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  #26  
Old 11-08-2012, 03:54 PM
james_socal james_socal is offline
2010 335d: prev 2007 335i
Location: Los Angeles
 
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Mein Auto: 2010 335d
I live in L.A. where potholes are ubiquitous. I hit a big one a few weeks ago (with my previous ride, a 07 335i w/sport pkg) and 2 days ago, my flat tire warning light came on. This happened before and it was just sensor error so I continued my commute to work (about 25 miles). A couple hours later, after the tires had a chance to cool, I drove to a gas station to take a cold temp read. When I got there, I noticed there was about a 2-3 inch tear on my right front tire. I drove to a tire shop and it took $360 and about 3 hours (they didn't have the tire in stock and had to get it from a warehouse) before I was out of there.

I guess the lesson to be learned was I should always pull over right away if the tire warning light comes on and next time I hit a pothole, I'm going to pull over and take a picture of it. That way if I get another flat, city of LA can refund me.
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  #27  
Old 11-08-2012, 06:42 PM
Q. Senna Q. Senna is offline
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Location: Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Mein Auto: Subaru Impreza 2.5RS
Run flats are a safety feature. BMW's philosophy is that if you get a puncture you are able to keep driving to safety or to the nearest garage. This example holds most true during freeway driving where being on the side of the road changing a spare can be dangerous. Also think of it as a convenience tool. If you have a job that requires travel without interruption or as limited interruption as possible, run flats can be an amazing tool.
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  #28  
Old 11-12-2012, 10:01 AM
gpburdell gpburdell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q. Senna View Post
Run flats are a safety feature. BMW's philosophy is that if you get a puncture you are able to keep driving to safety or to the nearest garage.
Which is great unless you're on a holiday weekend trip and get a flat after the dealer's closed. Kinda f's up the weekend trip.

This is why I think I'll carry a small compressor and temporary plug kit for out of town trips. I figure if I can keep the tire inflated and off the sidewall I give myself more time and options.

Anyone have experience using a temporary plug (mushroom or string) and the BMW tire/wheel warranty?
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  #29  
Old 11-12-2012, 10:16 AM
lexhair lexhair is offline
figuring out my iDrive
Location: Wykagyl
 
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Mein Auto: '11 535 GT xDrive
Quote:
Originally Posted by james_socal View Post
I live in L.A. where potholes are ubiquitous. I hit a big one a few weeks ago (with my previous ride, a 07 335i w/sport pkg) and 2 days ago, my flat tire warning light came on. This happened before and it was just sensor error so I continued my commute to work (about 25 miles). A couple hours later, after the tires had a chance to cool, I drove to a gas station to take a cold temp read. When I got there, I noticed there was about a 2-3 inch tear on my right front tire. I drove to a tire shop and it took $360 and about 3 hours (they didn't have the tire in stock and had to get it from a warehouse) before I was out of there.

I guess the lesson to be learned was I should always pull over right away if the tire warning light comes on and next time I hit a pothole, I'm going to pull over and take a picture of it. That way if I get another flat, city of LA can refund me.
You're lucky they could lay hands on a run flat that day. 18" run flats in stock are like hen teeth around here.
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  #30  
Old 11-12-2012, 11:44 AM
SD Z4MR's Avatar
SD Z4MR SD Z4MR is offline
(formerly SD 335is)
Location: San Diego, CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4,278
Mein Auto: '06 Z4 MR | '11 335is E92
My experience with a flat with a run flat was under quite different circumstances than most people will experience.

We did Euro Delivery on my wife's 335is Coupe in May 2011 and spent 14 days driving the car through Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and France. Pickup was on Thursday, 5/12. On Saturday, 5/21, we were driving into Trier, Germany and had just exited the Autobahn when the Tire Pressure Monitor warning went off, both in the instrument cluster and on the iDrive. We pulled over and got out to look and sure enough, our run flat tire was about as flat as a run flat tire can be:



We were on a main thoroughfare coming into Trier, so we used the Navigation and looked for the closest BMW service location, Auto Orth, which was just a couple of kilometers away. This was at 16:35 on a Saturday afternoon in Germany, which means that any service-related business is closed. When we picked up the car at BMW Welt we were given a packet of information including a toll-free number to call if we had any problems. We called the number, and long story short, were told that there was nothing that could be done until Monday morning, so BMW put us up in a local hotel for two nights. (This is all part of the comprehensive insurance and trip coverage that is included with European Delivery.) They told us to drive to the hotel and then drive to the BMW service location on Monday morning and call them back. On Monday morning we drove to Auto Orth, less than a kilomoter from the hotel, they put the car on a lift and found a screw embedded in the middle of the tread of the right rear tire:



They don't patch tires in Germany so the tire had to be replaced. The rear tire is a Michelin PS2, 255/35ZR18. Apparently this tire is fairly rare in Germany and we were initially told that it would take 24 hours to get a new tire. Auto Orth did some more searching and found a tire about an hour away, so someone was dispatched to get the tire. Bottom line, the tire was procured, replaced, and we were on our way again around 14:30. The worst part was that we had to pay for the tire, since tires are the only part of the car not covered by the no-deductible all comprehensive insurance by Allianz, provided as part of BMW's Euro Delivery option. The charge that came through on our credit card statement was $580 for the tire, mounting, and balancing.

