Since 2007, most BMW vehicles began rolling off the assembly line without a spare tire and instead came equipped with run-flat tires. What are run-flat tires? Run-flats tires look and function like standard tires, except that they are designed to allow a driver to continue to drive on them even after losing all air pressure. This means that in most situations involving a tire puncture, one can safely drive the vehicle at a limited speed for a limited number of miles without having to pull over and install a spare tire. Vehicles that use run-flat tires must have tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). This is because most run-flats work so well that a driver may not even be able to feel a difference in driving when one tire has no air pressure.
Early run-flat tire designs had a tenancy to ride more harshly due to the stiffer sidewalls needed to maintain performance and safety while being driven on at low or no tire pressure. This gave run-flat tires a negative reputation among many enthusiast communities and web forums. I discussed this issue in my blog , "Ditching Your Run-Flat Tires on Your BMW? Read This First!" As I mentioned in that blog, run-flat tire technology has improved significantly since those early years. Today's run-flat tires have continued to get closer to the ride quality of standard conventional tires. The latest and best example of this is the Bridgestone DriveGuard.
The Bridgestone DriveGuard is a run-flat grand touring all-season tire that uses a tread pattern similar to popular grand touring non run-flat tires. The DriveGuard is ranked among the other top choices in our customer ratings and reviews, and is the highest-rated of all run-flat tires in the category. To feel these results for ourselves, we performed a test of the tire driven back to back with another common touring tire, the Michelin Latitude Touring HP on two identical Honda CR-V crossovers. We were able to confirm that run-flat tires have indeed come a very long way and the DriveGuard had ride quality on par with the Michelin, even when driving over speed bumps and ruble strips.
I was so impressed with the tire that I chose to install them on my family's own recently purchased 2012 BMW 328i convertible. Run-flat tires were the right choice for my situation, especially since this car has no spare tire. Even with a roadside car service, a flat tire will mean that the vehicle would have to be towed to a nearby tire shop. If a puncture occurs with the Bridgestone DriveGuard tires, my wife and daughter can safely handle the situation without putting themselves in a dangerous or stressful situation. How do they feel on our BMW? Even though this 328i came equipped with the stiffer BMW factory M-sport suspension and low profile 18" tires, the DriveGuard's ride quality is impressive. The tire has a smooth, quiet ride, and handling is surprisingly crisp and responsive. Wet traction and wet braking are excellent as well.
With ride quality comparable to conventional tires and its added benefit of run-flat technology, the Bridgestone DriveGuard makes an excellent choice for any vehicle. Even for drivers of vehicles equipped with a spare tire, a run-flat tire like the DriveGuard can spare a driver from the inconvenient (and potentially dangerous) task of changing a spare tire on the side of the road. It is also a perfect choice for drivers who may not be physically capable (or are unwilling) to change a spare tire should a tire failure occur. Shop by vehicle to check pricing, availability and to learn more!