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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My front driver side tire blew out today at 60mph on the highway (I don't think I hit anything). I drove 2 miles to Firestone and they replaced the 2 front tires (the closest BMW dealership was 20 miles away). They said I also need to replace the back tires, but they didn't have them in stock (my tires are staggered).



I rely HEAVILY on the expert advice of the BMW certified mechanics and the TPM (which didn't alert me of an issue before or after the tire blew out). My last service was in March and they said my tires didn't need immediate replacement.

I've had these tires about 3 years/30K miles and I'm not an aggressive driver. Actually, I bought the car Certified Pre-Owned, so I'm not sure how many miles they were driven before I got it.

1. What are some possible reasons this would happen to run flat tires?
2. Anything I should do differently moving forward?
3. I don't believe Firestone reset the TPM, should I do it myself in iDrive? (When I asked they said it should reset automatically...:confused:)
 

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Well this can happen to any tire, runflat or not. RFT just means that you can drive on it with no air, but a run flat tire can get damaged just like any other tire. Seems like your tire was worn out to the metal bands so all the air leaked out. Or maybe you hit a pothole or rolled over something sharp with the already worn out tire? Check your tires more frequently in the future? You should reset the TPMS in the iDrive, it does not do it automatically.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well this can happen to any tire, runflat or not. RFT just means that you can drive on it with no air, but a run flat tire can get damaged just like any other tire. Seems like your tire was worn out to the metal bands so all the air leaked out. Or maybe you hit a pothole or rolled over something sharp with the already worn out tire? Check your tires more frequently in the future? You should reset the TPMS in the iDrive, it does not do it automatically.
Now that you mention it, there's road construction on my usual commute with those massive metal plates in the road and uneven, sharp edged lanes. So that was probably adding extra wear even though I drive over them slowly. I'll reset the TPM in iDrive.

Any idea why the TPM didn't sense the blow out? The TPM malfunction alert kept coming on a few months ago, but BMW said they fixed it.
 

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TPM can't warn you before a tire deflates, as it only senses the current pressure. The main purpose is to warn you that the pressure in the tire has become low over time for whatever reason.

I too had a run-flat deflate on me, then provide no additional milage to get me to a tire place / home. Being as I only see disadvantages - more expensive, more noise, harsher ride etc - I replaced them with regular tire and I carry an BMW mobility kit (little air compressor and bottle of tire sealant) and a AAA card.
 

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3er + 3er + 4er = 10er, Bimmers?!
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1. What are some possible reasons this would happen to run flat tires?
2. Anything I should do differently moving forward?
3. I don't believe Firestone reset the TPM, should I do it myself in iDrive?
1. Run-flat technology is irrelevant here. The tire blew because it was worn down to, and ultimately through, the tread belts. In short, it was driven well beyond the end of its useful life, until it failed.
2. Have the suspension alignment checked & corrected at least every year or two. When was the last time the car had an alignment? For that matter, when was the last time anyone inspected the tires, to detect uneven wear (like this) indicating the car was out of alignment? This is not a problem that develops overnight (absent a substantial impact).
3. Yes. Do it only after checking/setting the correct pressure on cold tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
TPM can't warn you before a tire deflates, as it only senses the current pressure. The main purpose is to warn you that the pressure in the tire has become low over time for whatever reason.

I too had a run-flat deflate on me, then provide no additional milage to get me to a tire place / home. Being as I only see disadvantages - more expensive, more noise, harsher ride etc - I replaced them with regular tire and I carry an BMW mobility kit (little air compressor and bottle of tire sealant) and a AAA card.
Got it. Thanks for the explanation. I considered switching to regular tires but with the urgency of the situation, I didn't have time to research and make an informed decision.
 

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can you take a pic of whole tread with both sidewalls?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
1. Run-flat technology is irrelevant here. The tire blew because it was worn down to, and ultimately through, the tread belts. In short, it was driven well beyond the end of its useful life, until it failed.
2. Have the suspension alignment checked & corrected at least every year or two. When was the last time the car had an alignment? For that matter, when was the last time anyone inspected the tires, to detect uneven wear (like this) indicating the car was out of alignment? This is not a problem that develops overnight (absent a substantial impact).
3. Yes. Do it only after checking/setting the correct pressure on cold tires.
The last time I had the tires checked was in March. Last time they checked alignment (said it was fine) was September.

