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X3 F25 (2011 - current)
The latest X3 brings some added style and some new features to the BMW SUV family. Talk about the new F25 now!

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  #26  
Old 12-04-2013, 11:43 AM
claudiusp claudiusp is offline
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A suspension which is calibrated for a stiff tire, will be even better for a softer (conventional) tire! Safety? yes you drive 50 ml but you are unable to find the RFT for your car; in the end you could be in a more unsafe position than before.
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  #27  
Old 12-04-2013, 12:02 PM
ngrigoriev ngrigoriev is offline
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I would also compare the RFTs with electric cars. What about the electric cars? It is actually worse than the RFT. You are low on charge and you are in the middle of nowhere. Or your battery loses the charge quickly because of humidity. Or you get stuck in traffic. Whatever, your car is totally useless now. It needs to be towed and charged. But we all agree that the electric cars is the ultimate future, right? Not in next 5 years maybe, but in 10 years, for example. So what? The early adopters pay the price for these manufacturers entering the new market. But with the time their life will get easier and easier because the infrastructure will be more and more available.

Same for RFT. They do represent the advancement in the tire design, does everyone agree? Technologically speaking, they have obvious advantages over regular tires. And while many high-performance conventional tires are still better the RFTs do get better too. And they get cheaper, they are now only 10-20% more expensive than regular tires. Just like with the electric cars I think in a couple of years they will be everywhere. But as early adopters we have to pay the price now
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  #28  
Old 12-04-2013, 12:06 PM
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Mark K Mark K is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnL345 View Post
I don't get the "closed stores" thing. You can't get conventional tires in these cases.
True. But before BMW's mass-brainwashing, you would not think "stranded", you would think "Dammit, now I'm going to have to get dirty with that spare!"

Quote:
My question about the suspension remains unanswered!
I can only give you my experience. The suspension is working better now with (admittedly better/higher quality) normal tires. Car was up to very high speeds on RFTs (Autobahn+racetrack) and car was on up to very high speeds on regular tires (racetrack) - no comparison, regular tires are much better paired with OEM suspension. At least in my opinion.

Quote:
I was skeptical about RFT's after reading stories on the Tire Rack site etc and even hesitated when getting my last 328 but
now after four years? I am never going back!
I'm glad you like them. Some of us don't. It's normal. It would be VERY abnormal if we would all want to marry the same woman - thus I do not understand BMW's pathological insisting on forcing the issue on their customers. Just engineer that dang space for spare tire and let your customers chose what combination they want out of the four possible in order to achieve best perceived safety and convenience.

What's wrong with choices?
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2013 118d BMWNA Special Edition. Black on black cloth (yay!), 5 door hatchback, 140hp diesel. Special edition items: factory debadge| "VW", "Golf" and "TDI" badges factory applied | MT | Standard go flat tires | Spare tire (yay!) | No moonroof (yay!) .
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  #29  
Old 12-04-2013, 12:44 PM
JohnL345 JohnL345 is offline
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I'm glad you like them. Some of us don't. It's normal. It would be VERY abnormal if we would all want to marry the same woman - thus I do not understand BMW's pathological insisting on forcing the issue on their customers. Just engineer that dang space for spare tire and let your customers chose what combination they want out of the four possible in order to achieve best perceived safety and convenience.

Funny--I feel the same way about that darn stop/start system!
Why can't it be the default--
I use a computer all day and when I get in my car I would really like to feel like I am driving a car and not
still operating a computer!
My guess is the RFT thing ain't going away and the technology will continue to improve.

Love those good old days more and more the older I get!

Last edited by JohnL345; 12-04-2013 at 12:46 PM.
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  #30  
Old 12-04-2013, 12:50 PM
Bruce Sinclair Bruce Sinclair is offline
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RFT's and tuning

Is it really true that the suspension of a 2011 535ix is "tuned" to run-flat tires, and that installing non-run-flats would somehow upset the suspension tuning?
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  #31  
Old 12-04-2013, 01:09 PM
JohnL345 JohnL345 is offline
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Originally Posted by Bruce Sinclair View Post
Is it really true that the suspension of a 2011 535ix is "tuned" to run-flat tires, and that installing non-run-flats would somehow upset the suspension tuning?
A good question.
Only a real techie can answer it.

I don't know if any tuning would be "upset."
Rather, the issue is the response, feel and handling?

I can say that even conventional tires are selected for cars by engineers for OEM's.
I had an old front wheel drive Volvo Coupe. Blew a conventional Michelin that came with the car---incredibly great tires (forget the model) for handling and ride and noise.
discovered Michelin stopped producing the tires and I ended up having to buy four different models--recommended as best replacements for the originals by Michelin.

