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BMW 3-Series Tires and Wheels



  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, well, in the real world, the winter tire shod RWD E-Class stopped some 40' shorter from 50 mph (something like 190' vs. 230', IIRC) than the AWD E-Class with the standard all-season tires. If that extra stopping power is irrelevant in day-to-day driving, well, then I must be missing something.

    Regarding hill climbing, hmmm, well, I live in southern New Hampshire and have a driveway with a 9% grade to deal with along with many local roads that are even steeper. My winter tire equipped RWD 530i never once had a problem climbing anything less than a 20% grade (the driveways across the street from us are steep, real steep, so steep in fact that my neighbor's winter tire shod Audi A6 Quattro is often seen kind of sideways half way up), and even then only in the worst conditions.

    Best regards,
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Here are a couple of data points based on personnel experience.

    1. The first car I owned was a ’69 Camaro Z-28 muscle car (RWD). I would put snow tires (on the rear only) every winter season. With snows on the rear, the car would do very well in snow of 3-6 inches. I remember driving the roads around the local reservoir one evening around Christmas when it was snowing to beat the band. Never had an issue with hills or losing the back end on a turn. So long as you were mindful of the throttle, the car was really fairly well behaved.

    2. I also owned an 82 Mazda 626, RWD. In Feb of 1983, my wife and I went away for our anniversary. We drove down to the Homestead Inn in Hot Springs Va on a Friday. That was the day of the blizzard of ’83. The Front Royal area of Virginia, in which we stopped for breakfast, received around 21” of snow. Again, we did not have any real problems, though we were only moving along at 30 or 40 mph most of the way. The 18 wheelers on I-81 were helpful in that they were kind-of packing down and plowing the road for us, so we really didn’t have to drive though 21” of snow, but it was still a lot. The Mazda was equipped with whatever came from the factory – some kind of all season tire. I think having the luggage in the trunk weighed the rear end sown and helped with traction.

    3. Our 2002 Subaru Outback (AWD) came equipped with Bridgestone RE-90s(?), which I replaced with Goodyear Triple Treads at the 65,000 mile mark. This was the car we regularly took up to our place in the mountains. Again, never had any issues at all in with up to 8” of snow on the road (yeah – I would look for unplowed roads to try). ‘Course, neither of these tires could be considered performance tires – just good or very good all-season radials.

    4. The car I drive regularly now is an ’87 BMW ‘325 – RWD obviously, with Yokohama Avis H4’s all round. This car really s***s pretty bad with even a little bit of snow on the ground. I added some weight in the trunk to try and help things, but it’s still pretty dicey. I think it’s the tires.
  • idoc2idoc2 Posts: 78
    Like I said I drive cautiously in wintery conditions so the stopping distances don't seem to be an issue and are not as important to me as the ability to get up a hill.

    I'm always amazed at how two people can have strikingly different experiences and priorities given essentially similar circumstances. :)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Agreed. :)

    FWIW, back when I had the 530i, one very snowy day I was tooling conservatively down our hilly and winding main(ish) road when a driver was unable to brake while descending his steep driveway and slid right out in front of me. Due to the height of the snow banks on either side of his driveway I didn't see him coming until he hit the street. I barely stopped in time with the snows, and am absolutely convinced that had I had all-season tires on the car, I would have T-Boned him right in the driver's side door.

    Best regards,
  • I just want to use this forum to let people in the Northeast know that AWD is not a requirement for driving in snow areas. It should be a conscience decision, and consumers shouldn't be pushed toward AWD at extra cost by dealers or because most people are buying them. When I was shopping around in upstate NY, there were many more iX now xDrive cars on the lots. A RWD car with snow tires and better driving skill in snow are options for most people. I see a lot of problems due to low driving skill, people just spinning their tires with any of the drive wheel arrangement. AWD cars have given some poor drivers a false since of security in wintry driving conditions, kind of like they are invincible ... drive through a couple feet of snow (they don't know their cars are not plows) and that AWD cars stop quicker on ice or don't spin out. I see as many of them perched on snow banks or down in the ditch as any drive wheel arrangement. Bottom line, they are a choice, not a requirement for most people in snow areas and they are not invincible and no substitute for winter driving skill and good sense.
  • asi12asi12 Posts: 46
    Those of you who put snow tires on your cars, do you keep separate set of wheels with tires mounted on them or just replace tires on the wheels? Do you have rebalance/realign wheels of your car afterwords.

    I have heard that in some cars there have tire pressure sensors so it has to done by dealer otherwise it keep giving your bad signal. It is not there is something wrong with the car just that's how computer is programmed.