Our plan had been to spend a few hours in Trier then drive to Cologne where we had a hotel reservation for Saturday night. On Sunday morning we were going to get up and drive to the Nurburgring Norschleife for a full day of Touristenfahrten. We had planned to buy a four-lap ticket, two for me and two for my wife. After that we were going to drive to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, where we were going to spend Sunday night, all day Monday, Monday night, and then head back to Munich on Tuesday where we had a reservation for Tuesday night, and our return flight on Wednesday morning.

So how did having run flat tires affect us in this circumstance? Because it happened in Germany on a Saturday afternoon, even if we had a mini-spare, there was really nothing different that could have been done and a new tire still couldn't have been found until Monday morning. Cologne would have been too far to drive on a mini-spare, particularly on the Autobahn. Since the whole purpose of driving north was to drive at Nurburgring, we wouldn't have done that on a mini-spare anyway. A full-size spare would have been the only way that our trip could have continued uninterrupted. But our car has a staggered setup with 225/40ZR18 tires in the front. So what size should the spare be? If it were the 255/35ZR18 rear size then having a flat front tire would result in having a mismatched front set. If the spare were the 225/40ZR18 front size, then having a flat rear tire would result in a mismatched rear set. Bottom line, there were no other alternatives that would have resulted in a better outcome.

If this had happened to us on a Saturday morning on our way to Costco, then the outcome would have been much different. We would have called BMW Assist (BTW, BMW Assist isn't enabled in Europe, different radio frequencies), the car would have been flat-bedded to a local BMW dealer. If the service department was still open and if they had the tire in stock, it would have been replaced and we would be on our way. If not, then we would have been give a loaner, we would have gone on our way, then returned to the dealer on Monday afternoon to pick up our car with a new tire. If we had a mini-spare then I would have had to change the tire, possibly on the side of a freeway, and a visit to the tire store would have followed. Alternately, call AAA and either have them replace the tire or flat-bed the car to a tire store. Bottom line, a flat tire is a bummer, and interrupts your plans, and regardless of whether you have a run-flat tire or a mini-spare, it will result in a trip to either the BMW dealer or a tire store.

Now, about the run-flat tire itself and the screw that caused it to go flat. From the time that we exited the Autobahn until we got the warning was less than a kilometer. We drove less than two kilometers to Auto Orth, only to find it closed, then less than a kilometer to the hotel and less than a kilometer back to Auto Orth on Monday morning. Take a good look at the screw in the tire (the pictures don't do it justice, the head of the screw had been ground completely flat). Do you think that the screw would have been that damaged with only a few kilometers on it, in other words, did we pick up that screw after exiting the Autobahn or did we pick up the screw on the Autobahn or before we got on the Autobahn? Prior to the exit we had been driving for several hours at speeds of 110-120 MPH (not KPH!) and had a brief run at 145 MPH. When my wife saw the screw in the tire she said she sure hoped that we had picked up that screw after we got off the Autobahn. My reaction was the opposite, I said that I hoped that we had picked it up and driven on the Autobahn like that, because that would be a huge testament to the safety of run flat tires.

Different circumstances result in different outcomes, but this was our circumstance and our outcome. I don't think the outcome would have been any different, regardless of the type of tire and flat tire remedy.
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  #31  
Old 11-12-2012, 01:10 PM
mr_clueless's Avatar
mr_clueless mr_clueless is offline
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Thanks for sharing your story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SD Z4MR View Post
A full-size spare would have been the only way that our trip could have continued uninterrupted. But our car has a staggered setup with 225/40ZR18 tires in the front. So what size should the spare be? If it were the 255/35ZR18 rear size then having a flat front tire would result in having a mismatched front set. If the spare were the 225/40ZR18 front size, then having a flat rear tire would result in a mismatched rear set. Bottom line, there were no other alternatives that would have resulted in a better outcome.
Indeed in your situation that seems to be the case. For me at least, that would be a deterrent enough to not buy a car with a staggered setup for use on long trips. (Of course, the lack of a full-size spare means there's no benefit anyway.)

Quote:
Now, about the run-flat tire itself and the screw that caused it to go flat. From the time that we exited the Autobahn until we got the warning was less than a kilometer. We drove less than two kilometers to Auto Orth, only to find it closed, then less than a kilometer to the hotel and less than a kilometer back to Auto Orth on Monday morning. Take a good look at the screw in the tire (the pictures don't do it justice, the head of the screw had been ground completely flat). Do you think that the screw would have been that damaged with only a few kilometers on it, in other words, did we pick up that screw after exiting the Autobahn or did we pick up the screw on the Autobahn or before we got on the Autobahn? Prior to the exit we had been driving for several hours at speeds of 110-120 MPH (not KPH!) and had a brief run at 145 MPH. When my wife saw the screw in the tire she said she sure hoped that we had picked up that screw after we got off the Autobahn. My reaction was the opposite, I said that I hoped that we had picked it up and driven on the Autobahn like that, because that would be a huge testament to the safety of run flat tires.
The only thing that really matters is how things performed after the time that the TPM came on because that is when the tire pressure dropped. So even if you had the nail before getting on the Autobahn, as long as it didn't result in a drop in pressure, not sure that it matters. Or is it that run-flats are more resistant to getting punctured than regular tires?
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Last edited by mr_clueless; 11-12-2012 at 01:16 PM.
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  #32  
Old 11-12-2012, 08:12 PM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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  #33  
Old 11-19-2012, 09:25 PM
mgarciah mgarciah is offline
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Location: Costa Rica
 
