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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I first noticed unpredictable handling on my Z4 around 3,500 miles. The problem was worse in town on streets that have bumps, seams and/or potholes. On smooth open roads at higher speeds the Z4 handles OK. But on rough city streets I need to maintain a vise-grip on the wheel so I don't hit the curb or another vehicle.

The dealer has had the car on the lift 5 times in 18 months, each time tweaking the alignment. After each visit, the steering felt a little better but in days it went back to it's old ways. The service techs maintained this sensitivity was normal, something I need to get used to. But I don't buy it. So for the past couple of months I got opinions from an independent garage, another BMW dealer plus a Firestone tire shop. All said the cause was probably the rigidity of the Run-Flat tires. The other BMW dealer even switched tires so we could test their theory. They were right--new tires made for much smoother, more effortless handling.

My Z4's "Tramlining"is more troublesome than steering that's simply "Twitchy" or "Sensitive". Numerous Z4 owners say they are plagued by Tramlining and have been as far back as 2005. From their comments, it's evident that BMW has known about this problem too. Why my dealer never mentioned tires as the possible culprit is a mystery.

I'm going to replace all 4 tires so I can enjoy driving again. It's either that or sell the car--and with Spring coming I'm not sure I want to do that!

So I need help: Should I replace the Run-Flats with non-Run-Flat tires? But if I do, don't I risk getting stuck if I get a flat out in the boonies? Or are there Run-Flats with less sidewall rigidity and a smoother ride than my current 225/45-R17 Bridgestone Potenzas?

I'm not looking for ultra-high performance from my tires--I don't take corners at 70 mph!!! I just want a safe, smooth ride with some level of performance so I can enjoy the car's capabilities. Does anyone have some good recommendations??? Help!
 

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I put a set of non runflat tires on my Z4 at delivery. I chose the new Yokohama ENVigor high performance all season tires, http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Yokohama&tireModel=AVID+ENVigor+%28W%29. They are available in a W speed rating and in the correct OEM staggered sizes. They are so new that TireRack had no reviews but based on previous experience with Yokohamas in the past I am confident that they will perform well. So far, I am very pleased. Ride is much improved and like you I am not an aggressive driver. I am looking for a good ride with decent handling and treadlife.
 

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I first noticed unpredictable handling on my Z4 around 3,500 miles. The problem was worse in town on streets that have bumps, seams and/or potholes. On smooth open roads at higher speeds the Z4 handles OK. But on rough city streets I need to maintain a vise-grip on the wheel so I don't hit the curb or another vehicle.

The dealer has had the car on the lift 5 times in 18 months, each time tweaking the alignment. After each visit, the steering felt a little better but in days it went back to it's old ways. The service techs maintained this sensitivity was normal, something I need to get used to. But I don't buy it. So for the past couple of months I got opinions from an independent garage, another BMW dealer plus a Firestone tire shop. All said the cause was probably the rigidity of the Run-Flat tires. The other BMW dealer even switched tires so we could test their theory. They were right--new tires made for much smoother, more effortless handling.

My Z4's "Tramlining"is more troublesome than steering that's simply "Twitchy" or "Sensitive". Numerous Z4 owners say they are plagued by Tramlining and have been as far back as 2005. From their comments, it's evident that BMW has known about this problem too. Why my dealer never mentioned tires as the possible culprit is a mystery.

I'm going to replace all 4 tires so I can enjoy driving again. It's either that or sell the car--and with Spring coming I'm not sure I want to do that!

So I need help: Should I replace the Run-Flats with non-Run-Flat tires? But if I do, don't I risk getting stuck if I get a flat out in the boonies? Or are there Run-Flats with less sidewall rigidity and a smoother ride than my current 225/45-R17 Bridgestone Potenzas?

I'm not looking for ultra-high performance from my tires--I don't take corners at 70 mph!!! I just want a safe, smooth ride with some level of performance so I can enjoy the car's capabilities. Does anyone have some good recommendations??? Help!
Generally speaking, the higher the performance level and dry grip of a tire, the more likely it is to tramline. Since you aren't looking for ultra high performance tires anyway, you can certainly get tires that should help reduce tramlining quite a bit. I would agree with rmorin49's recommendation of the Avid Envigor, along with the Dunlop SP Sport Signature as smoother, quieter riding tires with longer wear and reduced tramlining.

Tires http://www.tirerack.com/a.jsp?a=AB2&url=/tires/index.jsp
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Gary:

I just heard from Bart, one of your compatriots at Tirerack. I will look at the Dunlop tires you recommended. After talking to the service manager at my BMW dealer today however, I'm not sure tires will solve the problem, at least in the long run. He said the suspension for the Z4 is purposely set to provide great performance (i.e., it's going to be "twitchy" no matter what). I may have to give in and sell the thing--at least it's almost spring here so I won't have to wait too long . . .
 

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Gary:

I just heard from Bart, one of your compatriots at Tirerack. I will look at the Dunlop tires you recommended. After talking to the service manager at my BMW dealer today however, I'm not sure tires will solve the problem, at least in the long run. He said the suspension for the Z4 is purposely set to provide great performance (i.e., it's going to be "twitchy" no matter what). I may have to give in and sell the thing--at least it's almost spring here so I won't have to wait too long . . .
I went with the Bridgestone Potenza RE 960 AS non runflat on my Z4. the tramelling is gone!. It is a function of the tread pattern, and is more pronounced with sport tires as opposed to all seasons. The RE960's are ultra high performance all seasons (Check the Tire Rack Ratings). I have 17" tires.

I would hate to see you sell it for the problems with the tires. The tire noise is also greatly reduced. If you check, you will see they are quite affordable.

BTW, corners at 70 are fun :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I got the dealer to contribute to the new tire fund and had new Potenza 2G runflats installed. Ran with them for 4 weeks and found they were no better than the OEM tires, maybe even worse. So I finally did the smart thing, I sold the damn car. I was tired of coping with ongoing handling and transmission problems (three manual trannies in 18 months), windows that refused to "auto close", "superior German engineering" and way too much arrogance and attitude at the dealership.

I'm now the proud owner of a sassy, black 2010 Lexus IS 250C. It fits me like a glove, handles like a dream, everything works as it should plus I have two more seats, lots and lots of goodies that make driving more fun and all this for almost exactly what I paid three years ago for the Z4. These Lexus guys really know how to build a car!
 

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Gary:

I just heard from Bart, one of your compatriots at Tirerack. I will look at the Dunlop tires you recommended. After talking to the service manager at my BMW dealer today however, I'm not sure tires will solve the problem, at least in the long run. He said the suspension for the Z4 is purposely set to provide great performance (i.e., it's going to be "twitchy" no matter what). I may have to give in and sell the thing--at least it's almost spring here so I won't have to wait too long . . .
I replaced the RFT's on my wife's 2003 Z4 Roadster with a set of General UHP's from TireRack and 95% of the tramlining was gone and the car is a dream to drive. Even my wife noticed a big improvement.

Your Dealer is shining you on since he really does not know or does not want to do anything.

If I used his reasoning, you could say my Z4M Coupe should be so twitchy that it should be undriveable, but it is rock steady... but that car comes with non-RFT's from the factory...

You also may want to check the alignment. That could also be a factor.

Before you ask, yes, we do have two Z4's......... :thumbup:
 
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