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F07 Gran Turismo (2010 - Current)
The 5 Series Gran Turismo -- now available in the USA as a 535i, 550i and 550i xDrive model.

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  #1  
Old 05-02-2014, 04:39 PM
mycabrandz mycabrandz is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 535i GT
Alignment? Replace Tires?

Need some guidance from the great folks on this forum.

My 2012 GT still has the original Good Year LS2 Run Flat tires with 28K miles.

Recently I noticed that there is noticeably more wear on the outside of the 2 front tires. The middle to inner wear still passes the quarter test. Rears are in good condition as well.

I spoke to an SA today and the cause may have been an accidental impact to the front axle/tires causing a misalignment, thus the irregular tire wear.

He suggested I replace the front tires, get an alignment, and if alignment does not fix the issue, provide an estimate on repair needed to get the GT back to factory specs. None of these are covered by warranty, and if additional repair is needed, to get my insurance company involved to cover the costs.

Here are my questions:
1. Is the SA correct in his assessment of the issue?
2. Are there other possible causes of this wear pattern?
3. Should I replace all 4 tires or just the 2 affected tires after alignment?
4. What preventative measures can be taken to make sure the tires are always aligned?
5. Off topic question: I'm looking at getting Pirelli P7's non-run flats. What should I consider before making the switch from the OEM run flats?

Thanks in advance!
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2012 535i GT ED 1/9/2012

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  #2  
Old 05-02-2014, 06:15 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is offline
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Never run different brand or model tires on separate axles...for balanced handling, they need to be identical, at least in brand and model (square verses offset, same rules).

Since it is not an x-drive, you can probably get by without issues just changing those on one axle rather than all of them at once assuming you stay with the same tire.

Some have said new tires transformed the car, but unless you want to waste a lot of space in the rear, you will potentially have a mobility issue should you get a flat. The mobility kit won't seal all flats, and then it may totally clog up the TPMS, and you'll need a new one as well. Carting around a spare and a jack will set you back a fair amount of money, even if you try to get a space saving one.

So, it's up to you to decide if those issues are important to you or not. Some recent tests have shown one of the Bridgestone RFT was nearly indistinguishable from the equivalent normal version, but then, you may or may not like Bridgestone!

As more vehicles come with RFT from the factory, the incentive to both make them and improve on them is there...and, the newer ones are better than the older one. Whether that's enough for you, only you can decide.
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  #3  
Old 05-02-2014, 07:57 PM
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daders daders is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mycabrandz View Post
Need some guidance from the great folks on this forum.

My 2012 GT still has the original Good Year LS2 Run Flat tires with 28K miles.

Recently I noticed that there is noticeably more wear on the outside of the 2 front tires. The middle to inner wear still passes the quarter test. Rears are in good condition as well.

I spoke to an SA today and the cause may have been an accidental impact to the front axle/tires causing a misalignment, thus the irregular tire wear.

He suggested I replace the front tires, get an alignment, and if alignment does not fix the issue, provide an estimate on repair needed to get the GT back to factory specs. None of these are covered by warranty, and if additional repair is needed, to get my insurance company involved to cover the costs.

Here are my questions:
1. Is the SA correct in his assessment of the issue?

First, congrats on making it 28k miles! We only barely made it above 20k. It is curious to me that both fronts are wearing on the outer edges...this seems more like camber than alignment. Of course they probably lump the two together anyway so it's a moot point to make. The problem is there are too many potential potholes, road debris, etc. in that amount of driving for someone to know exact cause.

2. Are there other possible causes of this wear pattern?



3. Should I replace all 4 tires or just the 2 affected tires after alignment?

Do you have IAS and staggered setup? I made executive decision to replace all 4 of our tires since we have both. This path was pretty much pre-determined since they have to do a four wheel alignment and the cost of two RFT through the dealership was the same as our performance tires from Discount Tire.

4. What preventative measures can be taken to make sure the tires are always aligned?

Other than avoiding pot holes, not driving the vehicle and learning how to DIY align...nothing
5. Off topic question: I'm looking at getting Pirelli P7's non-run flats. What should I consider before making the switch from the OEM run flats?

I bought Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110 at the recommendation of another forum member who puts them on his 6 Series. They're like Justin Bieber...dreamy! (oops don't tell the wife I said that...) But if you're looking for long wear life they are not for you; rubber residue is visibly being left behind every time we leave the driveway (not because of burnouts either). My thought process is that since we have a staggered setup and by the time you notice (and actually get around to fixing) misalignment at least two new tires will be needed anyway. Compound the fact that we need a 4 wheel alignment and might as well get all new tires to enjoy the ride as the engineers intended.

