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808 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I noticed a "bubble" in the sidewall this morning compliments of our fabulous roads. I previously had four "bubbles" during the first few years of ownership, but was fortunate enough to have purchased the road hazard warranty. Unfortunately, that has long since expired.

I would like to say that I have been lucky the past 5 years, but the car has not been driven much in that time. It has been driven pretty much every day in the past 9 months, so I guess my "luck" has finally run out.

I went to Costco with the intention of just replacing the one tire, but was advised to replace all four because of the age of the tires (there is a production date code on each tire). Supposedly, tires should be replaced every 5 years regardless of mileage.

Here are the facts:
  • The car has 17,500 miles
  • The car is almost 9 years old and the tires range from 6 to 9 years old.
  • The tires have varying tread depth due to previous replacements.
  • The RF has 8/32 (75% remaining) and is the one with the bubble.
  • The LF has 8/32 (75% remaining) and was produced in 2010.
  • The RR has 4/32 (25% remaining) and was produced in 2007.
  • The LR has 6/32 (50% remaining) and was produced in 2008.

I plan on sticking with the RFT system and I am going to keep the car for at least another year or so.

A set of Bridgestone Potenza RE050A (OEM) will cost $1373 at Costco (no shipping charge, but I pay tax) and $1220 at Tire Rack (no tax, but I pay shipping). Installation costs are comparable.

There is also a Bridgestone Driveguard RFT tire that was recommended. A set will cost $976 at Costco (no shipping charge, but I pay tax) and $887 at Tire Rack (no tax, but I pay shipping). Installation costs are comparable.

Costco includes a 5-year "pro-rated" road hazard warranty. Tire Rack includes a 2-year "covered at 100%" warranty.

Costco installs in-house. Tire Rack will send the tires to a a recommended installer (for me, it is Firestone Auto Care) Costco does not do alignment, but Firestone does (with a new set of tires, I would get an alignment) -- although I do not need to do it there.

  1. Which package would you select?
  2. Which other RFT would you recommend?
  3. Would you go with Costco or Tire Rack?
  4. What type of alignment do I need?

Thanks in advance for any assistance -- it is greatly appreciated.

67 Posts
tire recommendations

I'm not on board with run flats, but I will say no more on this as you've made up your mind. I would replace all 4 tires. It has been a while since I've researched tire aging, but my recollection is that you should not go past six years. You may have plenty of tread, but the tire rubber itself degrades increasing your chances of a blowout dramatically. I would buy the tires you want from tirerack and get them installed somewhere highly recommended with road force balancing capability. I'm a big fan of Costco, but you drive a BMW. Costco is designed for volume and not special needs.

I will make one more comment, but it is just philosophical and not meant to start an argument. If you only have 17K miles after 5 years, I'm not sure why you'd own a BMW (the whole point is the driving pleasure on the open road). I have 40K miles after 5 years and I thought I was low!

3,039 Posts
I agree with replacing all 4 tires. But unless you really need the sharp handling of the RE050 Potenzas, I'd strongly recommend the Driveguards, especially if you want to stay with a RFT. After 10,000 miles of riding on them, I'm very happy with the overall handling (for an all-season tire), wet grip, light snow & ice performance and most of all, the greatly improved ride. And even though our roads are also atrocious, there have been no bubbles or other issues with the Driveguards.

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