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Run Flat tire question

Discussion in 'Wheels & Tires' started by 379797, May 18, 2023.

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    Hi - I was a former 5 series owner until 2015, went with an Audi from 2015-2023 until last year, and got a 540i in July of 2023 (the car is great!).

    I received delivery on a new 2023 540i xDrive w/ M-brakes in July of last year (2022). By January 2023, my run-flat tires had to be replaced due to damage (less than 5000 miles). I took them to the dealership and had another set of Pirelli run-flat tires installed. Now, I am experiencing the same issues that I felt back in January with the tires (also less than 5000 miles).

    I have not taken the car to the dealership to get the tires checked out yet.

    I have a few questions:
    1. There is a very good tire store near me (Tire & Wheel Performance Center in Ridgewood NJ), if they replace the tires (Michelin Pilot Sport AS4, no more run-flat for me, ever), is there anything that they lack that a BMW dealership has?
    2. Does a BMW dealership have any special equipment that is critical for swapping out tires?
    3. I had read somewhere that the suspension is stiff because of the run-flat tires, if I change to non run-flat, does that need to be adjusted?
    4. I don't really know anything about cars, what other questions should I be asking?
    5. I did get a refund from Pirelli (less than one year warranty), but it was a major PIA to get it. The money went to the dealership and I just got the refund.
    6. I did check the tire pressure (I am able to do that - lol), and it is in spec.

    I have never had run flats, but I have driven cars for a long time - this is the first time I have ever had tires replaced so quickly. Based on my experience, I would NEVER buy run-flat again.

    Thank you for your help!
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    What I've done over the years is find and use a trusted installer & used the Tire Rack in South Bend, Indiana for tire shopping. Pay shipping but no local tax (nowadays may be different!) There are different types of tire changing equipment, the Tire Rack has recommended installers - that said, if you're happy with yours, all good.

    Your local shop may have a different/generic type of tire-pressure monitor system from what the dealer has, presumably that would be a non-issue at this point since the tpms is so new it's unlikely for battery life to be out or anything else.

    The stiffer sidewalls & weight of rft's can affect ride-quality, but there's nothing to be changed on the car. Presumably you'll see less ride-quality harshness and (maaaybe) less immediacy of steering response, although the steering difference I think would be really, really subtle. Since there's no spare in almost all BMW's since... pre-2005? - the tradeoff is the rft's ability to continue driving at reduced speed (if otherwise intact enough) vs. either stopped in place with a flat, or, risking rim damage continuing to drive on a dead/flat tire. Fwiw I've eschewed rft's also. Everyday real-road driving, your ride-quality should be improved, comfort-wise. Many modern-day BMW's seem to be equipped with low-profile, high-performance tires, that are grippy and sticky, which make them responsive and fun to drive (great for magazine review performance results!), but suffer comparatively in ride-quality & tire life; the low-treadwear ratings often has the rears needing replaced at 19-20k miles with offset-sized fronts still lots of life left, so then it's being on brand new tires at the rear and however-old fronts, & replacing rears twice as often as you might want as compared to the fronts. Unless you have the same-sized wheels & tires front and rear, the only way to be able to even out wear with tire rotation is purchasing your own wheels & tires of the same size that will fit all around, the fronts usually being the fitment constraint. Sometimes the factory rears don't stand a chance of fitting on the front (too wide, wrong offset, buying o.e. factory rims are expensive $$ too), but anyway, things unfortunately aren't as simple as buying a couple of reasonably-priced rims that match and popping them on the front with tires that match the rears. Forgot to mention, with a staggered front/rear setup, you can even wear out on the rears, but it takes having the tires flipped on the rims & re-balanced.

    As for shops and tire installer questions, do they have the proper equipment to protect high-end allows for installation?

    I found this - generally informative -

    Good discussion here on tire shop equipment -

    If your damage was impact damage to the tires' sidewalls, roads aside, presumably that would in part be a consequence of the rft's stiff sidewalls and degree to which they're low-profile tires. If you need to process warranty through your dealer, perhaps they need to be involved; different dealers have different policies, locally though I was able to have my local dealer install tires I had shipped to them. In contrast, the local dealer for my wife's car won't install tires they don't sell themselves, apparently as a liability issue. Anyway, it may be you could just have your dealer install whatever tires you want in this instance, wherever your get them. My dealer was willing to source tires but I knew I'd get much better pricing from the Tire Rack (tirerack.com).

    Congrats on the new ride though & good luck working out the tire issues, unfortunately too often it seems like there's always something!

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