Thanks in advance!
Good Luck with your decision!!
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  #4  
Old 05-03-2014, 08:13 AM
BimmerVSR BimmerVSR is offline
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My 2012 GT just had a sidewall blowout on the highway at 28K miles. It was a Sunday around 6PM just outside of a major Mass city. BMW Roadside Assistance could not find a tow truck. I had to find a place to leave the car (I was 90+ miles from home.) My wife had to come pick me up and I left the car in front of a Goodyear Dealer as I recalled from 2012 the Goodyear has some warranty coverage on RFTs. Anyway, the goodyear shop I selected did not work on RFTs. So, on a Monday morning, BMW Roadside was able to find a tow truck to take my GT to my local Dealer.

Anyway, at that point in time, there isn't much time to decision new tire choices so I was pretty much left to just getting OEM replacements. GY did cover the cost of one tire and also covered 25% of the other three.

I wish I had taken the time to change the tires at my own discretion instead of waiting until the blowout occured. It's hard to predict if/when something like that will happen - I had 25% tread left. I'm now of the opinion that these low profile RFTs are perhaps more prone to blowouts as the tread thins.

I did not notice hitting any potholes on the highway to cause the blowout although the shop said that is likely what happened. I was simply driving along at normal highway speed (80ish) and the low pressure sensor went off.

If anyone is thinking about trying to squeeze the last life out of your RFTs, you're taking a chance. When the flat happens, it can put you in a very tough position because the OEMs are not readily available. Up in Mass, the other GY dealer told me 5-7 days to get new OEMs. Fortunately my local dealer had 3 in stock and found a 4th in 2 days.

So, while they were fixing my tires they said a rear brake sensor went off and they needed to fly in an engineer to resolve. Car was in shop almost a week. Next, I drive it home and a Check engine light goes off. I bring it back and now I am waiting 2-3 weeks for a computer module to arrive from Germany!
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  #5  
Old 05-05-2014, 12:49 PM
mycabrandz mycabrandz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadnashuanh View Post
Never run different brand or model tires on separate axles...for balanced handling, they need to be identical, at least in brand and model (square verses offset, same rules).
First off, thanks for your reply.

Yes, definitely will not mix tire brands/model. I was figuring in the P7's for my next tire choice in case I have to go with all 4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jadnashuanh View Post
Some have said new tires transformed the car, but unless you want to waste a lot of space in the rear, you will potentially have a mobility issue should you get a flat. The mobility kit won't seal all flats, and then it may totally clog up the TPMS, and you'll need a new one as well. Carting around a spare and a jack will set you back a fair amount of money, even if you try to get a space saving one.

So, it's up to you to decide if those issues are important to you or not. Some recent tests have shown one of the Bridgestone RFT was nearly indistinguishable from the equivalent normal version, but then, you may or may not like Bridgestone!

As more vehicles come with RFT from the factory, the incentive to both make them and improve on them is there...and, the newer ones are better than the older one. Whether that's enough for you, only you can decide.
I'm leaning towards non-RF's because of the options available with regard to comfort and reliability. The OEM's are a bit loud and stiff for me. Mobility is not too much of an issue since I rarely take the GT on longer trips now. If we do go on a longer trip, I have a Thule roof rack for our luggage which should free up space in the rear. My other vehicle is a Mercedes R500 and it has the Conti's on them. The ride on those tires is substantially more comfortable than the RF's on the GT. We'll see though. If I do go to non-RF for my next set, then I'll have a more educated guess for the third set having been able to discern both types.
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2012 535i GT ED 1/9/2012

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  #6  
Old 05-05-2014, 01:16 PM
mycabrandz mycabrandz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daders View Post
First, congrats on making it 28k miles! We only barely made it above 20k.
Thanks daders! I've driven tires way past this mark, but I guess this is a good way to look at it. Maybe there should be a poll so we can see where the OEM's actually average out in actual use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daders View Post
Do you have IAS and staggered setup? I made executive decision to replace all 4 of our tires since we have both.
I do not have IAS and staggered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daders View Post
Other than avoiding pot holes, not driving the vehicle and learning how to DIY align...nothing
I can try to avoid pot holes. I think I've been pretty good at it. That's why I was concerned when the alignment was way off. I'm planning on getting an alignment more routinely just to avoid this issue. I wish routine alignment was part of the BMW maintenance service.

I can't live without the GT so non-driving is OUT.

