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Run Flat Tires

I have a 2006 BMW with about 24000 miles on the factory supplied run flat tires. Over the past several weeks I have noticed an increasing amount of road noise and hogh frequency vibration in the car. When I took it in for service I was told it was my run flat tires - to fix the problem, I would have to replace them. I don’t recall anyone telling me that the average mileage for these things is only 25,000 miles, but that’s what BMW claimed. Replacement is $300=$400/tire, so I checked with a local tire shop and was quoted a price of about $550 for 50,000 mile regular tires to replace the run flats. The problem I have besides being pretty upset about the performance of the run flats, is that if I chage over to regular tires, i don’t have a spare. The donut spare won’t fit in the well. I have seen a resealer that is reasonably small, and runs off of the kighter socket to inject a sealant into a flat tire and also has a compressor to pump up the flat, but I don’t know if these things really work. Anyone out there with any suggestions would be gratefully received.

Flats are rare unless you drive in the country, and you probably don’t since you have a BMW. To begin with, there are lots of tire brands that are very good, high performance-high speed, and less than $200 per tire. Shop around. And remember this: the longer the tires are guaranteed to last, the less traction and more noise because harder rubber compounds are required for high mileage. If you drive performance style, you probably don’t want 50,000 mile tires. You could drive without a spare (call a tow truck if you flat) or carry an inflation kit which might get you to the repair place. Whether an inflation kit works depends on whether you have a puncture or your tire blew out or has a slash in it.

Run flat tires are an expensive pain in the ___.

With name brand tires, sudden flats are VERY rare. I have not had one in 20 years.

I would by four regular tires if they fit my rims, and add towing to my car insurance (if it is not already there) You will be money WAY ahead on the deal.

The sealant injection cans work, but they make a gooey mess in your tire and rim. Carry a can if you like, but don’t use it unless the tow truck is not available.

See my posting here:

Get rid of the run flats!

The run-flats would be gone forever if it was my car. Overpriced, short lived, and a pain in the neck; and for what? So one can limp another 20 miles up the road and trash the tire anyway?

While there’s always the possibility of getting a flat on new tires the odds are against it. In the event of a puncture a can of sealant, etc. can work and get you down the road a ways. As mentioned, it makes a bit of a gummy mess inside the tire but the tire is also still repairable and perfectly serviceable. I’ve seen the guy at the local farm co-op repair a few tires that were full of sealer and it was no big deal to him.
In the event of a gash of course then it’s junk.

Even if you did nothing and called a tow truck for a simple flat the tow bill would still be far less than the cost of even 1 run-flat tire.

mount and bal= double the price(but you have a BMW,so money is no object.

takes 89% more time to play with this bad design.

I’m paranoid about driving without a spare. In two successive years we had a blowout and then a puncture on our 2003 Toyota 4Runner. I was glad to have a full size spare tire. This year I picked up a screw in a tire on my Chevrolet Uplander. Fortunately, I noticed that the tire was low, put some air in the tire and made it to a tire dealer where he found that the screw was so close to the sidewall that the tire had to be replaced. If I can outfit the Uplander with a full size spare where the donut is, I am going to equip this vehicle with a full size spare.

We had captive air tires in the early 1960’s and the Rambler station wagon models with a third seat were equipped with these tires, as there wasn’t room for a spare tire. I don’t think these tires worked very well then and it doesn’t seem to me that the run flat tires work well now. I agree with the others that it may make sense to take your chances and go to regular tires

It seems to me that instead of the BMW engineers going back to the past where we tried captive air tires with present use of run flat tires, why didn’t the BMW engineers go back a couple more decades where a continental spare or side mounts were the sign of a classy car?

I would bet in your case that if you go to a quality regular tire, the handling will also improve as well as the tread life of the tire.

I’m still waiting for Michelin to bring out that Tweel they’ve talked about before

I love the concept of the tweel.
From what I’ve read about it in the past, the ride and handling are either on par or superior to traditional pneumatic tires. The big draw back is horrendous road noise. Until Michelin tweaks the design enough to meet the demanding needs of the general public, you won’t be seeing it on the market.
This could take some time.

Although, they must be getting close. I’ve been seeing/reading more and more about it in recent months.

I hope it’s soon. They way most rims are now, it isn’t much different from the tweel. You got a huge rim and a tire that’s more or less sprayed on top of it.

As I understand it, the Tweel was envisioned by a Michelin engineer named Ezekiel. “Ezekiel saw the Tweel, Way up in the middle of the air”.

Personally, I would probably just put on conventional tires and find a spot to secure a spare in the trunk. I also would not be comfortable without a spare, although I haven’t needed one in over 10 years.

This model E-46 appeared in 1999 and it came with normal tires and a spare.Curious as to why BMW took a step backwards?

The last time I had a tire go bad on me, from driving in the US, was early 1996.

I lose about a tire a year here in Mexico. Sometimes it doesn’t fail until I am in the States, but I can usually see what happened.

Once, some dummies in a tire repair place here in Mexico took the tire off, it had a nail, with hammers. When I got that tire back, it had hammer marks all over it. It started coming apart in Alabama, the tire under-pressure light came on, and I finally realized the tire had gone out of round, and was ready to disintegrate.

Yokohama does not honor its guarantee for any tire which has been driven into Mexico, and in my opinion they are right.

In the past, when one of my used tires went bad, I replaced them all. With one tire a year going bad here, I will in the future replace only the bad one. I realize some folks don’t think that is a good idea, but with the high number of failed tires, I have had plenty of experience driving with odd tires on one corner, and have had no handling problems at all with my Sienna.

My original spare is now 7 years old, and though it looks good, I think it’s time to get a new one, simply due to aging.

I would say just the opposite. Urban driving will yield more flats than rural paved road or rural interstate.