BMW 1 Series - BMW Puncture woes - Stackman II

No 1 son runs a BMW 118, about 9 years old.

On his way to us for dinner last week when he phoned to say he had hit a pothole and had punctured a tyre. I went out to have a look-see and sure enough his NSR tyre was flat as the proverbial.

Where's the spare ? Err, its a BMW, originally supplied with run-flats so there's no spare.

Do you have a tin of goo? A jack? A compressor? No, BMW has run-flats so none of the above.

If it had run-flats why can't you drive it ? Err, I replaced the tyres recently and boought non run-flats as they were cheaper. (In fairness he had just moved in to a new flat so money was tight.)

I plugged in my compressor but the damage was too great, no air would stay in. Given that the tyre was obviously done for I drove the car slowly the half mile home.

Next problem, no jack. None of the jacks in our car were suitable so we had to wait until I could borrow a trolley jack from work.

So eventually we get the jack in place and try to remove the wheel studs. My spider wheel brace wouldn't shift them, even with my great weight applied to it. We eventually shifted them with a long steel tube but even then the spider bent before they came off.

No. 1 son tells me that the tyre fitters have signs at their workshop saying all their wheels are re-fitted and torqued up by hand. I suspect that what they do is bang the studs on with a rattle-gun then check with a torque wrench. If it clicks then its OK with them.

Anyone with any mechanical sympathy and understanding knows that the torque wrench should be used to apply the last tightening until it clicks.

Anyway, for a simple puncture the car is off road for 3 days until the tyre could be replaced. He was lucky to have been so close to home. He will now be getting a spare wheel and a jack for Christmas!

BMW 1 Series - BMW Puncture woes - gordonbennet

A good lesson for the lad that in many ways, not just to make sure you can undo your own wheelnuts and have a spare wheel jack and wheelbrace handy if you are changing from maker's spec, but longer term to avoid tyre sizes which can't cope with a simple pot hole, indeed some of the alloys on that marque crack via the road shocks transmitted through ridiculously low profile tyres, i don't suppose BMW are alone in this.

One other lesson for you all, a decent trolley jack (not a £30 toy) is a must for any home mechanic, even something which should be as simple as changing a wheel is an infinitely safer job with a proper sturdy trolley jack in place...not as one should trust even that by getting underneath the vehicle without something solid to prevent the car dropping if the hydraulic seal fails.

Have you closely inspected the wheelbolts threads, if they've been done so tight you couldn't shift them i wouldn't be surprised if there's evidence the threads have suffered.

When you refit the (presumably alloy) wheel, explain to him to clean up and put a wipe of coppaslip on the spigot so the alloy doesn't corrode bond to the steel hub making it a nightmare to remove the wheels down the line, sods law dictates punctures don't normally happen as conveniently as that, when you do get a puncture you want that wheel to come off with just a gentle tug not neediing to be hammered off from behind (with the sledge hammer you won't have to hand) necessitating crawling underneath at the side of the road...the breakdown chap if called out will also be grateful for that small mercy.

Edited by gordonbennet on 25/11/2019 at 09:50

BMW 1 Series - BMW Puncture woes - Andrew-T

A good lesson for the lad, to make sure you can undo your own wheelnuts and have a spare wheel jack and wheelbrace handy ...

+ 1 or more. Whenever I have anything done to my wheels I always check that I am able to loosen the bolts/nuts when I get home. Just in case I need to do it at the roadside a year or more later, when they will have locked up a bit (so far I have not needed to ...). Once or twice I have had to use a 2-foot bar on the wrench.

Edited by Andrew-T on 25/11/2019 at 11:45

BMW 1 Series - BMW Puncture woes - John F

I wonder what the pressure in the tyre was before the pothole split it. Had he checked recently? To avoid pothole damage as much as possible it is essential the tyre pressure is at, or even slightly above, recommended pressure - especially those absurd low profile rubber bands, which are just asking for expensive damage to the actual wheel as well as the tyre.


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