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

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.


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?

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.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 by ahmet

my car 2014 BMW 750 ld x driver I want buy wınter tires but I dont know best tires dunlop sp winter sport 3d rf (245/45 r 19 v)or continental wintercontact ts 810s ssr (245/45/r 19 v) or pirelli winter sottozero serie ıı rf (245/45 r 19 v) answer please thank you
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 by Tire Rack Team

Ahmet, of the run-flat tires sold in your size, take a look at the Dunlop Winter Sport 3D DSST. It features an aggressive directional pattern and a better price-point than some of its competitors. --
Thursday, April 9, 2015 by Mike

My 2014 BMW X3 wears Pirelli runflats. I'm considering switching to a new set of 4 non runflat tire with exact tire circumference to avoid creating a problem with the transfer case (caused by different wheel speeds). The new tires are not "star" certified and, therefore, not approved by BMW due to possible production anomalies that could arise, i.e., the tires have the same circumference/size/diameter on paper, but are not actually the same circumference when measured with a string, etc. Is this a valid concern, or are most tires consistently the same circumference, even allowing for production anaomalies? Will Tire Rack actually give me a matched set with identical, matched circumferences? Thanks very much! - Mike
Monday, April 13, 2015 by Tire Rack Team

Mike, Different brands will vary ever so slightly in width and height, however a matched set of tires from the same manufacturer should be very precise and not a cause for alarm. --
Monday, November 9, 2015 by Ell

Hi I drive a 2011 335xdrive I dislike run flats, assuming I either buy a kit or use the trunk to house a full size spare, is there any safety concern associated with using non run flat s for all weather as well as snows?
Thursday, November 12, 2015 by Tire Rack Team

Ell, Non-runflat tires are perfectly suitable for use on the 335xi as long as you have taken appropriate steps to make sure you are prepared in case of a flat. --
Sunday, April 29, 2018 by James

Does the ContiComfortKit work with TPMS? I was under the impression that liquid sealant should not be used with TPMS.
Friday, May 4, 2018 by Tire Rack Team

James, the sealant is an emergency use item and can clog a sensor. If you need to use it you can give it a blast of just air at the end to reduce the chance of clogging the sensor but it can still happen.

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