There are several BMW owners who are unhappy with the Bridgestone run-flat tires that come standard on some of the new BMWs. There are claims of horrible cold weather traction, premature wear as well as noise and ride handling issues. BMW introduced those tires as "Tires with guaranteed mobility - RSC is the BMW safety technology for the future". RSC is on the emblem on the tire's sidewall. You can easily identify a run-flat tire, because of this RSC emblem on.
The Advantages of RSC (Run-Flat) Tires
RSC tires mounted on extended hump wheels, in conjunction with the tire pressure warning system, that is standard with many BMW models. This represents a unique mobility concept for vehicles in this class by providing the maximum degree of active safety.
The self supporting tire feature reinforced sidewalls, additional reinforcing strips and rubber compounds which remain stable at high temperature. Depending on driving conditions, the driver can continue driving with deflated tire at speeds up to 80km/h for limited distance.
They can not come of off the wheels even in the event of sudden pressure loss. This provides greater safety, particularly when driving at high speed or on winding road. It is true with this system is always safe to drive even in spite of total tire pressure loss.
Maximum range after total tire loss:
The ABS brake, the ASC, and the DSC electronic monitoring system remain fully functional.
All of the above sounds very promising, but you should know few more things about run flat tires.
Run flat tires the new hype, promoted by car and tires manufacturers. You as a car owner may ask the question; Why? Car manufacturers have two things in common, increase safety and increase profit. It is for sure, the run flat tires are safer then the traditional radial tire. The second part the increased profit, they do it to try to scare you should you breakdown in the rain, snow and storm, etc.
You should ask yourself the question; How often did you brake down or had a flat tire in the last five years? (Radial tire technology is changed as well to the better.) If you think runflats are worth the extra money and you need the added safety you should not hesitate to use them.
There are some serious disadvantage come with run flat tires. The first is comfort the second is cost. The third, they are just a temporary solution compared to a full size spare tire. Currently run flat tires are not repairable. Even after a nail they must be discarded due to the bending (breaking) of the sidewalls. They tend to be harsh over bumps since the sidewalls don't flex, they are considerably heavier than standard radial tires, they don't last long compared to radial tires, and they are very expensive to replace.
Did you know each run flat could cost between $400.00 - $600.00 Canadian? The price is depend on size and application. Most will be closer to the $600.00 Canadian each.
Did you know some of the cars never had a spare? If you have no space in your trunk for a spare tire then you can use a high pressure pump with sealant supplied. For example some of the BMW M-3 /E46 and M5, E39 and MZ-3 models were driven with high performance radial tires since new. Most of those pump kits have never been used (we service many of these great cars without problem regarding to their tires as well). The question is, can you replace your run flats with radial tires? Yes you can without any problem, the only thing you have to remember is you will have to buy a above mentioned pump /juice kit which is manufactured by Continental tire, should be easy to locate one.
Remember run flats are not a solution to not to check your tire pressures regularly, unless you want to replace them once a year due to tire failure. Run flat tires are safer (maybe) but ordinary tires are just as safe if maintained properly at the fraction of the cost of run flat tires. They also ride a lot nicer, quieter. They last considerably longer, and can be repaired most of the time. Ordinary radial tires are more environmentally friendly due to longer wear. They doesn't need to be discarded prematurely, due to just a nail in them.
Run-flat winter tires (winter - summer - all season) are available in several different brands. For example 16" steel wheel with Continental runflat tire SSR 810 205/55/16 installed on the car, in our shop four hundred bucks cheaper than the local BMW dealer's price.
The same tire with special run flat type alloy rim (German made Borbet) is $1800.00 a set. The rim style is R38 (see it at right). With 17" rim and tire a set (for the current BMW 328 or 330-I) with special alloy run flat style rim. The runflat style of alloy wheel has a special lip to support the runflat tire, (the same R38 Borbet) $2349.00 a set of four. Installed and balanced on our Laser Guided Wheel Balancer. Ready to go with your choice of Continental or Pirelli snow tires.
All prices are subject to change without notice. Call us for details. Telephone: 905.795.0419