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      08-02-2011, 01:19 PM   #1
TX78666
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Another RFT rant

Tire Pressure light came on the other day. Drove 1/2 mile, filled with air. It held ok. Took it to BMW, where they quoted $400+ (didn't catch the exact number). I asked of they were patching it for $400. They said they don't patch; they only replace.

"Not a chance," I said.

I took it to Discount Tire. They patched it for free. I understand the potential problems with patching a run flat, but what is the point, if they have to be replaced for a small nail? I know, I could get the road hazard warranty, but I don't want to spend that money, either. Discount Tire gives me a free road hazard warranty on their tires.

So, I will drive with it patched, while I wait for some Euro family members to get a hold of this spare tire kit, and send it my way.

After that, I am switching to "normal" tires.

$400 my a$$.

Feel free to comment, or let this thread die. I just wanted to rant, briefly.
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      08-02-2011, 01:56 PM   #2
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Here's an option to buy your spare tire kit now:

http://leatherz.com/Merchant5/mercha...etyConvenience
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      08-02-2011, 02:03 PM   #3
TX78666
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Thanks. I think I'll stick with the Euro alloy version, now that I've got someone (allegedly) going to get it.
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      08-02-2011, 02:16 PM   #4
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I've had multiple bad experiences with these runflats, including being stranded in the desert over a hundred miles from the nearest BMW.

I'm finally ditching the runflats for Michelin PSS's later this week. I've already bought the spare available from Bavarian Autosport, along with slime, pump, and a plug kit.

Looking forward to the improved ride and performance.
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      08-02-2011, 02:20 PM   #5
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Took it to BMW,
That was your problem.

While my BMW dealer's service is excellent, they will not patch RFTs and their prices for both new tires and simple tire work (mounting & balancing) are not competitive. They don't have a body shop either, so I go elsewhere for both.

Find a good local tire shop you can trust - or order from Tire Rack and use one of their local installers.

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      08-02-2011, 02:21 PM   #6
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My cousin's car got quoted to replace the RFT (becomes thinner, after around 35000 miles). He sticks to his mind and will drive for another year or toward 50000 miles at least and switch to some none-brick tires.

Just pay attention to the pressure all the time since you've patched it.
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      08-02-2011, 02:23 PM   #7
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That was your problem.

While my BMW dealer's service is excellent, they will not patch RFTs and their prices for both new tires and simple tire work (mounting & balancing) are not competitive. They don't have a body shop either, so I go elsewhere for both.

Find a good local tire shop you can trust - or order from Tire Rack and use one of their local installers.

Tom
Maybe you missed the part where I said "I took it to Discount Tire. They patched it for free..."

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      08-02-2011, 03:18 PM   #8
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I am unfamiliar with Discount Tire but I've done a bit of research on patches and found a local tire dealer who does patch run flats. He did it for a neighbor with a 135i and it is working fine. To patch properly the tire must be removed from the rim. The inside needs to be inspected and if there is damage, the tire (regardless of type) cannot be safely patched. If the inside is OK, then a mushroom shapped patch - bigger on the inside - or a plug with a patch attached is used. The local dealer patched a tire for my son less than a week ago for free. He has purchased a couple sets of tires from the, however.

The plugs you can insert yourself from the outside are not as reliable from what I've read. My daughter had one "fixed" that way and it leaked immediately afterwards. This method also does not allow an inspection for damage on the inside which is important to understand if the tire is safe.

I wouldn't take a patched tire to 155 mph but for the driving I do, I would use it normally. My replacements are very unlikely to be run flats. I am thinking I will use ultra high performance all seasons to get a much higher tread wear rating. I carry a 12V pump in the car now and that is the only protection I plan against getting stranded with a flat. All my leaks so far have been slow ones that a pump would have gotten me home.

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      08-02-2011, 03:42 PM   #9
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You know over here in Germany... when you have a regular tire patched(from the inside)... you can still run the tire to its V-Max rating. When I had my VW TDi... I had a flat... I had it patched... and I asked my tire shop... about dropping a speed rating... they said you can still go up to the tire speed rating safely. They dismounted the tire used a heater to heat up the area while the patch isde the tire was clamped in a C-clamp looking device. AFter all was done they said it would drive like it was never damaged.

I wonder IF they repair RFT over here? I should ask on my next visit there.
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      08-02-2011, 04:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Maybe you missed the part where I said "I took it to Discount Tire. They patched it for free..."

I saw that and figured that if you had done that first, there would be no need for a rant!

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      08-02-2011, 04:11 PM   #11
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Perhaps I should have made the title "another RFT warning..." The dealership was closer at the time, and (shockingly) they have fixed what I would consider similar scale non-warranty issues for free in the past, so that was my first stop. I expected a $50 charge, at the most.
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      08-02-2011, 04:22 PM   #12
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Here's an option to buy your spare tire kit now:

http://leatherz.com/Merchant5/mercha...etyConvenience

That's cool, but don't you think that is pricey for a donut?? Seems very high to me.
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      08-02-2011, 04:55 PM   #13
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Great rant- I freakin HATE my RFT's- I really need to find the time to get them changed.....

PS- I am VERY glad I bought the road hazard insurance from BMW_ it's already paid for itself
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      08-02-2011, 04:56 PM   #14
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That's cool, but don't you think that is pricey for a donut?? Seems very high to me.
True - they seem overly expensive, but worth it to get out of the run-flats and into something cheaper, better performance and better treadwear - IMO.

The real issue to me is the space they take up. BMW, in its wisdom, didn't design a well in the trunk to take a donut. So you're stuck with it taking up precious cargo space.
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      08-02-2011, 05:05 PM   #15
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That's cool, but don't you think that is pricey for a donut?? Seems very high to me.

