Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My baby has new shoes!

Late yesterday afternoon, I took my 2007 328i to my local BMW dealership to change the oil. The car does not have set service intervals, rather there is are a multitude of sensors which determines collectively when the car needs service. While my car was being serviced, I waited in a customer lounge and I knocked out some work. Well, after about 20 minutes, the service rep came to me and informed me that my tires needed to be replaced. The tires had 27,300 miles on them. The original issue tires were run flat tires, and they cost about $400 each. These tires were designed to allow you to drive 100 miles at 50MPH with no air pressure in the tires. This is a great idea, but the devil is in the details. Run flat tires cannot be repaired when they are damaged, so each and every time a tire is damaged, you have to replaced the tire. Now that would not be so bad, except that the tires have a much shorter wear life than "conventional" tires, and they are twice as expensive to boot.

As soon as the service tech told me that I needed 4 new tires, I said to him, "So how much would this cost me?"

Jason (the service guy) said, "It will be around $1200. Do you want me to replace them."

I said to him, "I do not have the time to wait to get them replaced, plus I usually get my tires locally."

Jason said, "No problem. However, you might not find much of a price difference elsewhere for the RFTs. We will note that you need new tires and maybe replace them the next time you are in for service."

I thanked Jason and as soon as the oil change was done, I went to see my friends at Ronda Tire. Ronda is a local tire and automotive service place where I have purchased all my tires the past 8 years. Tim Ronda is sort of a personal friend of mine. Tim took one look at my RFTs and said, "You need new tires. Do you want to go back to conventional tires? I can save you a lot of money if you do."

It was a no brainer. The RFTs were a lot noisier than conventional tires, plus the service life of the tires was half the life of conventional tires and they cost twice as much. Now, I no longer have a spare (Tim is working on this for me), but in my life I have had three flat tires. Two of the flat tires I have had have been run flat tires, both of which went flat in the past 12 months. I was done.

late this afternoon I dropped my car off, said hello to Tim and about 90 minutes later I had four new Bridgestone Potenza G019 tires for my car. As soon as I pulled on to the street in front of Ronda Tire, I knew that I had made the right decision. The ride was smooth and quite. For the reader so this blog you have own or currently operate a BMW, you know the feeling I am talking about.

Sure, I not have a spare, currently, but one issue at a time.


Ken said...

No need for a spare tire when you have a cell phone. I've heard that the conventional tires ride nicer.

Paul's Blog said...

Ken, the new tires drive like a dream. The ride is so smooth and so quiet. I will never buy run flat tires again.

Lisa said...

Oh, yeah, Baby! When I replaced the tires on the 3 Series last year, it was like driving a brand new BMW. The only thing that could have improved on that feeling would have been...a brand new BMW!!! :-)