Alternative to BMW runflat tyres

We take a look at the pros and cons of changing from run flat to regular tyres

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The problem with Runflat tyres

The main problem with runflat tyres is getting punctures repaired. If you manage to get your car to a tyre fitter without exceeding the limits (50miles at 50mph) you will most likely be told it can't be repaired anyway. A simple £20 puncture could cost you £250 plus.

Many people have complained about the ride quality of runflat tyres on their new BMW's. The thicker sidewalls of the RFT don't do much to absorb bumps in the road and they're also very expensive to replace.

There is an alternative though, you can change all four tyres to conventional tyres and save a packet.

Alternative to BMW runflat tyres

If you decide to change your RFTs for conventional tyres, the first problem you will encounter is that there is no room to carry a spare wheel. So what do you do if you have a puncture? The answer is to carry a 12v compressor or foot pump and a can of gunk or tyre weld. If you experience a puncture, simply fill the tyre with the tyre weld and re-inflate with the pump.

Cost to replace 4 runflat tyres

2 x Bridgestone Potenza RE050 RFT (front) £380
2 x Bridgestone Potenza RE050 RFT (rear) £470
Total Price £850
* Price based on E90 330i M Sport  

Cost to replace 4 runflat tyres with conventional tyres

4 x Falken 452 tyre £350
1 x foot pump or 12v compressor £15
2 x Can of Holts tyre weld 500ml £10
Total Price £375
* Price based on E90 330i M Sport  

Pros and Cons of changing to non RFTs

    Pros

  • You will save a huge amount of money on replacement tyres
  • Conventional tyres give a smoother ride and better handling. BMW M cars do not have run flat tyres. This should tell you what BMW itself thinks of these tyres for sports cars
  • The tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) will still work. The BMW TPMS monitors rotational speed, so it will still work with conventional tyres and will warn you of a significant loss in pressure.

    Cons

  • You will need to change all 4 tyres. You cannot mix run flats and conventional tyres
  • You will have to stop to deal with punctures wherever they happen. This is the main benefit of RFTs
  • Tyre blowouts can't be repaired at the roadside. If that should happen you're going to have to call your own breakdown service. Don't expect BMW assistance to help you with this one. Realistically though, how often do you get a blowout?
  • You will have to inform your insurance company, as changing the tyres could affect your premium. It is always best to inform your insurance company of any change to your vehicle, this way they cannot wriggle out of any claims you might make.*

* There is no disputing the fact that removing your run flat tyres will add some more risk for your insurance company. If you were to get a puncture on a Run Flat tyre in the middle of an unsafe or remote area with no mobile phone signal, you would be able to keep driving and stop to inspect the tyre when you got to a safer area. With conventional tyres you would not have this option and may have to leave your vehicle unattended whilst you sought assistance.

For the insurance company this is certainly an added risk that was not included on your original premium. For this reason it is best to be safe and inform your insurance company that you have changed the tyres.

Which tyres should I change to?

Many people moving to conventional tyres on a modern BMW have recommend changing to Falken 452's or Goodyear F1 asymmetrics

 
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