BMW does not provide any spare tires in their vehicles. The reason for this is that BMWs are equipped with run-flat tires that can last up to 100 miles and speeds up to 50 miles per hour, even after they’ve been flat. That allows you to reach the nearest town to get your car serviced.
What are run-flat tires?
Since not everyone can change a flat tire, run-flat tires are here to the rescue. Roadside assistance often takes more than 40 minutes to come along, or even hours in some cases.
The run-flat tires are used in most BMW models and support the weight of the vehicle on the road, even after getting a flat tire. They can last up to 100 miles and are also called self-supporting since they do not rely on air pressure.
Run-flat tires’ sidewalls are very heavily reinforced and can support the vehicle with low or no pressure. This is the main reason why BMW does not offer a spare tire with their cars: You do not necessarily need one.
The run-flat tire is specifically designed to try and eliminate blowouts. Despite that, they still happen occasionally. Regardless, in most cases, the driver will be able to safely drive the car to the nearest town within 100 miles. The only exception is when the tire has been damaged sideways.
Advantages of run-flat tires
- Flat tires offer better stability levels after you have suffered a blowout, since they can support the vehicle without the need of air. The greatest danger when you suffer a blowout is the moment in which the tire is depressurized. With run-flat tires, your safety is increased.
- You can drive with a flat tire. This is the main benefit of the run-flat tires, and this is the reason why they have been designed this way. When this happens, your only concern should be driving under 50 miles per hour. Steering and handling will remain the same.
- Run-flat tires lower a vehicle’s overall weight and allow you to have more free room in your car by eliminating the spare tire and repair kit.
Disadvantages of run-flat tires, compared to normal tires
- Run-flat tire-equipped vehicles usually do not carry spare tires.
- It is rather difficult to tell whether your tire is low on air or not. This means it is recommended for you to carry around a pressure monitoring system or to have one installed in your vehicle preemptively.
- Run-flats cost a lot more than normal tires and are not available in all towns and shops. Sometimes you might need to order online.
What is so special about BMW run-flat tires?
Not only are the majority of BMW tires run-flats, they are adapted and designed specifically for the vehicle model you are driving. They strive to offer optimal performance, comfort, rolling resistance and safety.
They play a vital part in the BMW Efficient Dynamic measures. For newer models, the advanced BMW system will notify you immediately if you experience a puncture in any of the wheels or if there is a depressurized tire that is losing air for some reason.
Not only do these tires allow you to drive after punctures and depressurizing, but they offer a superior performance on normal tires when they are fully functional.
Which are the best run-flat tires for a BMW?
Bridgestone – DriveGuard
Bridgestone, one of the recommended tire manufacturers by BMW, offers the so-called “DriveGuard.” It is a run flat tire that is specifically designed with a self-supporting system to help carry the weight of your BMW vehicle.
This choice of tires has been very popular among BMW owners across the world, since they are all-season. DriveGuard tires offer a stable and comfortable ride, just like any other tire, while also adding bonus safety and reliability on the road.
They are covered with a traditional asymmetrical tread pattern in order to minimize road noise and to cancel all sound frequencies coming from below that might become a nuisance when driving above certain speeds.
Goodyear Eagle LS-2 RunOnFlat
The Eagle LS-2 RunOnFlat by Goodyear have also been a very popular choice among BMW fans. Equipped with a water wicking technology and a symmetrical tread designed, these tires not only run great when functional or flat, they are also anti-puncture enhanced with internal steel belts.
Much like the DriveGuard, the Eagle LS-2 ROF is self-supported, and provides superior traction in light snow and pavement alike. They were designed for European cars like BMWs, Audis and Mercedes Benz.
The symmetric tread design was manufactured specifically to minimize the road noise at higher speeds. The special channels in the tread of the tires are designed to wick water away from below the car so that you are able to maintain a good grip on the road at all times, despite climate conditions.
Can you put regular tires instead of run-flats on a BMW?
Yes, you can normally put regular tires instead of run-flats on a BMW, but if the vehicle was leased, it is in your best interest to stick with the tires it has come with. BMW, as a manufacturer, recommends sticking to certain tire brands and models to further optimize driving pleasure and safety.
Can you change one run-flat tire with a normal tire?
If the situation arises and you need to transport your BMW from one location to another, you could theoretically replace one run-flat tire with a standard one temporarily. On the other hand, driving with one normal tire and 3 run-flats is far from recommended since it will most likely very significantly decrease the stability of your vehicle’s handling and grip on the road.
Who are run-flat tires good for?
If you prefer having ample storage space, or you are not the type of person that wants to lie down in the middle of the trip to change a spare tire, then run-flats might be the perfect fit for your driving needs.