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RFT Insurance - to buy or not to buy....

Discussion in 'Buy, Lease, Finance & Insurance' started by Mil.flyer, Nov 11, 2010.

    Mil.flyer guest

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    I ordered a 335d (no sport pkg) and biding my time until it comes in. Meanwhile I am trying to research the dealer offered run flat tire insurance. I purposely decided not to order the sport pkg because the tires will cost more to replace over time. I also plan to go to non RFT when the orginals wear out. Will I void the car's warranty if I do so? I also read BMW was replacing tires for new cars with less than 10K miles. What can I expect? Is $1000 for RFT insurance worth it? My instincts say no but looking for input from people who bought.
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    bcweir

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    Tires are covered under a separate warranty by the RFT manufacturer.

    I don't own a car with RFT (run flat tires) but I thought I'd contribute what I know anyway.

    That and because tires are generally considered to be "consumables," normal wear and tear is not covered. In the event of a defect in manufacturer, the tire maker would assume responsibility for warranty coverage for the tire.

    Putting regular tires on your car will not void your vehicle warranty. You will however, need to purchase a tire jack and a lug wrench separately. Also since BMW does not equip your trunk with a wheelwell, the tire, jack and lug wrench are all going to consume some trunk space.

    Seems to me like RFT insurance would be a waste of money if you just going to put regular tires on it in the first place.
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    floydarogers

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    Brian's mostly right, but not on this warranty stuff

    Although there is a manufacturer's warranty on the tires, it's only for manufacturing defects.

    The warranty that BMW dealers are selling is for replacement of tires and wheels damaged by hitting curbs or potholes, or tires that are punctured. BMW does not repair any punctures in RFT's. If you get a lot of flats or are careless and hit a pothole, you will get a new tire and/or wheel (or more than one in some cases).

    You have to decide if it's worth it. (Of course, I had a flat the first month of ownership of my 335d, but it was easily repairable by Discount Tire: for free.) BMW dealerships ask outrageous prices for tires - usually at least 50% above Tirerack or Discount prices. If you're willing to shop elsewhere, and are willing to not hit potholes (hard some times/places), the warranty is a ripoff.

    And IMO, 3/4 of this "RFT's are s$%^" carping is people buying the sport package (which comes standard on coupes) and deciding they don't like the stiff ride, and then blame it on the tires. The newer tires and suspension (most people think there's been some changes for 2010/2011) are considerably better than the 2007 versions. I have almost 20K on mine, and expect to get close to 30K before they need replacement.
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    bcweir

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    What you're referring to used to be known as a road-hazard warranty

    At least that's what they call it with the old fashioned non-RFT tires.

    These tend to be very specifically written. These will generally cover punctures to the tread, but not the sidewall (most tire manufacturers assume that punctures to the tread are incidental and unintentional, and therefore coverable; whereas punctures to the sidewall are typically from either vandalism or negligence, which most of the time they will not). Thankfully, most tire manufacturers make this supplemental coverage optional. I buy it because it's cheap insurance against the unexpected.

    But generally speaking, car manufacturers will almost never have any thing to do with a warranty claim on tires, even if it is a manufacturing defect. That's because auto manufacturers don't manufacture the tires -- they simply buy them in bulk in the sizes they need.

    The run-flat argument is, as far as I am concerned, a matter of taste. What leaves a bad taste in people's mouths, generally, is BMW literally force-feeding run-flats whether or not the customer wants them. Want the premium sport shocks, sport steering wheel, and upsized wheels, but not the run-flats? T.F.B, says BMW. You take it all or you don't get any of it. To further force the issue, there's no longer a spare tire well in the trunk, no jack, and no lug wrench. You can always add that stuff back in on your own, but then there goes your storage capacity in your trunk.

    BMW might as well tell people "We'll only give you the premium engine IF you let US choose the color for the car." How many people would go for that?

    Not everyone likes run-flats, and that's fine. Some people genuinely don't like the firmer ride with run-flats. I think what understandably gets under people's skin is that BMW forces customers to take what they don't want or don't like, along with the 99 percent of the rest of the car that they DO like?

