6 BMW Run-Flat Tires Problems (Explained)

If you buy a new BMW from a dealership, the vehicle will most likely come with run-flat tires. BMW believes that this is the best tire choice for its customer base.

While run-flat tires on BMW do have a few advantages, it seems as though users are finding more problems with them.

When BMWs use run-flat tires, there are several problems the owners could run into. These tires can get punctured easily. Since they aren’t easy to repair, most BMW owners won’t be able to use their flat tires anymore if one or more of them gets embedded by something. 

Are you considering keeping the run-flat tires on your BMW?

If so, you should probably be aware of what problems you could face. Keep reading to find out what they are.

“Run-flat Tires (Flat) – 2014 BMW X5 xDrive 35i” by HighTechDad is marked with CC BY 2.0. To view the terms, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/?ref=openverse

Problems When BMWs Use Run-Flat Tires

While it’s exciting to purchase a BMW, it’s not exciting to find out that tires could cause a lot of issues.

If you were to search reviews of the flat tires that BMW uses, you would find a lot of unhappy customers.

Let’s take a look at some of the different problems BMW drivers face when using run-flat tires.

Easily Damaged

A lot of customers have complained that the flat tires get damaged easily. If the BMW driver hits a pothole or a sharp stone on the road, it can cause problems for one or more of the tires.

It’s very easy for items to get embedded in run-flat tires. 

Some customers have been fortunate enough to still be able to run their BMW run-flat tires with a patch repair, while many others haven’t had much luck.

Flat-run tires often can’t be repaired after being damaged.

Expensive Solution

As you can probably imagine from the point we mentioned above, BMW drivers using run-flat tires are highly likely to need repairs and replacements.

Going down a poorly maintained road could cost you a new tire. Since most damage done to a run-flat tire can’t be repaired, you’ll have to be prepared to pay for a premium tire each time.

No Spare Tire

When a BMW comes with run-flat tires, it won’t have a spare tire. This isn’t BMW being cheap; there’s actually a very specific reason for this.

Run-flat tires are designed to allow drivers to run for up to 50 miles after being damaged. This allows drivers to be able to get to a repair shop in time.

However, this solution doesn’t make a lot of BMW drivers happy. Many prefer to have a spare tire.

If they are traveling in a town they are unfamiliar with and get a flat tire on a back road; they may not know where to find a repair shop in time.

Some drivers may not have the money to cover a tire replacement at the time of the incident.

Drivers Can’t Tell When Tires Are Low On Air

If you’ve never driven with run-flat tires, you may be used to judging the tire’s air pressure by looking at the tire.

On standard tires, the sides will bulge a bit when the tire is low on air. This is how the driver knows to check the ar pressure. 

Run-flat tires are a different story because they are designed to be a lot stiffer. This leaves some drivers not realizing that their tires need more air. 

BMW drivers should always keep a tire pressure monitor system in their vehicle if they choose to continue driving with run-flat tires.

This will allow you to check the pressure as needed. We strongly recommend doing this regularly so you can detect problems early.

Short Tread Life

One of the several downfalls of run-flat tires is that they result in a pretty rough ride. There is an added spring raise to the tire, which cause people in the car to feel every bump.

Manufacturers will design run-flat tires using a soft tread compound to balance out the harsh ride. While this can help to make the drive more comfortable, they don’t last as long. 

On average, people that drive a BMW with run-flat tires need to have their tires replaced 6,000 miles sooner than those that switch to other types of tires. That’s if their tires don’t get damaged beforehand. 

Hard to Find

Let’s face it, BMW and other brands believe that run-flat tires are what their customers want. Yet, shops that sell tires realize that’s not the case.

Many customers have difficulties finding replacement tires.

When drivers need run-flat tire replacements, they often need to wait on tires to be shipped to the shop, which could be overnight or take a few days.

Now, don’t get us wrong, some drivers do prefer to drive with run-flat tires on their BMW. If you are one of them, we strongly suggest becoming familiar with which tire shops are in your area.

Make a point to call or visit each one to see if they sell run-flat tires. It’s important to know where you can find them before there’s an emergency where you need to find them asap.

Related: 4 Mercedes Run-Flat Tires Problems

Why Do People Use Run-Flat Tires?

With everything we mentioned above, you may be wondering why a person would choose to use these tires.

Automakers are keen on putting run-flat tires on BMWs because they do add an extra safety measure for people. With other tires, if the driver gets a flat, they could be stuck on the side of the road.

We go into more detail in our article which compares run-flats and tubeless tires.

If the driver doesn’t know how to use the tools to fix and change their tires, they could be there for a long time waiting on help.

However, when they are driving on run-flat tires, they will have enough time to safely get home or to a repair shop.

While run-flat tires aren’t blowout-proof, they do provide better stability to the driver in the event one occurs.

A lot of drivers feel more comfortable knowing they will still be able to make it home safely if something happens to their tire while they’re on the road.

Related: Are Run Flat Tires Good In Snow? (Solved)

Final Thoughts

Do run-flat tires on BMWs cause problems? Many BMW drivers aren’t happy with the run-flat tires on their vehicles. There are several problems that they have run into with these tires.

On top of that, a lot of BMW drivers prefer to get the quietest run-flat tires for their cars.

Not only do flat-run tires damage easily, but they are also nearly impossible to repair. Most drivers ended up replacing their tires before they expected.

Flat-run tires on BMWs also make for a pretty uncomfortable ride. They have a raised spring which causes people in the BMW to feel every bump they hit.

Automakers have tried to compensate for this by using a softer tread, but that tread has a short lifespan. This causes them to need another expensive replacement.

While run-flat tires do have problems for BMWs, they aren’t all bad. Many drivers feel secure knowing that they won’t be stranded on the side of the road if they get a flat tire.

They will still have 50 miles of run time where they can get their BMW home or to a repair shop.

Sources

https://www.autoweek.com/car-life/a2144791/why-do-run-flat-tires-suck-science-and-tradeoffs/

https://www.bimmerfest.com/threads/problems-with-runflat-tires.336570/