Even if I learn how to DIY align, the cost of the rack is not cost effective for me.

I did find an indie shop that has the newest Hawkeye 3D alignment rack and they charge way less than the BMW dealership.


Quote:
Originally Posted by daders View Post
I bought Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110...
I'm looking for longer life and comfort. I still have some more research to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daders View Post
They're like Justin Bieber...dreamy! (oops don't tell the wife I said that...)


Quote:
Originally Posted by daders View Post
Good Luck with your decision!!
Thanks! I take all the information I can get from the great folks in this forum and use it to get to an informed decision along with my own research.
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2012 535i GT ED 1/9/2012

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  #7  
Old 05-05-2014, 01:35 PM
mycabrandz mycabrandz is offline
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Location: Bay Area, CA
 
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Mein Auto: BMW 535i GT
Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerVSR View Post
My 2012 GT just had a sidewall blowout on the highway at 28K miles. It was a Sunday around 6PM just outside of a major Mass city. BMW Roadside Assistance could not find a tow truck. I had to find a place to leave the car (I was 90+ miles from home.) My wife had to come pick me up and I left the car in front of a Goodyear Dealer as I recalled from 2012 the Goodyear has some warranty coverage on RFTs. Anyway, the goodyear shop I selected did not work on RFTs. So, on a Monday morning, BMW Roadside was able to find a tow truck to take my GT to my local Dealer.

Anyway, at that point in time, there isn't much time to decision new tire choices so I was pretty much left to just getting OEM replacements. GY did cover the cost of one tire and also covered 25% of the other three.

I wish I had taken the time to change the tires at my own discretion instead of waiting until the blowout occured. It's hard to predict if/when something like that will happen - I had 25% tread left. I'm now of the opinion that these low profile RFTs are perhaps more prone to blowouts as the tread thins.

I did not notice hitting any potholes on the highway to cause the blowout although the shop said that is likely what happened. I was simply driving along at normal highway speed (80ish) and the low pressure sensor went off.

If anyone is thinking about trying to squeeze the last life out of your RFTs, you're taking a chance. When the flat happens, it can put you in a very tough position because the OEMs are not readily available. Up in Mass, the other GY dealer told me 5-7 days to get new OEMs. Fortunately my local dealer had 3 in stock and found a 4th in 2 days.

So, while they were fixing my tires they said a rear brake sensor went off and they needed to fly in an engineer to resolve. Car was in shop almost a week. Next, I drive it home and a Check engine light goes off. I bring it back and now I am waiting 2-3 weeks for a computer module to arrive from Germany!
Wow, what an ordeal to have to deal with a blown tire, getting it replaced and the subsequent issues that came up. Hope you get your GT up and running sooner than later.

The indie shop where I brought my GT for alignment said I still have a few month's life on the OEM's. I'm not going to chance it and probably replace it within the month. I'm leaning towards non-RF for my next set so I have some research to do to find the best fit for me for my type of driving. Having said that, If I do need replacements sooner than later, my indie shop can get stock on the few choices I've already selected so I have several options and minimal risk to availability.
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  #8  
Old 05-05-2014, 02:04 PM
mycabrandz mycabrandz is offline
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Update.

Attachment: Photo of the GT undergoing alignment at an Indie shop.

I brought the GT into an Indie shop because my appointment at my local BMW dealer was not until next week ( I requested a loaner). I had them check the tires and also suggestions on how to proceed.

My initial assessment was that the front edges were showing more wear than the other part of the tires and I was correct. What I did not notice was that the rear inner edges were also showing more wear. About 5K left on all 4 if I wanted to push it, could've been more if I caught it earlier. Per my previous post I will probably swap within the month. Since I was not decided on what tires to get yet, I asked them to do an alignment for correction and at least slow down the wear on the edges. The measurements before the alignment were way off.

I was told this was not going to even the wear since once the tires are worn irregularly, the result is continuous irregular wear and could also lead to misalignment. Makes sense. I was just buying time. At least I didn't bring it in to the dealer for 5X the cost of an alignment. I will have to pay for the alignment again when the new tires are installed but I guess that is standard with new tires.

