Do BMWs Have Spare Tires?

When you puncture your tire, you want to make sure you have a spare so you can change the flat. Spare tires are an essential part of your vehicle. You might be wondering if BMWs have spare tires. We researched this question and share an answer below.

Before 2003, BMWs had spare tires. However, in 2003, BMW eliminated spare tires from their 5-Series and Z4 models.

Over the next decade, they gradually eliminated spare tires from all of their models. They started using run-flat tires that can be driven on for a few miles if punctured—far enough to get to a garage to have the tire patched or replaced.

If you have questions about tires and wonder what run-flat tires are, don't worry. We will answer additional questions below. We've also included a guide so you can determine whether you have run-flat tires or not. You can learn all of this and more! 

Does BMW Provide Spare Tires?

A BMW M3 parked on the side of the road

If you recently bought a BMW, you may have noticed that it does not have a spare tire. This is not because you got ripped off by the seller but because most BMWs today do not have spare tires.

Of course, there's an exception to this. BMWs manufactured before 2003 still have spare tires. In 2003, BMW eliminated spare tires from some models, like the 5-Series and Z4. In 2006, BMW began to gradually remove spare tires across all of its models.

If BMWs don't have spare tires, aren't they making it harder for their customers if their car tires go flat? Well, not really, since they only abolished spare tires for their vehicles when they started to use run-flat tires.

Running flat with a flat tire, Do BMWs Have Spare Tires?

You can drive on a run-flat tire for up to 50 miles at 50 mph even when the tire is punctured—far enough to get to a repair shop. That's why you don't have to panic if your BMW tires go flat.

Aside from this, run-flat tires have sidewalls that are stronger than those on regular tires. Additionally, using them allowed BMWs to save weight and increase their fuel economy. Also, BMW stated that changing tires at the side of a road can be dangerous, so run-flat tires are better for safety.

Ways To Determine If Your BMW Has Run-Flat Tires

Because old BMW models may still be using a standard tire, you may need clarification on whether your car has run-flat tires. Even if you have a new model, it won't hurt to ensure that it has run-flat tires.

Here are some different ways you can determine if your BMW has run-flat tires:

  • Find out what kind of tires your car has through the owner's manual. 
  • Check your car's tires. If your BMW's tires have a Run Flat, RFT, SSR, ROFM EMT, ZP, or DSST label, it's a run-flat tire. Tire manufacturers usually use one of these designations. It's usually located on the side of a tire, so look for it there.
  • See if your BMWs dashboard has a tire pressure warning light. Cars with run-flat tires have this to monitor how much air the tires have. If your car has this, it has run-flat tires.

If the factors listed here don't apply to your car, you might have standard tires.

How To Tell If Your Run-Flat Tire Has A Puncture

Car infotainment screen showing tire pressure on each tire

BMW cars have a tire monitoring system (TPMS) that tells you whether your run-flat tire has low air pressure. Usually, when your tire gets punctured, TPMS will alert you with an orange or yellow light which means that the air pressure is below 25% of the recommended pressure.

If this happens, park your car and determine which tire has a puncture.

Check out this BMW tire pressure sensor on Amazon.

What To Do When Your Run-Flat Tire Has A Puncture

Flat tire of a car

Because BMWs do not have spare tires, it's understandable if you don't know what to do when one of your tires gets punctured. Here's a simple guide to help:

  1. A run-flat tire won't immediately go flat after it gets punctured. But you must check your car's tire pressure monitoring system to see how much air is in your tires and how far you can drive.
  2. Turn your car's hazard lights on to let other drivers know you're having an issue.
  3. Slowly drive to the nearest repair shop to get your tire replaced.
  4. If you can't find a nearby mechanic, find a safe place to pull over. Since BMWs with run-flat tires do not have a spare, you should try contacting a roadside service company for help.

Can You Get A Run-Flat Tire Repaired?

Mechanic using a torque wrench to remove the car tire

If your BMW run-flat tire only has minor damage, you can still repair it through patching. However, you can only patch a run-flat tire if the puncture is close to the surface and hasn't reached its sidewalls.

Additionally, you shouldn't drive your car until only a small amount of air is left in the tire. You should make sure that the puncture on your tire doesn't go through its sidewall for patching.

On the other hand, if the damage on your run-flat tire has reached its sidewalls or is already severe, you cannot repair it. Furthermore, if you have driven it already, it will lose its structural integrity, making it irreparable.

See this tire emergency repair kit on Amazon.

Can A Run-Flat Tire Be Inflated?

Flat tire of a red car

Generally, you can fill a run-flat tire with air. If you had it repaired because of a surface-level puncture, you can inflate it without a problem. You can inflate it just like you would a standard tire.

To inflate the tire, you should use a standard air compressor and follow these steps:

  1. Connect the air compressor hose to an air source.
  2. Insert the hose into the valve system of the run-flat tire.
  3. Turn the power source on. To do this, press its pedal and wait until you hear a hissing sound to ensure that air is passing through.
  4. Wait until your tire inflates to the proper PSI level.

As with patching a run-flat tire, experts do not recommend inflating the tire if it's severely damaged and has lost its integrity. You can only do this for minor punctures.

Click here to see this air compressor on Amazon.

Can You Replace Run-Flat Tires With Regular Tires?

Mechanic changing the car tire

You must replace all four of your BMW run-flat tires if you plan to use regular ones. Note that you shouldn't mix tires because their materials are different from each other. Run-flat tires, as mentioned, have strong sidewalls, but standard ones don't.

In addition, if you mix both tires, your BMW may have issues with stability, as run-flat tires are stiffer than regular ones. Also, if you decide to go with standard tires, you must ensure they're the same size as your initial run-flat tire.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace Run-Flat Tires?

Mechanic removing the bolts of a car tire

Replacing a BMW run-flat tire could cost $250 to $320, depending on its size. However, this is just the price of the tire itself, excluding labor costs if you get a mechanic to do this for you. For labor and materials, the price ranges from $600 per tire to $2500 for all the tires on your car.

In Conclusion

If you're looking for your BMW's spare tire but can't find one, don't be surprised. BMW eliminated spare tires in 2006. The cars now use run-flat tires. BMW started to do this for their 5-Series and Z4 models in 2003 before completely abolishing spare tires.

However, this does not include BMW models before 2003. Models before this year should have standard tires, so having a spare tire is necessary.

Did you find the answer you needed in this post? Check out these related articles for more information:

My BMW Check Engine Light Is On But Gives No Message Or Codes – Why? What To Do?

BMW Is Shaking—What Could Be Wrong?

Where Is The Ground Strap On A BMW? [And How Do You Replace It]?

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