Last post on Apr 21, 2013 at 1:52 PM
You are in the BMW 3-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 3 Series, Tires
#3011 of 3108 Is it all fault of the RTF?
Jan 28, 2012 (6:00 pm)
I premise, I have run my 2008 335xi for 3 years on the original set of Bridgestone RTF (more importantly running ~32,000 miles on them).
I had never really considered them in terms of enhancing any 'sport driving experience' but rather a technology that makes sense in terms of improved safety (read "no tire blow-ups").
So the safety considerations were really the trap in having me give no consideration to the fact that driving around Chicago is the last place to have a sport car set with RTF.
From my 3 years experience and picking up on some of the posts in this forum I would summarize the following:
- In an average metropolitan US area RTF tires make no sense (caveat, I am speaking about the Bridgestone set, I hear that some of you have had a much more positive experience with other Brands).
- I have always driven cars with sporty dynamics and no cushy import or domestic vehicles so I am used to firm rides but my impression was that the RTFs were not matched to BMW chassis. Probably that type of technology requires tuning of shocks etc. to be of any worth.
- Around Chicago I had many jarring impacts while driving on RTF, they were not good for either me or the car chassis and let to 3 new tires (an 1 wheel) being replaced (thank God I had gotten the tire insurance from the dealer because they are quite expensive).
- I had no issue with wear but finally I did swap them for a new set of the same specs, but conventional, Bridgestones. The issue was the rubber was cracking (due to the abundant salt used in winter around Chicago). One reason for not seeing the excessive wear others have reported could be that the car was driven locally (Madison WI was probably the farthest destination) on roads repaved in the last 10 years using the new asphalt composite materials with transversal micro-grooving (like the south LSD etc) rather than coarser surfaces used elsewhere.
In conclusion, and linking back to the title of my post..., perhaps RTF technology is not there yet, but surely there are additional factors that are in the way of getting the most out of them. The first reason could be the lack of modifying the car set-up to allow shocks to work harder since decreased pliancy and absorption of the thick wall in RTF tires would need to be compensated. The second is that being a new technology we as drivers are not completely aware of either their limitations as well potential.
Personally I will keep a distant eye on what happens in this field but for the moment I am not going back to RTF.....after switching to the conventional set my experience with the car ride has been way more rewarding....and yet I would like to see this tech and the safety improvements it warrants move forward......Who knows may be I'll reconsider after test driving over pot-holes the 2014 i8 i plan to buy when it will become finally available.
#3012 of 3108 Re: Is it all fault of the RTF? [steveaccord]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Jan 28, 2012 (7:49 pm)
didn't you notice how much quieter the new tires were?
#3013 of 3108 Re: Is it all fault of the RTF? [Mr_Shiftright]
Jan 29, 2012 (3:25 pm)
To be totally honest with you noise has not been an evident gain....Keep in mind, when it comes to cabin noise I have not been impressed at all by any of the models I test drove in the BMW lineup (once again, the Eden highway in Chicago was the ground for such tests and the pavement there may be rather coarse)...Back then to my astonishment found cabin noise to be on the same par even for the 535xi (never considered so never test drove any series 7 but have experienced higher cabin noise compared to other brands for the 3, X3 and X5 models). That said I consider it entirely acceptable considering that more often than not it is drowned by my own musical selections blasting via the premium sound system (arias by Maria Callas being the best at that).
#3014 of 3108 Re: Is it all fault of the RTF? [steveaccord]
Jan 29, 2012 (4:21 pm)
I just replaced the OEM run flats on my 2007 BMW 328xi coupe. They had 30K. I replaced them with get flats…the Continental DWS. I could not stand the noise any more and I contacted many many dealers and discussed it at length. I purchased a donut from Barvarian Motorsport for $335, it is the exact same donut I would get from BMW dealer in US if they would sell it to me. They won't. You have to go to Canada to purchase the donut kit. I don't understand why the dealers wont sell it here ( Im in the Northeast) but they all told me they can't order it, the orders get rejected.
Meanwhile, I am thrilled with the Conti DWS, great handling in wet. Good handling in snow…we only had about a 5 inch snow so far this season but the car was so improved from my old tires it makes me wish I did this last year. Best of all, the noise is finally GONE….
Not sure why the OEM were so noisy. We also have a 2011 535xi equipped with Conti run flats, same tire as my 2007 had, just different size. That car has 23 K and its not noisy. I called Continental and Tire Rack to discuss if the compound on the newer tires would create less noise if I got "updated" run flats. Clearly noise is an issue in the 3 Series, they told me they would be the same as my OEM. Maybe its the size of the tire...
#3015 of 3108 had Conti DWS for a year
Jan 29, 2012 (4:29 pm)
however not in snow as this year didn't snow much. Definitely quieter and smoother over bumps. I did unfortunately had a side-wall puncture/flat from hitting a pothole after a week of getting it 20k miles later it's running fine. I also got a donut but no longer carries in trunk for the daily commute (save weight and shifts around in trunk.
#3016 of 3108 Re: Is it all fault of the RTF? [steveaccord]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Jan 29, 2012 (5:55 pm)
Well the RFTs on my MINI used to sound like Maria Callas on a bad day.
#3017 of 3108 Re: Is it all fault of the RTF? [Mr_Shiftright]
Jan 29, 2012 (7:08 pm)
Oh My! That is the most alarming bit I have heard in so far on the topic. Let me recommend to restore your auditive sensory perception by listening to the Lucia di Lammermoor on EMI classic label or 'The very best of Maria Callas' or the more recent release by EMI classics 'The very best of Maria Callas'. There is still nowadays a good reason to believe the attribute "La Divina" bestowed on her was absolutely deserved. Make sure you buy the CDs, any digital compression cannot capture the 'dynamic qualities and timber' of such voice.
#3018 of 3108 2011 Convertible w 17" RFTs
Feb 12, 2012 (5:30 pm)
I'm a newby to BMWs and am picking up my first one next week. Was doing a little research on the RFTs that it has and am now concerned with the negative comments I've seen (most are dated a few years).
1. Are there still reliability / performance issues with the run flat tires?
2. Any thoughts on the tire/wheel warranty that BMW offers? 5 yrs for about $1500.
Any advice is appreciated.
#3019 of 3108 Re: 2011 Convertible w 17" RFTs [johnnynuke]
Feb 12, 2012 (5:42 pm)
They are reliable for not getting a flat, but they will get really loud as they wear out. Too expensive, my Bridgestones only lasted 15k, pure trash.
#3020 of 3108 Re: 2011 Convertible w 17" RFTs [johnnynuke]
Feb 12, 2012 (5:51 pm)
The primary concern I have with the RFT concept is the ability to get them replaced or (rarely) repaired in the hinterlands. These tires seem to be made with the assumption that when one needs replacement there's a place just down the street who will do the work. In my part of the world, that's most assuredly not the case. Getting them repaired, by the twelve shops on the planet who are willing to do so, isn't especially straightforward either.
If you live in one of the overcrowded areas on the coasts and rarely travel very far you'll probably think they're okay, but expensive.
If not. . .