Last post on Apr 21, 2013 at 1:52 PM
You are in the BMW 3-Series
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BMW 3 Series, Tires
#3037 of 3108 2006 BMW 325i Sport pkge w/ GoFlats
Feb 18, 2012 (12:19 pm)
I replaced the stock Conti RFTs (run-flats) with Hancook GFTs (regular go-flats), and it was the best decision I ever made on this car. I just put my second set of GFTs on with no regrets in over 4 years of using normal tires. GFTs last 2x as long, are more comfortable, quieter, wear evenly, handle better and cost about half as much. As for potential flats, I carry 2 cans of Fix-a-Flat in the trunk, and a AAA card, but I've never had to use either. The tire shop I use started recommending this solution to their customers (even though they make 1/2 as much money selling regular tires) as customer satisfaction is much higher and they don't get upset customers returning to complain about the noisy tires, poor ride, and premature wear. As to the safety argument in defense of RFTs, this is just silly; what are you to do with a blow out, or hitting an object that destroys the tire? RFTs are not immune to these hazards and only work when a small nail or other minimal object pierces the tire, which can be simply fixed with a can of Fix-a-Flat to get to a tire shop. As to weight savings with no spare, RFTs weigh 5-8 lbs more per tire than a normal GFT (20-32 lbs total), so about the same as a spare and jack. The decision to use these horrible tires must be for space savings in the trunk by the vehicle manufacturer and a push by tire companies as they make so much more money on replacing RFTs (half the life, 2x the margin).
#3038 of 3108 Re: 2006 BMW 325i Sport pkge w/ GoFlats [kja2]
Feb 18, 2012 (2:48 pm)
Another in what seems to be a million mile long stream of opinions on RFT's .vs. GFTs.
If you like what RFT's bring to the table, and don't mind the negatives, then run RFT's.
On the other hand, if you don't like RFT's and prefer GFT's, the run GFT's.
They both have their advantages.... and their disadvantages.
I just wish BMW would allow for the carrying of a space-saver spare option, so we could finally move beyond this "tire" thing.
What you have done seems to be working for you, and I'm happy for you. Others see a different value in running RFT's, and frankly, in their cases it also seems to be working for them.
There is no "ONE" right answer, IMO...
#3039 of 3108 Re: 2011 Convertible w 17" RFTs [badswing]
Apr 06, 2012 (5:55 pm)
An "ACT" which might be called legislation, was passed to increase CAFE standards. Fuel economy. It did not say cars necessarily had to be lighter, smaller, wider, lower, nothing like that. ContinentaL and Bridgestone have been the major suppliers to date of run flat tires. Weight saved by losing a space saver spare tire is comical. The cons outweigh the pros on these tires to date. Damaging to the argument is the supposed internal email at BMW Finance stating that owners of leased Mini's returning the cars without the OEM run flats will no longer be penalized.. When does this fall through to BMW's? Always told the change was not possible or appropriate yet it's fine on a Mini? I think run flats at best should be an option for those wanting whatever they believe run flats provide (at a seriously increased price). Good luck to those drinking the coolaid. While BMW Finance distances itself from BMW, there is a message here.
Apr 06, 2012 (6:04 pm)
Who suggested these tires are part of a "green" strategy by BMW?? Seri0ously, let's send three times as many tire carcasses through the "Possibly" recycling system and even that is hard to consider as a "green" process.
Apr 06, 2012 (6:15 pm)
BMW has tried to pioneer and at some point if possible these German engineers should shift gears and offer a standard Go flat alternative. Mercedes sales are also way up without run flats.. Oh and don't look to that other small auto engineering company VW/Porsche/Audi...no run flats. BMW is a great company with good cars but these tires are simply flawed and the general consumer simply does not understand. Let's not forget Ford's issues with Firestone tires some years ago. It's not about how smart they were but how they reacted.
#3042 of 3108 Re: What replacement tires do you recommend (non-RFT)? [jlbl]
Apr 24, 2012 (4:24 pm)
I have an 06' 330i with run flats and though they are expensive, I haven't had any unusual problems with them at all. I ran over a nail on rear tires which had maybe 1/3 life left on them, so I just replaced both of them. BMW tire warranty which I paid around $600 bought one of the tires and I bought the other. I happened again with the front tires maybe a year later, and again the warranty picked up one tire and I bought the other. I I had 25,000 miles on the rear and close to 30,000 on the front. All in all, I would say buy the warranty! I do think the next time I need to replace, I might try conventional tires with nitrogen. If the ride can be improved, then I'm all over that!
