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Old 31st May 2016, 15:29   #1
GTO
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Default Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution

I got a bone to pick with BMW India for 4 reasons:
  • Making runflats standard. Can't wait to move to pure tubeless rubber! Fixable in the after-market.
  • Not giving a spare wheel well in the boot. NOT fixable in the after-market.
  • Not offering the spare as standard (although their cars now have this as standard). Fixable in the after-market.
  • Ridiculously pricing the spare wheel! NOT fixable in the after-market. Because BMW imports these in bulk, the official prices are lower.

Whichever dimwit at BMW thought that he can sell cars without a spare wheel in India should ride with me from Bombay to Goa. If we were to have a puncture at Kosumb (300 kms in the middle), what use is their runflat tyre with a range of merely 80 - 100 kms? How far is it going to take me? What if a tyre gets ruptured by a sharp stone? Lastly, if you do use a runflat for 80 - 100 kms (after it goes flat), you have to replace the tyre! Cost = 20 to 30k. Related Thread (Run Flats could go Flat).

Now that we've established that a spare is a must-have in India, and BMW has finally understood that, let's see what the process entails for those who need to buy one.

Place an order at the nearest dealer and pay a whopping 29 grand! This is the first time that I've bought a spare wheel separately for any car I've owned. Even a Tata Nano gets one as standard:
Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution-0.jpg

Good thing is, you get a comprehensive kit. Starting with hand gloves:
Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution-0b.jpg

A tool kit:
Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution-1.jpg

Opened up:
Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution-2.jpg

Butttttttttt it won't fit in the storage space below the boot floor!
Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution-3.jpg

As a result, the jumper cables are placed back there...
Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution-4.jpg

...and the tool kit shares real estate with a duster:
Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution-5.jpg

Spare wheel is fully covered. However, my 275 mm rear tyre won't fit in this cover. Thus, when the punctured tyre is placed in the boot, other luggage items will get dirty:
Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution-6.jpg

Very high quality spring-loaded carabiner:
Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution-7.jpg

Spare is an alloy wheel. Max speed = 80 km/h:
Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution-8.jpg

Space-saving 135/90 R17 size:
Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution-9.jpg

Tied down using 4 hooks so it doesn't make any noise. Because the 5-Series shockingly has no spare wheel well, you have to place the 5th wheel on the boot floor. Annoyingly, even Mercedes is removing the wheel well from some of its cars. Sure takes up a lot of cargo room:
Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution-10.jpg

Eats up about 20% of the boot height:
Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution-11.jpg

Why no wheel well? Here's what lies underneath:


I'm left amazed that a company with such smart people and R&D expenditures running into millions of $$$ can make such an elementary mistake. Where's ze common sense?!

Last edited by GTO : 1st June 2016 at 17:44. Reason: Adding point
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Old 31st May 2016, 16:23   #2
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Default Re: Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Tyre Forum!
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Old 31st May 2016, 16:35   #3
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Default Re: Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution

GTO its the same scenario with all premium cars - spare wheel eats up boot space.

Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Volvo all have this stupid solution to the spare wheel issue - put a donut on the boot floor. My V40 is the only exception to the rule - it has the tyre under the boot floor.

I guess the guys who design these cars have never driven on Indian roads and as a result have no clue. At least you have a boot that's reasonably sized so its not too bad.

Imagine an A class guy with a spare in the boot - what space will he have left after putting the spare in? - Virtually none! This stupidity has to end!
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Old 31st May 2016, 16:50   #4
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Default Re: Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution

If I was calling the shots at BMW, I would start a project to look into ways to "compress" a spare tire and provide a pump with the car to inflate the spare tyre after its out of the package. Use the same pump to suck out the air and somehow press punctured tire into a small package.

Its not just about the quality of roads in India, its also the distance to the nearest BMW dealership. In US, you have Auto Associations and their service centers spread across the country. Any problem, you just have to make a phone call and they come with a flatbed. Everything is paid for by insurance.

Now think about what happens if my bicycle gets punctured at Kosumb

I can..
Walk to the next town and take a break and fix it at my leisure.
OR
Take it to a near by puncture repair shop and patch it
OR
If I am riding early morning or out on a village road. Just fix it and get riding again in under 20 mins.

If Mercedes can provide an umbrella as part of the car, why not a spare tire!!
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Old 31st May 2016, 16:57   #5
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Default Re: Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution

GTO,

Premium brand, standards across every geography, premium packages to protect you against repair etc(which sells like cake by the way), and its a better model to make money.

Space saving, weight saving and better drive out weighs the need for a spare tyre. Secondly india is probably not even a profit making market for BMW/Or even someone like Merc and less than may be generous 10% of their total sales. The cost of reintroducing the tyres that they took of as early as 2009-2010(i think) is not worth the investment.

And in most of the other countries the Run flat has been overall a welcome change as they have many service centres, the BMW/Merc Cover/bumper to bumper service coverage and it costs them nothing to maintain that car atleast during their initial 3 years of ownership.

Someone owning a BMW is assumed by the manufacture to be affluent and would hardly need to worry about spare tyre and 99% of the time they have a driver who will probably sit with the car when its getting fixed while BMW will probably provide a spare car to transport you from where you are stranded to your home. And that costs even less than actually making the additional 5th tyre etc.

