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When is the last time you got a flat tire?

Discussion in 'Wheels & Tires' started by Brian A, Mar 5, 2009.


In cars you personally were driving, when is the last time you got a flat tire?

Less than 1 month ago. 13 vote(s) 12.7%
Less than 1 year ago. 24 vote(s) 23.5%
Less than 5 years ago. 28 vote(s) 27.5%
Less than 10 years ago. 15 vote(s) 14.7%
More than 10 years ago. 22 vote(s) 21.6%
    • Member


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    I had a flat after hitting a car size pothole in December 2008. I had the winter wheels on the e90 330i which are not run flats. It would not have mattered because it destroyed the rim by removing a 8 inch section of it.
    • Member


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    List Of Flat Tires on BMWs

    I have had a number of flats, and I live in Austin TX in areas with well paved roads and not too much new construction (ie: less risk of nails and screws on road from the builders) and few pot holes. Here is partial list in reverse chronological order for the past 10 years. I have had flat tires over 10 years ago, but here is the abbreviated list:
    o About March 2009 - E39 M5 - nail in tire. No air loss, drove to mechanic for repair
    o February 2009 - 06 750Li - nail in sidewall. Discovered in our garage, changed tire with spare. Tire was replaced.
    o October 2005 - E39 M5 - wheel had hairline crack. Lost air pressure while driving cross country. Low air alert Saturday around 6 PM - as all the tire repair places closed. Stuck in Nashville, 870 miles from home, from Saturday night until Monday afternoon. If I had a spare, I would have only been delayed 30 minutes. A run flat would not have helped here. "Mobility system" didn't work, and if it did was not adequate for an 870 mile drive home.
    o May 2001 - E39 M5 - Something caused a tire leak, by the time I pulled over the inside sidewall was shredded. "Mobility system" worthless.
    o March 2000 - 94 525iT - a small rock in the road (about the size of a walnut) nicked my sidewall and ripped it. Tire had to be replaced.

    I'm sure that I am forgetting some incidents. I think I have been unusually unlucky, but these events did happen. My wife and I drive about 20k miles total per year.

    So, where am I on run flats? I buy BMWs for performance. Run flat hardness and weight are opposite charactistics to performance. Also, run flats wouldn't have helped me when driving in West Texas or other long trips. Lastly, when we drive cross country, calling a BMW dealer for tire service isn't always possible. If anyone has driven in West Texas, from El Paso to Junction, you know what I mean. It is about 500 miles of nothing, except for a few small towns. When we left El Paso, there was a sign that said "Van Horn 100 miles". This didn't just mean that Van Horn was 100 miles away, but there were no other towns and NO gas stations form that sign until we reached van Horn. How could a 50 mile-when-flay run flat help me?

    Lastly, there is the issue of safety. We live in an area where I wouldn't worry about personal safety while changing a flat. Then there is the issue of blowout. My wife was driving a VW Rabbit in 1985 between 2 jersey barriers in a construction zone while driving at highway speeds. She had a front tire blowout. VW advertised back then that they are designed to be safe in such an event, and in fact she was able to keep the car in the lane and drive it to the the first available place to pull over.

    My view: give me a full size spare.
    • Member


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    Truly saved a long deserved vacation

    Just to add a note here, (hoping BMW is reading this). I was in northern VT a week or so ago at about 9:30 at night after a really nice romantic dinner with my wife. We had about 10-15 miles to go back to an Inn. My son was in camp and we had finally found the time to air out the car in VT for a few days. Very dark and very deserted stretch of interstate. Unseen metal object that cut the sidewall of the front right tire. Yes, we were talking and I should have avoided it, but...

    My trusty 2003 540 has a full size spare.Had plenty of room to get off the road. I had it swapped out in 10 minutes or less and the rest of the night and remaining days of the trip were saved. No tires for my car for many miles around and the trip would have been a total loss. Not to mention, middle of nowhere for hours, late at night, if I had a "Run Flat" it would have been worthless and this would have left me totally stuck.

    How anyone could say that at this price point run flats are even an option is Crazy. (sorry, technical term :)). I will never buy a car with them (take note BMW). Lets be clear on this I love my 540, bought it new, will drive it as long as possible, but, no new 5 series with run flats (and no option for a spare). An unplanned stay in the dark woods in the middle of no where is not my idea of fun. Also, the selection, performance, and pricing for run flats is unacceptable.

    10 minutes vs total disaster.... Same guy at BMW who decided dip sticks are a bad idea I am sure...
    • Member


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    I have had two flat tires in the last year.
    New Years eve around 9PM of last year I got a flat in Vermont. The outside temp was around 10F and it was snowing. I was pretty happy to have a full size spare. I swapped it out in 10 minutes and had a great weekend with no searching for a tire store. I drove the 3 hours home a few days later. The tire was destroyed by a piece of metal and had to be replaced.
    Last month I picked up a screw in the right rear. Swapped on the spare and had it patched at the tire store.
    Say no to run flats!!!!

