2009 BMW M3: Tire Pressure Warning System
November 30, 2009
I'm really tired of seeing BMW's Tire Pressure Warning System in action. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the advance notice regarding a slowing dying tire, but I'd prefer tires that simply didn't get punctures (or at least not when I'm driving on them).
I saw a similar screen in our Long-Term 2009 BMW 750i less than a month ago, so forgive me if I feel I've reached my Tire Pressure Warning screen quota.
In this case the screen popped up when I first started our BMW M3 last week. I hopped back out, grabbed my tire pressure gauge and confirmed it was at 21 psi. Hmm, that's odd. A few blasts with a tire pump had it back up to the prescribed 33 psi, with no visual or audible signs of a leak.
The next morning I got in, started the car and got the warning screen again. This time I simply drove it the local Discount Tire store (after confirming it still had 23 psi) and told them my right front tire had a leak. After about a 20-minute wait they hoisted the M3, pulled the wheel and confirmed a small screw had punctured the wheel right in the center (between two tread blocks).
Another 30 minutes and the car was ready to go. Total cost: $0. Discount Tire does not charge for basic, simple tire repairs. This is probably the fifth car I've taken to them over the past seven years, and I'm actually starting to feel guilty about taking advantage of their generous policy. And no, they don't know I work for Edmunds or that I was going to cover this incident on a Web site.
But to help curb my guilt I will offer a genuine endorsement for those who don't already know about Discount Tire's repair policy: It's a great deal if (actually, make that when) you get a small tire puncture and subsequent air leak from road debris.
Karl Brauer, Edmunds.com Editor in Chief at 12,380 miles