Do I Need to Put Run-Flat Winter Tires On My BMW?

Monday, November 12, 2012 by Zig Ziegler

Every year I am asked by BMW drivers with factory installed run-flat tires if they need to stay with a run-flat option when it comes to purchasing winter / snow tires. There is no stipulation or rule that requires run-flat tires to be reinstalled as the dedicated winter tire choice, however there are some drawbacks you should be aware of before making the switch.

The BMW can make the switch to non-run-flat tires, however, in most cases the vehicle did not come with a spare tire. If you were to decide to make the switch to non-run-flat winter tires, a road hazard would leave you stranded on the side of the road without a spare to put on the car. However, a solutions to this issue is to purchase the Continental ContiComfortKit. The kit is capable of comfortably sealing typical tire punctures making it possible for you to complete the drive home, to work or a tire repair facility. It combines a powerful, high-volume, 12-volt air compressor, integral pressure gauge and a latex liquid tire sealant packaged in a compact, lightweight unit that's easy to store in a vehicle.

Features and Benefits of the Continental ContiComfortKit:

  • Braided air hose
  • Threaded hose end (more secure than push-on, thumb-lock inflation head)
  • 15-foot power cord
  • Lighted pressure gauge
  • Low-intensity LED supplemental work light
 Continental ContiComfort Kit
Continental ContiComfortKit
 Road Hazard
Road Hazard


Another option worth considering is purchasing a full-size matching spare tire and wheel. Going this route essentially creates a set of five tires that will last longer than just four. The spare should be integrated into the vehicle's tire rotation from the beginning, as this will "wear out" the spare tire before it "ages out."

The choice to switch to non-run-flat tires for the winter boils down to your comfort level. If having a tire failure and being on the side of the road until road side service arrives or changing a spare on a busy highway are things you could never cope with, then staying with run-flats is probably best for you. If you're confident changing a spare tire in only a matter of minutes or waiting for road side service is not a big deal, then you may be someone who could easily make the switch to a non-run-flat winter tire.

To view all available winter options for your BMW, shop by vehicle.

Comments on Do I Need to Put Run-Flat Winter Tires On My BMW?

Thursday, May 9, 2013 by John Hegnes:
I was told by the BMW dealership that you had to use run flat tires because the suspension was designed for the stiffer side walls. I that true?
Thursday, May 9, 2013 by Zig:
The vehicle can use run-flat or standard tires interchangeably. Most BMW owners find the standard non-run-flat tire gives the car a softer, smoother ride but keep in mind most run-flat equipped car do not have a spare tire so you will need have a backup plan in the event of a tire failure.
Monday, June 17, 2013 by A.Chaaban:
If I leave TPS monitor on rims and install non-RFT tires, I would assume that I should not get any warning as TPS does not care if tire is RFT or none, am I correct?

thx
Monday, June 17, 2013 by Zig :
Correct the TPMS will work exactly the same. Air pressure is air pressure, it makes no difference to the sensors whether or not the air pressure is in a run-flat tire or a standard tire.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 by Ivo:
One of the run-flat tires in my 2007 BMW 328xi came apart. After being towed to a tire dealer, I was told I HAD TO CHANGE ALL 4 TIRES! Is this true or not? Please advise.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 by Zig:
It's probably due to tread depth. Since it is a full time all-wheel-drive vehicle all of the tires should have the exact same tread depth, otherwise you could damage the drivetrain. It's never recommended putting 1 brand new on with 3 partially worn tires because driving in a straight line that one new tire will always spin less times per mile. However, we do offer a shaving service for $25. We just need the tread depth measurements of your 3 remaining tires and we can shave down this new tire to match the exact tread depths of the others. If you get the new tire shave down to match the tread depth you can buy just one.
Sunday, February 2, 2014 by Bob Burnett:
I'm trading in my BMW 335xi for a BMW 428ix. I have a spare tire kit for the 335 (17" rims). The 428 with Luxury Trim has 18" rims. Assuming the kit jack and lug wrench will work for both cars, but guess I need to buy an 18" rim donut tire for the 428. True?
Tuesday, February 4, 2014 by Zig :
When it comes down to the donut spar tires I'm not really sure because those a very vehicle specific and may have clearance issues with the brakes on the newer model car. Since I don’t sell then compact spares wheels I don't have any data on them to verify fitment, you will need to refer to BMW for fitment or maybe just have them give one a try in the shop before you leave with the car.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 by daniel:
does this work on any tire brand?
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 by zig:
Yes, The Continental ContiComfort Kit will work with any tire brand.

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