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      10-27-2011, 08:43 AM   #10
Lieutenant General
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Drives: 2009 E70 & 2011 F25
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Area 51

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I've had BMWs with run flats since 2005, and have faced this question for myself a few times over the years. The debate on run flats is ongoing and very subjective, but I have stuck with them.

In our E92, we had a flat tire during a vacation trip... hundreds of miles from home and hundreds of miles from our destination. I was doing about 75 MPH, and if the chime and warning light hadn't told me I had a tire problem I never would have known.... I literally felt nothing. So, I'm a believer in the safety factor for sure. The problem was - at 4:30 PM on a Friday on a turnpike (luckily I was only a couple miles from a service plaza and was able to pull of to a safe comfortable location) there is no way you're going to find a replacemet for the RFT.

I have adopted a new solution since then. I run the run flats, but I also carry a kit that contains a 12 volt compressor and a plug kit. Since most tire damage is a tread area puncture, I can pull off the road ASAP to a level and safe work area, find the hole, and plug it. To me this is the best of both worlds (though certainly not ideal or convient by any means).

"They" will tell you that RFT's should not be repaird or plugged, and that can be true - but it can also be misleading. If you catch the problem right away and don't drive long or fast on the deflated tire, you will not do much damage to the reinforced sidewalls. So, if you're able to plug it right away there is no reason you can't run that tire for the remainder of its normal life.

Some say the would rather have non-RFTs and a space saver spare. Frankly, I don't see the benefit. A donut spare is good for maybe up to 100 miles at 50 MPH... sound familiar? Then what? You still need a tire... just like the RFT. Plus you have to carry a jack and do the repair where and when the tire dictates. With a non-RFT you don't have the choice of driving a few miles to the next exit or safe pull-off.

Others may disagree, and that's fine - as I said it is a very subjective topic. But that's my solution at this point.

I think it is bad luck to be superstitious