Any flat tires that Fix-a-Flat will not fix ?

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Feb 10, 2016
New Orleans
Just wanted to know if these "odd" tires got flats more often than most.

I am thinking of buying a spare wheel (likely salvage) and two tires (one front, one rear from Tire Rack, @$300 for both). Mount the front tire on the rim and keep it at home when I am driving around town. If I get a flat, take a taxi or public transport home (I live in New Orleans, doable here), get the spare tire, return and change it. Put front tire & wheel on rear (if rear tire goes flat) and then exchange tires at tire shop the next day.

Put spare wheel & front tire in trunk when going out of town. Will it fit ?

BTW, I hope to buy used i3 REx in 2017 and keep it for two plus decades. Just planning ahead :)
The i3 comes with a compressor and a can of tire sealant. It entirely depends on how big the hole in the tire is whether it will work. It also may not work forever. With the rear seats folded, I took home a full set of winter tires/wheels in mine, but have not tried to put one in with the seats up. No way it would fit in front. The 5" rim will fit fine on the rear, so if you did buy a spare, you'd only need one unless things were really nasty and you got two flats at the same time. Often, the tire just leaks, and you can just stop and refill it periodically until you can get it repaired, but the sealant should fix that unless the nail/screw/etc. flies out, leaving a bigger hole.
Some i3 owners feel that they're experiencing more flats than with their previous vehicles, but it's difficult to say with certainty whether the i3's tires are to blame.

With the rear seats up, I doubt that there is sufficient room behind the rear seats to lay a spare wheel and tire. You might be able to stand it up behind the seats, but you'd need to figure out how to secure it. I wouldn't want a heavy wheel and tire projectile flying forward in case of a sudden deceleration (e.g., a collision). Some owners of our previous Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which also had no spare tire, were able to fit a spare tire standing up on the rear seat floor behind the passenger front seat, but its diameter was much smaller than an i3 spare tire. That also reduces the passenger capacity by 1.

Another problem that you'd need to solve would be how to jack up your i3 to change a tire. The i3 doesn't include a jack. Common portable jacks designed to lift a vehicle on a designated metal jack point could break the i3's plastic jack points and wouldn't provide a stable lifting experience. BMW $ells a jack kit that includes a scissor jack with a special lifting surface designed to fit inside the plastic jack point, a torque wrench set to the proper torque for BMW lug bolts, and a pair of gloves to protect your tender hands.

BMW must think that its owners don't want to stoop to dealing with mundane stuff like flat tires, so they make it easy to contact BMW Assist to send a tow truck to transport your car to the nearest BMW dealer which will only replace, not repair, a flat tire. I and other i3 owners carry an emergency flat tire repair kit in hopes that we could repair a flat at least temporarily and avoid using the expensive flat repair goop included with the i3 as well as being towed to our BMW dealer for an expensive tire replacement. I can't recall the last time I had a flat tire, so I hope this trend continues.
I haven't looked, but would expect that the OEM tires have a Bridgestone factory warranty, so if the dealer won't repair, you might have an option with a tire dealer. That was (is) true with the OEM Goodyear tires on my other car...BMW will only have you pay to replace, but I've read of others getting credit and sometimes free replacements of their OEM Goodyear tires. The same rules apply to most any tire that determines if it is repairable...can't be driven while flat, hole size beneath some maximum, and holes only in the tread area, not the sidewall.

If they were runflat, most tire manufacturers will not repair one, but if you treat it like a 'normal' tire, and stop when you get a flat, they generally can be repaired. Hassle with them is, people may or may not notice (they should with the TPMS operational), or use them as designed, and continue to drive. That slowly destroys the carcass, and is why many companies won't repair one.
For every car I have ever bought, I practice changing a tire on the first good weekend after accepting delivery.

To me, this is just good common sense. Learn how to change a tire under ideal conditions rather than on the side of the road, perhaps after dark, rainy, etc.

THANK YOU !!! for telling me about possibly crushing the plastic jack points unless I use the special BMW jack. Another extra cost, but necessary.
AlanfromBigEasy said:
THANK YOU !!! for telling me about possibly crushing the plastic jack points unless I use the special BMW jack. Another extra cost, but necessary.

Actually, you just need the jack point inserts if you already have a jack. Available from BMW or cheaper versions on ebay.
Are the i3 tyres run flats.

On my BMW's I always take tyre & rim insurance for 3 years so BMW takes care of my cars and give me loan cars. I had a flat tyre last week so BMW looked after it and dropped my car home the same day after work and picked up their loan car.
We scrapped the sidewall against a sharpe sidewalk edge tearing a two inch gash in the sidewall. I thought it was a long shot but I was desperate. Took an entire can of the stuff spraying out of the gash before it sealed. Rode over 30 miles home with it. About a block from home we started loosing air. Was able to pump that tire back up the next day since most of the gash was still sealed and drive it over to tire shop 2 miles away before it deflated again.

Was actually pretty impressed! It took a while and a lot of goo but it did what I needed it to do to get us home safe!

Fix-a-Flat will not fix a blow out, a large puncture or a sidewall gash. Your plan would work so long as you buy and keep a jack and lug wrench/socket in the frunk or lug it along with the spare.

I'm at 9100 miles in 11 months and have not yet had any tire issues with my i3. Which is odd because for the past 20 years I typically have one tire incident per year. Maybe I should buy a lotto ticket.

Your other option is to buy tire replacement certificates from a tire dealer and join AAA or some other roadside assistance company and if you have a flat, just have it hauled to the tire dealer and have them replace the tire.

I bought a used, 2014 BMW i3-REx and the Owner's Manual pp. 175 mentions the "BMW M Mobility Kit". But I don't have one. I only found the Level 1 charger. Does the car come with a tire repair kit?

Now I have a 12V air pump in the other car for tire inflation so I'll move it over. Now I've already put a 'plug kit' in the frunk. Add a Leatherman multitool and I should be good to go. Just I wanted to ask about the tire repair kit.

The vehicle history reports the passenger side tire was replaced. It might have been that event that led to the repair kit going missing. Given the price for a BMW branded kit, I'll use my Harbor Freight special ... in a sealed plastic bag for now.

Bob Wilson
The car comes with a compressor and a can of tire sealant. Be careful if you try just any sealant...make sure you get one that is TPMS safe, or you'll be buying a new one of those too. I've never tried to use mine. If I need to top up the tires, I use a normal air compressor which is faster. Guess I should at least try it to verify it works once.

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