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Mein Auto: 320i, X3 and X5
I really have a great experience with run flats, we have an E90, F25 and E70 with run flats all, on the E90 my wife got punched tires a lot and she never had to stop or wasting time on them, just after the flat tire light comes on she just go to the tire repair center and she is on her way on minutes on day light and a save place, same thing happened with the F25 she smashed some glass piece and got a severe damage on a dangerous zone in the capital the flat tire light comes on right away but she could drove almost 4 Kms away until a safe place, then some weird sounds came from the tranny, the tire was totally destroyed and the morning after dealer told us that when one of the wheels has too different RPMS due the reduced circunference fromm the flat wheel the tranny start to do that sound and block it itself to avoid damage, the tire was replaced, but the tire has sufficient capacity to get my family away from that place... $300 for a tire and get your family safe back......bargain!!!!
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  #34  
Old 11-26-2012, 05:55 PM
keechisan keechisan is offline
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Location: Austin
 
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Mein Auto: 640I
Exclamation Run Flats

New to the Forum but have had several experiences with Run Flats on various BMW products.

I recommend keeping a good quality plug kit and compressor in the trunk. You can't fix a damaged sidewall but you can fix a nail, screw, or other tread surface puncture. Most major tire shops in the US will not repair even a nail puncture in a RFT due to perceived liability issues. From experience, BMW roadside assist will only cover the towing of your vehicle to the dealer for tire replacement. If it is a Sunday and the dealer is closed---the tow is on your dime!
Driving a distance on a deflated RFT will ruin the sidewalls just as on any tire. The key is catching the deflation early before the tire is damaged beyond repair!
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  #35  
Old 11-28-2012, 11:34 AM
Coder Coder is online now
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Location: Colorado Springs
 
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Mein Auto: 2011 X3 xDrive35i
Based on 22,000 miles of experience with our 2011 X3 equipped with the Pirelli P7 All Season RFTs, I suspect things may have changed in the RFT arena over the past few years. Our tires are quiet and not at all harsh but they are certainly heavy and expensive! Perhaps some of this is due to improved RFT construction and some to better suspension tuning. We havenít yet had a flat however and I appreciate the fact that one may be stuck waiting for a replacement tire. It seems that BMW is doing their best to push RFT usage. With improvements in noise/harshness, perhaps RFTs will become more common over time.
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  #36  
Old 11-28-2012, 01:10 PM
gpburdell gpburdell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keechisan View Post
I recommend keeping a good quality plug kit and compressor in the trunk. [...] The key is catching the deflation early before the tire is damaged beyond repair!
Agreed. I came to the same conclusion after my first RFT flat. I was very lucky; 9am on a Saturday when I didn't have any particular place I had to be. But I got to thinking what if it was Saturday night? Or if I was on a weekend trip out of town? No, a plug kit won't solve all situations, but it covers a lot of them and if I can keep the tire inflated I have a LOT more range to limp the car home. (I'd be very cautious with any external plug, things get pretty exciting when your tire spits one out...)
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  #37  
Old 12-01-2012, 06:40 AM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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  #38  
Old 01-02-2014, 11:31 AM
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Dave 20T Dave 20T is offline
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Mein Auto: '13 320i, occ. use of X3
I've thought about runflats ever since I got my BMW a few months ago. I am preparing to get a full sized spare. I already have a new wheel and a used tire that I might mount on it.

Some have pointed out the dangers of changing a flat on the highway. Some highways have wide shoulders but some don't. With run flats, you could drive to the next exit.

Runflats do have distance limitations. They say 50 miles at 50 mph. If you are driving between cities, there might not be a suitable replacement in between cities and within 50 miles. You might find the right size but have to buy a different model, which would mean having to eventually buy another replacement.

If you have snow tires, you could carry the out of season tire as a spare. I don't plan to get snow tires for another 4 years or so because I have another car with new snow tires.

My proposed spare tire is the wrong size. It's 0.5 inches too short, so it would be like driving on a flat. I'm looking for a different spare to mount on the wheel.
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  #39  
Old 01-02-2014, 11:42 AM
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Dave 20T Dave 20T is offline
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Mein Auto: '13 320i, occ. use of X3
I wonder what is the incidence of flat tires? Looking back at my experience and my parents', I can think of only three times in decades where a flat tire was too flat to drive. I can think of a few more times where the leak was slow.

I'm strongly thinking of keeping the run flats and carrying a spare only if I drive to another city. After the stock tires are worn, I'll have to decide whether to replace them with run flats or not.
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