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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wheels and Tires Forum Sponsored by The Tire Rack > From RUNflat to NON runflat? who's done this and is it worth the trouble?



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      07-16-2010, 02:47 AM   #1
BM2006i
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From RUNflat to NON runflat? who's done this and is it worth the trouble?

Hi,
i'm just wondering if I should go NON runflat on bmw sports package wheels. I think it's almost time to change my tires since the recommended life span of runflats is around 20k miles? another factor is that these runflats are so expensive and not alot of shops have the equipments to repair or change these.

1)For people who have switched to NON runflat on 17 or 18 inches wheels. How does the ride feel? how long have you been driving on NON runflat? is there any problem on a long term?

2)what happens if you have a flat on NON runflat? because there's no spare tire in the trunk

any help would be greatly appreciated.
thanks alot.

Last edited by BM2006i; 07-16-2010 at 02:52 AM.
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      07-16-2010, 03:13 AM   #2
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      07-16-2010, 04:50 AM   #3
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Ride is better, tires are cheaper and you have a bigger selection. Buy the spare tire kit and throw it in the trunk.
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      07-16-2010, 05:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM2006i View Post
Hi,
i'm just wondering if I should go NON runflat on bmw sports package wheels. I think it's almost time to change my tires since the recommended life span of runflats is around 20k miles? another factor is that these runflats are so expensive and not alot of shops have the equipments to repair or change these.

1)For people who have switched to NON runflat on 17 or 18 inches wheels. How does the ride feel? how long have you been driving on NON runflat? is there any problem on a long term?

2)what happens if you have a flat on NON runflat? because there's no spare tire in the trunk
any help would be greatly appreciated.
thanks alot.

Get yourself a can on "Fix a Flat" and a tiny compressor run off the lighter like the M3 has. An insurance policy with the towing option is recommended. I don't plan or buying RFT's either after these wear down. I haven't ahd a flat since I was a kid. Knock wood -
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      07-16-2010, 06:12 AM   #5
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I've switched to non-run flat. Did some research and chose michelin pilot sport. At first the ride seemed a bit wobbly, later found out its because the tires were too new and needed some rubbing of on the side. After a 200km or so, the ride is awesome, better go in the turnes on the highway and they absorb the road better, as the run-flat is much harder. Checked with BMW (Austria) and they told me my road assistance still applies. I love these tires! (I bought mobility kit just in case as well). I have 19' wheels.
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      07-16-2010, 07:40 AM   #6
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There's a gazillion threads on this - so OP I'd do a search and look through some of those. I would say the vast majority of those on here that have switched from RFTs to non-RFTs would say the following things:

- All things being equal the ride is MUCH better. In fact, I think most would say if you went up a size (say going from 17" with runflats to 18" non-runflats) the ride would still be better, or close to the 17's with RFTs

- As far as a back up, most here would say two things: either get fix a flat/conti-comfort kit/BMW mobility pack, or a smaller spare and brace it in the trunk. I would say most people use the first method. You can buy those kits/spare from Tischer (www.getbmwparts.com) or TireRack or other vendors on this board.

In my opinion, I absolutely would switch out the RFTs and get a mobility kit.
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      07-16-2010, 07:51 AM   #7
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I hate HATE run flats ...