I let the car cool, rechecked the pressure then reset the TPM. Had to YouTube to learn I needed to drive it for it to reset. I waited 20 minutes with it saying "initializing" lol (yes, I'm that much of a newbie about cars and my dad wasn't home to help).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If you got 30,000 miles out of those tires you did pretty good

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LOL Really? Thanks! That makes me feel better. I was over here thinking I did something wrong. Since I have no reference point, I really don't know what's good or not. I just drive it, wash it, do the scheduled maintenance, and do whatever the alerts tell me.

This is my first "adult" car that I bought and paid for myself without my dad there to handle everything. The learning curve is steep.
 

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The last time I had the tires checked was in March. Last time they checked alignment (said it was fine) was September.

...my dad wasn't home to help).
Hello Counselor ;-)

You and/or your Dad should carefully examine BOTH front tires removed from your car. Look to see if the inside of BOTH front tire treads was worn to the steel cord as the photo you posted of the LF tire clearly shows (was that cord exposure continuous ALL the way around the inside 1-inch of the tire?)

Such wear of the inside of the tread suggests excessive "Toe Out" if appearing on BOTH front tires. If it occurred only on the LF (and NOT RF) then there may be a camber problem.

(1) When alignment was "checked" in 9/2016, who did it, do you know how it was checked (equipment used) and did you receive a printout of the actual alignment readings?

(2) Who told you the tires were OK in 3/17? If steel cord is clearly showing on 5/11, maybe whoever checked them in 3/17 needs intervention by (1) a tire expert or (2) optometrist:)

(3) Where did the tire "blow out"? Was there a hole in the inboard or outboard sidewall? Or did the air simply leak through the exposed tire cord? Was there damage on the INSIDE of the tire, and if so, where (tread or sidewall)? Or did the tire just quickly lose all inflation without a significant rupture in the tire structure?

(4) I assume based upon the description of your vehicle (328i) that you do NOT have X-drive? If you do, then you need to change your rear tires to match the circumference of your new fronts very soon, to avoid drive train strain/wear. In any event, the rear tires should be examined carefully for irregular wear, remaining tread life, etc. and the TPMS should be tested for proper operation.

If the TPM did NOT indicate a flat tire condition AFTER the tire went flat, then likely the advice you got earlier that the TPM malfunction had been corrected was bogus, and you should AT LEAST have the LF (Left Front) TPM sensor tested. Did the place that mounted new front tires test the TPM sensors on those two wheels?

Perhaps before you continue to "rely" on the advice you are getting, you should thoughtfully assess the facts related to the above "interrogatories." You may find that analysis suggests you no longer have the "reasonable right to rely upon" such future advice.

Please let us know what you find,
George (JD ;-)
 

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LOL Really? Thanks! That makes me feel better. I was over here thinking I did something wrong. Since I have no reference point, I really don't know what's good or not. I just drive it, wash it, do the scheduled maintenance, and do whatever the alerts tell me.

This is my first "adult" car that I bought and paid for myself without my dad there to handle everything. The learning curve is steep.
BTW, Were you able to go home driving 50 mph for up to 100 miles on this flat tire (as they say you can?) ?

Also - guessing from the nick, you know that you can sue the construction site for tire damage?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hello Counselor ;-)

You and/or your Dad should carefully examine BOTH front tires removed from your car. Look to see if the inside of BOTH front tire treads was worn to the steel cord as the photo you posted of the LF tire clearly shows (was that cord exposure continuous ALL the way around the inside 1-inch of the tire?)

Such wear of the inside of the tread suggests excessive "Toe Out" if appearing on BOTH front tires. If it occurred only on the LF (and NOT RF) then there may be a camber problem.

(1) When alignment was "checked" in 9/2016, who did it, do you know how it was checked (equipment used) and did you receive a printout of the actual alignment readings?

(2) Who told you the tires were OK in 3/17? If steel cord is clearly showing on 5/11, maybe whoever checked them in 3/17 needs intervention by (1) a tire expert or (2) optometrist:)

(3) Where did the tire "blow out"? Was there a hole in the inboard or outboard sidewall? Or did the air simply leak through the exposed tire cord? Was there damage on the INSIDE of the tire, and if so, where (tread or sidewall)? Or did the tire just quickly lose all inflation without a significant rupture in the tire structure?