#3043 of 3108 Insurance and short mileage is not an excuse.
Apr 24, 2012 (5:11 pm)
Given the expense of the tires and the short mileage life, yes 25,000 is short life, the poor performance of the tires let's consider that these tires cost about 4X more than go flats. When was the last time someone had a flat? Last respondent actually had one with a run flat... Go figure. They ride uncomfortably, are noisy especially within 15-20K miles, yet the most impressive admission as to their quality and acceptance comes from BMW Financial which will now accept Mini's off lease with NO PENALTY if they no longer have run flats on the car... That says a lot and I am waiting for BMW to admit go flats can be installed on BMW's just as easily as they can on Mini's. Glad for insurance options that some may have opted for but still the tires are aweful. That someone thinks 25K miles is acceptable for a $400 plus tire (that is the high cost inflated for short mileage) simply shows how little one knows about tire performance and value. If I am paying that much I want serious G's capability.. That would be Ultimate... These tires may yet reach a point where they work but they are not anywhere close at this point. BMW should offer an option of choosing run flats or go flats at purchase.
#3044 of 3108 Re: Insurance and short mileage is not an excuse. [boston303]
Apr 24, 2012 (8:19 pm)
I don't know of any instance where BMW has told customers that GFT tires can't be installed on their vehicles...especially since M series cars come with GFT tires and a repair kit, but no spare.
While I share your opinion that BMW should offer the option of GFT .vs. RFT at the time of purchase, along with the trunk space for a space-saver spare, I also recognize the potential positives the RFT tires provide in certain circumstances.
A $400 tire on a $15,000 car is expensive.... Not so much on a $50,000 car. Both cars will get you to your destination, but some elect to pay the extra amount for the nicer car.
For some, the negatives are outweighed by the capabilities RFTs provide... lower mileage, harsher ride, higher price.
Others don't see any advantage to RFT's at all, even though they do allow your wife or young daughter to continue driving to a safe spot in a bad area late at night with a flat. Of course, that isn't applicable to everyone.
That's why I would like to see tire type choice as an option.
#3045 of 3108 Re: Insurance and short mileage is not an excuse. [boston303]
May 02, 2012 (7:13 pm)
Your post is very inaccurate.
1. The price is not $400, it is close to $250-$300 (at least for those I have - 225/45/17 and 255/40/17 from 328i w/ sports package. Now, more extreme low profiles (18" wheels, wider/larger sizes) likely will cost more.
2. But so would same brand and model GFT. It is unfair to say that RFTs cost so much and compare that price to lower brand/model of GFTs - it is not apple to apple.
3. 25K tread life is not function of RFT, it is function of ultra high performance summer. GFTs of that type last exactly the same. Just ask new owners of C-class or IS with similar sports packages - they get new tires at 20K as well. Nothing to do with run flat.
4. I have owned a new 328i with RFTs (ContiSport 2 SSR) for six months not. I don't find them harsh, noisy, or any of those adjectives people throw in their descriptions. I fully expect them not to last for very long - that is their nature and if I got similar GFTs, they would not either.
I'm under impression that many people simply decided to hate those RFT regardless of actual facts on the ground. They read those are evil incarnate, so nothing good can come from them. It is possible that those first RFTs were worse and indeed were harsher and noisier, but they are evolving. My only real complaint is lack of availability of all-season tires of that size (just one model from Bridgestone) and not enough brands/models overall and inability to repair them if losing all air. I believe if you have a slow leak and not let the air out, the tire can be repaired if the puncture is on tread wall.
I also think the technology will evolve and improve, probably fairly soon.
#3046 of 3108 Re: Insurance and short mileage is not an excuse. [busiris]
May 02, 2012 (7:29 pm)
I don't totally disagree run flats may at some time be viable. BMW should offer an option. For the money and the mileage life of the tires, I would suggest getting vastly better performance from GFT in terms of handling albeit I might not get much more mileage. However, I could get GFT's that substatially have longer life at lower cost. Now if I am driving an automatic transmission I shouldn't even be in this conversation as I would not know about handling on a bet. I would suggest you are quite wrong. Needless to say Mini owners have figured this out and BMW Finance agrees with them.
I love this "For some, the negatives are outweighed by the capabilities RFTs provide... lower mileage, harsher ride, higher price. "
Did I just lean into a left hook??
Case seems well made.