Last post on Jul 23, 2013 at 5:49 PM
You are in the BMW 5-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 5 Series, Car Safety, Tires, Wheels, Sedan, Wagon
#106 of 136 Re: 5 blown tires since Sept 2011 [atalaya505]
Apr 06, 2012 (3:06 pm)
In a word, what you were told is Bulls--t!
As long as the tires and wheels are the stock size that came on your car, BMW cannot force you to run RFTs on any of their models.
Warranty is not affected.
Either you misunderstood what you were told or your dealer is misleading you, intentionally or otherwise.
Far too many owners have ditched their RFTs for GFTs with no problems.
As an example...http://blog.tirerack.com/blog/chads-742-on-performance-tires-and-wheel- - s/switching-from-oe-run-flat-tires-to-non-run-flat-tires
I suggest you contact a different dealer and ask that question.
#107 of 136 Re: Other vehicle wheel problem [james27]
Apr 07, 2012 (8:55 pm)
But, I am not sure how well your experience with your F07 GT predicts what someone can expect with an F10 sedan. Your GT has a longer wheelbase, different suspension tuning and over 25% more ground clearance than the F10 sedan. And, if you have the standard 246/50 R18 tires, your tires have about 20% more sidewall flex height (the distance between the tread and the bead for the rim) than the standard 245/45 tires on the sedan.
All of these help to give you a lot bigger safety margin when you hit a pothole.
I would be really interested to know if your car shudders all over when it hits a pothole or other sharp impact. Does the impact reverberate through the entire body? It does on the F10 sedan.
Please note that NOBODY in this recent discussion is talking about huge wheels and super low-profile tires. These can cause problems on any car.
As I stated in my original post, my F10 535xi has the standard 18" wheels -- which, in the case of the sedan, means 245/45 tires.
A 45 profile tire is pretty much standard base spec for almost any performance sedan. And, as Shipo said in an earlier post: "245/45 R18 tires should be more than adequate to deal with all but the nastiest of road obstructions". He/she is absolutely correct -- which is part of the reason why I have never bought a car with anything lower than 45 profile tires.
However, the fact is that this does NOT appear to be true with the F10 5 series. I lost a wheel to a pretty garden-variety pothole, and many others are reporting the same thing. When we hit that pothole the impact was so sharp that my wife thought that the car had slammed into a metal bar on the road. Other cars were bumping over the same pothole without any sign of distess
This lead me to conduct the little pothole comparison test we ran in LA. This was run with current cars ALL of which were fitted with 17" or 18" 45 profile tires. The BMW was the only one to have a severe reaction over the test pothole. What I don't know is how the BMW would have fared if, like the others, it had not been wearing run flats.
Of course, stiff run flats are going to transmit more impact shock to the suspension . But, if run flats were the sole cause of the problem, why don't other Bimmers react like they have slammed into something and shudder all over the way the F10's do when they encounter a hard, sharp impact?
This is at the heart of what I am trying to figure out: If the stiff run flats are causing all the problems, switching to non-run flats (with a Conti Mobility kit and/or a spare in the trunk) should take care of things. But, if a soft F10 front suspension that bottoms out too easily is part of the problem, then switching to softer non-run flats might decrease the chances that a pothole will bend a rim, but increase the chances that it would blow out or bubble a more flexible tire!
We currently have a beautiful 535xi sitting in the garage because we donít dare use t for the long distance driving we bought it for. BMW will not help. It will not condone using anything but approved run flats on these cars. I am hoping that some of you on this blog may have some knowledge or experience that would help.
#108 of 136 Re: 5 blown tires since Sept 2011 [busiris]
Apr 07, 2012 (9:17 pm)
I had seen the Tire Rack blog entry. And, if I had anything other than an F10 5 series I would already have placed my order at Tire Rack for four Conti Extreme Contact DWS non-runflat tires. My own experience with these tires has confirmed that they really do provide superior snow traction for the first 20,000 miles or so of tread life. (Not as good as proper winter tires, but significantly better than any other all season I have ever used -- perfect for someone who is going to drive across the Arizona desert and end up in the mountains of New Mexico.)
The thing that is stopping me is that I have now had a couple of experiences with an F10 5 series hitting a modest-sized pothole that other cars take in stride with a "bang" and a shock that travels through the entire body of the car. I don't know if the front suspension is bottoming out, but this is sure what it sounds like -- and feels like.
My experience is consistent with the experiences that some of the magazines are reporting -- and what I am starting to hear from some other F10 owners.
If the F10 front suspension really is bottoming out when it encounters a pothole, changing from run flats may not solve the problem.
#109 of 136 Re: BMW tires and wheels [techman9]
Apr 07, 2012 (9:38 pm)
You are correct about the new Audi A6. We have now taken a couple of test drives in a new A6, then rented one for a day for a more complete test.
VW-Audi has been chasing BMW for years. VW has recently done a fine job of producing FWD cars with BMW-like grace and poise (especially the GTI and the CC Sport). Now, with the new A6, Audi has finally caught up with (and passed) the 5 series
Just as BMW was turning the 5 series into a more reasonably-sized 7 series luxury car, Audi finally built an A6 that incorporates the driving grace that used to be unique to BMW. Drive both cars back to back and it is hard not to conclude that the Audi is a significantly better drive.