Try pricing out a space saver tire first... then a steel wheel... and you will see that is a fair price. And don't forget steel wheel bolts too to fit the steel wheel! Note you need atleast a 17" wheel to clear teh front brakes on a 135i!

The 335i alloy mini spare sells for 300 euros over here. AND it is not DOT legal so BMW NA doesn't sell it in the states. I was lucky my (German)dealer had one instock and made me a sweet heart deal of 200 euros! The jack kit runs another 110 euros. The 335i alloy mini spare is really thin, less than 4 inches wide, so it doesn't take up THAT much space in my trunk. Since it is alloy, you can use the same wheel bolts. With steel wheels you need a different bolt shoulder.












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      08-02-2011, 05:23 PM   #16
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The real issue to me is the space they take up. BMW, in its wisdom, didn't design a well in the trunk to take a donut. So you're stuck with it taking up precious cargo space.
Exactly. My wife and I used to take extended trips in a Z3 with very limited trunk space and though it had a spare, it was almost impossible to get to. Replacing it with a first generation Z4 (our first car with RFTs), increased the available trunk space by 50% to nearly 9 cu. ft. and made 4 week road trips much easier.

So we adopted the same solution BMW came up with for the M3, and which touring motorcyclists have used for years - a "Mobility Kit" consisting of a small 12v Compressor + Plug Kit and (perhaps) Sealant.

While none of that helps if the tire is totally destroyed by a blowout, all of my punctures for the past 20 years have resulted in relatively slow leaks. I also carry the compressor in my RFT equipped BMW so that a punctured RFT may be reinflated as necessary while driving it to a repair facility.

If you don't need the space in your trunk, than by all means throw a spare tire, jack and tire changing tools in there - but how often will it be needed?

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      08-02-2011, 05:29 PM   #17
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Exactly. My wife and I used to take extended trips in a Z3 with very limited trunk space and though it had a spare, it was almost impossible to get to. Replacing it with a first generation Z4 (our first car with RFTs), increased the available trunk space by 50% to nearly 9 cu. ft. and made 4 week road trips much easier.

So we adopted the same solution BMW came up with for the M3, and which touring motorcyclists have used for years - a "Mobility Kit" consisting of a small 12v Compressor + Plug Kit and (perhaps) Sealant.

While none of that helps if the tire is totally destroyed by a blowout, all of my punctures for the past 20 years have resulted in relatively slow leaks. I also carry the compressor in my RFT equipped BMW so that a punctured RFT may be reinflated as necessary while driving it to a repair facility.

If you don't need the space in your trunk, than by all means throw a spare tire, jack and tire changing tools in there - but how often will it be needed?

Tom
Actually reconsidering the alloy spare, after thinking back on all of the flats I have had. The biggest (potential) problem with the mobility kit, other than the blowout I've never had, is the rumors that the fix-a-flat screws up the pressure monitor sensors.
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      08-03-2011, 01:10 AM   #18
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I wonder IF they repair RFT over here? I should ask on my next visit there.
I have one repaired here in Belgium.
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      08-03-2011, 10:41 AM   #19
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Actually reconsidering the alloy spare, after thinking back on all of the flats I have had. The biggest (potential) problem with the mobility kit, other than the blowout I've never had, is the rumors that the fix-a-flat screws up the pressure monitor sensors.
That's why I don't carry the sealant - although some brands are supposed to be safe.

So far, simply having the compressor and plug kit in the trunk has warded off most flats. I did pick up a nail in a non RFT DWS, but since the pressure loss was under 1 psi per day, I actually drove 4,000 miles on it before finding the nail & having it repaired.

And I have learned to slow down over bad pavement and to steer around potholes to avoid blowouts & wheel damage.

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      08-03-2011, 11:57 AM   #20
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That's why I don't carry the sealant - although some brands are supposed to be safe.

So far, simply having the compressor and plug kit in the trunk has warded off most flats. I did pick up a nail in a non RFT DWS, but since the pressure loss was under 1 psi per day, I actually drove 4,000 miles on it before finding the nail & having it repaired.

And I have learned to slow down over bad pavement and to steer around potholes to avoid blowouts & wheel damage.

Tom
The blow-out I had in the middle of nowhere was on a run-flat. The tire blew the seam. Plugs and fix-a-flat wouldn't have helped. The run-flat at least got me to a small town 30 miles away where there was cell service. After calling BMW-Assist, I waited 6 hours for a BMW-approved tow truck to haul me another 100 miles to the nearest BMW where they didn't have our tires in stock.

Unless you do only local driving, I don't think there is a real substitute for having a spare. Problem is where do you put it?
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      08-29-2012, 06:30 PM   #21
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Unless you do only local driving, I don't think there is a real substitute for having a spare. Problem is where do you put it?

After having a flat tire in one of my PS3 (non runlfats) and having to use my space saver spare... almost 500 kms from my home... I found out what hell is like! Hell is only be able to drive 80 kph with a three inch wide space saver tire on an unrestricted Autobahn. And any speed over 90 kph and the entire rear end would wiggle and shimmy around. Very scary white knuckle drive! And that was on a clear dry day! I had to drive 112 kms like that and NEVER AGAIN!

I made up my mind then to purchase a full size spare that day. This is really the only way to drive far from home.

I bought a steel rim for a BMW e46 330i, 7J x 17 with a ET47 (which is PERFECT for our 1er's). I mounted a 205/50HR17 summer tire on it. I ready for my next flat.

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      08-29-2012, 07:50 PM   #22
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You stumbled right into BMW's little run-crap tire scam. Save money by not providing spares and enrich dealers by making one of the most replaceable parts of the car as expensive as possible.

When I was in a dealership recently I heard a salesman advising an elderly couple that they should get wheel insurance on their new suv. I was surprised he didn't also offer a track-day package.
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