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I am planning to buy a MY08 328i. I have been lurking on this board as
well as several others, trying to determine the good and bad points
of the current models. As would be typical of any group of owners,
there are lots of complaints about various features of the BMWs. Of
course, there are many positive things being said as well.

However, I have yet to read good things about the run-flat tires and
this 'feature' has given me pause about buying. The number one complaint
seems to be tire noise and 'hard' ride - this of course is very
subjective. I have seen discussions about 3 'solutions' to the RFT
issue.

1. Buy tire/wheel insurance. That would pay for the replacement tire if
caused by a road hazard. (Bridgestone apparently does not recommend
repair of RFTs). However, this solution can easily leave you stranded on
in some small town, waiting to find a replacement tire (which are
apparently not a common tire).

2. Immediately, swap out the RFTs with regular tires. Buy a repair kit
and compressor. Costly, and not an optimal solution.

3. Carry a spare in the trunk. This is not practical in the convertible.
With the Sport Package, it is impossible (2 tire sizes).

Are there other practical solutions to a flat tire on the road? How have
you dealt with the problem - or perhaps you don't think it will be a
problem?

I'm looking for solutions - not a reason to buy a different car. Thanks.
 

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It is not impossible to carry one spare that will work for both the front and back axles with the Sport package. Ever seen a spare for a 911?
I swapped the wheels and tires out on my e91 and will put the originals on when the lease is over. Also got a compressor and fix a flat. If it is worse than that we have roadside assistance.
 

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Actually runflats are becoming more common and easier to get (at least in our area), are you planning on taking your bimmer into BFE, as you get 75-100 miles on a RF after it's popped, if not then I wouldn't be concerned. As for a warranty those can be iffy be sure you know what you are getting, I actually wished I got one but only b/c I got a nail in my tire, never really needed one before tho so in general I would say it's not worth it. Of course depends on how much it costs.

**flashback music**

Just yesterday my SO and I were driving to work when he inadvertently rain over a nail, we were going about 80(not fast by BMW drivers standards). We got the flat fire warning immediately and took the next exit, upon visual inspection the tires looked fine, and thinking it was a fluke we reset the light and continued on our way (about 25 miles). When getting close to his office we decided to just go ahead, to the nearby gas station just to be sure, and checked the tire pressure and sure enough the rear left tire registered at 20 psi, we did a closer inspection and there was the nail , we promptly put some air in the tire and I took it to the dealer. I don't even want to know the damage to my wallet for this one but since they recommend not patching the RF's and it only had 4K on the new Contis so we only had to replace one, we just went ahead and did it.

I have blown a tire out before in a former car but not driving quite as fast about 60 (darn low speed limits in VA), I felt lucky I didn't lose control of the car, but the car did veer when it happened.

The cool thing is we didn't even know that the car had a flat as it handled as normal with only 20 psi in the tire.

I might be the only person on this forum who likes these tires for this reason, as for the harsh ride it's not bad, road noise even with the RF's is better than other cars I have been in w/o the RF's so I would call it average on road noise.
 

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I have had no problems with my RFT's. I have over 30,000 miles on them and they are still in good shape. Also, BMW is now on their 4 generation of RFT's, so they are getting better and becoming more available.
 

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I have Bridgestone run flats on a 2006 325i ZXP. I haven't had a flat, so can't comment on issues people have with replacing damaged tires. While people complain about wear and performance issues, I have no complaints. I also purchased a set of Dunlop winter run flats mounted on rims (essential in Wisconsin) and have been happy with those, too. I wouldn't bother with switching to non-run flats.
 

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This is my 2nd car w/ RFTs. Personally I don't have an issue with them. There is a local Firestone store (Bridgestone owns Firestone) that stocks them year round b/c they are down the street from a BMW dealer, so getting replacements quickly isn't a problem.
 

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A few run-flat questions:

1. If I take my RF's off on Day 1 of my lease to store them for the end of the 36 month period and replace them with regular tires, does something occur where the sensors are ruined and will cost a lease problem at the end? Or can you replace both the RF's and the sensors and start using regular tires?

2. Similarly, if I want to get dedicated, studded Nokian Hakkapeliitta snow tires, any issue using the existing rims or do I again have a potential problem with the sensors?

In a nutshell, I want to ditch the RF's, use only regular all seasons in the summer, snow tires in the winter, and then return the car on its original RF's without any lease hassles. Possible?

As for the spare, not worried; that's what roadside assistance is for. They'll just send a towtruck.

