Reasons to have regular tires on your BMW – Part II

Car Tips | March 17th, 2009 by 28

Last week, our article on why should you have run-flat tires on your BMW stirred controversy among the bimmer fans and owners. As promised, I …


Reasons to have regular tires on your BMW   Part II

Last week, our article on why should you have run-flat tires on your BMW stirred controversy among the bimmer fans and owners. As promised, I am back with the second part of the article in which we will expose the advantages of having REGULAR tires on your BMW. Together with Randy and Lance, two of our readers, we put together an interesting list of why one shouldn’t get the run-flat tires and the reasoning behind it.

One of the advantages of run-flat tires is the ability to drive 150 miles on them at 50 miles an hour. One might argue how convenient this solution really is especially if you’re out of town on a trip and desperately looking for a repair show. Having a run-flat go bad could cause further problems, especially finding a shop that can handle mounting these tires within 150 miles and having a suitable replacement tire in stock.

With the full-size spares BMW used to offer, getting a flat was a 25-minute pause, after which you could go on with your trip. On top of this, you could drive at full speed, with unlimited mileage and worry about the flat when  you reach the final destination.

Here are some disadvantages of using run-flat tires, cons that turn into pros of using a regular tire:

  1. The run-flat tires (RFT) can usually not be repaired in the case of a puncture, so instead of a simple puncture costing $20, you’ve got to replace the whole tire.
  2. RFTs can malfunction, defeating their intended purpose to begin with, or be damaged in such a way that getting the typical 150mi@50mph is no longer possible.
  3. Run-flats are more expensive to buy, more expensive to install and offer poorer performance.
  4. Lifespan is half of that of normal (even with regular monitor of pressures).
  5. Costs 50% more than normal tires on average.
  6. The ride is more uncomfortable, especially if you have 17″ upwards.
  7. Increase the running costs of ownership. Normally a tire lasts you a good average of 50,000 miles (80,000 km).
  8. Not all tire shops have RFT
  9. Unpleasant ownership as you always have to worry about getting a puncture and always hoping that the warning does not appear.

As an ending statement, Lance and Randy are telling us what customers really want:

  1. To be given the option between a run-flat tire or regular
  2. Have a more attractive and durable run-flat tire product (longer life span, be able to repair punctures)
  3. Replacing your standard run-flats with regular tires should be allowed by the computer system without setting off the barrage of warnings that are currently associated with running non-RFTs on RFT-equipped cars.
  4. Including a full-size spare in ALL new cars (RFTs and non-RFTs), so people with RFTs have the option to make the swap in case they are not near home.

In the end, I believe it’s a matter of personal choice, where some people have different expectations than others from their own cars.

If you would like to read more about run-flat vs. regular tires, head over to our previous article, many readers have chimed in and the comments are very detailed.

Thanks for the great article Lance and Randy!

And since we’re on this subject, here are some great offers from Tire Rack:
Dunlop, Rev It Up!
When you purchase a set of four (4) Dunlop Direzza DZ101 tires or Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec tires you may be eligible to receive a $50 mail-in rebate. Offer valid on tires purchased from in-stock inventory between February 18, 2009 and March 31, 2009.

Reasons to have regular tires on your BMW   Part II

Continental, Free $75 Gift Card!
When you purchase a set of four (4) Continental brand passenger or light truck tires you may be eligible to receive a $75 Visa Gift Card. Offer valid on tires purchased from in-stock inventory between February 2, 2009 and March 23, 2009.

Reasons to have regular tires on your BMW   Part II

Goodyear, Get Up to a $50 Rebate!
When you purchase a set of four (4) select Goodyear tires you may be eligible to receive up to a $50 mail-in rebate. Offer valid on tires purchased from in-stock inventory between March 1, 2009 and April 4, 2009

Reasons to have regular tires on your BMW   Part II

  • George

    I had heard that BMW had trouble promoting their cars without a spare tyre (RFTs instead) in India and for that reason they were “forced” to include it. Can someone confirm?

    Also, I have read an article in Bimmer or BMW car magazine, that people who replaced their RFTs with regular tyres, found that the ride quality improved significantly! I can find the article if anyone is interested.

    BMW has to take into account that the road quality is different from that found in Germany!

  • Craig

    I understand the debate for standard vs runflat but I am not sure how you can give a full size spare to every BMW especially where a lot of drivers run staggared sizes – hence the only option would be to run a space saver with some of the same inconveniances (50mph max, finding repair shop etc) as a RFT.

    I do agree though that it should be an option and that BMW should not be able to dictate what type of tyres can be run on there cars.

  • bunker

    I recently replaced my OEM summer performance runflats on my E92 with performance WINTER non-runflats…and the ride is remarkably better – even with the harder compound of the winters.

    RFT’s are a joke IMO.

