments I've seen (most are dated a few years).
    1. Are there still reliability / performance issues with the run flat tires?
    2. Any thoughts on the tire/wheel warranty that BMW offers? 5 yrs for about $1500.
    Any advice is appreciated.
  • They are reliable for not getting a flat, but they will get really loud as they wear out. Too expensive, my Bridgestones only lasted 15k, pure trash.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,041
    The primary concern I have with the RFT concept is the ability to get them replaced or (rarely) repaired in the hinterlands. These tires seem to be made with the assumption that when one needs replacement there's a place just down the street who will do the work. In my part of the world, that's most assuredly not the case. Getting them repaired, by the twelve shops on the planet who are willing to do so, isn't especially straightforward either.

    If you live in one of the overcrowded areas on the coasts and rarely travel very far you'll probably think they're okay, but expensive.

    If not. . .
  • the fact that the insurance is now $1500 says it all. i think it was originally $350 and has gone up and up. can be only one reason....the tires suck. just got a 335 and will change out the rft to a regular tire and will buy the spare kit.
  • The answer to your first question varies with where you drive your vehicle and the brand of the RTF mounted on the car you are purchasing.
    Most of the complaints in this post refer to the Bridgestone RTF, others have had better experience with other brands/models
    Also if roads you tend to drive are not in good conditions with lots of uneven surfaces and potholes I would suggest not to go RTF.
    Lastly, should you get your car with RTF I would definitely go with tire/wheel insurance coverage.....just ask for a 3 years coverage, the 5years does not make much sense since it is unlikely that you will not be changing them later than 3 and the insurance is on the specific tires installed on the car at time of purchase. When you will replace them you will have the option to sign up on additional coverage if that will make sense.
    In my experience the insurance pays off big time with RTF, but as pointed out by others, I paid only $350 for my policy (5 years, but basically used it for 3 before changing to non RTF tires).
    I hope this helps
  • and what happens when you get a spike in ur tire, you are 3 hrs away from ur destination that happens to be a very important engagement and dont have time to find a tire store to replace it? like what happened to me and i missed a very important meeting. a spare tire is a good idea.
  • Don't buy in. RFTs are a waste.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 4,516
    If I offered you a set of four brand new tires and one new rim right now, would you buy it and put it in your garage for next five years? That's how much $1500 would buy you. Thanks, but no thanks...

    2018 330i Gran Coupe

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