TIA

BJ
 

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Don't have any direct experience with this, but here is one thought:
Seems doable, but if you are planning to use the same rims, then you need to find a tire dealer who knows something about it. The sensors are mounted on the tire valve assembly, and could be damaged if not handled properly during tire unmounting and mounting. Of course these sensors can be replaced, but that is an added expense.
 

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I am planning to buy a MY08 328i. I have been lurking on this board as
well as several others, trying to determine the good and bad points
of the current models. As would be typical of any group of owners,
there are lots of complaints about various features of the BMWs. Of
course, there are many positive things being said as well.

However, I have yet to read good things about the run-flat tires and
this 'feature' has given me pause about buying. The number one complaint
seems to be tire noise and 'hard' ride - this of course is very
subjective. I have seen discussions about 3 'solutions' to the RFT
issue.

1. Buy tire/wheel insurance. That would pay for the replacement tire if
caused by a road hazard. (Bridgestone apparently does not recommend
repair of RFTs). However, this solution can easily leave you stranded on
in some small town, waiting to find a replacement tire (which are
apparently not a common tire).

2. Immediately, swap out the RFTs with regular tires. Buy a repair kit
and compressor. Costly, and not an optimal solution.

3. Carry a spare in the trunk. This is not practical in the convertible.
With the Sport Package, it is impossible (2 tire sizes).

Are there other practical solutions to a flat tire on the road? How have
you dealt with the problem - or perhaps you don't think it will be a
problem?

I'm looking for solutions - not a reason to buy a different car. Thanks.
RFT is not a new technology. It's been around in more expensive cars segment, but now coming to the more popular models. It's just a matter of time IMO before many cars will have RFT. Obviously, there are disadvantages of using RFT, but there are major advantages (in some cases they may save your life!). RFT technology will improve over time and more shops will carry them and will have the knowledge on working with RFTs.

I think many people on this board are not crazy about RFTs since they don't wear as well, are not that great on rough pavement, etc. Not sure how they would perform on the track...
The choice is yours to change them right away, of course...

BTW some RFT punctures are reparable and some not, as far as I know; there is even a plug kit you could purchase for RFT.

Do some search on this topic in the earlier posts, as it has come up before.

Good luck!
 

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Don't have any direct experience with this, but here is one thought:
Seems doable, but if you are planning to use the same rims, then you need to find a tire dealer who knows something about it. The sensors are mounted on the tire valve assembly, and could be damaged if not handled properly during tire unmounting and mounting. Of course these sensors can be replaced, but that is an added expense.
So the sensors can be removed, stored for 36 months, and then put back on at lease-end? If that's the case, that's a good plan for me.

BJ
 

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So the sensors can be removed, stored for 36 months, and then put back on at lease-end? If that's the case, that's a good plan for me.

BJ
I wasn't suggesting removing them. I think it is to your advantage to leave them in so that you have warning of a tire whose pressure has fallen (e.g. slow leak), even if not run-flat. I was just saying that tire dealer shouldn't ruin them while mounting and unmounting tires.
 

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.....BTW some RFT punctures are reparable and some not, as far as I know; there is even a plug kit you could purchase for RFT......
I believe this is accurate. However, in making the decision whether to repair, it is important to consider how much driving has been done on the sidewalls when tire was deflated, as there could be damge there which compromises the tire's safety. I think that is one of the reasons why dealers generally refuse to patch them, along with fears of liability.
 

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RFT is not a new technology. It's been around in more expensive cars segment, but now coming to the more popular models. It's just a matter of time IMO before many cars will have RFT. Obviously, there are disadvantages of using RFT, but there are major advantages (in some cases they may save your life!). RFT technology will improve over time and more shops will carry them and will have the knowledge on working with RFTs.

I think many people on this board are not crazy about RFTs since they don't wear as well, are not that great on rough pavement, etc. Not sure how they would perform on the track...
The choice is yours to change them right away, of course...
Save your life? What do you think about loosing control of your car, because RFT? Perfect roads in Germany or South of America aren't common thing everywhere. RFT on any rough pavement is a nightmare of driving experience. The car just losses control on any tiny bump or a small hole. You drive 70 mph and your car suddenly yaws from one side to another. What does happen if the road is also wet, you have a rear wheel drive car and you are making a turn? Bah, BMW didn't think about that combination. They just wanted to save money.
So let's make a comparison:
Bad: wear, hard ride, yawing, worse track performance
Good: can't blow

In reality the tire can blow only if it doesn't have any tread left.
Yes. The last good thing about RFT, it's cheaper for manufacturer - no a spare tire, no repair kit.
 

