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E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series E60 Sedan was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E61 wagon followed shortly there after. The E60/E61 5 series is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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Old 11-24-2005, 04:53 AM
akendal9 akendal9 is offline
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Location: UK
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: E60 520SE
Exclamation WARNING!! Check your pressures

Recently I was lucky to escape from certain doom when I entered a bend on a country road (in the UK) and the car under steered, stepping over to the opposite side. I narrowly missed a car coming the other way.

About a mile later the Tyre Warning came on telling me I had a puncture. I continued at reduced speed until I got to work. On checking the front tyres I found that both had deflated to zero pressure.

After pumping them up and resetting the system, I took it to the dealer. They found nothing wrong and said they could not check the system as it had been reset. They did not understand why the system did not warn me before the deflation was serious. I was sent on my way.

Over the next few days the tyres were deflating at an alarming rate (both fronts). As before, the Warning System did not come on until they were flat. The literature states that slight decreases in pressure are detected. I did some investigation.....

It turns out that the system used by BMW works as follows:
A speed ratio is determined by measuring relative opposing wheel speeds using the ABS system. I.e. front left compared with rear right, etc.
If one tyre deflates it can be detected by the an algorithm that calculates the ratio (sorry about the techy stuff).
When the system warns of a puncture, it doesn't actually know which tyre is defective.

I have some independent literature that explains the deficiencies of an 'Indirect System'. Number one is:
The system will not detect deflation of two tyres on the same axle.

Other systems (Direct) have sensors within the wheels that monitor each tyre individually. If a tyre deflates by 30% this can give as little as 1mm reduction in radius on the tyre. Therefore the Indirect System is never going to be that sensitive.

My advice to you all (while I decide what to do with this info.) is to check your pressures regularly. Don't rely on the warning system as I did - you may not be as lucky as me.

Sorry about the length. It's a story worth telling.
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Old 11-24-2005, 04:57 AM
akendal9 akendal9 is offline
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Location: UK
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: E60 520SE
Follow up

In the end the dealer removed the tyres and re-fitted replacing the valves. So far I have not experienced any issues. But we still don't know why they deflated in the first place after 20,000 miles!!

Not an excuse to stop buying this fine car, but don't take technology for granted.
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Old 12-04-2006, 07:35 PM
aurosc1 aurosc1 is offline
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Location: Australia
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 530 d E60
Flat tyre: Tyre defect indicator didn't come on

I recently bought a new 530 d with 19" wheels and was on my maiden voyage in the car. On the way I had to make a detour due to a "bushfire" and was travelling down a gravel road, when I noticed the car feeling like the ride was rougher than before. I was thinking about the fact that I may have a flat tyre, but no indication on the TDI (Tyre Defect Indicator). The feeling got worse and eventually I stopped to look at the tyres myself and found the left rear tyre completely deflated and delamenated. Again there was no warning indicator from the TDI. When I removed the wheel (and subsequently found a crack in the rim) and replaced with the space saver tyre, the TDI indicator went off!

I have sent the car to the service center to check the TDI and they say that it is working fine! Has anybody else had this problem, particularily when experiencing a puncture on a gravel road? Its disconcerting to rely on a piece of safety equipment to find that it didn't work.
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Old 12-04-2006, 08:26 PM
NYC-Producer NYC-Producer is offline
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Location: Los Angeles
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 13
Mein Auto: 530i
Thumbs down

I had the same problem this summer. Cracked both driver side rims on a pot hole. Yet, only the front set off the warning. I pulled over and had the spare put on. Not knowing that the back wheel was also cracked in half (the run-flats dont deflate until they are nearly destroyed), I drove for about three miles with no warning from iDrive. I noticed the car was still handling strangely I pulled over again and by that time the back tyre was starting to breakdown. When I got back in the car to call RA the iDrive warning finally kicked in.

On the bright side, the run-flat tyre did what it was designed to do but, the iDrive got lazy.
I thank my bottom dollar I was driving in the city in that there was too much traffic to drive any faster than 20mph. Since then, I have to treat the BMW like I treat my Cherokee - I check the air pressure at the gas station at least once per month! Pain in the arce!!!
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Old 12-04-2006, 09:02 PM
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gbelton gbelton is offline
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Location: NJ
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,945
Mein Auto: No More 6 Series
Glad U R Ok

Will make sure to check the pressure.
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