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Run Flat Horror

Discussion in 'E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006-2011)' started by Lisantiv, Sep 19, 2009.

    Lisantiv guest

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    I've had my 2008 335ci Sport for 1 year. So far I've had to replace 4 tires because of bubbles from hitting potholes. Right now there are multiple bubbles on 3 of my tires, so I'll be needing to replace them very soon. I just drive on normal road and hit the occassional pothole, but with these tires every bump is bone jarring, and it seems like 2 pothole hits = 1 new tire. I drive over the same bumps in my Honda and barely feel them, nevermind blow a tire.

    I'm going to replace the tires, and I'm going to non run flats in the hopes of getting them to last. Should I also switch to 17" wheels to be safer, or will the switch to non run flats make enough of a difference for me? I've gotten a lot of different feedback but there doesn't seem to be any consensus. Thoughts?

    fernande-bmw guest

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    Not fond of run-flat tires either

    I am not sure why they started adding those as standard options. Just to save the space of a spare in the trunk?

    I am not talking from personal experience, but the people I know who have purchased new cars recently have sold the run flats and purchased traditional tires. They kept the same wheels. I don't think it makes any difference. It is just the tire profile that matters.

    What wheels do you have now and why do you think that switching to 17" would help?

    dhc3 guest

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    I was at the dealership yesterday for routine maintenance on my 2008 335i coupe with sport suspension and RFT on 18' rims.. The day before my red tire pressure indicator light came on, so I checked tire pressures, and the left rear was low at about 24psi. Took it to the dealer, they found the tirewall bubbled and air was leaking at the bead, $409 for a new run flat. Left front was also bubbled, no air leak yet. Right front wheel had a slightly bend in it. The tech mentioned that because the tire sidewall is so rigid, the potholes cause a 'fracture' or bend, thus resulting in a bubble. He pointed to a stack of about 6-8 wheels that were waiting to be shipped out for repair, all from the same issue.

    I am going to look into conventional tires on the 18" rims for summer, and snow tires on 17" for winter.

    FWIW, we also own a 2007 Mini with RFT on 17" rims, 60K miles on 2 sets of tires without a bubble yet.

    dhc3

    Lisantiv guest

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    I have 18". Some tire guys have told me that the extra inch of sidewall I'd get with 17" wheels would absorb a lot more of the bumps. One guy told me that 18" non-run flats would bubble just as much as run flats, because the problem is the lack of sidewall. But I don't think that's right

    Joeb427 guest

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    I switched to non run flats in the first week I had the car.Sold the RFs and the ride is better without any loss of handling.The Michelins I bought have a extra load thicker side wall so handling is great.
    Summer tires don't work in winter even in dry weather which my 335 will only see.
    Don't know about any difference in hitting potholes with non RFs.
    Did buy a BMW spare kit.Whether or not you have RFs,I think it's a good idea.

    dhc3 guest

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    What is in that BMW spare kit?
    Is it mote than just a can of Fix a Flat?
    dhc3

    Joeb427 guest

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    E92Dreier

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    My $.02

    I live in NY...I commute into the Bronx and drive through Manhattan regularly in my E9x vehicles, both with 18" tires and UHP Run Flat Tires. I have not bubbled any of them --

    This is likely due to the fact that I am coming from driving a 325i with a solid competition suspension as my DD (urethane bushings, m3 control arms, racing springs and struts, all rubber removed) In this vehicle, I learned long ago to be exceedingly careful of bumps, dips and potholes. However, I also was once unfortunate enough to experience a catastrophic blowout in that car which resulted in a 360 degree spin from 60 MPH on a rain slicked highway.

    Runflat tires are a compromise between performance and a modicum of added safety. I am all for it. If I decide that the occasional tramlining or the risk of a hard impact and resultant bubbling is too much for me, I can replace them easily with nonRFTs.

    I have no problem witht his advancement and the RFT only option BMW presents on the majority of its cars. As other memebrs have shown, there are a wide variety of plausible, and feasible solutions out there...to each his own. But for me, the added safety has not detracted from the performance to the degree that I am running out to purchase nonRFTs, after 3 yrs of ownership.

    All that said, on my new 335i M-sport (I just ordered), I am considering removing and selling my RFT's, jsut because they wear quickly and are expensive to replace.
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    pseto

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    huh? getting a bigger 18" wheel won't have an extra inch of sidewall. the rim is 1" bigger, but the sidewall will probably be shorter than whatever came on the 17" (to compensate the increase in rim size). because of this, the 18" will probably bubble faster since the sidewall is shorter.

    fernande-bmw guest

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    I think the OP meant that replacing the 18: inch wheel with the 17" wheel will allow for an extra inch of sidewall.

    OK, I'll bite. ;) If I use performance tires on 18" wheels during the summer and winter tires on 17" wheels during the winter. How exactly do you manage the installation if you cannot do it at home? How do you haul 4 wheels to a dealer in the trunk of a 335i?

    Alternatively, how bad is the handling of a 335i 4D sedan (cold weather, sport, premium packages) with all-season tires on the 18" wheels (or 17"wheels) during icy/snowy conditions?
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    az3579

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    I don't see how you can't manage to change it at home. Get a cheap jack, a cheap torque wrench, and you're all set. The only thing I could see preventing you from doing this is if you have a physical disability (or you waited too long and there's already snow on the ground!)

    fernande-bmw guest

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    Not real physical disability. Just never done it before and this will require the purchase of additional equipment.

    I am just curious to know how good/bad the handling of the 335i 4D sedan is with all-season tires (non RFT) on 18" wheels. This will save me money and time.
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    CRKrieger

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    Time to start. If nothing else, you get loads of instant gratification ... well worth the cost of a jack and a couple of wrenches. :D
    • Member

    az3579

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    Plus keep in mind, a couple of tire changes and you've already paid for the tools.

    fernande-bmw guest

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    Fair enough! :)

    docherf guest

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    Without snow tires - the car is terrible with any snow whatsoever - the stock 18" sport anyway.

    dhc3 guest

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    Just yesterday I replaced the stock 18" RE050A run flats with RE050A non run flats on my 335 coupe. Big difference, car rides much smoother, but still handles crisp like it should.
    dhc3

    EzKal guest

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    All season vs. Snow Tires

    On a RWD BMW, my experience is that the car is dangerous to drive in snow and ice on anything but 4 good snow tires. All-Season tires should not be used in snowy and icy regions. In fact, I understand that winter tires are mandatory in Germany come November. I would even recommend snow tire on all wheels of a 335ix in snowy places like Central NY where I live.

    Lisantiv guest

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    So I replaced my 18" runflats with 17" all weather non-run flats. It's like a different car. It still handles fine, but the ride is so much smoother I can't describe it. Little bumps that used to be bone jarring are absorbed by the tires. You still feel bigger bumps, but your teeth don't hurt. Of course, we'll see what happens if I get a flat, but I really think everyone should do this

    dhc3 guest

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    What size tires did you put on those 17" rims?

    dhc3

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