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BMW 3-Series Tires and Wheels

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  • Yes, they are the Goodyears, and the dealer quoted well north of $1K to replace them, though even they mentioned I could get cheaper ones. Every tire on it now is a 205/50 R17, so I think I'm good there. Thanks.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "You've got room for a spare, buy another wheel, and ditch those runflats..."

    I whole-heartedly agree. Lose those RFTs, the savings will more than pay for a full-sized spare.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • sky11sky11 Posts: 7
    Got a 2005 330cic with the zhp package, Michelins for tires and they are run flats. Can I simply replace the tires with the appropriate sized GFT's? Not familar with how the TPMS works but is it even an issue if the tires are replaced? Would it be better to go with 17s' since I am not a track guy and do mostly highway with some twisties just to keep the smile in place?
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    No issues. You can replace them with go-flats.

    Not sure what you mean by "go with 17s." If you mean your car currently has 18" wheels and you're thinking about moving down to 17's, then the answer is yes, it will probably smooth out the ride without a noticeable decrease in handling. Of course, it will cost a lot more money to replace both the wheels and tires.

    FWIW, I think that after driving on 18" RFTs for this long, going with an 18" Grand Touring GFT tire will improve the ride considerably - probably enough that you won't need to go with 17s.
  • sky11sky11 Posts: 7
    Thanks for the reply - just thinking about the difference in height of the sidewalls between the rft and gft - non issue?
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    The fact that the tire is GFT or RFT doesn't matter. RFT's simply have a stiffer sidewall in order to support the weight of the vehicle in the event of a loss of pressure.

    If the RFT and GFT are the same size, eg. 225/40R-18, then they are the same size (sidewalls included).
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,105
    I agree... stick with 18"... But, go with regular tires...

    If your car doesn't have a spacesaver spare, I'd buy one, though... It should fit in any E46 model trunk.

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • Well, I think I am going to go with the Michelin X-Ice. I was going to go with Tire Rack but Town Fair Tire quoted me a total package for $949, which is a bit lower than Tire Rack, plus I get a free alignment, lifetime snow change over, and lifetime flat repair and lifetime tire rotations. Sounds good to me. Am I missing anything? Thanks for your replies.
  • I eventually went with a Toyo. Talked to some people and said they were the best for the money and Michelin was ok, but you paid for the money. Lets hope they are right. Same price, but seem to be a little more what I was looking for.
  • I have a 2007 328i without sport pkg. The manual allows 205/55/16 or 225/50/16 or 225/45/17. Given the same tire, say a Yokohama Advan S4, what are the specific advantages and disadvantages of each size. I asked at the dearlership where it was apparent that no one knew. BMWUSA did not respond to my email query.

    I understand that all 3 sizes have the same diameter. What is gained and lost by changing the section width between 205 or 225? What compromises were BMW engineers trying to achieve in choosing the 205/55/16 as original equipment rather than either of the other sizes?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Tire Size ----- Calc OD --- S.4. OD -- Comments
    205/55 R16 --- 24.88" ----- 25.00" ---- Softest ride, worst grip, slow steering response
    225/50 R16 --- 24.86" ----- 25.00" ---- Soft ride, better grip, slow steering response
    225/45 R17 --- 24.97" ----- 25.00" ---- Stiffer ride, better grip, faster steering response

    Hope that helps.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,571
    What compromises were BMW engineers trying to achieve in choosing the 205/55/16 as original equipment rather than either of the other sizes?

    BMW was probably trying to pick up a few tenths of a mile per gallon for CAFE purposes. My Club Sport came fitted with 225/50-16 tires but I switched to the 205/55-16 size after track experience showed that the 205/55 tires were actually faster. Note however, that my car is relatively light and doesn't possess bags of horsepower and torque. That said, if your 3 series sees only street use there is little to be gained by going to a plus-zero or plus-one tire.