My OEM tires were Bridgstone Potenza rft's, they were so harsh and noisy that I threatened to return my car if they did not do something about it. The car manufacturer, not the dealership agreed to swap to Conties which are better but still teeth grinding noise & harshness. I need all seasons cauz due to weather. Was told that US OEM car manufacturer's has to supply run flats if spare donuts are not provided such as in E93's as per NHTSA. To improve the ride, I purged air and re-inflated with nitrogen which definitely improved on noise and harshness. I know a lots of folks think the nitrogen business is a crap but in my case it was a psychological therapy to soothe my nerves. Run flats are so expensive compared to regular tires. Run flats are excessively harsh in rotten pot hole filled roads of NY/NJ, not so bad if pavement is smoother.The specified 33/41 psia recommended tire inflation does not help to riding comfort either. I think they were standardized on regular non-rft's; I have lowered to 31/38 psia and did not detect any deterioration in handling/mileage. I have fixed punctures on regular radials on the run with a repair kit and portable air tank, and I am not an accomplished mechanic either. So I am putting regular non-rft's. As per experts run flats are non-repairable, if repaired they will never be restored to OEM conditions. Don't try to put any spare in the trunk of E93, first you are gonna to interfere with the shelf and second you gonna throw the sacred weight ratio out of whack as you open your cherished hardtop and stow in the trunk.
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Last edited by hookah66; 07-16-2010 at 08:15 AM.
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      07-16-2010, 08:02 AM   #8
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it was night and day on my 19's (230s). well worth it
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      07-16-2010, 08:07 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Moxie View Post
An insurance policy with the towing option is recommended.
Is it safe to assume that BMWAssist doesn't respond to flats due to non-OEM tires being installed? Or will charge you or something?
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      07-16-2010, 08:18 AM   #10
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I have sport package wheels and changed from runflat to non runflat (michelin ultra performance) It cost me $1200 feels much better but don't forget to take FIXAFLAT(tire inflator) with you
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      07-16-2010, 08:22 AM   #11
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Switching fron rft to non rft's is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me in my life. The sun shined a little brighter, the grass was a little greener, the air was a little more crisp, my car went a little faster, my gf bitched a little less, my pay check was a little more, i had a 3 some, i got a parking spot right up front at work, all because i switched to non rft's...
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      07-16-2010, 08:26 AM   #12
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Those who say "it's night & day" must have really sensitive butt-o-meters. The ride is noticeably better with the non-runflats, but it's not a night & day experience - at least not for me. Now that I think about it, it could be due to the tires that I chose which are the Goodyear F1 GS D3 19". I did notice that the ride is better with these, but as I said, not night and day. The Goodyears are great, but perhaps they're a bit on the hard side for non-runflats. Anyone know for sure? Would PS2's give a softer ride?
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      07-16-2010, 08:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM2006i View Post
Hi,
... it's almost time to change my tires since the recommended life span of runflats is around 20k miles? ...
The life of your tire depends on many things - the type of tire, your driving style and so forth.

The only way to determine if you need to change tires is to measure tread depth (assuming all else is OK) Legally, you need to change your tires at 2/32nds, but in reality you should change them around 4/32nds.

Other things to consider are physical appearance of tire (bubbles, cuts, bruises, dry rot) and age (tires should be replaced ever 6 years or so) but mileage is never a factor.

I'm at 20k miles now and my tires are at 7/32nds. They started at 9/32nds so they are fine for quite a few miles. I expect the ContiProContacts to last 40+k with my driving style.

If you have performance tires then you'll get fewer miles but I regularly got 28+k miles on ContiSportContact2/3 tires on my S6.

OTOH, some people get 10k miles on their tires.

Go by tread depth and physical condition, not mileage.
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      07-16-2010, 08:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benzo23 View Post
Switching fron rft to non rft's is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me in my life. The sun shined a little brighter, the grass was a little greener, the air was a little more crisp, my car went a little faster, my gf bitched a little less, my pay check was a little more, i had a 3 some, i got a parking spot right up front at work, all because i switched to non rft's...
Oh I also won 500$ on a scratch off all on the same day just from switching.
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      07-16-2010, 08:41 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM2006i View Post
1)For people who have switched to NON runflat on 17 or 18 inches wheels. How does the ride feel? how long have you been driving on NON runflat? is there any problem on a long term?

2)what happens if you have a flat on NON runflat? because there's no spare tire in the trunk
1) Switched to non-rft and have had my 18-inch Hankooks for over 12K miles. These particular tires were a bargain from Tire Rack and I spent less on four tires than what it would cost to buy 2 RFT tires. Ride is QUIET, and SMOOTH over bumps (soaks them right up). I have a Quaife diff, so these tires RESPOND like my wife's Mercedes AWD E350 4Matic on her standard tires. Why is everyone so rattled about moving to non-RFTs? the M3 doesn't have RFT shoes, either. One caveat, I pumped up the tire pressure to the recommended values listed on my door jamb for speeds up to and beyond 100MPH: 39psi front/45psi rear.....no issues on performance!

2) Mobility kit, mini-spare, insurance towing service, cell phone is great comm gear for flat tires. What is the issue?
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      07-16-2010, 08:48 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTM View Post
Is it safe to assume that BMWAssist doesn't respond to flats due to non-OEM tires being installed? Or will charge you or something?
There's been a lot of mixed responses on this - and I think it really depends on who you get. Since BMW obviously sourcing out towing to various groups, I find it hard to believe that a random tow truck driver will know to check for run flat tires before repair or tow you.

I can tell you from personal experience, that they will still respond, repair, or tow you if necessary. At least they did in my case.

But I remember reading some other threads where people weren't so lucky.
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      07-16-2010, 08:51 AM   #17
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rft's are non-repairable..

