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BMW 3-Series Tires and Wheels



  • Hi man thanks for your nice reply.

    1. Yes plan to keep my 2004 325CI for a while. So probably I will purchase 4 winter tires/rims and install them. Then I can drive to Indianapolis this winter. However, I am thinking do I have to buy 5? cuz I need one as a spare tire/rim.

    2. Now I lean to Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D a little bit... I read comments and they said Blizzaks is no as good as Dunlop, and its thread wears out very quickly compared to Dunlop.

    3. I am looking between "studless" and "performance snow". First, I am not sure what "studless" means. Is it a kind of more conservative and safe tires in snow? I will commute one-way 40 miles in Indiana. It is known that the high-way I65 in IN has icy-surface in winter. Not a lot snow because the snow will be plowed as long as it falls to the ground. In my case, I am not sure if I should pick '"snow performance" or a more conservative snow tire. My wife is using a Honda accord 2008. I think I will get her some more conservative snow tires, because she does not care performance. For me, I am still thinking what I should use...

    4. As you said there is no special features on a winter wheel. However, I see many different sizes 17x7, 17x7.5, 17x8. Here the second number is the width of the wheel? If yes, how can they all fit the same tire (say, 225/45/R17), whose width is the same (225 mm). How should I pick the width of the rim?

    5. Do I have to do downsizing? Is a 16" snow tire much better than a 17" one?? Tirerack recommends me to use 205/55/R16 for my winter tires. They also cost less ($300-400 less) than a package of 17 inch tires. My OEM tires are sport series and are 225/45/R17. I am thinking to use 17" snow tires for two reasons: 1) my OEM 17" wheels are old. If they broken someday I can use the new 17" wheels. 2) I will drive to IN from LA this winter with snow tires, which is a long trip. If any of my new snow tires gets broken, maybe I can use my OEM tires as a temporary one?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,643
    1) I wouldn't buy five tires/rims... you still have a spare, don't you?

    2) Indy is relatively flat... I'd go for the more performance-oriented snow tire, as you'll be on dry roads 90% of the time (that would be the dunlops).

    3) I don't think Indiana allows studded tires, any more... Either way, all the tires you are shopping are studless.. (which is what you want). Q-rated tires are basic snow tires... performance-snow tires are usually H- or V-rated.. which is how I would go... for where you live.

    4) 205/50-17 with 7" or 7.5" wheels..
    225/45-17 with 7.5" or 8" wheels..
    205/55-16 with 7" or 7.5" wheels (16")

    5) 16" wheels will give you a little more sidewall cushion, in case of winter potholes, but otherwise not any advantage vs. 205/50-17, other than less money... 17" wheels will look better, considering you'll have them on for 4-5 months... I always stuck with 17", if that's what my car comes with..

    The 16" and 17" wheel tire/combo is the same overall diameter.. You can use your same spare, or mix one temporarily in an emergency..

    I like OEM wheels... If you look on the BMW enthusiasts forums/classifieds, you can usually find a set for sale, that won't be any more than buying aftermarket wheels..

    A lot of these recommended choices are because of where you live.. Relatively flat, and not a lot of snowfall (I live in a similar area, but with hills). If you lived in Minnesota, I might lean towards winter tires with maximum snow performance..

    visting host

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  • Dear kyfdx:

    Thanks a lot for your reply, which is really helpful.

    I did not know the spare in my trunk can be used for 16", 17" and 18" tires,,, it is amazing.

    the overall diameter of a 225/45/R17 tire is 17*2.54 + 2*4.5 = 52.18 (cm). The overall diameter for a 205/55/R16 is 16*2.54 + 2*5.5 = 51.64 (cm). So this is not a big difference? And we can mix these two 16- and 17-inch tires?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,643
    1/2 centimeter = 1/5 of an inch... Actually, the calculator I use, shows the difference to be only half that much..

    You can mix the spare in.... for short distances... I didn't mean to imply that you could mix and match indiscriminately... But, 16" or 17", they both have the same overall diameter (well... very close, as I noted).

    No one that I know of.. buys a winter tire/wheel for a spare... They just make do with their normal spare.


    Those are all pretty much equivalent sizes for an E46 3-series (which is what you have).

    One caveat for 330i owners.. you can't downsize to 16" wheels, as they won't clear the bigger brakes on the 330i.


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  • I agree with everything kyfdx has said on the topic except for one thing... there are 16" wheels that fit some(all?) 330's. A few years back sold a 16" wheel made by AT, I believe, that looked like the E36 M3 Contour wheels and they currently have 16" Sport Edition A7 wheels that will fit. There's something with the way they are dished out that allows them to clear the brakes.