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

  • roadburner,

    Interesting that you switched from 225 down to 205, skinnier, for track use. I would have thought the opposite. I don't track my car, and won't. Can you notice a difference in high speed highway cruising; steering feel, or a more stable and planted feeling on the road? Were these two sizes in the same tire model?

    I question the importance of grip, never having noticed lack of grip even in relatively aggressive driving.
  • Shipo,
    Both the 205/55/16 and the 225/50/16 have about the same sidewall height, so I don't see why there should be a difference in the softness of the ride.

    When you say grip, do you mean at the limit? In ordinary, even spirited, driving I don't exceed the grip of the std 205/55/16 currently on my car. So grip may not be significant to me.

    What most interests me is stability, a certain 'planted' feeling and steering precision at fast cruising, along with no wandering or skittering on poorer surfaces. I am not sure what fast or slow steering response means. Does it apply only to track events?

    Jerry
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    True both 16" tires have a virtually identical side wall, however, due to the wider section width, any impact or road irregularity will have just that much more bite, and will result in a nominally rougher ride, a ride that I prefer by the way because it tells me more about what is going on down on the road.

    When I discuss grip, yes, that is grip at the limit.

    Regarding steering feel, as a general statement, the wider the tire, the heavier the steering will feel, unfortunately, wider tires also contribute to a vague on-center feeling. Personally I'll trade the heavier steering feel for the on-center feeling.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,571
    I don't track my car, and won't. Can you notice a difference in high speed highway cruising; steering feel, or a more stable and planted feeling on the road?

    The only thing I noticed was that the steering felt a bit lighter, but that may have been a placebo effect.

    Were these two sizes in the same tire model?

    Yes.

    I question the importance of grip, never having noticed lack of grip even in relatively aggressive driving.

    It all depends on the car as well as how hard you are going to push it. In my case, the 205/55 tires have more than ample grip on the street as well as on the track. From the way you describe your driving habits, I'd suggest sticking with the 205/55-16 tires.

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

  • I'm close on an 08 335i sedan with sport package. New to BMW. I've searched and found a gazillion opinions on winter tire strategies, many conflicting. I'd appreciate an "ideal" strategy and equipment for this car from one of the experts. If I pull the trigger on this one I'd like to get it set up with winter tires upon delivery. Wide open to suggestions: Ideal size, brand, run flats or not, optional equip./spare, etc. I'd prefer to keep it simple.

    Occasional spirited driving. Located in Wisconsin, snowing as I write.
    If too complicated, I'm actually considering the 335xi although I haven't driven one yet. One tire size. What a concept.

    Although I'm told I'll appreciate the summer set-up come April, May.....

    Any help very much appreciated.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I'd go to TireRack and buy one of their default packages for your car. You pretty much cannot go wrong with this plan of attack. ;)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,571
    Have you checked out Tire Rack? If I were you I'd buy a set of dedicated winter wheels and tires- and I would perform the swap myself in late fall and early spring. I like this package.

    I'm actually considering the 335xi although I haven't driven one yet. One tire size.

    The 335xi Sport package is essentially cosmetic, and a 335i with the proper tires will get around just fine in the white stuff.

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

  • Thanks, guys. Roadburner, I didn't see a recommended package when using your "this package" link, unless you were just indicating accessories, or unless I did something wrong (which is entirely possible). 17" 225/45's ok? I know narrower is better for snow, but looking for a reasonable compromise. Run flats or not? I'm thinking 5 wheels and tires, non run-flat based on discussions. I can assume I don't need to buy the monitors then? Again, appreciated.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,380
    Continental has Winter Performance RFT's if you prefer.

    Regards,
    OW
  • I'm really happy with my new 335i convertible (my first BMW and first RWD car in a long time) but lots of room for improvement when driving on snow and ice. Does anyone have any ideas about improving winter driving performance? Will snow tires help? Or something heavy in the trunk? I have 18 inch low profile run flat tires...major fishtailing and trouble climbing inclines and hills. Thanks for any advice.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,571
    I have 18 inch low profile run flat tires...major fishtailing and trouble climbing inclines and hills. Thanks for any advice.

