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BMW 5-Series Tires and Wheels



  • ehc0791ehc0791 Posts: 1
    I have CPO 2006 550 with sport package for 4 years, and so far replaced 2 rim and 4 tires. The total cost was about $3000. Luckily, I bought tire insurance, but I dislike the situation at all. The tires are 245/70/18R. Basically the design of rim and tire can not handle the normal road condition. They may be good on a glass surface. I decide to cut my loss and sell the damn thing and forget about it in my life.
  • gregoryxgregoryx Posts: 44
    I have 2010 and considering 2011 535xi but have been reading horror stories about TFT. I have similar experience with my mb rft They are expensive and really don't deliver incremental value.

    Can I purchase new vehicle without rft?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    A few questions:
    - - You have a 2010 what?
    - - Are you inquiring whether you can buy any new car with GFTs? Yes. Many companies sell their cars with GFTs.
    - - Are you wondering if you can buy a new BMW with GFTs? Yes, and no. As far as I know, all standard model BMWs are now equipped with RFTs while all M-Series BMWs are equipped with GFTs.

    The thing is, if you don't want a 535xi with RFTs, simply buy the car and change the tires to GFTs; problem solved.
  • gregoryxgregoryx Posts: 44
    2010 535xi. I'm wondering if I can buy 2011 without rft. In prior years the rft tire has been an option. If I have to spend more $ after purchase to move to standard tires I just want to know rather than be surprised.

    Has there been precedent with dealer swapping the tires as part of the original purchase?

    Finally, are there any redeeming qualities to having rft? I read only horror stories
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited July 2011
    All versions of the 535xi come with RFTs.

    I've yet to hear of a single dealer policy allowing a pre-delivery swap of GFTs for the factory RFTs; no precident.

    Redeeming qualities of RFTs? Being able to drive out of a bad neighborhood if you get a flat.
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    At least on my BMW, there is NO place to store a spare tire (plus, you'd have to buy the jack and wrench, as it doesn't come with them). If you want one cluttering up most of the trunk area, and no easy way to hold it down, go for it. If you figure you'll just call for service...good luck - you may just be out of range on the cellphone and may have to wait hours. The redeeming feature of a RFT is you can safely drive on them and get to a place where you (hopefully) can replace it or repair it. So, without one, your choices are: run without a spare at all, carry around a spare (you'd have to buy a new wheel, or maybe one of the compact spares), or install something like 'Slime' in the tires and hope that would prevent a flat (and doesn't trash the pressure sensors). Expect a tire servicing dealer to charge you extra for getting all that slime on his equipment when you do need to replace the tire.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    You paint a pretty bleak picture of relying on a flat-fixer kit, however, the costs of using such a kit are far less than running with nasty RFTs.

    The kit ($79.00):

    Cost of a new TPMS sensor: $53.

    The cost difference between a set of RFTs and a set of GFTs: $500.

    I'm thinking I'd much rather pay for a few new TPMS sensors than a set of RFTs.
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    If it did trash the TPS, and I'm not saying it would (but it could), you'd then have to listen to the car chime at you all the time as I don't think there is a way to turn off that warning, not counting the displayed warning as well. It might even play nanny if it detects you driving too fast for having a flat as well. All that is supposition. If you go that route, let us know your feelings, especially if you end up with a flat. I typically go years without one, then get a couple. On one day, I had two tires with nails/screws in them, now that was a major pain. Luckily, the leak was slow enough, I could pump them up and leap-frog my way to a repair shop, but that assumes you carry a compressor.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The kit I included the link to includes a compressor. :)
  • gregoryxgregoryx Posts: 44
    Thanks - sounds like run flat can be a pain and expensive, as they are with my mb. I'd rather have conventional tires and will try to negotiate with dealer. I'm ordering my vehicle next week
  • I have a year old 550GT with the Sport package (20" wheels and RFT's). Just replaced both rear tires and wheels. Wheels were cracked and tires slashed from inside. These tires were replaced 6 months previous for same thing. BMW does nothing and blames me for driving through pot holes. For 32 years I have been driving high end MB and BMW. Never experienced this problem before. My last car was MB 550S with AMG package. This is not a safe vehicle and stay away. BMW refuses to deal with my problem and will not take responsibility. There is a design and manufacture flaw but they hide from the problem. Does someone need to be killed for them to wake up?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Your post misses a few very key points:

    1) It is highly unlikely that any of your previous cars have ever had 20" wheels with such short sidewalls.

    2) When you say "BMW does nothing but blame me..." are you referring to your dealer (a franchisee, and not BMW proper), or are you saying someone from Woodcliff Lake, NJ?

    3) There is no design or manufacturing flaw, low profile tires such as you're running will, by definition, become easily damaged at the slightest provocation; regardless of tire brand, wheel manufacturer, or vehicle manufacturer.

    4) Not only did you opt to "upgrade" the size of the wheels on your car when you bought it, you "upgraded" them two full sizes. The standard 18" wheel setup which comes on the GT has tires with over 4.8" of sidewall, and even the 19" setup of the standard sport package has a fairly reasonable 4.3"; which is typically enough to absorb pot-hole hits and such encountered in normal day to day driving. Instead of opting for either of the above, you went for a setup which only offers 3.8" of sidewall give.