(4) I assume based upon the description of your vehicle (328i) that you do NOT have X-drive? If you do, then you need to change your rear tires to match the circumference of your new fronts very soon, to avoid drive train strain/wear. In any event, the rear tires should be examined carefully for irregular wear, remaining tread life, etc. and the TPMS should be tested for proper operation.

If the TPM did NOT indicate a flat tire condition AFTER the tire went flat, then likely the advice you got earlier that the TPM malfunction had been corrected was bogus, and you should AT LEAST have the LF (Left Front) TPM sensor tested. Did the place that mounted new front tires test the TPM sensors on those two wheels?

Perhaps before you continue to "rely" on the advice you are getting, you should thoughtfully assess the facts related to the above "interrogatories." You may find that analysis suggests you no longer have the "reasonable right to rely upon" such future advice.

Please let us know what you find,
George (JD ;-)
Love the thorough response! It's like you get my nerdy lawyer heart ;) haha

It's too late to inspect the tires I replaced because Firestone kept them and I didn't know to ask any of those questions. My dad wasn't available so I was on my own.

(1) The BMW dealership inspected the tires in September and they claimed to have fixed the TPM. It took them 3 tries to "fix it." I'll check the print out to see if they noted the alignment numbers.

(2) The March inspection was done by the BMW certified shop that I go to for my oil changes (they're closer to home than the dealership).

(3) I don't know enough about tire anatomy to response properly to this. There was a loud pop sound, then I heard flapping noises. The only place that I could see the damage is what I took a picture of (but that was only from the angle I could see when I stopped on the side of the road).

I doubt Firestone checked the TPM sensor. My car doesn't have X Drive, but I will get the other 2 tires soon.

Thanks so much for this! When I get the back tires replaced, I'll do an alignment and then I'll follow up on the points you made.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
BTW, Were you able to go home driving 50 mph for up to 100 miles on this flat tire (as they say you can?) ?

Also - guessing from the nick, you know that you can sue the construction site for tire damage?
I was able to drive 50mph but the Firestone was only 2 miles away from where I was on the highway. I didn't want to risk damaging the rim by driving any farther.

I hear you about seeking reimbursement from the city. I'd have to look into it and do a cost/benefit analysis to see if it's worth the time and effort to pursue. ;)
 

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your tire looks pretty well worn.

rule of safety, replace tires when tread depth is at 4/32 and use the tire's warranty if you have one. (America's Tire has been very good to me).

and for RFTs... i prefer Michelin Pilot Super Sports. over the rft bricks. i am religious about pulling off worn tires after having to flatbed my car twice when i wore rfts beyond their life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
your tire looks pretty well worn.

rule of safety, replace tires when tread depth is at 4/32 and use the tire's warranty if you have one. (America's Tire has been very good to me).

and for RFTs... i prefer Michelin Pilot Super Sports. over the rft bricks. i am religious about pulling off worn tires after having to flatbed my car twice when i wore rfts beyond their life.
Okay thanks. I'll learn how to check the tire tread myself.

The RFT vs regular tire debate is interesting. I already notice the difference in how the car drives (even though these are also RFT they feel "softer" than the more high end RFT I had before), so I'm sure regular tires will feel vastly different. But I like the convenience of the RFT. My car doesn't have a spare or room for a spare, so if this happened with regular tires, it would have been a bigger hassle.
 

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Okay thanks. I'll learn how to check the tire tread myself.

The RFT vs regular tire debate is interesting. I already notice the difference in how the car drives (even though these are also RFT they feel "softer" than the more high end RFT I had before), so I'm sure regular tires will feel vastly different. But I like the convenience of the RFT. My car doesn't have a spare or room for a spare, so if this happened with regular tires, it would have been a bigger hassle.
i also have a solid towing solution if i ever get disabled.

the ride/performance difference between bricks and real tires is huge, again IMO.

on my 335i, i get around 12k miles on the rears before they need pulling off and around 20k on the fronts (staggered fitment).

i am not lighting up my tires at all. it's all that torque plus soft rubber on the Super Sports. my car drives like a different car w/o bricks.

if you are proactive in managing your tire wear and inspecting your tires, you shouldn't be left stranded. and having a good towing solution is key to any car owner. being stranded is about the worst thing one can experience.
 
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