Quote:
Originally Posted by BTM View Post
Is it safe to assume that BMWAssist doesn't respond to flats due to non-OEM tires being installed? Or will charge you or something?
You can fix a punctured regular tire with a plug kit provided it ain't a shear tear on the sidewall for 25 bucks or so at any tire shop; it does not require any dismounting either. So why wouldn't bmwAssist respond to your call for a repairable rft puncture? Even a regular AAA road assistance plan would cover for this type of events. On contrary, they will not respond to a call for rft cauz it is assumed that you can then drive to a repair shop beside a rft is non-repairable. That is essence of the crap of NHTSA in requiring OEM equipment to have rft's for vehicles that can't carry any spares as in the case of e93's ... is this a safety issue for the driver?
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Last edited by hookah66; 07-16-2010 at 09:10 AM.
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      07-16-2010, 09:19 AM   #18
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I switched to regular tire and love it. Not to mention I can buy 2 full sets of regular tires for the price of one set of run flats. I also didn't have a very good experience when my run flat went flat on the highway. There was no way I was driving 50 miles on the highway with that thing. The car was pulling hard to the right and was just not right and I wasnt going to risk it. Ended up being a pita finding a shop that could handle the 18" runflat and then still they scratched my wheel.

I have a can of fix a flat, some plugs and a compressor. I'm done with run flats.
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      07-16-2010, 09:23 AM   #19
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I got rid of my RFT's (17's staggered) 1.5 years ago. First went to Michelin PS2's and recently Continental DW's.

The RFT's provided the best steering response, a good ride ON SMOOTH ROADS and a "planted" feeling I loved, but a horrible ride on rough roads.

The PS2's and DW's felt soft while they were breaking in but they firmed up as they broke in. They are also considerably lighter (PS2's 6 lb/tire, DW's 7.5 lb/tire), which seems to have made my car a bit quicker.

If I drove smooth roads, I'd stick with the RFT's because they had the best steering response, they felt the best at high speeds and I don't have to keep a compact spare in the trunk. But since I don't, I'm happy with the new Continental DW's. They are cheaper and smoother than the PS2's, but they are softer. If I want better steering response, I stick a couple extra psi in them. If you push your car to its limits, I wouldn't get the DW's.
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      07-16-2010, 09:26 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hookah66 View Post
..... On contrary, they will not respond to a call for rft cauz it is assumed that you can then drive to a repair shop beside a rft is non-repairable... [/i]
Absolutely positively incorrect - on both points.

BMW Assist will respond to a RFT equiped flat tire and RFTs can be repaired just like a "normal" tire. The caveat is that some dealers will refuse to repair them because they don't know if a RFT has damaged sidewalls from being driven on in a deflated state.

A RFT with a slow leak due to a nail in the tread, for example, is a great candidate for repair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hookah66 View Post
..... That is essence of the crap of NHTSA in requiring OEM equipment to have rft's for vehicles that can't carry any spares as in the case of e93's ... is this a safety issue for the driver?
Please cite your NHTSA source for this statement.
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      07-16-2010, 09:43 AM   #21
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I switched form 17" RFTs to 18" non-RFTs. The ride is smoother, less harsh and quieter. Turn-in is not as twitchy. I love 'em. I have less than 2K miles on them so no long term data.

I decided to buy a compact spare kit. Here's the link to my spare tire DIY. It takes up some room in the trunk but gives me peace of mind. I'm not dependant on road service or fix-a-flat. I'm also not forced to buy a tire from some ripoff artist in the middle of nowhere.

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1455062

Jay
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      07-16-2010, 09:53 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkw15 View Post
There's been a lot of mixed responses on this - and I think it really depends on who you get. Since BMW obviously sourcing out towing to various groups, I find it hard to believe that a random tow truck driver will know to check for run flat tires before repair or tow you.

I can tell you from personal experience, that they will still respond, repair, or tow you if necessary. At least they did in my case.

But I remember reading some other threads where people weren't so lucky.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hookah66 View Post
You can fix a punctured regular tire with a plug kit provided it ain't a shear tear on the sidewall for 25 bucks or so at any tire shop; it does not require any dismounting either. So why wouldn't bmwAssist respond to your call for a repairable rft puncture? Even a regular AAA road assistance plan would cover for this type of events. On contrary, they will not respond to a call for rft cauz it is assumed that you can then drive to a repair shop beside a rft is non-repairable. That is essence of the crap of NHTSA in requiring OEM equipment to have rft's for vehicles that can't carry any spares as in the case of e93's ... is this a safety issue for the driver?
Good points, thankfully I've never had to hit that button. I'm still on RFTs but won't be when next spring rolls around. I plan on renewing BMWassist but will also keep fix a flat and/or the spare tire kit. I wasn't sure if BMW Assist was akin to a regular "3rd party" roadside service plan or would only support oem related part failures...
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