    Easy fix- dedicated winter tires and wheels. Check out Tire Rack. As I mentioned earlier, swap them over in late fall and early spring. It takes me all of 30-45 minutes.

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

  • Thanks...sounds easy...just the drive wheels right? or do you use winter tires on all 4? Thanks.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,571
    ...just the drive wheels right? or do you use winter tires on all 4?

    You MUST fit the winter tires to all four corners! Othewrwise the car will exhibit dangerous handling characteristics. I like the Michelin and Pirelli performance winter tires, and either would be a good choice for your car.

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

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,571
    I'm thinking 5 wheels and tires, non run-flat based on discussions. I can assume I don't need to buy the monitors then?

    That's what I would do. However, I don't know if you can turn off the tire pressure light in the cluster. And the one of 17" packages would be best, in my opinion.

    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
    "17" 225/45's ok? I know narrower is better for snow, but looking for a reasonable compromise."

    I was running 225/45's on all corners of my 330Ci for the 1st three winters of it's life. The snow traction wasn't terrible, but I thought I'd give narrower a try when I bought my second set. I put 205/50s on all corners. They are indeed noticably better in the snow but much worse when the roads are dry. Considering the amount of snow we get around here (S.E. PA), I'm pretty sure I'll be going back to 225s when I wear this set out.

    FWIW, the 225's were Dunlop WinterSport M2s and the 205s are WinterSport M3s.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I made the same choice when I bought my winter tire set for my 530i. The 225s were more than enough of a match to get me through all of the snow we get around here, and still had enough grip when the roads got dry. ;-)

    Best Regards
    Shipo
  • I'm debating weather to sport package or not on a new 335I Sedan.

    I'm apprehensive of the 19" tires. I don't use the car on the track. I'm concerned about damaging the rims or the underside of the car on gravel washboard camp roads and potholes on North Eastern US roads. Also, I'm leaning toward ride quality but don't want to sacrifice much steering feel. I have a E36 325I which I have heard steering feel is hard to beat (it is truly wonderful) so I expect a new car to equally amazing.
    I
    'm also concerned that the front and back are a different size. For an all around switch, can you switch to 225/45 17" (std 335I) on the rear of a sport package car that's equiped with the 255/35 18's or does some modifcation have to be made to the rear end?
    I
    f I were to get a sport package car, could I put a spare in the trunk of the 225/40 18" size (SP front) that could be used front or rear in an emergency. Obviously, I would want to have to have two spare tires, one front and one rear.

    Are the summer tires safe in the rain. There's plenty of around here.

    I have heard great things about the sport package seats. But not much about the suspension calibration difference.

    Do most buyers of this car expect the sport package?

    Any assistence with the decision and or possible modifications would be greatly appreciated. Regards
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "I'm apprehensive of the 19" tires. I don't use the car on the track. I'm concerned about damaging the rims or the underside of the car on gravel washboard camp roads and potholes on North Eastern US roads."

    Uhhh, what did I miss? Last time I checked, the 335i SP came with 18" wheels.

    "I'm also concerned that the front and back are a different size. For an all around switch, can you switch to 225/45 17" (std 335I) on the rear of a sport package car that's equiped with the 255/35 18's or does some modifcation have to be made to the rear end?"

    Yes, 17" wheels can be fitted to a 335i SP with no changes to anything.

    "Are the summer tires safe in the rain. There's plenty of around here. "

    Yes, summer tires do just fine in the rain.

    "I have heard great things about the sport package seats. But not much about the suspension calibration difference."

    BMW has a reputation for building sport suspensions that while improving the handling of the car, doesn't make the ride bone-jarringly harsh.

    "Do most buyers of this car expect the sport package?"

    You mean, "Do they opt for the SP?" If that's what you're asking, my gut guess (with no numbers to back it up) is "no".

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
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