Monday, August 3, 2009

Nail in my Run Flat Tyre!

The inevitable happened! Whilst cleaning the car, I came across a strange metallic piece embedded in the middle of my rear tyre. On closer inspection the fear of having a nail puncture struck a chord. This fear have been plaguing many bimmer owners since the day they used the RFT. Is this going to be really expensive affair? Do I have to change the entire wheel? I have read numerous forums of owners lamenting the lack of repair on the RFTs. No tyre shop would guaranteed the safety of a mended tyre. Made a check on recent posts and there seemed to a big group who has patched up the RFTs. From what I gather there seems to be 2 different weays of mending the tyres.

1 Plug: The plug technique. This is a simple way to plug a puncture. No need to remove the entire tyre from the rim. Just look for the hole and push in the plug. Together with some sealant the tyre is good to go. A big CAUTION on this method. It's not recommended to be used on the M SPORT as the plug might dislodge itself the same way it came in when the car is flying beyond 160km.

2 Patch: The method is the safer way to mend the tyre. The whole process takes about half an hour. The mechanics will have to remove the entire wheel and mend the tyre from the inside. The photos above is self explanatory. The wheel needs to be rebalanced after the patching job as the tyres were removed for the repair. The entire job costs rm25 for the patch and another rm10 for the wheel balancing. So let's see if the much debated about RFT repairs holds any ground. On theory it seems plausible that repairing the tyre should be ok.

My conclusion from this experience is that the RFT concept while it's great for safety but it sucks in reality. Our roads are paved with all sorts of debris, pot holes and other whathaveyous... Not many tyre shops knows how to repair, let alone remove the unique RFTs. The best part of it is that it didn't show up on the idrive. So you bimmer owners out there do check on your tyres periodically. The engineers should have thought about this when they decide to put it into thousands of bimmers.

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