Horrible! I went from the best tires to the worst.
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  #32  
Old 12-05-2013, 05:36 PM
Brutus1 Brutus1 is offline
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I have a 2011 X3 which came with the Pirelli factory tires which I had patched quite a number of times but of course none of them were in the sidewall. These were done at a tire store and not the dealership where I was very comfortable with them. The Pirelli's only got about 27,000 miles but the outer front edges were terribly worn for many miles before that. I asked the SA what his thoughts were about the wearing and he said it was the curvy roads I drive on. BS! The parts dept. gave me quotes on 3 different tires that were recommended by BMW but I bought them (Bridgestone) from my tire shop and saved a few hundred dollars.
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  #33  
Old 12-05-2013, 07:54 PM
donkeyjote donkeyjote is offline
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When my first set of RFTs wore out at 23k, I replaced them and spent another $100 on a tread life warranty to 72k. My tire dealer and I reviewed all the fine print and the warranty apparently does not exclude RFTs. I also discovered that the tire/wheels were not within factory specs from the factory which contributed to my short tire life.
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  #34  
Old 12-06-2013, 12:40 PM
Coder Coder is offline
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Kind'a agree with everyone here. There are pros and cons. It'll be interesting to see where RFTs are in a few more years as lots of manufacturers, not just BMW, are moving away from spare tires. The lower cost vehicles are just supplying emergency repair (aka 'slime') kits which have their own set of problems and limitations. If a lot of my driving was in remote areas I think I'd invest in a spare tire (and jack and wheel hangers and wrench...) and accept the loss of space in the rear.
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  #35  
Old 12-09-2013, 08:49 AM
JohnL345 JohnL345 is offline
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Tires are one area where consumers still have a choice that is relatively easy.
Changing seats or exhaust systems etc can be incredibly costly and difficult to facilitate. So for most of the vehicles we buy, we tend to "settle" for less than perfect.
We live with what options manufacturers offer as our Only" choices.

Tires are different. At some point the OEM's wear out and we need to replace them or we can swap out the OEM's, up front, when we get the car.
Tires do make a perceptible difference in handling, ride and noise etc.

I occasionally enjoy reading those consumer reviews on Tire Rack. Many are improbable howlers-claims tires have worn out after 10K miles for e.g.. …..
I wonder how many of these folks arrive at their conclusions.

Engineers who design these vehicles test and select specific tires for specific makes and models.

Many tires carry codes on them indicating they are approved for BMW (a star) or another manufacturer.

From "Car and Driver"--
12.) ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT (OE) MARKING: These letters-or a symbol-indicate that this is the automaker-specified version of a tire that came as a car's original equipment. These tires can often be a very different blend of rubber compound compared with the off-the-shelf variety of the same tire, even though the tread pattern is identical. Examples of OE markings: General Motors-all have a TPC SPEC number; BMW-most have a five-pointed-star symbol; Mercedes-some are emblazoned with "M0"; Porsche-all have the letter "N" followed by a number, i.e., N1, N2, etc.

BMW states that they "collaborate" with tire manufacturers in designing tires to meet BMW's specs. BMW in turn, states they design and calibrate suspension for use with these tires.
I suspect a lot of people are ignoring this and selecting tires based on all sorts of criteria, much of it wrong headed.

I also suspect that run flats are victim to conventional wisdom that gets passed around. How many people frantic about switching to conventional tires have even driven on RFT's (the latest iterations) and have evaluated the cons based on their own experience? I know I was one--I read the "reviews" and when leasing my first BMW was hesitant. I am on my second set of Conti RFT's and find them to be just fine. I have "compared" different sets of conventional tires on the same car and found striking differences--mainly in ride and noise.

Handling is a different story--rft's or conventional--how many people offering opinions are actually driving at the threshold where handling differences between tires of similar specifications are actually "experienced?"

How many complaints about RFT's are from people moving from a car with a "cushier" suspension/ride than a BMW to a BMW? Stiffer ride? "Gotta be the tires!"

I don't doubt that some can "feel" the difference in handling. But I think these folks are probably a small group of enthusiasts. I wonder if driving two identical BMW's around town in typical driving conditions one with RFT's and the other with conventional tires--not knowing which was which--- most would be able to tell the difference?

I still wonder if switching to conventional tires, one is compromising ride and/or handling given the suspension has been tuned for RFT's.

