Last post on Dec 12, 2012 at 4:44 PM
You are in the BMW 5-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 5 Series, Car Safety, Tires, Wheels, Sedan, Wagon
#94 of 132 Re: BMW tires and wheels [busiris]
Mar 10, 2012 (11:42 pm)
I cannot believe that I am seeing the same "blame the driver" crap on this thread that you get from BMW. I have been driving reasonably high-performance cars on 45 profile tires for ten years now. Mostly turbocharged Subies, Infiniti, VW CC and Audi's. Prior to that, mostly BMW's. I have carefully avoided the "sport" upgrades with 40 or lower profile tires.
Went back to BMW this past year when we bought a 2011 535xi. Again, stayed with 18 inch wheels and the 45 series tires. This car has a SERIOUS problem! One pothole on I 40 in New Mexico bent the rim. The car immediately began vibrating badly. We were worried that we were going to be stranded hundreds of miles from any dealer. No damage we could see at night with a flashlight, so we limped 250 miles home.
The pothole is one that would barely have bothered any of the cars we have driven.
There was NO driver error here. I have driven over 1.5 million miles on three continents and never had a car suffer anything like this kind of damage from this sort of impact.
$650 and the dealer said that I was lucky that the impact did not take out the tire as well. They usually see tire sidewall bubbles when someone takes out a BMW rim.
When we bought the car, we had planned to replace the run flats with non-run flat Conti Extreme Contact DWS tires (and the Conti inflation kit) this coming fall. Now, we are debating whether we dare keep this car. It spends much of its time on trips in the middle of nowhere.
I know that replacing the RFTs with standard all-seasons will provide more cushioning for the wheel. With earlier BMW's this extra cushioning might be sufficient to have saved the rim in our pothole impact. But, I am far less confident that it will be sufficient on our car. The new 5 series seems to have a particularly soft front suspension. After hearing other reports of 2011 535's crashing over potholes, I took a new, non AWD, 535i out on a test drive this past week and deliberately drove it over a known pothole on a nearby surface street. The Bimmer completely bottomed its suspension with a loud jarring crash. In five other cars -- all with 45 profile tires -- I drove over the same pothole at the same speed with very little fuss.
Stiff run flat tires, soft wheels, a suspension that crashes . . . Not sure how to fix all of these. We are now worried that even if we replace the RFTs with more flexible non-RFTs, this car may still be dangerously susceptible to impact damage.
One possibility would be to replace the RFT's, buy the Conti kit AND devote a sizable amount of trunk real-estate to a spare tire and jack.
Or, we could take the more drastic step of dumping a beautiful new 535xi for an Audi A6.
#95 of 132 Re: BMW tires and wheels [atalaya505]
Mar 12, 2012 (6:28 pm)
I certainly didn't intend to paint everyone with a broad brush, and I don't put everyone in the same bucket.
However, there are many 5-series owners that don't suffer tire and wheel issues. All I was stating is that folks who go through wheel and tire after wheel and tire probably are contributing to their problem, even if it's just because the roads where they live are in a sad state of disrepair.
And, as the wheel size increases and the sidewall height decreases, it creates the "perfect storm" for wheel and tire damage. That's not just a guess, because I have a good friend that's in the wheel repair business (for quite a few years now) and he's been pretty clear that frequency of damage increases as wheel diameter increases.
Add to the, in BMW's case, stiff RFT sidewalls nd you decrease the margin of "give" even further.
Personally, if I could, I would change BMW policy to offer GFT's and a space-saver spare in the truck option.
#96 of 132 Re: BMW tires and wheels [atalaya505]
Mar 13, 2012 (4:22 am)
I traded in the 2011 BMW for the 2012 A6. I have had it for 6 months, 10K in mileage and can tell you it was well worth it. The all wheel drive is by far superior to the BMW. Also Transmission and suspension in the A6 far exceeds performance of the BMW. People can argue wheels all day long on this forum but the simple truth is the BMW as seen better days.