So, why haven't I joined you and abandoned BMW for Audi? The answer is very simple: when you are driving 13 hours at a stretch car seats become hugely important. The side bolsters on Audi seat bottoms have always given us problems -- and this seems to be the one thing they have not fixed in the new A6. After half a day in the rental A6, we were in real pain. By contrast, the new 5 series Comfort seats are simply marvelous. The best 13 hour car seats we have ever had.
#110 of 136 Re: 5 blown tires since Sept 2011 [atalaya505]
Apr 08, 2012 (8:02 am)
It appears you have a real dilemma on your hands.
Either keep the OE wheels and tires on your BMW and leave it garaged while driving something else, or change some combination of wheels/tires and drive your BMW, or trade it for some other make/model.
Personally I can't speak to your individual experience, but I fail to see how BMW could be successfully selling so many 5-series sedans with such an easy-to-reproduce problem.
I hope you find a suitable solution for your situation...
Apr 09, 2012 (9:50 am)
Given the information I gathered from several sources, when we bought an '11 535xi for my wife, we bought the tire/wheel insurance. Standard 18" setup. In over 6 months of driving, no issues with the tires or wheels (other than my perception of noise and harsher ride. She's happy). So, the tire/wheel gremlins know we ponied up too much $ for the insurance and aren't bothering us to have it pay out! We win?
Of course, we also didn't have much of a winter, so we may have been let off easy, pothole-wise...
#112 of 136 Re: Simple Solution [laurasdada]
Apr 09, 2012 (1:29 pm)
Your experience seems to be a good example of the "fly in the ointment", as the old saying goes.
On one hand, some number (relatively small, I would guess) have lots and lots of tire/wheel problems, while the rest have, at least, no more problems than one would reasonably expect.
It would be interesting to hear from one who originally had several bent wheels who has changed to a same sized after market wheel and get his/her response on any changes it made.
#113 of 136 Re: Simple Solution [laurasdada]
Apr 09, 2012 (9:55 pm)
I would love to know where you live and what kind of road conditions you encounter.
To be honest, we would not be so concerned about this problem except for three things:
1. When we hit the pothole on I40, it sounded and felt as if we had slammed into an iron bar. A real "bang". Very loud, very abrupt. Reverberated through the entire frame of the car. I would love someone to tell me that this was just the jolt being transmitted through the stiff run flats. But, it sure sounded and felt like we had bottomed the suspension -- hard.
I have never encountered this on any other car before (including previous BMW's). The subsequent startling (but less violent) behavior when we drove a standard 535i w. 18" wheels at a quite modest speed over the test pothole in LA, plus the published report in Consumer Reports that their 535i w. 18" wheels shuddered through the entire body on sharp impacts, the Car and Driver report on the number of wheels and tires they went through in 40,000 miles -- combined with user reports I have found on-line -- all suggest that the F10 5 series front suspension may have a real problem with potholes and other sharp impacts. BMW must suspect something. They have asked us to bring the car back in to have right front strut inspected for possible impact damage.
2. If we mostly drove in an urban area, we would probably have never gotten alarmed about this. We would have figured that we just had the bad luck to hit a nasty pothole, paid for the new wheel and gone on with our lives. My wife has pointed out that this is probably what most F10 owners would do.
But, as I said at the outset, we bought this car for the express purpose of driving 900 miles in a day -- 20,000 miles a year -- over very empty landscapes between the Rocky Mountains and the west coast. We spend a lot of time a very long way from any BMW support. What would be an inconvenience if it happened to us in an urban area becomes a Big Deal when it happens in the middle of the Arizona desert or up in the mountains between CA and OR.
3. Out here, rough pavement and potholes are everywhere -- especially on the major Interstates with heavy truck traffic. There are many areas where roads will go through a freeze/thaw cycle almost every day in the winter. Potholes are simply a fact of life. You cannot avoid them. Any car or truck you drive on these roads has to be able to cope with them.
We may have made a mistake by buying a car that is not suited for these driving conditions.
We have not given up on the car yet. We do not believe that the pothole we hit was a once-in-a-decade pothole. So, we are trying to understand the problem and figure out if there are any changes we might be able to make to ensure that the next time we hit a significant pothole it doesn't take out a wheel, a tire and/or a strut tower.
#114 of 136 Re: Simple Solution [busiris]
Apr 09, 2012 (10:00 pm)
I would love to hear from someone who has changed the run flats on an F10 5 series for non run-flats.
I know that this will improve ride, quiet and handling. But, what happens when you hit a pothole or other sharp impact? Does it still shudder? Have you blown out a tire or had any other damage?
#115 of 136 Re: Simple Solution [atalaya505]
Apr 10, 2012 (7:14 am)
I don't think I would make the simple assumption that F10 owners simply replace blown RFTs and bent alloy wheels and "go on about their business".
Even on a luxury brand, that's a sizable chunk of $$$.
If it was as common as you suspect it is, I would think some reporting agency/news organization would be all over it, just as they were on the widely reported Toyota UA claims. Even the HPFP issues made "60 Minutes".
I'm NOT saying it isn't a problem, as it may well be. But, since the target buyer of a new BMW 5-series sedan is in the higher economic range of drivers, they also tend to be more "connected". And, that's a group that generally gets listened to when they have a complaint.