Last edited by JohnL345; 12-09-2013 at 08:50 AM.
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  #36  
Old 12-09-2013, 09:05 AM
flavius99 flavius99 is offline
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^Nice write-up.
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  #37  
Old 12-09-2013, 10:09 AM
Masterx5 Masterx5 is offline
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I am wondering if NTSA has any clear mandate on how tires in future will be -RFT or not.
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  #38  
Old 12-10-2013, 09:25 AM
vince59 vince59 is offline
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completely agree
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  #39  
Old 12-14-2013, 09:23 AM
bimmercloud bimmercloud is offline
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did anyone buy the BMW tire/rim insurance when they first picked up their car? is it worth the $1600 they charge for 3 years? the dealer suggested ppl were replacing their run-flats at 1.5 tires/yr with all the potholes we have in the northeast.
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  #40  
Old 12-16-2013, 08:30 AM
JohnL345 JohnL345 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmercloud View Post
did anyone buy the BMW tire/rim insurance when they first picked up their car? is it worth the $1600 they charge for 3 years? the dealer suggested ppl were replacing their run-flats at 1.5 tires/yr with all the potholes we have in the northeast.
I purchased it the first time did not purchase it with my latest lease.
It adds around $45 per month to your lease payment (if you roll it into the deal). Like all insurance it is a matter of risk/reward.

I drove Volvos for over twelve years. (a business thing). Most had low profile tires ALL were conventional (non RFT's). I went through a lot of tires. I also went through a lot of rims. (not that terrible because I got tires and rims at cost--a business thing).

I had occasions where the tire was fine and the wheel/rim was damaged. You can hit a pot hole/obstruction and damage the wheel/rim and not the tire. (though serious damage to a wheel should necessitate replacing the tire given the odds that though the tire is functional, the sidewall could be damaged).

The real potential cost is the wheel NOT the tire.

So I was a bit skittish ordering a car with RFT's for the first time.

Over the three years, I had one tire problem (a nail). I could have driven 25 miles to a dealer and gotten a new tire but my mechanic is 1/4 mile away and repaired the tire for a very nominal cost. (to me it was worth the reduced hassle).
RFT's CAN be repaired.

I had NO problems with rims or wheels.

The tires were 45 series profile RFT's.

I did NOT purchase the insurance this time round.
The "new" car has 50 series tires on 17" rims. I probably would get the insurance with any tires lower than 45 series.

Since RFT's are designed to run flat--I believe they protect the wheel far better than conventional tires. Again the real expense is replacing wheels! NOT Tires. (go to Tire Rack or some other retailer in your area and price out the replacement tires on your BMW). I would also price out the cost from a dealer for a new wheel sans tire.

I WOULD ALSO LOOK INTO GETTING THE CONTINENTAL RFT REPAIR KIT. Insurance or not--I would have this in the trunk (around a $100 bucks).

So--
You are most likely to damage a tire.
Less likely to damage a wheel (especially with RFT's).

If you have very expensive wheels--that is really what you are considering in buying insurance (IMOP). It's like those deductibles in health insurance. The way I look at it--to replace a tire on my present vehicle, it is really no big deal financially. Nails or other slow leak problems can be fixed. If you have special high performance tires--or really low profiles then that is a consideration (in this case you really need to buy winter tires and wheels as well).
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  #41  
Old 12-16-2013, 08:54 AM
ngrigoriev ngrigoriev is offline
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnL345 View Post

I WOULD ALSO LOOK INTO GETTING THE CONTINENTAL RFT REPAIR KIT. Insurance or not--I would have this in the trunk (around a $100 bucks).
Are you referring to this one: http://www.tirerack.com/accessories/detail.jsp?ID=38? I was thinking about getting one just in case if we travel with the family on our ultimate but somewhat fragile driving machine
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  #42  
Old 12-16-2013, 10:07 AM
waqas1988 waqas1988 is offline
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Re: Run Flat Tires

Does anyone know how deep a staple or nail needs to be to warrant replacement of RFT's? Don't want to have to replace it if its not necessary. Thanks!

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  #43  
Old 12-16-2013, 10:52 AM
ngrigoriev ngrigoriev is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waqas1988 View Post
Does anyone know how deep a staple or nail needs to be to warrant replacement of RFT's? Don't want to have to replace it if its not necessary.

Hmmm...I do not think it is about the depth. It either goes through or not. I actually had a screw in my OEM RFT just two weeks after getting the car Went to local Canadian Tire, asking them in advance if they can fix an RFT - they said "yes, depending on the damage". Turned out that it was a very very short screw that did not go through. I did drive on these tires for 3 more months till winter and did not have any pressure loss.

My current understanding is that you either need to damage the sidewall (cut) or punch the tire and drive on the flat tire for more than just few km to do make the replacement unavoidable. Not sure about the last statement. I am curious if driving on the flat RTF for a short distance guarantees to ruin the tire?
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  #44  
Old 12-16-2013, 10:58 AM
JohnL345 JohnL345 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngrigoriev View Post
Hi,



Are you referring to this one: http://www.tirerack.com/accessories/detail.jsp?ID=38? I was thinking about getting one just in case if we travel with the family on our ultimate but somewhat fragile driving machine
That's the one.
I have not had to use it. The only problem with RFT's I have ever had, was a slow leak due to a nail--it never got to the point where the tire went "flat."

