Last post on Jul 23, 2013 at 5:49 PM
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BMW 5 Series, Car Safety, Tires, Wheels, Sedan, Wagon
#53 of 136 Cracking Alloywheel on BMW 535i with Sport Package
Apr 04, 2011 (4:35 pm)
I own 2008 BMW-535i with sport package (with low profile tires). It now has low 40,000 miles and less than 4 years (under factory warranty). Back in January 2011, one tire on the rear passenger side has started loosing pressure and I took my car to deal service asking them to check. Dealer service adviser told me to replace tires. Since these are low profile tire and BMW dealer charges approx. $150 more for same tire (including installation charges) than Costco does, I got two tires replaced by Costco tire department. Even after replacing tire, that wheel was not retaining pressure. I took my car three times to the same Costco store to get that tire fixed. Fourth time, tire technician at Costco store told me that there is a crack in the alloy wheel and hence he asked me to replace wheel before they do anything. I took this car and cracked wheel to BMW dealerís service center. Since it is still under warranty (4 years, 50,000 mile all inclusive warranty), I thought dealer would cover the cost. BMW service adviser told me that the wheel crack was due to outside influence and crack was on the outer side of wheel and hence he explained that with all probability, it would be caused by driving on pothole and hence he said BMW would not cover parts and labor for this work. I called BMW NA. customer service and asked them if they would cover this wheel replacement under factory warranty. BMW NA customer support person told me that if BMW dealer service advisor concludes the cause as defective part/design they would cover. If not, they would not. Customer service representative asked me to get second opinion if I am not satisfied with first one. Estimating cost of my time and effort, I decided to absorb that cost and asked same dealer service advisor to replace the wheel at my expense to get it over with.
Exactly after 6 weeks, my other tire started loosing pressure. I took this car to same Costco store where I replaced tires and have them do the tire service. Their technician told me that there is crack on the wheel and due to this, tire was damaged beyond repair and hence Costco store manager told me that Coscto would not cover tire although it is only 6 weeks old and only few hundred miles on it. I took this car and wheel in the trunk to the same BMW dealer service center and met same service adviser. I got same response from the service adviser. I explained him that from my engineering background, I cannot accept that it is due to outside influence. I also pointed the fact that the visible crack was on the inner side of the wheel. After service adviserís refusal to cover, I called BMW NA customer service and have them record my complaint. Having called them earlier, I did not expect any meaningful answer. Now I have complaint recorded with BMW NA. I want to find out if any class action law suite currently being litigated or in the past. If yes, I want to be part of the class action lawsuit plaintiff.
It is hard for me to accept that two alloy wheels crack in 6 weeks time due to outside influence. I think alloy wheel is too soft or has defective material. My car has less than 50,000 miles and is less than 4 years old. Based on BMW promise, BMW supposed to cover maintenance and warranty for first 4 years or 50,000 miles (whichever comes first). In reality they do not. I hope someone put the end to this deceitful marketing.
#54 of 136 Re: Cracking Alloywheel on BMW 535i with Sport Package [ravk]
Apr 04, 2011 (5:52 pm)
My guess is that there are ways to determine if the crack is the result of fatigue or an impact. The testing may cost more than it's worth. But, on low profile tires, doing something as inoccuous as hitting a speed bump too fast could crack both wheels. This gets to be a bigger deal the lower the profile of the tire.
It's also possible that the methods of the tire changer could crack a wheel, but most of the modern machines are pretty good at protecting them. The simple expedient of overinflating the tire to help seat the bead can be problematic as well. It usually damages the tire but could damage a wheel under extreme situations.
#55 of 136 Re: Cracking Alloywheel on BMW 535i with Sport Package [james27]
Jun 07, 2011 (12:05 pm)
I am in exactly the same boat with a cracked wheel that started as a slow leak; changed from RFT to non-RFT and BMW just told me I have a cracked rim (same old story, "you must have hit a pothole..."). They said the other rim is bent but not leaking and I should replace both (18" on 530i).