    5) All of BMWs web sites and Sales and Marketing literature include disclaimers regarding tire and wheel damage caused by opting for large diameter wheels and low profile tires.

    So, BMW clearly states tire and wheel damage can result from running the low profile setup you have, and you still bought it anyway; how is it BMWs responsibility? Some folks feel they need that much bling, but for my part, I have no intention of ever owning a car with wheels with less than 4" of rubber protecting them from the road (and 4.3" would be even better).
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited September 2011
    I take it by your continued silence you've figured out that BMW isn't really to blame for your wheel and tire issues.

    Suggestion; have your dealership put a 19" wheel and tires setup from the standard 550i GT Sport Package on your car. Not only should both the ride and handling of your car improve (not that you need the handling this car is capable of on regular roads), but your wheels and tires will be far more capable of absorbing the impacts from the things you seem to be driving over without sustaining damage.
  • On the contrary, I still blame BMW. There is clearly a design flaw in the suspension. After my 9th bent wheel and my 6th tire replacement, I traded the car in for a new 2012 Audi A6. I now have a car that rides like a sport sedan should ride and I no longer must worry about what roads I travel down, will I need to have my car towed to the dealer again, downtime and the most important the aggravation.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    So which size of wheels and tires were you running on your BMW?

    FWIW, I see that the two different wheel/tire options of the 2012 Audi A6 have 4.8" and 4.3" of sidewall height between the rim and the road (sound familiar?).
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Yes, I also noted he didn't mention wheel/tire size on his new Audi.

    Let's face it... For some, it will always be the manufacturer's fault. And, to an extent, I can accept that reasoning. Even if I find a disclaimer that "legally" exonerates the carmaker (as BMW includes in it's manual), does that really go far enough in informing the potential buyer about probable damage to oversize wheels?

    Still, in the end, no one is forcing the buyer to take the vehicle... So it's up to the buyer to understand what he is purchasing. Couple that with the fact that only a small percentage of owners ever actually read the owner's manual ( most can be read "on-line" before the purchase has been made) and you get an overall "uninformed" car owner. In fact, most car buyers probably spend more time researching the purchase of a $800 wide-screen TV than the car they buy...

    If I had to guess, I would bet the implications of larger wheels/smaller tire sidewalls NEVER crossed his mind. He probably just liked the way the vehicle looked.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yeah, probably infected by the "Bling-Virus" where everything bigger is automatically better.
  • I think some are possibly missing the point here and suggesting the problem must definitely be with the driver(s) and not with the mfr wheels themselves. In some cases it may be the driver hitting a huge hole or major obstacle in the road that would put it outside of the design specs for absorbing the impact. But in others (most?), it sounds like there ARE problems with certain mfr alloy wheels 18" and wider even under normal road conditions (minor potholes, ...). I only came to this thread because two of my rims on my 530i developed issues (one cracked, the other bent) and I was curious if this was common or not to my vehicle. I have never hit anything that would have suggested my wheels would crack or bend in my 530i. In fact, I have never had a failed wheel before in 30+ years of driving including two previous BMWs, Acura, Cadillac, ..., so it did seem at least to me to be a legitimate gripe after reading about others having similar problems. I have to admit, I will definitely be wary of replacing my 530i with another BMW (or from any other mfr) that seems to have a higher than normal degree of wheel failure. It is an expensive fix obviously!
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    I haven't looked at where the wheels BMW uses are made, but that may be an issue as more and more manufacturing moves to the far east. There's only so much you can do in quality control, it takes a conscientious management of each supplier to keep it high. I do know if you look on the aftermarket choices, most are made there. But, as manufacturers move to make lower profile monster tires available based on demand, the people that buy them must take responsibility for the fact that they have nowhere near the same safety margin when hitting anything other than a smooth road before they can be damaged.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Wider wheels and tires are not the issue as "wider" doesn't necessarily translate to short sidewalls. That said, regardless of how wide the tire is, as the sidewall height decreases to a point less than about 4.25", the tire and wheel will become increasingly prone to damage with relatively minor provocation; it matters not the maker of the width or maker of the tire, the maker of the wheel, or the maker of the car.

    Case in point, the 18" wheels which come standard on the previously discussed 550i GT are wrapped with tires endowed with over 4.8" of sidewall height; enough "give" so that one could drive those tires through some of the worst Manhattan has to offer and still not incur any damage.

    The next step up is the 550i Sport Package which comes with 19" wheels and tires with a minimal (but still ample) 4.3" of sidewall height. While this setup will be somewhat more susceptible to damage compared to the 18" setup, they'll still survive most of what the big bad world of roads out there can throw at you.

    In the Sublime to the Ridiculous department, those whom opt for the 20" Max-Bling setup which sports tires with a paltry 3.8" of sidewall height, had better be sure that the roads they drive on were just black-topped yesterday, because if the roads aren’t nearly glass smooth, they're going to be finding themselves buying new wheels and tires to replace the ones which were damaged when they ran over something as minor as a tar-strip. :P
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