Earlier this week my E39 M5 had a flat tire, driver side rear. This happened to me while I was traveling on the Washington Beltway, heading north 95/east 495 going from Tysons to Alexandria.
The loss of air pressure was very quick, and I pulled off onto a narrow shoulder area as quickly as I could through traffic. As luck would have it, I had just purchased a new set of Continental ExtremeContact DWS tires for the car less than two months ago. Right before the blowout, I was enjoying how smooth the car felt at highway speed.
You never expect to get a flat, and it’s a jarring experience. It can be even worse in an E39 M5, because the car did not come with a spare tire. (Other BMW E39 5 series cars came with a full size spare — the last BMW 5 series to be so equipped.) The car came from the factory with a so-called “mobility kit” that shoots sealant into the tire, and pumps it back up.
Unfortunately, it makes a mess of your rim and only works for small punctures. It’s useless for serious tire damage – like this:
A few months after I bought my car in 2011, I purchased a donut spare tire from a company called BimmerZone. I also picked up a jack and tire iron. And that really saved my butt this week. Rather than be stuck waiting for a flat bed tow, I was able to change the tire myself and drive home. Kudos to the highway assistance program — a truck did come by, and helped me by parking behind me and keeping the cars whizzing by from getting too close.
Initially I thought I was out the full amount for the replacement tire. However I got good news when I called TireRack to order another rear tire. Roadside hazard protection was included in the price of the Continental tires. I needed to send the damaged tire back, a process TireRack made very easy by arranging a UPS pickup at my house.
Barring any unexpected feedback from Continental, I should receive a credit for all or most of the replacement cost. And the replacement tire arrived at my local service station Hollin Hall Automotive two days after the flat. TireRack is a great company to deal with and is the only place I’ll buy tires.
All things considered it turned out really well, but I hope this is the last flat tire I have on the car.
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