Last post on Apr 21, 2013 at 12:52 PM
You are in the BMW 3-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 3 Series, Tires
#3054 of 3108 Re: Insurance and short mileage is not an excuse. [capriracer]
May 03, 2012 (7:04 am)
There is no conspiracy to cast RFT's as evil. Maybe they have improved. Maybe the suspension has been tweaked to reduce tread wear. The posts are anecdotal experiences and opinions.
Our anecdote and opinion is that no one mentioned RFT's during the sales process. What was emphasized was an expectation of zero costs for 50k miles of driving. At 12k miles we had to strip the RFT's because of roaring road noise. The RFT's at the time seemed to be such a problematic, inferior product that we went to Michelin's and accepted the chances we might get stranded somewhere without a spare. What galled me was the marketing of a worry-free, free maintenance "ultimate driving experience" in the care of BMW that quickly became BMW blaming us for the problems with their product.
It's a fun car. Mechanically well engineered. But as a total package, it was not well-engineered, and they laid the blame on the customer. BMW has lost us as repeat customers.
#3055 of 3108 Re: Insurance and short mileage is not an excuse. [blueroad]
May 03, 2012 (7:39 am)
That I can agree on. The "no maintenance, no worry, free, free, free" thing is, well perhaps not baloney, but to be diplomatic, an excaggeration. While the program does cover a lot of normal maintenance, it somehow "forgets" about wheel alignment, which is routine if you want to prevent uneven tire wear (yet, deemed as road hazard, so it's customer's responsibility). This is even more important on staggered tires, used on sports package.
While I agree, one should not have expect that to be done every month, an allowance would be a proper thing to do, if you want that to be really "free". 12K is premature, but again, I have 7K and so far nowhere near "roaring noise". Will wait and see.
I do like to have a discussion - people reporting noise or premature wear is fine. Having negative opinion is fine, too. I'm not smitten by the concept, either.
All I want is fairness and correct comparisons, which for me is comparison to similar products. For example, to say touring GFT tires are "better" than performance RFT tires because of noise or wear, is unfair. However, if one takes RFT performance and swaps for a GFT performance and then gets 50K miles and drop of 3 decibels in the cabin (noise level cut in half), hats off. So far, I see no evidence of such to be happening.
#3056 of 3108 Re: Insurance and short mileage is not an excuse. [boston303]
May 03, 2012 (12:09 pm)
In the end...Its all based upon your priorities. In the grand scheme of things, 99% (or close to it) buy BMWs for transportation, not to track the car. For them, RFTs certainly provide a more than adequate level of road "stickiness" and performance. And, for what its worth, the local Goodyear shop about 2 miles from me can repair any RFT as he can a GFT. In other words, if the damage is in a suitable area (inside the outer tread patterns) he'll repair it, and if the damage is outside that area, he won't repair ANY tire, GFT, or RFT.
My neighbor had a flat near the NC/SC boarder on I-85 about 10 years ago. He didn't stop on the road side, but continued in the emergency lane to the next exit, upon which he took and moved the car to the right-outer-side of the exit lane... completely off the "driving" section of the exit lane.
Middle of the afternoon... sunny and warm...
As he was changing the tire, a drunk came off the highway at great speed, hitting my neighbor and his car, killing him instantly.
Its a good bet that he would be here today if his car hade been equipped with RFT's, simply because he wouldn't have been on the side of the exit lane so he could be hit in the first place.
Of course, some might say that's an extreme example, and perhaps it is.
To some folks, they view their life as being worth more than $300-400.
Personally, I have ridden motorcycles since I was 12, and I still get comments from the local Harley shop telling me I still have a few miles on a tire after I ask them to install a new one. I use the phrase above.... My life is worth $300-400 to me...
I say again, however, that for the vast majority of folks this wouldn't be an issue if BMW offered the options of GFT or RFT style tires. I don't think anyone would disagree with that.
#3057 of 3108 Re: RFT [boston303]
May 03, 2012 (12:21 pm)
BMW VERY specifically says you cannot replace the tires with GFTs Sorry you may be misinformed.
I'd like to see where you obtained that information. In all the BMW documentation I have read, I've never seen it. I have heard folks say their dealers told them that, but that isn't BMW... its a dealer.