    Johan guest

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    I just replaced the passengers side rear tire as I seemed to have picked up to rather large screws. Because they were within 15 inches of each other they wouldnt repair the tire so road hazzard replaced it for only the cost of the new road hazzard on the new tire. This is the second tire I had to do this with on my 95 540 in 2 years. I dont think AZ roads are very clean and its rare to see a street sweeper so I guess its good for me to keep getting the road hazzard.

    273542 guest

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    No Spare

    I own a 2009 128I and love it. It does have run-flats. I am uncomfortable with the fact that I do not have a spare tire and the only option is a donut spare that would just float in the trunk. I live in the Chicago area where the roads are terrible. The potholes are unbelievable and are not always avoidable if you are in heavy traffic.
    This past winter my 2001 330CI was disabled from a pothole that bent the rim. Fortunately the car had a spare tire. If the car had run-flats, a tow would have been necessary.
    I think BMW would at least configure the trunk in all cars where a spare tire could be accommodated and run-flats offered as an option.
    I do not think this is an unreasonable request.
    Bob McHugh
    • Member

    Larry Price

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    When was the last time you had a flat tire

    This question and response method is not a valid method for determining how much pain you have with run flat tires since my experience with them indicates they are more prone to pick up nails and screws from the highway.

    We owned a 2004 Z4 with RFT for 18 months/18,000 miles. In that period we had to replace 4 tires due to punctures. After that experience we traded for an X3 with regular Pirrelli tires which we drove for 5 years and 50,000 miles and only experienced one flat tire. Note that all driving in both situations was done by the same person in the same geographical area.
    • Member


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    never isn't an option :confused: I really hope I don't since I don't carry my spare with me :eek:
    • Member


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    I've never been stranded by a flat tire. I had a tire pick up a nail about 7 years ago, resulting in a slow leak, and drove the car to get the tire repaired without having to mount the spare. I drove the M Coupe from Chicago to the Performance Center M-School last May and picked up my 2nd nail somewhere along the way, again resulting in a slow leak; I used the portable compressor to pump the tire back up and had it patched at a shop in Greenville; it's been fine ever since. That's the sum total in 30 years of driving.

    With modern tire construction/technology, I don't think there are many situations where slime or more air won't get you home.
    • Member


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    Try driving around lost in unlit-pitch-black-road-suburbia when out of the darkness far across a unlit parking lot shines lighted convenience-store windows along with the hope of getting unlost in a pre-GPS era, and seeing upon turning into the supposedly open-looking driveway entrance of said Mecca-in-the-dark at some 30 mph that the open-looking driveway is actually a large, sidewalk height, concrete berm that is shaped, a-la highway-rest-area-style, to only allow single lane access to and from my opposing lane and NOT the lane from which I am now rapidly approaching!

    This realization comes to fruition over the course of approximately one-quarter second as the un-painted, un-highlited berm pops suddenly into the view of the headlights, leaving no opportunity to change direction or speed or otherwise react to modify the eventuality of said realization. Boom, berm hit, jumped, driven over and back off of, one trashed left-front wheel with blown tire, and remarkably, the other front tire and rim appear intact. And, thankfully, the oil pan has not been ripped off the car, smashed, cracked, or otherwise damaged.

    Presto-change-o with the oem-supplied jack, lug wrench, chock, spare wheel-&-tire and mobile again a few minutes later. I too have never been stranded by a flat, but could only wish to have had only two slow-leaks-due-to-nails over the years... I'd say you've been pretty lucky in that regard!
    • Member


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    That's ALL you had, a bad wheel and flat tire? Are you serious?
    When the curb jumped out in front of me, I couldn't get away with such a small amount of damage: wheel, tire, control arm, and something-else-I-can't-remember was damaged. What hurt the most was the wheel; it's really, really hard to find a spare Euroweave!
    • Member


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    Ya, pretty much - the other front wheel suffered a dent, but the tire didn't blow or become unusable. Had I been in a lowered E30 w/ lower profile tires, it would have been a different story, but this was my stock suspended E34 with tires only slightly lower in profile than stock, and since I was turning, the least loaded corner of the car took the curb hit first. Not that we want to start a primer on curb-jumping technique. :p
    • Member


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    A nail pulled out of my front driver side tire during a club autocross. I check the air pressure between runs, and saw the sudden drop. Due to delay in the event I was able to plug the tire with a borrowed plug and tool from a M roadster driver in the club. Normally I carry a small compressor, even though my car has a full size spare (E34). All my cars have full size spare except for my wife's Z3. I removed the mini spare on it to reduce weight for autocross events. I carry a pump and plugs in case of tire issues. I am gradually adding this kit to all my cars, and always carry this on any trip. We have a lot of construction in our area so get nails and screws in tires at least once per year out of five (5) cars. I rode street motorcycles for years, and never had a flat, but also always ran quality tires. I usually carried CO2 inflator and patches on the road bike. The kit came with my K100RS. I think all cars should offer a mini spare option. I don't think I will ever be happy with the concept of a run flat tire. Even standard BMW's should offer an option for non-runflat tires on a new car, not just M cars.