    • Spliv

      can you use reg. tires instead of rflis

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=643868286 Mohammed AlMomen

    @Craig:

    space savers limit your speed, but for a non RFT most shops can repair it and you will be back up to speed in no time. For RFTs you can’t repair them, you can’t find them anywhere

  • Peter

    Is there room for a spare on a 3-series?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=508183767 Miles Ransom

    run flats tires can be patched anywhere except near the sidewalls

    • BBQvp

      True… However as I have found in my area most tire dealers won’t because of liability! You can not force someone to repair a run flat!

  • tt

    great article. hopefully this will educate some people that rft’s are actually worse than non-rft’s when it comes to performance, and practicality, for that matter.

  • KoT-6ereMoT

    This tires it’s bullshit. Just try do drive your car on the bad road, and look what happened with your wheel disk after this :)

  • rcm3

    I’d be curious about the outcome when owners switch from RFTs to non-RFTs. Did any alarms/warnings go off inside the car?

    I’d also be interested in more info about spare-tire bays being included in any new models? If BMW is selling cars with space for a spare anywhere, theoretically part numbers would exist to retrofit those items to your car.

  • B. Riley

    Hahahaha!!!! I WISH a tire would go 50,000 miles for me. half that would be AMAZING.

  • M

    can someone list which BMW models come with and without RFTs. I know the 2009 5 series without sport pkg has regular tires.
    Also, do we know which 2010 models are expected to have regular tires.

    • Luvsgolf

      My 2010 328i, sport pkg has run flats and tire noise.

  • mlg2ca

    No problems with running non-RFTs: that’s what I did on my MINI when I go to the track.

    • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.

      I might do an experiment one of these days and swap out my RFTs for normal tires and do an extensive test drive. I’m wondering how soon I will notice the difference

  • Doug

    @M: At this rate, all of them :)

  • Lance

    @Miles Ransom: But have you enquired what the implications are should the tyre burst, would insurance even pay out? All tyre brands and manufacturers of RFT void the warranty of the tyres after you have repaired them and they deny any liability should anything happen.

  • http://www.clicktire.com/ lenmakya

    Always monitoring your tires’ tread patterns is an essential part of keeping your automobile safe. Check your tires for undulating cups or scallops along the outside edges and feathering are some of the important tests that should be done regularly. Look for second-rib wear and keep your tires inflated to their manufacturer-recommended air pressures.

  • robjobe

    I am trying to replace the tires on my 2003 5 series. It has a 7 series 18 inch rim package, so I have to get different sizes for the front and the back. It was purchased used with with BF Goodrich G-Force T/As.
    Should I stay in the same direction?
    Is there a better quality, performance or lasting tire brand and style I should take into consideration?

  • robjobe

    I am trying to replace the tires on my 2003 5 series. It has a 7 series 18 inch rim package, so I have to get different sizes for the front and the back. It was purchased used with with BF Goodrich G-Force T/As.
    Should I stay in the same direction?
    Is there a better quality, performance or lasting tire brand and style I should take into consideration?

  • Tony

    It was my privilege to live and work in Orlando Florida for 12 years. There I owned and drove daily a C5 Corvette. As new on run flats the ride was hard, noisy and the car would tram line over ruts. Changing the Goodyear RFTs for Goodyear normals at 22k miles beneficially transformed the car to an extent I could hardly believe, the ride became supple and quiet and the tramlining disappeared completly. I never had a problem with the RFTs, but within days of fitting the normal tyres, I had a puncture and a couple of weeks later another. I though there must be a problem, but after another 19 k miles no other punctures. I carried a compressor in the trunk and was able to get the car to a tyre shop 10 miles away with only a couple of stops to reinflate.

    I now live in S of France and drive a late 2008 520 d, a great car except for its ride quality and the noisy impacts to the body produced by its 245/17 RFTs on the country roads near my home. I have now done 26k on the RFTs, mostly at the speed limits on the great French autoroutes, and they are just past half worn. I would dearly like to change them for normal tyres when their time is up, but the lack of sympathy from BMW is offputting as is the potential of computer intolerance. Does any know if you can get round this problem

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  • Mp27

    Non run flats tires are soooooo much better as far as ride noise and comfort. It’s like a totally different car with the non run flats. I had the bridgestone run flats in my 2008 328i and i quickly changed it to the continental non flats and the ride is much more quiet and the noise is gone! all i hear now is my engine. i strongly recommend non run flats over run flats.

  • Hc

    I have just bought a BMW 320i and it has Run flat tyres. I would like to know how I could retro fit a space saver tyre in the boot as I travel a lot and need space for my luggage.
    Every suggestion will be appreciated.

  • Ossy

    IF you change from run flats to normal tyres can you use the same rims ?

  • Ron J.

    I have a 2011 535i. After 10,000 miles the rear tires have uneven wear on inside edges. Causes significant road noise. BMW dealer says alignment is fine and its just a typical problem with RFTs. I have always complained to dealer about cars handling at highway speed. Handles like you are driving in wind storm. My 2009 535 did not have this problem. Anyone had same experience – any solutions?

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