Thats the only way i can look at.
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Old 31st May 2016, 17:03   #6
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Default Re: Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution

It is certainly stupid and I can't believe that instead of BMW realising that it was a mistake, competitors like Mercedes are moving toward it.

I went through the same pain of paying separately for a donut spare after paying close to 70L for my X3. I can't tell you how embarassing it is when I show the car to friends and family and they ask me the reason for the wheel lying on top of the boot. I am sure they can package the other stuff underneath the boot floor in a better way so as accomodate a space saver. In an SUV the wheel takes up about 10% space, but in a sedan I am sure you lose a lot more.

Hopefully they are making amends. The new X1 and X5 both come with a spare and a cavity under the boot floor to pack it in. I've always heard how BMW constantly take feedback from customers to improve their cars. But they have been very stubborn about their decision to stick RFTs and and not providing spare wheel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhishek46 View Post
Did I read this correctly? 135/90 is the size of the spare wheel. Just 135! For a BMW!
Okay, we know it is space saver. But still. 135!
I tell you you'd be glad it is 135/90 and not 275/45. It will take up a lot more space then. Once the space saver is mounted you are not supposed to cross 80 kph. Atleast it allows you to drive up to the next town and you are not left stranded. Another thing to note is that the space saver needs to be inflated to 60 psi to carry all that weight on its thin section width.

Last edited by Santoshbhat : 31st May 2016 at 17:18.
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Old 31st May 2016, 17:08   #7
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Default Re: Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution

Did I read this correctly? 135/90 is the size of the spare wheel. Just 135! For a BMW!
Okay, we know it is space saver. But still. 135!

It looked like the space for the 5th Tyre has been consumed by some apparatus which is connected to fuel tank. What is that apparatus?
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Old 31st May 2016, 17:25   #8
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Default Re: Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhishek46 View Post
Did I read this correctly? 135/90 is the size of the spare wheel. Just 135! For a BMW!
Okay, we know it is space saver. But still. 135!
Yeah it's true. I've seen a Volvo riding on one of these tyres and it looked ridiculous! I guess they only match the OD and provide the worst tyre in all other respects. I wonder what would happen if someone goes at more than 80 on this tyre.
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Old 31st May 2016, 17:29   #9
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Default Re: Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution

Quote:
Originally Posted by mxh View Post
Yeah it's true. I've seen a Volvo riding on one of these tyres and it looked ridiculous! I guess they only match the OD and provide the worst tyre in all other respects. I wonder what would happen if someone goes at more than 80 on this tyre.
Well, RWD and 130 section is a dangerous mix. A slight enthusiastic outburst on the gas while in a mid corner at speed could potentially result in a dramatic spin. But of course, madame ESC, the electronic nanny, could keep things in control.
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Old 31st May 2016, 17:52   #10
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Default Re: Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution

I support runflats - it enables you to reach a place of safety. Not having a wheel well for the spare - stupid. The amount of space lost is ridiculous. We will show you in a forthcoming test drive

Regds

Ajit
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Old 31st May 2016, 18:57   #11
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Default Re: Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution

Interesting to note the vehicle doesn't come with a jack as standard as well. also noticed the disclaimer at the bottom of the invoice "The warranty of part/s sold vide this invoice is applicable subject to fitment of parts at any BMW authorized dealership workshop only"

Technically speaking this means the spare wheel has to be fitted on the vehicle at a BMW garage!!
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Old 31st May 2016, 21:47   #12
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Default Re: Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution

The Audi sedans & saloon do have a proper spare wheel neatly tucked away in the rear well. This from my last look at the A4 & the A6 in March, unless something has changed since then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reignofchaos View Post
Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Volvo all have this stupid solution to the spare wheel issue - put a donut on the boot floor. My V40 is the only exception to the rule - it has the tyre under the boot floor.
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Old 31st May 2016, 22:37   #13
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Default Re: Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution

Quote:
Originally Posted by mxh View Post
Yeah it's true. I've seen a Volvo riding on one of these tyres and it looked ridiculous! I guess they only match the OD and provide the worst tyre in all other respects. I wonder what would happen if someone goes at more than 80 on this tyre.
This is what Audi USA provides with their cars. I call them Audi's Popeye tyre .

Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution-spare-2.jpg

Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution-spare-1.jpg

And I had the pleasure of using them for a while, and I must say it was not very comfortable.
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Old 31st May 2016, 22:41   #14
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Default Re: Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution

Quote:
Originally Posted by khoj View Post
The Audi sedans & saloon do have a proper spare wheel neatly tucked away in the rear well. This from my last look at the A4 & the A6 in March, unless something has changed since then.
The a3 I test drove didn't have a wheel well if I remember correctly.
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Old 1st June 2016, 00:38   #15
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Default Re: Pics: BMW's incredibly stupid spare tyre solution

The punctured tyre just pops out of the rim after a couple of hundred meters of bad roads.. Then its bollywood action scene.

When you really have to drive on... The BMW run flats make so much sense.

However, THAT should be an added feature, instead of it replacing the very basic spare tyre.
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