I read a number of good reviews of the Conti kit (I am sure there are others on the market) and bought one.
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  #45  
Old 12-16-2013, 11:44 AM
waqas1988 waqas1988 is offline
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Re: Run Flat Tires

A Discount Tire near my house is willing to repair the tire for free as long as it doesn't need to be replaced after they take out the staple. The rep at BMW didn't really offer me any alternatives other than replacing the tire for $300. I wanted to know if it was absolutely necessary to replace a run flat. There doesn't seem to be any air leaking from the tire at the moment.

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  #46  
Old 12-16-2013, 12:03 PM
JohnL345 JohnL345 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waqas1988 View Post
A Discount Tire near my house is willing to repair the tire for free as long as it doesn't need to be replaced after they take out the staple. The rep at BMW didn't really offer me any alternatives other than replacing the tire for $300. I wanted to know if it was absolutely necessary to replace a run flat. There doesn't seem to be any air leaking from the tire at the moment.

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Dealers are not in the tire repair biz!
(that's a big reason there are so many tire repair operations around!).
Also usually NOT the best prices on new tires.

I would get the replacement price from your discount place. If reasonable, I would have them remove the object. They will be able to tell right away if you need a new tire..you will have some kind of leak.
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  #47  
Old 12-16-2013, 01:07 PM
poker838 poker838 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngrigoriev View Post
Hmmm...I do not think it is about the depth. It either goes through or not. I actually had a screw in my OEM RFT just two weeks after getting the car Went to local Canadian Tire, asking them in advance if they can fix an RFT - they said "yes, depending on the damage". Turned out that it was a very very short screw that did not go through. I did drive on these tires for 3 more months till winter and did not have any pressure loss.

My current understanding is that you either need to damage the sidewall (cut) or punch the tire and drive on the flat tire for more than just few km to do make the replacement unavoidable. Not sure about the last statement. I am curious if driving on the flat RTF for a short distance guarantees to ruin the tire?
If you have the Pirelli, the tire manufacturer provides FREE ONE YEAR Road Hazard Warranty. Go back to the dealer and they are suppsoed to give you one new tire and they will get reimbursement from Pirelli. Don't let them scam you into paying for a new one.
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  #48  
Old 12-16-2013, 01:09 PM
waqas1988 waqas1988 is offline
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Re: Run Flat Tires

Quote:
Originally Posted by poker838 View Post
If you have the Pirelli, the tire manufacturer provides FREE ONE YEAR Road Hazard Warranty. Go back to the dealer and they are suppsoed to give you one new tire and they will get reimbursement from Pirelli. Don't let them scam you into paying for a new one.
Unfortunately the tires I have on mine are from Continental. :-(

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  #49  
Old 01-31-2014, 09:30 AM
bazan bazan is offline
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decison time...

So... I have around 40K kms on my car 2013 X3 2.8i, bought inmy car for changing the brake pads and was being advised that all 4 tires is almost to wear bar and suggest to replace. My car is on 39 months leased term ending Aug 2015. I am trying to debating if I should replace it with another set of RFT ($$$ approx $496 each plus taxes as quoted by the dealer) ... that way I can have the safety over the winter earlier. If I stretch it a bit my current RFT can probably last me through this winter... but I figure I need a replacement anyway, then I should do it earlier. The other idea I have is to replaced them with conventionals now and keep the RFTs..... when time to return the car at lease end... replace the conventional with these RFT (not sure what the min requirements for lease return). Anyone (especially in Toronot) using conventionals on their X3 now? Whats your feedback

Any suggestion for anyone ?

Thanks in advance.
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  #50  
Old 01-31-2014, 10:07 AM
JohnL345 JohnL345 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bazan View Post
So... I have around 40K kms on my car 2013 X3 2.8i, bought inmy car for changing the brake pads and was being advised that all 4 tires is almost to wear bar and suggest to replace. My car is on 39 months leased term ending Aug 2015. I am trying to debating if I should replace it with another set of RFT ($$$ approx $496 each plus taxes as quoted by the dealer) ... that way I can have the safety over the winter earlier. If I stretch it a bit my current RFT can probably last me through this winter... but I figure I need a replacement anyway, then I should do it earlier. The other idea I have is to replaced them with conventionals now and keep the RFTs..... when time to return the car at lease end... replace the conventional with these RFT (not sure what the min requirements for lease return). Anyone (especially in Toronot) using conventionals on their X3 now? Whats your feedback

Any suggestion for anyone ?

Thanks in advance.
First--
$496 per tire?!
Tire Rack has a Bridgestone Ultra High Performance RFT for $238 each.
Call them
There should be a Tire Rack approved installer near you--you can have the tires shipped direct to the installer.

Never buy tires from a dealer unless you are wealthy and don't care…....

Last edited by JohnL345; 01-31-2014 at 10:08 AM.
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