BMW is wrong: Rotate your tires to extend wear, reduce noise –

21 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on BMW is wrong: Rotate your tires to extend wear, reduce noise –
BMW Other Naked

BMW is wrong: Rotate your tires

Q: I would appreciate your recommendation on what to do with regard to the tires on my wife’s BMW 328 X drive.

Many owners are complaining about the same issue. The OEM tires (Bridgestone Potenza RE-050A-I Run Flats) have 19,000 km on them and are very noisy/loud and rough. The fitment is staggered: P225/45R17 front and P255/40R17 rear.

On our last visit, the BMW dealership noted “the tires were showing signs of feathering, causing some road noise.”

BMW is consistent in the manual and at the dealership that it does not recommend rotating tires: “Rotating the tires can have a negative effect on the vehicle and is unnecessary inconvenience.”

But Bridgestone says the feathering and loud noise is caused by not rotating the tires, and it is not covered under the tire warranty.

So we are stuck with conflicting information. What to do?

A: Tire noise and premature wear are an on-going problem with BMW’s run-flat tires. Car owners are caught between BMW (don’t rotate) and Bridgestone (you must rotate).

I have no idea why BMW insists on its silly policy of refusing to rotate tires, when you can stand in the service bay and look at uneven tire wear. The answer seems to be to sell the driver an alignment. Of course, alignment should be checked periodically, but even an alignment will not stop wear, causing noise.

BMW cannot explain a downside to rotating the tires from side to side. It now seems to be a case of digging in its heels in spite of logic.

My solution is to deal with an independent tire shop and rotate the tires. I rotate mine every time 10,000 km, and have no tire issues.

The noise is caused by one edge of the tread blocks wearing faster than the other. This is caused by suspension geometry on the car changing under different cornering speeds and loads.

When the tire wears unevenly, all the noise-cancelling technology built into the tire cannot work as designed. Having the tire change sides on the car evens out this wear and the tires calm down again.

Moving the tires from side to side is not a big job, since the tread pattern is not directional. The tires do not even need to be dismounted from the rims.

Q: I have owned several Lexus SUVs and always use winter snows mounted on separate mag (alloy) rims. Because my new vehicles are similar, I can usually continue to use the same winter tires and rims.

I now notice the winter mag rims are showing some age, with corrosion around the centre hub area. The rims are eight to 10 years old.

I am concerned about safety issues. Are the rims still safe to use? Is there a way to test the rims for fatigue issues?

A: Most alloy wheels corrode in our climate, especially wheels used in the winter. The clear coat gets eaten by the road salt, then the metal underneath gradually reacts with the salt.

The corrosion can eventually weaken the wheel until it develops stress cracks. Once that happens, the wheel is unsafe.

Depending on the cost of the wheel, you can spend some money and have the wheel tested and refinished, or you can just say goodbye to the old and get some new wheels.

An alloy wheel can be sandblasted to get rid of corrosion, refinished, painted and clear coat reapplied. In this process, there will be a visual inspection for cracks. That costs $150 to $300 per wheel.

If you have serious safety concerns, the wheel can be checked by a magnaflux process. This is like an x-ray, and can show cracks that are not visible to the naked eye. That costs $150 to $250 per wheel.

If you have very high-end wheels, such as HRE, BBS, or OZ racing, which can cost $2,500 per wheel, they are worth saving.

If you just want wheels that look like high-end wheels, replicas can be purchased for $200 to $500.

Send tire questions to: Mail volume prevents personal replies.

BMW Other Naked
BMW Other Naked
BMW Other Naked
BMW Other Naked

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