    I guess one can go to Walmart to replace your tires and they only charge few dollars per tire, like $9/10 per tire.

    Once your RFT are gone, did you put back RFT or regular tires? I have not heard any thing good about RFT but more and more auto maker are bringing cars with them. My concern is if you are out in wood or some remote area, you RFT might be good to get you some where but then how do you know if a repair shop there can handle repairing RFT.
  • I have my Toyo winter tires on a separate set of wheels. I went to Town Fair tire and I get free change over for the life of the tire. It is much better to have a second set of wheels. I believe I read on here that constantly changing tires on one wheel set can damage the tire. It is also much easier. I would do it myself if Town Fair wasn't so close to me and it was free. I have only needed one alignment since and I have changed over 4 times to date. Also, my car is great in the snow. No real need for AWD, IMO. I live in NH and we have gotten hammered this year with snow.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,304
    Those of you who put snow tires on your cars, do you keep separate set of wheels with tires mounted on them or just replace tires on the wheels? Do you have rebalance/realign wheels of your car afterwords.

    I have a dedicated set of winter tires and wheels, and I simply swap them over in my driveway. It only takes me about 45 minutes. You don't need to re-balance or re-align them.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    Like the other responders, I have dedicated wheels. If you were going to switch tires on your existing wheels, you would need a rebalance, but shouldn't need to have an alignment done.

    Personally, I don't trust mechanics (especially Walmart's) enough to let them handle my wheels twice a year. But even if I did, figure at ~$50 per switch, or $100 annually, it wouldn't take too long to pay for a set of reasonably-priced wheels.

    Another advantage of getting wheels is you can down size... either with a -1 setup (going down one inch in wheel size) if you can or, like I did, going with a narrower wheel and narrower tires. I go from 245 R and 225 F down to 205s on all four corners.
  • birdrulesbirdrules Posts: 8
    I am looking to replace all four OEM Continental tires (205/55/16) on my '05 325i with about 52k miles. I drive mostly city with some highway driving in the DC area. I would be interested to hear driving experiences with specific brands and recommendations for tire types (Goodyear Assurance, others?). Thanks in advance!!!
  • jicbulkjicbulk Posts: 20
    Looking for a UHP All-Season Tire (Live in NH but the car won't ever see will see cold temps, though) for my '07 328i. 205/55R16 and I'm looking at either the Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position or Cooper Zeon Sport A/S.

    Comments, please! Thanks.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Both good tires, that said, I opted for Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus tires over those two for my car (that I drive year-round here in New Hampshire), and in spite of the fairly heavy winter we went through last season, and in spite of my (then) eighty mile per day commute, they performed flawlessly.

    Now that it's summer time I find that I can really lean on them and their upper limits are significantly high enough that I'd have to be seriously extra-legal to get them to even complain much less break loose.

    As a side benefit, the Michelin's have a tread life rating that is 25% higher than either the Bridgestone or the Cooper. I now have about 18,000 miles on the Michelins, and based upon their wear to date, I'm thinking I'll get at least 45,000 to 50,000 miles out of them. :)

    Best regards,
  • dash5dash5 Posts: 417
    Conflicted again! I had been assuming I should just get AWD for North East winters in NJ. I had read about snow tires and I am convinced they will make a difference on RWD cars like the BMW 328 I am interested in buying.

    What I am not convinced on yet:

    - How big a difference? I owned a 2004 G35 coupe, auto, RWD and stock tires and it was horrible in the snow. I'm guessing that's the worst possible combination outside performance tires though, coupe, auto, RWD, all seasons?

    - What about in the rain? I dont recall the G35 being that great in the rain either. I did not feel particularly safe at highway speeds. Thoughts on a BMW 328i in the rain in the run flats?

    - How tough is it to change the tires? I'm not a wrencher. I'm not a car guy particularly. I'm also not dumb and I can learn something as basic as changing tires, it's just a matter of do I want to bother doing that. Is it just a matter of swapping the 2 back tires as if you were changing a flat? May be a dumb question but if you've never done it these questions pop up. I mean... tires are an important safety feature on cars I'm told ;)

    - How does Manual Transmission factor in? I drove a stick for years, maybe it's time to go back to that.

    Thanks for any help.
  • jicbulkjicbulk Posts: 20
    Snow Tires make a HUGE difference. With low-profile summer-like tires, the car will literally be undriveable in the snow. With snow tires you will swear the car was AWD. It is that noticable. Remember, AWD only helps you start up from a stop, it can't help you stop any faster. Snow tires will.

    I have a 328i RWD with RFTs that are practically bald in the rear and they do not slip, even in a raging downpour. The car is glued to the road. No worries.