I was disgusted to learn this rim problem is not uncommon, and that BMW is not backing their product... ARG.
#56 of 136 Re: Cracking Alloywheel on BMW 535i with Sport Package [jarchdeacon]
Jun 10, 2011 (11:52 pm)
I have a 2011 535i. I have had 6 bent rims since November and had to replace 3 tires. BMW won't step up to the plate to fix this problem.I have never had a bent rim in over 40 years of driving. I'm bringing it to the feds to see what they will do or just dump the car it rides like a tank.
#57 of 136 Re: Cracking Alloywheel on BMW 535i with Sport Package [techman9]
Jul 01, 2011 (9:24 am)
OK now its 8 bent rims and 2 more tires. I called BMW again BMW still doesn't want to recognize the problem.
#58 of 136 Re: Cracking Alloywheel on BMW 535i with Sport Package [techman9]
Jul 01, 2011 (10:40 am)
Not to absolve BMW of not offering higher profile wheel/tire combinations, but their web site and sales literature does alert folks to potential tire and wheel damage when running with low profile tires.
Personally I believe the problem "demand" in that folks have become so conditioned to "believe" the larger the wheel in relation to the overall diameter of the tire looks "better" and is a good thing for handling (it isn't beyond wheel sized of 16"-17"). Many manufacturers have been caught in this trap as they've found that if they offer a car with say 17" wheels and 18" wheels, the car with the smaller wheels rarely (if ever) sells.
#59 of 136 Re: Cracking Alloywheel on BMW 535i with Sport Package [shipo]
Jul 01, 2011 (11:31 am)
I don't disagree about 17" being adequate, however, the main issue here is that wheels being sold by BMW are failing, sometimes at an extraordinary rate such as experienced by techman9.
BMW gave me a similar response; sorry, wheels are not covered. I did finally take the car to a local shop here in northern CA (Wheel Technologies) and they repaired the wheel; they showed me the three cracks present in my wheel. They also told me they see this problem at least ONCE a day for later model BMW and Mercedes cars.
This does seem to confirm (at least to me) that BMW really does have a problem with their alloy wheels; they simply aren't strong enough to hold up to normal streets, at least here in CA. I decided to wait until I need new tires to have my other bent wheel repaired at this shop.
I have NEVER had a broken wheel in my life before this car (30+years of driving), and it is unfortunate that BMW doesn't seem interested in dealing with the issue. I'll certainly keep this in mind for my next car (at least if I go with another BMW I'd make sure to get the wheel insurance)!
#60 of 136 Re: Cracking Alloywheel on BMW 535i with Sport Package [jarchdeacon]
Jul 01, 2011 (11:42 am)
Before I finally wised up and started buying "downsized" wheels I managed to bend wheels on Mazdas, Audis, VWs, and even a Chrysler. By the time I bought my BMWs I was "smarter" and made sure the wheel/tire combo I was ordering for my cars (yes, I factory ordered both BMWs) was sufficiently tall for my driving environment. That said, I really wanted the Sport Package for my 530i, a package that came with a wheel/tire combo that was at the very narrow end of my acceptable range; I simply ordered a "minus one" set of wheels and tires and used them for November through April duty.
#61 of 136 Re: Cracking Alloywheel on BMW 535i with Sport Package [techman9]
Jul 06, 2011 (11:13 am)
Experiencing flats on my 2011 550. Less then 10,000 mile on my tires. I've had 3 flats so far and always have to wait days before BMW can find an available tire because there is a huge problem getting the tire. I am sitting with out a car now, that makes 1 week because they still haven't found a tire.
Please very one with this tire problem call and write to BMW nationally and locally so they will fess up to this mess.
I do not feel safe taking my car farther then 50 miles away from a BMW dealer because that is as far as a run flat will go and I don't want to get stuck in Tim Buck 2 while I wait another week plus for a replacement tire to be found.
I haven't experienced a bent wheel.