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A few run-flat questions:

1. If I take my RF's off on Day 1 of my lease to store them for the end of the 36 month period and replace them with regular tires, does something occur where the sensors are ruined and will cost a lease problem at the end? Or can you replace both the RF's and the sensors and start using regular tires?

2. Similarly, if I want to get dedicated, studded Nokian Hakkapeliitta snow tires, any issue using the existing rims or do I again have a potential problem with the sensors?

In a nutshell, I want to ditch the RF's, use only regular all seasons in the summer, snow tires in the winter, and then return the car on its original RF's without any lease hassles. Possible?

As for the spare, not worried; that's what roadside assistance is for. They'll just send a towtruck.

TIA

BJ
1. You could store the rims and tires and remount them when the lease is finished. The sensors are incorporated in the ABS and will not be damaged in any way by using non-RFT tires on aftermarket rims.
RFT tires are very hard to correctly install. I think 3 year old tires would end up with side wall bubbles if you tried to reinstall them on the original rims after they have aged 3 years in storage.

2. See above
 

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I would guess that a set of RFT's with their special rims costs the mfg as much as one regular set plus spare.
Special rims? What's that? Silver painting?:) The rubber is the most expensive component.
I agree it costs more. Give 20 extra dollars for each, not a cent more.
 

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I would guess that a set of RFT's with their special rims costs the mfg as much as one regular set plus spare.
The rims are not special. Standard tires will mount on 161 and 162 rims with no problems. I am running Falken RT615s on 162s and have had no problems (and they cost 50% less then the OEM RFT tires)
 

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Save your life? What do you think about loosing control of your car, because RFT? Perfect roads in Germany or South of America aren't common thing everywhere. RFT on any rough pavement is a nightmare of driving experience. The car just losses control on any tiny bump or a small hole. You drive 70 mph and your car suddenly yaws from one side to another. What does happen if the road is also wet, you have a rear wheel drive car and you are making a turn? Bah, BMW didn't think about that combination. They just wanted to save money.
So let's make a comparison:
Bad: wear, hard ride, yawing, worse track performance
Good: can't blow

In reality the tire can blow only if it doesn't have any tread left.
Yes. The last good thing about RFT, it's cheaper for manufacturer - no a spare tire, no repair kit.
Talk to any wheel and tire shop, they will give you examples. And blowout is not the only cause of loosing life on the road... Try changing a tire at night in the "nice" area of the city, etc. Okay. It might be an overly dramatic example, but I think you understand what I mean... What about driving behind some track that looses some construction debris?

As far as loosing control, of course, RFTs contribute to that, but I think it's the suspension on the new models that takes blame as well.

RFTs will become a simple fact of life pretty soon, so if I were you, I would get on with the program. And I'm not completely convinced that the lower cost was the number 1 factor. OEM tires on my '04 325i were $220 a pop...

Anyway, you can always buy a set of non-RFTs if you are so concern with loosing control of the car...
 

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Isn't the suspension tuned to accomodate the stiffer sidewall of a run flat?
Would the handling be diminished?

With regards to the Tire Pressure Sensors. I cannot speak for the current BMW, but when we bought snow tires and wheels for our 06 Tacoma, the tire pressure sensors were $200
per wheel. You then have to reset the frequency as they are all different.

I opted not to do this figuring I would just disconnect the system in the winter. Wrong, it can't be done simply and the end of the story is in the winter we put a piece of electrical tape over the light that says you have a flat tire.

Not very classy. I wouldn't think BMW or electrics are less expensive or complex than those
on a Toyota truck.

jummo
 

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Isn't the suspension tuned to accomodate the stiffer sidewall of a run flat?
Would the handling be diminished?

With regards to the Tire Pressure Sensors. I cannot speak for the current BMW, but when we bought snow tires and wheels for our 06 Tacoma, the tire pressure sensors were $200
per wheel. You then have to reset the frequency as they are all different.

I opted not to do this figuring I would just disconnect the system in the winter. Wrong, it can't be done simply and the end of the story is in the winter we put a piece of electrical tape over the light that says you have a flat tire.

Not very classy. I wouldn't think BMW or electrics are less expensive or complex than those
on a Toyota truck.

jummo
BMW marketing tells us that the cars are optimized for RFTs, I am not sure how true this really is.
We have been running our car in BMWCCA AutoX events with non-RFT and are very happy with our results.

Unlike some other makes and models the sensors on the 2006 e90 models were not part of the rim or tire stems, the BMW system detects the difference in rotational speed between all four tires incorporated in the ABS system. I do not believe this was changed in the last model year.

Sometimes a more complex system is inferior to a more elegant solution, this may be a good example.
 
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