    Changing a tire is a matter of lifting the car with a jack and getting off the lug nuts. Not a big deal. Most tire shops these days will give you free tire rotation as long as you buy the tires there. So switching from a summer tire to a winter tire is as easy as that...provided you have another set of wheels. If you want to use the same wheel and switch tires, then it will be quite a hassle, since you'll have to go to a shop (and where to you put the four other tires? They won't all fit in the trunk...

    If you are buying a BMW, then trust me, you want the Stick...
  • ventureventure Central PAPosts: 446
    Is it just a matter of swapping the 2 back tires as if you were changing a flat?

    If you are going to use winter tires, get four of them, not just two for the rear. You would like to go around a corner in the snow too wouldn't you, or stop in a decent distance?

    Get 4 wheels mounted with winter tires and change them out each spring and fall. You won't regret it.

    2014 Fusion, 2013 Impreza, 2011 Forester

  • qaliqali Toronto CanadaPosts: 58
    I have been reading posts in this board about replacing all-seasons with winter tires of a different size. My 2007 335i has 225/45R17 91 H tires. If I were to put on new rims and winter tires, what would you recommend that I drop down to? Can I put 16" tires and rims?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,692
    You can't go smaller than 17" on a 335i...The wheels wouldn't clear the brakes..

    You could possibly do 205/50-17 (which is an equivalent diameter), to get a narrower tread.. . but, you can't go down to 16".

    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • OK. The other day, I removed a 2 inch screw from the side of the tire and the air started to deflate. I took the car to the car immediately to nearby costco about two miles away. I took to costco because I put new tires about 20 months back from the same costco and know that they fix flats for the lifetime of the tire.

    Costco said as the nail was on the side wall, it's unrepairable and with the road hazard warranty replaced the tire. They said that the tires had only 63% tread left which was surprising for a 20 month old tire. I had to shell out about $50 for the new tire. They are Michelin Pilot Exalto's.

    Now after changing the rear right tire, I see a shake in my steering wheel at low speeds. This is occasional and doesn't come every time. I know the other three were worn similar to what Costco said: 37% of the tread gone.

    I am not sure if I have to do a wheel balance or alignment. Does alignment fix this steering shakiness? I will take it to a dealer for the alignment typically.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks for your help.
  • Hi dear all,

    I will move to Indianapolis from LA this Dec. I might drive my 2004 325Ci to there. Because this is a RWD, I am thinking to replace winter tires. I hereby have some questions (sorry I never used winter tires/wheels, so I have too many questions):

    1. Can I just buy 4 winter tires? or is it better to buy new winter tires/rims combo because it will be more convenient to replace?

    2. I found winter tire/wheel options on Are their products and service reliable?

    3. How well do you think these options would fit my 2004 325CI? My current summer tires/rims are 225/45/17 91H

    225/45R17 Bridgestone Blizzak WS60 Blackwall $137 each S60&partnum=245R7BZWS60&i1_Qty=4&autoMake=BMW&autoModel=325Ci%20Coupe&autoYear=2- 004&autoModClar=&vehicleSearch=true

    17x7.5 Sport Edition A7 Silver Painted $115 each e=BMW&autoModel=325Ci+Coupe&autoYear=2004&autoModClar=&initialPartNumber=JH372P1- S&i1_Qty=4&wheelMake=Sport+Edition&wheelModel=A7&wheelFinish=Silver+Painted&show- Rear=no

    4. What is the feature of a *winter wheel*? What is its difference compared to my current OEM wheels? Can I use the selected Sport Edition A7 for my summer tires in future?

    Thanks a lot guys...
  • qaliqali Toronto CanadaPosts: 58
    I live in Toronto so let me take a stab at your questions:
    1. You can get 4 tires and install them on your current rims, however, if you plan on keeping your car and being in Indianapolis for some time, it is recommended you get 4 rims.
    2. Cannot comment as I have never purchased via Tirerack but some of my friends who have give it a thumbs up experience.
    3. The Blizzak WS-60 is an excellent tire and you can read the reviews on Tirerack. I am going to finalize my decision between the Blizzaks and the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D this week. Just make sure that you get the correct tire size. Have a look at this URL that compare tire categories. 225%2F&ratio=45&diameter=17&tireSearch=true&autoMake=BMW&autoYear=2004&autoModel- =325Ci%20Coupe&autoModClar=

    4. There is no special feature of a winter wheel. It is meant as a replacement to be used in the winter where salt/sand mixtures could damage your OEM wheels which may be more expensive to replace.
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