    That said, I would probably stick to 17" anyway since I don't know what, if any, negative effect the smaller wheel could have on brake cooling.
  • ngmhngmh Posts: 1

    I am in Toronto and I have a 2009 328i xdrive coupe with sport package, and need a set of winter wheels / tires,

    1. should I go for 225/45R17. Any wheels and tires suggestion which can keep the look of the coupe look great.

    2. Should I go for normal tire or run flat tires

    3. Should I get the Tire Pressure Monitor on the wheels (some tire store say not necessay). Will the warning light keep on all winter as long as the winter pacjage is on the car.

    4. Any good tire store in Toronto can do good job?

    Thanks everyone for the input.
  • qaliqali Toronto CanadaPosts: 58
    Thanks kyfdx. I am putting on 205/50-17 non-RFT winter tires on new BMW rims. Do I need to do anything in terms of changing the settings in the car because I am not going to be using RFT tires?
  • qaliqali Toronto CanadaPosts: 58
    I live in Toronto as well and drive a 335i. The standard tire size on my car is also 225/45/17. Answers to your questions:
    1. You can go for the same low profile tire however, you could also put in 205/50-17 and save some $$.
    2. Up to you. I am going for normal wires tires as RFTs can begin to get quite expensive.
    3. Sorry, I am not sure how to answer that.
    4. Try Tires 23 at
  • nepropneprop Posts: 41
    I am looking at buying a used Audi A4 AWD Cabriolet (convertible) or a used BMW 3 series convertible. Both are great cars, but I live in New England where the winters can be quite snowy. Having driven Subaru's with AWD and all season tires, this is acceptable. So my question is can a rear wheel drive BMW with true, good WINTER tires actually handle a normal New England winter or not.

    Interested in real world feedback. If the answers are mostly "no", then I'll keep looking for the right Audi A4 with AWD and go that route. Thanks for your help.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Yes. IMO, good winter tires are all you need.

    Of course, the driver needs to know what they're doing also :shades: ,
  • qaliqali Toronto CanadaPosts: 58
    Ok, so I put on a set of 205/50-17 winter tires. Any tips on what the tire pressure should be? The owner's manual and the door label only lists the pressure for stock tires, ie, 225/45-17.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,643
    205-50-17 should have the same pressures.... same sidewall height as the 225/45-17...

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  • I live in Wisconsin...and need to get into work even with bad weather. I have a new 335xi coupe which I love; came with Continental RFT as "all season". My question is has anyone put snows on a 335xi coupe and been happy or unhappy. I've never put snows on an awd car; but from doing some reading it seems like it might be a good idea and will take a good 7-10K miles/year off my other tires. Just wondering if others have been happy with that "investment"...thanks Dave
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    I can't speak for the 335xi, but when we had our 2002 Subaru Outback wagon, we did just fine with a good set of all season radials (not performance summer tires) in up to 6-8" of snowfall.
  • I've never owned an AWD sedan until i bought my '09 328ix recently. We have(had) 2 Acura MDX's w/ AWD and only used the all seasons that came with it,, granted those all seasons seem a little "chunkier" than the Conti's on my 3. The 335ix comes w/ the 17" rims no? They may be a little worse in the snow than my 16". I'll let you know how my all seasons performed in the spring!
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I own a sport package 335i e90. A friend has unknown 17' rims with snow tires from his e46. The tires are 225/50/R17.

    Is this likely to fit on my 335i? I would like to not be driving a giant ice skate this winter. ;)
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,643
    If they fit his E46, they probably won't fit your E90..

    Correct size is 205/50-17 or 225/45-17.. His tires are too tall (if that size is correct).

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  • raja6raja6 Posts: 7
    I was offered wheel and tire protection for my 328xi for 1995 and came down to 1700 within 10 seconds and I was informed that i have to take a decision then and there only. Due to cheap tricks played by the dealor, i might be getting my vehicle next week.

    My questions here are
    # What will be the reasonable price buyers are paying for 16" wheels.
    # Can i take this after i took the delivery of my vehicle .if yes , is there any time limits to take this?

    Thanks for any advice in this regard .
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    That seems outrageously expensive to me.

    I paid $599 for the wheel/tire protection plan on my 2009 G37S. Good for 5 years.
  • raja6raja6 Posts: 7
    Can anyone suggest me any Dealers in NJ to get 16" wheel and Tire Protection package for 5 years with reasonable rate.
    I am taking my vehicle from my dealer today and my dealer is not interested to reduce earlier mentioned amount.
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