BMW requires RTFs such as originally supplied on the vehicle before returning it for the end of a lease, but it also requires a soft-top convertible to be returned with a BMW original soft top, not an after market one. A leasing concern should always have the expectation of the leased product being returned in original condition, less normal wear and tear. The possibility that a company might allow for certain waivers to the policy, as you state MINI has done, in no way makes RFTs "defective".
So, if you are speaking about lease returns, you are correct. Otherwise, I'd love to see where you found this bit of information.
#3058 of 3108 Once Again, Say After Me. . .
May 03, 2012 (12:52 pm)
RFTs are not for people who drive long distances in the West, where services are few and far between, assuming you don't want to sit for a few days waiting for the magical tire to arrive from LA or San Francisco or wherever they may be stocked.
Then you get to try to find a tire machine in Austin, Nevada, that will mount the damn thing.
#3059 of 3108 Re: Once Again, Say After Me. . . [cdnpinhead]
May 03, 2012 (1:06 pm)
That's one of the most valid points against RFts. Then again, the same can be said for many of the same sized GFT's, too, when it comes to finding an available tire.
Overall, I agree that RFT's are primarily designed, in the US, for the urban environment, where the tires are more readily available. In Germany, I can see an RFT making a big difference if you puncture a tire running down the Autobahn at 130+ mph.
I think many folks miss the point in the RFT/GFT debate. It isn't the tire design, but the lack of having the OPTION of RFT/GFT with a space-saver spare.
IMO, both tire designs have their pluses and minuses, and given the option, the individual could pick the one that best suits his needs.
#3060 of 3108 Re: Once Again, Say After Me. . . [busiris]
May 03, 2012 (1:27 pm)
I'm with you on the option. The issue was that once the decision was made on the switch, the car chassis was designed for RFT as well. No space for the spare probably allowed BMW much needed flexibility on weight distribution. As their cars became porkier and porkier, it was probably more and more difficult to keep them 50/50 (rear/front) than it used to. Skipping the spare compartment and its weight, was one less variable to deal with. Not saying it was the way to go, just pointing it might contribute to their conviction to it.
BMW is known for making those controversial decisions and sticking to them thick and thin. iDrive was an evil incrarnate, too - it probably really sucked in its version 1.0. But they worked it out and I have to say I really like mine. Moreover, market proved them right, as both Audi, Benz and now Lexus have something that can be traced to this concept. There is no reason to think RFTs will not get better and more available over time.
Next thing is the joistick transmission lever. In its current version, it's a silly disaster, IMHO - but I bet in couple of generations it will be more than allright and perhaps even will get copied. It is done so they can get more space on center console.
Don't even start on their ergonomics. Everything that is aft/forward (radio station/music track control, gear change) is exactly opposite to everybody else. But, well...
BTW, now the discussion starts making sense - real arguments for or against that are of some the consequence for a real person. Lack of availability is a real argument against it. But..., just like you said it - try to get 255/40/17 GFT in small town in Utah or Arizona and you probably won't either. So you are stuck no matter what, but at least a donut tire can get you to the nearest motel and diner, while you wait.
#3061 of 3108 Re: Once Again, Say After Me. . . [dino001]
May 04, 2012 (5:35 am)
. . .try to get 255/40/17 GFT in small town in Utah or Arizona. . .
That's why no serious weekend middle-of-the-night driver (as I used to be, but not so much anymore) out here who avoids Interstates leaves the county without a full-size spare, preferably on a matching wheel. I carried one and needed it more than once, not often, but often enough.
There's a lot of empty out here, and the little towns shut down after 9 pm. Lovely for driving, but not so much for car repairs -- self-sufficiency is required.
#3062 of 3108 Re: Insurance and short mileage is not an excuse. [busiris]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
May 04, 2012 (9:33 am)
I think changing out the RFTs is verboten on lease cars, right? I mean, once you turn them back in, they have to have RFTs on them.
#3063 of 3108 Re: Insurance and short mileage is not an excuse. [Mr_Shiftright]
by kyfdx@Edmunds HOST
May 04, 2012 (11:11 am)
Correct... you have to have runflats on the car at turn-in, if that's what came on it...
You can swap for regular tires... just save the runflats and put them back on at turn-in...