I learned that routine alignment is necessary to achieve higher tire mileage. I was just at the BMW dealer for routine service 2 months ago and I requested for tire check but they did not recommend alignment. I will stick with the Indie on the tire service and leave the standard maintenance to BMW going forward. I wonder what else I should be checking that BMW isn't?
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2012 535i GT ED 1/9/2012


Last edited by mycabrandz; 05-05-2014 at 02:07 PM.
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  #9  
Old 05-06-2014, 07:18 AM
Rogue2258 Rogue2258 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2010 550i GT, 2011 535i
Our GT is being aligned as we speak. We had a Ford Econoline van hit our GT directly on the driver side rear wheel. I have had an Indie shop align our GT once, and to my surprise they did a good job. We had to bring our GT back to our dealer on this most recent alignment trip because our GT still had a pull in it at highway speeds. As to the tire wear you are speaking of you are describing "normal wear" for a 550i GT. In our experience the outer edges of the front tires and the inner edges of the rear tires go first. Depending on how aggressive your tires are the edges will wear incredibly fast. Our Conti SSR3's were all but done at 12,000 miles. Our Goodyear LS2's were disappearing at 20,000 miles. We are in love with our Bridgestone 960 RFT's. There have been tremendous advancements made in ride quality in regards to RFT's by Bridgestone IMO. Also they have a great deal more tread than other RFT's that we have used.


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  #10  
Old 05-06-2014, 10:10 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is offline
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The GT is a heavy car, and if you go around corners aggressively, the tire wear will show more on the outer edges of the front. On the rears, with the air suspension, it normally isn't as noticeable on the outer edges, and it seems that the inner edge gets more wear, maybe because of acceleration effects.

I swap between the OEM GY in the summer to Michelin RFT Winter set, and because I have a square setup, move them front/rear, which helps even out the wear. Only have about 26K on the vehicle now, but both sets have fairly significant tread left.
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  #11  
Old 05-07-2014, 02:00 AM
mycabrandz mycabrandz is offline
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Thanks @jad. I am guilty of hard cornering so that is a high probability cause for my front outer edges wearing out.

I also have a square setup. Maybe I will swap fronts/rears also, starting with the ones I have now. Same with the next set as part of routine maintenance.

Great info. Love this forum.

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  #12  
Old 05-07-2014, 02:07 AM
mycabrandz mycabrandz is offline
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May be a silly question but here goes: has anyone ever asked dealer to swap rear to front tires when doing routine service/maintenance? Did/would they charge for this service?

I can do this myself, but since they can do it much faster with better tools, why not?

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Old 05-07-2014, 04:53 AM
Rogue2258 Rogue2258 is offline
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Some dealers recommend the rotation of tires. BMW does not recommend. Depends the dealer you are geographically positioned to do business with.
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  #14  
Old 05-07-2014, 04:59 AM
lexhair lexhair is offline
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FWIW, I went from the OEM Goodyears to P Zero runflats. I forgot how nice they are since I've been on my Dunlop WinterSport runflats since this past endless winter began.
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  #15  
Old 05-07-2014, 09:13 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is offline
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FWIW, I run Michelin PA2's (RFT) in the winter, and while they do not have the same cornering capability as the OEM Goodyears, they are actually quieter on some surfaces, and the softer rubber does dampen sharp impacts.

The best for ride, seem to be the newest Bridgestone...they do something different with the sidewalls - they're still stiff enough to provide the RFT function, but they have alternating softer sections that allow it to flex and dissipate the heat caused when running flat, and make it more comfortable when running normally.

It's probably better explained on their website, but that's what I remember of it at the moment.
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  #16  
Old 05-16-2014, 06:26 PM
BimmerVSR BimmerVSR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mycabrandz View Post
Wow, what an ordeal to have to deal with a blown tire, getting it replaced and the subsequent issues that came up. Hope you get your GT up and running sooner than later.
Well, my ordeal finally is over. From a simple blowout, I was without the GT for 31 days! In the end, the computer module part was going to be long term delayed so BMW came up with a programming change as a different way to solve my issue. I'm guessing they simply programmed the car to not throw a code any more!

I wish I knew why they reprogrammed my transmission when they worked on the faulty rear brake sensor. Now my GT shifts very poorly when accelerating from 0-60. Guess I will be going back to the shop again.

On the plus side, I was happy to have a loaded brand new 2014 328d SportWagon for the month. The car impressed me very much. I never felt like I was making that 4-cyl work hard which is the exact feeling I get with the gas 4's. Great utility, beautiful design, exceptional handling and average MPG calculations of 38.4, 39.6 etc. Wow...might just be the perfect commuter!
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:57 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is offline
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Most people have not had the opportunity to drive a modern, efficient, turbo-charged diesel...there's a reason why they are the majority of sales overseas in addition to the efficiency. That torque is what you use most of the time, and max speed isn't all that important in most places.
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