#97 of 132 Re: BMW tires and wheels [busiris]
Mar 13, 2012 (4:30 am)
What everyone seems to be missing is that it is not a simple case of changing tires. It has to do with a combination of tires, wheels and the suspension system. For a vehicle to constantly bottom out over almost every bump is not normal for any vehicle. I have owned many cars with lower profile tires and have never had to replace any wheels or tires as a result of the size of the wheel and tire sidewall, nor did the vehicle botton out. Someone miscalculated something when it came to the suspension.
Go get an Audi and enjoy driving again.
#98 of 132 Re: BMW tires and wheels [techman9]
Mar 13, 2012 (2:05 pm)
I'm not gonna argue the point, but I'll simply say this.
Do a Google on "XXX alloy wheel damage", where XXX is BMW, Audi, Nissan, etc. and you will find every manufacturer shows up with wheel damage.
I'm not here to defend BMW nor accuse any other manufacturer of defects, nor praise them. I'm just saying that the incidence of damage is directly correlated to the diameter of the wheel as it increases in size.
If you want the bling of 18, 19 or larger wheel sizes, get ready to pay extra.
#99 of 132 Re: BMW tires and wheels [busiris]
Mar 13, 2012 (11:10 pm)
It is absolutely true that the lower the profile tire and the stiffer the sidewall, the less "give" you are going to have, and the more problems you will have.
But, I am comparing apples to apples here: a 2011 BMW 535xi with the standard 18" wheels and 45 profile tires against other cars with tires of similar size and profile.
I have driven over 500,000 miles in cars with 17" and 18" 45 profile tires over all kinds of roads on three continents. And, as noted in my post, I have now tested a sampling of such cars over the same pothole at the same speed.
ONLY the 2011 535xi exhibited this problem. I believe that is a combination of the very stiff RFT tires and a suspension design that is not suitable for our potholed American roads. You would probably never encounter this problem in Germany. But our roads are much worse than theirs.
This would not stop me from driving this car in an urban area, but we no longer trust where it could leave us stranded a long way from civilization.
I would love to hear from anyone who has a 2011 5 series and who has replaced the RFTs with conventional tires. Does this solve the problem? Does the suspension still crash? Have you had any tire or wheel damage since making the change?
#100 of 132 5 blown tires since Sept 2011
Apr 01, 2012 (10:08 pm)
I leased a 2011 535xi with the M Sport package. To date, I have blown out 5 tires due to driving over pot holes. I have never seen anything like this, and the previous post about this being exclusive to this model BMW is accurate. It's a combination of the suspension, rim design and tire. The car feels like it is about to break into two pieces and as a result the tires blow or bubble.
BMW has replaced all the tires at no cost. This issue, along with the slow tip in at throttle and I am hugely disappointed in the car. Working to return it to BMW this week.
#101 of 132 Re: 5 blown tires since Sept 2011 [rand_the_fin]
Apr 02, 2012 (10:58 am)
Either you purchased the wheel & tire insurance or you must have the most understanding and sympathetic BMW dealer in the country!
#102 of 132 Re: Have a few questions...
Apr 02, 2012 (1:11 pm)
What type of rims and tires do you have? How big were the potholes? Where do you live? Did the tires blow up?
#103 of 132 Re: 5 blown tires since Sept 2011 [rand_the_fin]
Apr 05, 2012 (11:05 pm)
The M sport package includes 19" wheels with lower profile tires, so I can readily understand why you would be having even more problems than I.
How did you get BMW to pay attention to you? They told me that I had to go through my dealer. So, I got the sympathetic service manager at the dealer to contact BMW on my behalf.
Through the service manager intermediary, BMW has just blown me off. Told me that they are are not aware of any problem with F10 tires, wheels or suspension.
Just for good measure, they informed me that replacing the RFTs with conventional all season tires would void my warrantee on anything relating to wheels, suspension or steering.