With both the M340i and the Thar getting attention, it may seem the GTI is being neglected but the GTI is quietly doing its city job (work commute) and has clocked over 47k kms without a fuss in the last 4.5 years.

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M340i Update : Drive and tyres!

Had a wonderful drive to Wayanad with Dr.AD last weekend. However, following Dr.AD with his recent tyre damage, I too had a side wall damage in the left front in the 340i somewhere near Maddur on Mysore road. I am usually extremely careful but somehow missed this pothole and left front crashed into it. It wasn’t a large pothole but was quite deep. Pulled over to see that the outer wall of the the tyre had torn but there was no air loss. The TPMS display seemed fine too. I drove around 40 kms to join AD at our breakfast place to decide the next plan of action.

I do have a space saver and since we were hardly 15 odd kms away from Mysore, I decided to carry on slowly towards Mysore (keeping an constant eye on the tpms). Our friend and tbhpian Nikhilb2008 helped a lot with his contacts to arrange everything possible in the morning at his tyre store in Mysore to get me back on the road. After removing the tyre from the alloy, the inner wall seemed intact (hence no air loss). It was mutually decided that a heat patch and some reinforcement from the inside will hold up well as a stop gap measure till I reach Bangalore after the trip to change the tyre. Incase of absolute emergency, I had the space saver too.

The image shows the tear, the inner aspect and the tear once the tyre was removed from the alloy (it is a 225/40 R19 Pirelli P Zero RFT)

The tyre after the heat patch and reinforcement

Thanks to Nikhil and his team for helping me out in the best way possible with the resources at hand (Mysore didn’t have any stock of 19 inch tyres which would fit the 8J front alloy of the M340i)

I continued driving cautiously towards Wayanad, being extra careful of not causing any further major impact on the patched tyre. Stopped a couple of times in between to check the tyre and kept an eye on the tpms.

Somewhere after the Bandipur forest area

Finally, after around 130kms, I joined AD at the lovely resort in Wayanad. The pressures were normal and the visually the tyre seemed fine.

Parked for the night

Let’s not make this post only about the tyres.

The resort was a lovely one and we had a great time with awesome Kerala food and nice walks.

Near the Karapuzzha dam

Views from the dam

Walking around the Pookode lake

From the resort at night

Drove back to Bangalore and the patch held up well again for a total of around 500kms in all. Thankfully, BMW Bangalore had the tyre in stock and I got it replaced the next morning.

New P Zero installed

My rear brake pads were due for replacement in 400kms as per the service notification in the iDrive. So I got them replaced as well.

Pic showing the used pads with less than 3mm and the new one with 11mm (along with the part number and pricing). Have to bed the pads in over the next 200 odd kms.

Overall it was an eventful drive. The discussion about RFT vs Tubeless has been done to death across many threads and I have had experience with both. In this incident, there was no air loss and I didn’t have to swap to the space saver. I have changed many tyres in the past but changing large wheels on the roadside especially in the rains is quite an effort. Also even at BMW, the technicians struggled to loosen the wheel lugs at the rear for the pads as they were too tight. I do have a breaker bar (extension spanner) and I know the effort required to loosen jammed lugs. If this was a tubeless, I am sure I would have had to change the tyre immediately.

The other argument maybe that if it were a tubeless, maybe the tyre wouldn’t have given up or maybe it would have been just a side wall bulge. We can never be sure. So it it extremely difficult to choose a clear winner. Maybe the solution is the Thar for our conditions

Thar Update: Tyres again

A good friend had upgraded from AX steel rims in his Thar to alloys. He had painted them black with a blue rim (good quality heat resistant paint). I always wanted a set of M/T (mud terrain) tyres in 16 for the events and monsoon trails around Bangalore. So it seemed like a win win deal. I picked up his steel rims and got four Maxxis Bighorn 764 M/T tyres installed (stock AX variant size of 245/75 R16)

The tyres getting installed

Fixed the tyre at front to check that it didn’t touch anywhere upon lock to lock and also the brake caliper has decent clearance.

I am not going to use these tyres on a daily basis and they are heavy, noisy and obviously not meant for tarmac use.

I weighed the stock 18 alloy with Ceat Czar A/T and the Maxxis BH 764 M/T with the Thar AX 16 inch steel rim. The stock weighed 29kgs while it was 38kgs for the Maxxis.

A lot of people are using BF Goodrich K02 265/60 R18 in the Thar, so weighed that tyre for kicks too. It was 25.2Kgs without the alloy.

Be very careful with tyre upsize in the Thar. Stock sizing comparison of AX and LX Thar variants.

Finally, all the four mounted M/T tyres fit in the back of my Thar along with the extra steel rim (5th). I am so glad I did the rear seat fold modification.

Looking forward to trying out these M/T on some trails soon.

GTI Update : Nothing as such

With both the M340i and the Thar getting attention, it may seem the GTI is being neglected but the GTI is quietly doing its city job (work commute) and has clocked over 47k kms without a fuss in the last 4.5 years. It is on its second set of Michelin PS4 205/50 R16 tyres. It is still under extended warranty and service package.

Cheers! Until the next one

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