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View Full Version : Feet of Clay article in March Car and Driver


Bimmerspouse
02-07-2012, 08:09 AM
Looking to buy a 2012 535i x-drive Gran Turismo using European Delivery, but just read this article about the poor wheel performance on multiple wheels on a 2011 BMW 535i. Should I be concerned about this on a a $60-80K vehicle? Is it time to look at the M-B, Audi or another Porsche? I am very happy with my Porsche Panamera 4, but my husband wants his "bimmer". If I decide to go ahead, who would you recommend negotiating with in either Florida, Georgia or South Carolina, if I am considering a Performance Center stateside delivery after the Munich experience? Thanks in advance, for all your help! :)

stancv
02-07-2012, 09:03 AM
I was really worried about the same issue that many F10 owners were noting in forums regarding the bubbles developing in their wheels and bent rims (see my post regarding RFTs). However, upon looking into the problem some more, and realizing that the F07 is actually built on the 7-series chassis and using 7-series wheels and tires, which are somewhat larger, therefore giving some extra cushion to protect from bumps, I'm thinking we may be somehow protected from such issues. I am however, seriously considering adding tire & wheel insurance, as they mention in the article.
I found that many people switch from RFTs to regular tires, and thus avoid the bubbles, however you are then left with purchasing a tire sealing&inflation kit, putting a spare tire inside your trunk, or just waiting for the tow truck. And a hope that the rims are cushioned enough not to bend :dunno:

jadnashuanh
02-07-2012, 03:50 PM
Taking re-delivery at the Performance Center is a nice treat if you can make the time and are willing to drive the distance back home. While there, you don't have any costs unless you want them: the hotel and meals are included for two, they'll pick you up at the airport, train station, or bus station for free. You just have to get there and then home again, which can be cheap or expensive, depending.

Mine isn't all that old, will pass 10K miles in the next week or so, has the 18" stock wheels (well, I put different 18" winter tires/wheels on it for the winter), and so far, haven't had any wheel/tire issues. Not to say I won't, but so far, so good. BMW (and nearly any other manufacturer) warns about going to larger wheels - there's just not that much cushion left to prevent damage to the wheel and tire. I guess it's a matter of preference: would you rather a somewhat softer wheel that bent, or a harder one that shattered or cracked? At least you have a chance of straightening a bent one, but just trash a cracked one. Assuming your vehicle comes with Goodyear tires, Goodyear has a road hazard warranty that applies...no extra cost involved. Not as comprehensive as the wheel/tire warranty, but helps.

I'm not a big fan of the Goodyear tires, and when they wear out, I'll seriously consider something else. In the meantime, they aren't bad enough that I want to throw them away and switch. Even though BMW doesn't generally recommend rotating the tires (this may be because they offer multiple configurations where it is not possible since f/r use different wheels - can't see any other good reason to not recommend it), since I've got the same wheels all round, when I put them back on, I plan to swap front/rear to help even out the wear.

Mikez38
02-07-2012, 04:34 PM
Just passed 6K on my 550ix and no tire/wheel problems (I did buy the insurance). I have Good Year Eagle LS 245/45 R19 on all 4 wheels.
I was concerned after reading about all the reported problems, but now believe there is a very small percentage of effected owners. Remember, only people with problems report.

Bimmerspouse
02-07-2012, 06:19 PM
Taking re-delivery at the Performance Center is a nice treat if you can make the time and are willing to drive the distance back home. While there, you don't have any costs unless you want them: the hotel and meals are included for two, they'll pick you up at the airport, train station, or bus station for free. You just have to get there and then home again, which can be cheap or expensive, depending.

Mine isn't all that old, will pass 10K miles in the next week or so, has the 18" stock wheels (well, I put different 18" winter tires/wheels on it for the winter), and so far, haven't had any wheel/tire issues. Not to say I won't, but so far, so good. BMW (and nearly any other manufacturer) warns about going to larger wheels - there's just not that much cushion left to prevent damage to the wheel and tire. I guess it's a matter of preference: would you rather a somewhat softer wheel that bent, or a harder one that shattered or cracked? At least you have a chance of straightening a bent one, but just trash a cracked one. Assuming your vehicle comes with Goodyear tires, Goodyear has a road hazard warranty that applies...no extra cost involved. Not as comprehensive as the wheel/tire warranty, but helps.

I'm not a big fan of the Goodyear tires, and when they wear out, I'll seriously consider something else. In the meantime, they aren't bad enough that I want to throw them away and switch. Even though BMW doesn't generally recommend rotating the tires (this may be because they offer multiple configurations where it is not possible since f/r use different wheels - can't see any other good reason to not recommend it), since I've got the same wheels all round, when I put them back on, I plan to swap front/rear to help even out the wear.

Our summer home in western North Carolina is only one hour and forty minutes away from the performance center.:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

jadnashuanh
02-07-2012, 06:53 PM
It's definitely worth it, at least once. You don't get much actual driving time, but most people don't get a chance to beat up someone else's car on a track. Even if you visit the factory in Munich, it's neat to see the American version. They probably do this for everyone, but they also gave you the opportunity to drive one of the SAV to the factory and on the way back, through the obstacle course.

Stealth.Pilot
02-23-2012, 08:54 AM
The 5GT has the thicker walled 7 series tires so you don't need to worry. It's only the 5 series sedan that has this issue.