    Mil.flyer guest

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    Thanks to everyone who posted on the RFT quesiton. I do plan to change over to conventional tires (and I really hope I do reach 30K on the RFTs) and I'll go with one of the mitigation strategies outlined in your posts. I think the sport is cool, and for the purists probably non-negotiable, but I also wanted to be able to rotate my tires and enjoy a balance between performance and ride comfort. I drove 3 different 335ds and they were all spectacular for the torque and great handling. At this point, I believe I will skip the RFT insurance and use the savings to help pay for the extras I ordered for the 335d:

    Blue Water Metalic, Saddle, prem, cold wx, nav, Harmon Kardon, sat radio, heated steering, convenience.

    It was ordered on 5 Nov 2010. The dealer thinks I'll get it by Christmas. I hope so to....

    Michgndr89 guest

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    What about the tranny?
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    Zeichen311

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    There's only one available for the 335d...hint: two pedals.
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    floydarogers

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    Just so you're aware: BMW does not recommend rotating tires. The fronts and rears have different wear patterns due to the suspension setup. You can do it, but IME the gain in tire longevity is minimal.

    My 335d is Bluewater, too. Thought about Saddle Brown but went with Beige due to it's non-black trim.

    Michgndr89 guest

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    Well, that pretty much just took it off my list of "maybe somedays" then. Thanks.
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    floydarogers

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    You should drive one before dismissing the ZF auto.

    Michgndr89 guest

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    I rather enjoy my clutch, jamming away on a gear shift lever, and trying to get all the drive train components synchronized and smooth. If I wanted someone or something to do that for me, I'd ride the bus.

    Not to diss the ZF auto, but it ain't for me.
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    floydarogers

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    Neanderthal! I suppose you still use an Apple II?

    Michgndr89 guest

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    Does a first generation Nano count?
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    floydarogers

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    Nano Tata?!

    Presumably you put it in your trunk so you can continue if you have a flat!

    Michgndr89 guest

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    Nope. The only thing in the truck is the tire puncture repair kit, a pair of pliers, and a little portable air compressor. The RTFs are long gone.

    See how nicely we've wandered back to the original subject?
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    bcweir

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    With no tire jack, no lug wrench, and no conventional spare tire or mini-spare...

    ...changing a flat tire sounds a whole lot more complicated.
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    az3579

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    Not to change the subject again, but just having two pedals automatically dismisses the ZF. Period. It will never be as much fun as three pedals. EVER.
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    MGarrison

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    I wonder if a manual in the 335d would offer the same kind of exhilaration as in its gas-powered counterpart. Part of what makes a manual fun, besides mastering the mechanics of shifting, is being able to run the engine up to a fairly high rpm limit. In a 335i that's what? 7-8k?

    I'd have to drive a 335d and shift it manually to compare, but the diesel reaches max torque below 2k rpms, max hp in the low 4k rpms, and has a redline of 5k. My turbodiesel pickup falls flat on it's face at 3k rpms, maybe a little less. Sure, I could use manual mode and keep it to redline, but there's just no acceleration, comparatively, after 3k. So, the transmission shifts a lot to keep the engine in the torque band. If the 335d engine, as a diesel, is even remotely similar in it's performance characteristics, I suspect it might not be all that much fun, perhaps more a lot of gearbox rowing to keep it in the rpm band where you can take advantage of all that torque, and winding it out to the rpm limit - not so exciting.

    Initially I think the word was BMW didn't have a gearbox available that could handle the torque; but, an automatic can also be easily programmed to max advantage, and take some of the shifting burden off the driver. I also thought I read lately that dct is slated to come to the diesel? Anyone else hear that?

    At O'fest in '08, BMW NA had a 5er with the turbodiesel available for test drives - I didn't have any complaints about the automatic, and it was a hoot with all the torque. The 335d has got to be even better. Generally I'd fall in the same camp, no auto-trans 4 me, but a diesel's characteristics may not lend itself as well to shifting manually, particularly in the 'max fun' department.

    On another note, someone at our fall driver's school had put together a E30 324td and was running that at the track. Seems like that'd be a fun project, and a pretty straighforward swap too, with some power potential in tuning and a bigger turbo - anwyay, it was fun to see! (I assume it was a manual, but didn't get a look into the cabin)
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    floydarogers

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    That's essentially the reason that the 335d is about 0.6 seconds behind in a 1/4 mile compared to the 335i (14.0s vs. 13.4). It's also slower to 60 mph, as it needs an extra shift (has to get into 3rd), even considering the lower-ratio final drive.

    Michgndr89 guest

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    The cheap "come get me" coverage on my insurance policy is there for when the plug kit and compressor are insufficient for the job.

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