    Once about 9 years ago, I hit a piece of angle iron in morning traffic, and it rapidly deflated the tire on a four lane street about 50 mph. It was in the E30, so a I pulled off, changed it with the factory tools and jack in about 10 minutes. The tire was destroyed, but only a few minutes late to work.

    I always liked the way older BMW's had the spare well closed and accessable from inside the trunk.

    95 525i (spare well in trunk)
    00 Z3 2.8 (wife's car)
    99 Suburban (family utility vehicle, full size spare inside)
    91 525i (daughter's car, spare well in trunk)
    98 328is (I just maintain this on for the older daughter, full spare in trunk)
    87 325is (out of commission, but full spare in trunk)

    mose121 guest

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    The fact remains that a run flat tire is safer than a non run flat, and ultimately that's what should really matter to everyone. If all of the manufacturers would put run flats on their cars, it would increase R&D efforts making run flat tires better. At the same time this would substantially increase the supply of RFT's while in turn reducing the tires cost. Wha-la, you get RFT's that ride and cost the same as their significantly more dangerous and technologically outdated non RFT's.

    If a run flat tire saved your 16 year olds life, would paying the extra $100 for 4 tires really be that big of deal to you? I highly doubt it. Ride quality and tread life will increase as the technology progresses. Also we have to remember that run flat technology is still young, maybe a decade old. In 1967, Sony created their first color television. How many of us would be happy now with a TV from 1987, or even 1998 for that matter? Lets just all smile and forget that anyone ever said anything bad about runflats.:D
    • Member


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    in an ideal world, maybe yes, but many people here would rather have tires that ride nicer and offer better performance, plus a RFT is only good for a limited amount of miles after it's flat, so it would make so much sense to have a full size spare in the car in addition to the RFT just in case you get a flat in the middle of the Arizona desert
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    So what you're suggesting is all manufacturers put mediocre tires on their cars so that developers start making them better? How about start making them better before forcing everyone to buy a performance-wise inferior tire? I think this is the better solution.

    It's like computers back in the day. The problem at the time was cost. They started making them cheaper before lots of people started to buy them, not after. In a sense, the same applies here. The following known facts about run-flats are what prevent people from choosing to use them:
    * cost
    * road noise
    * bad wear
    * bad ride (harsh)
    * increased likelihood of damaged rims

    So, if they think this is the way of the future, they need to improve them first before they start forcing them down our throats. Make that technology better than what is out now and then it will start to make sense.
    • Member


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    The fact remains that a run flat tire is safer than a non run flat, and ultimately th

    Per Mose121, safety is the real issue here. I've been driving for 47 years (my God, am I old) and have had only 5 flats in that time. That's about one every decade. Having a flat tire is a f pain in the *** but that's not the most important aspect.

    • Member


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    Well if safety is the issue, then no one should be allowed to drive or really do anything other than sit in a padded room.

    I have blown tires at 90+ mph and never lost control of the car or truck that I was driving. I know I was fortunate. BMW might be selling run flats under the "safety" mantra, but it is really to save weight in the car to keep the cafes up and also that most BMW owners would not want to get their hands dirty.

    I don't think a run flat is the safe answer when you are hours away from anyone who can repair or replace the tire. They work in cities and that is about it.

    I realize this is my opinion here and I am not going to change anyone,s mind, this is just like talking about oil!! :D

    BIMMIR guest

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    Run flats are really a preference issue in my mind. I just wish BMW gave us the opportunity to exercize our preference. I have a car pulling into the port in NJ tomorrow, which I would have ordered with tires, spare & jack if I could have. Run flats are louder and have a harder ride. They also cost a lot more.

    I will give the tire manufacturers credit though, they have improved, dramatically! Like any new technology. My first set in 2007 went 7,000 miles before sounding like a helicopter was hovering above my car. They were replaced under warrantee at 10,000 miles and I couldn't have stood it another mile. On my current car, the tires have about 28,000 miles with no issues.
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor


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    Got a flat in the M5 on the way to Vintage at the Vineyards. I didn't immediately realize it and took the exit ramp at speed. It did just fine, though it destroyed the sidewalls of the tire. I pulled over a little bit after the burning rubber smell (from the sidewall rubbing the strut) and saw the destroyed tire. The wheel was fine. Those 245/40-17s really have stiff sidewalls.

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