2001 325Ci tire questions

My 2001 325Ci convertible comes with Michelin MXM 91W tires in size 225/45R17. Car still has OEM supplied tires except for two replacements due to tire damage. Car mileage is 39000 miles (low). I just had my 3rd tire
fail.
These are low profile tires and I have had unexpected loss of air a total of 3 times in the life of the car. Each time the tire was destroyed and have been replaced twice. They have been replaced with the OEM type tire at a cost of $275 a pop.
Two questions:
1) Why are these tires being damaged like this? Is it the low profile? Is air pressure critical where sidewall wear can result if the tires are even slightly underinflated? I think folks with low profile tires like these can help answer this question. To my knowledge there have been no pothole or curb encounters.
2) I believe that if I replaced all 4 tires at the same time, there is likely a tire that is much better than OEM, and at the same time more cheaply priced, that I could buy. By having only one tire to replace at a time, I feel I am captured into buying the OEM type tires at a substantial price. Comments? Are there other tires in this size that are less expensive with equivalent or better performance for the simple grocery getter driving that I do?
Thanks for any and all replies.
Vito
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If you lose air, the low profile is pretty much guaranteed to cause complete failure even if you immediately drive to the side of the road. Only if it goes flat while parked and you notice and don't drive on them are you going to save them.

I had them for a while (bought a wheel/tire set); they're not bad, but others are far cheaper and just as good. For instance, many people (me included) like Goodyear F1 GS-D3. They're better in the rain, the same or perhaps a little better in the dry, and much cheaper - about $150. There are other options, too, look back in the archive and search for "GS-D3 Car & Driver" or look on the C&D website.
FloydR
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wrote

Are you certain the wheels haven't sustained some damage?

I had the MXMs on a Z3, and feel that both the F1 GS-D3 and Continental SportContact are better performance tires.
Tom K.
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wrote

I have checked the wheel and luckily, it is fine. These tires have stiff rubber near the beads and fit very tightly to the rim. This had protected the rims in past losses of air.

I am going to pay more attention to the tire air pressure. In most of the past cases, I know the cause of tire failure but in this case I do not. I can see what I believe to be previous wear on the edge of the tread of this most recent failure. I suspect that the tire was low on air and I did not know this. This resulted in rapid wear which eventually caused the tire to fail. Obviously, I am going to get my act together to ensure that this doesn't happen again.

I think I am going to ditch the Michelins and go with Goodyear. I am not a performance driver and this car is driven by my wife. I have my eyes on the GY Eagle F1 All Season that I can get for $175/tire.
Thanks for all replies and I am still open to all advice and suggestions.
Vito
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You don't know WHY there is the unexpected loss of air. Either you have a puncture, loss of the bead, or a valve failure. Any one of these could be at fault. What you do know is that once there is that loss, the tire is instantly shredded, which is typical of a low-profile type. Because it gets shredded, you have no way to figure out what the original failure was.

Yes, there are plenty of good tires available. Check the folks at tirerack.com for what has been recommended in that size, assuming you don't want to change from a low profile type. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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I can't think it's the make of tyre that is the problem, or the fact that they are low profile. but FWIW I have Contisport Contact tyres fitted to my 528i. 2off 235/45/17 fronts, and 2off 255/40/17 rears. So far I've not had any problems with unexpected air loss.
Maybe you should bite the bullet and replace 2 tyres with a different make if it happens again. Keeping the good tyre as a replacement if it happens again to one of the remaining original ones. Mike. UK.
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