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BMW 3-Series Tires and Wheels

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Comments

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,574
    Was wondering if they were trying to avoid doing work that is covered by my extended maintenance plan. Can NOT find minimum rotor specs any where!

    I wouldn't sweat it- especially if you aren't going to track the car. In my experience most 3 and 5 Series BMWs will only need new rotors every other pad change. That's been the case since the first E3s back in the '60s. The M cars and SUVs are another matter.

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

  • gogonowgogonow Posts: 5
    Good point roadburner! Driving on the winding and hilly roads here is fun but no track time for this car. THANKS!
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,574
    No problem, just glad to help. Enjoy your 3er!

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

  • rmossrmoss Posts: 23
    I had the same issue yesterday with my rear brakes. Min spec is 18.4 mm, mine were at 19.3 mm. Dealer did not replace them.
  • I bought a 335 coupe with the 19" tires and sport package. I know people have a lot of issues with the 18' wheels, but the 19"s seem to have different ratings from Tire Rack. The only RFT replacement for them are Pirellis (which cost more and are consumer rated lower)). So I am wondering if the 19" Bridgestones wear as quickly as the 18"s and if anyone can recommend better rubber for me down the road?

    Thanks
  • gogonowgogonow Posts: 5
    not sure if GENERAL makes a tire for you but...the ones we put on our 330ci (sports package)...ARE AWESOME! great cornering, etc....just bought some GENREALSfor our Mercedes 430.....replaced OEM Michelins on both.....Great price and terrific feel and low noise....for a convertible!.....good luck
  • I was talking to a ex BMW service rep and he told me that you had to replace your wheels in order to move to tires other than run flats. Is that true? I've heard troubling stories about RFTs (I have an 07 328i with 15k miles on it) and I'm thinking the RFTs may be a real liability... especially if I have to replace the wheels!!! :cry:
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    No, it isn't even remotely true that you need to replace the wheels. If you feel like putting the poor ignorant soul on the spot, ask him or her to put it into writing, and then when he/she does, inform them that you're sending it to BMW. :)

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • Thanks Shipo - didn't make sense to me... is there a good all-round replacement? I live in Texas and really don't drive my vundercar hard at all but do want a tire that will do it justice and get more miles than 20k... thanks for you quick response!
    :D
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Geez, lots of options there. I'd personally go with either a Michelin or a Yokohama performance all-season tire. That said, there are lots and lots of folks who would chose Pirelli, Sumotomo, Toyo, Falken, Goodyear, General...

    Go to TireRack.com and look up your car and then play with the filters to see a significant number of tires that will fit. ;-)

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • idoc2idoc2 Posts: 78
    Wow was I shocked. My 2007 328xi with all-weather RFTs was in the shop to replace faulty O2 sensors and the dealer lent me an 2007 328xi coupe with sport package and high performance tires. I live in New England and my car usually does very well in the snow. The ride home in the loaner coupe on dry pavement was terrific but overnight we received 3 inches of snow. The ride to work that morning was scary. The tires which had plenty of tread were terrible in the snow. Needless to say stopping distances were awful and despite the AWD the car floated from side to side going down poorly plowed roads at a cautious 25 to 30MPH. Even a small hill was a challenge. I was amazed that even with AWD just how bad performance tires really are in snow.

    IDOC
  • Yeah,

    I drove through the snow this morning on Mass Pike too. My 2006 330xi which I bought last month has replacement tires. The drive was NOT fun. All wheel drive, my as*.

    I had more comfort riding in snow on my 97 Honda Prelude with year old performance tires from Tire rack. And Prelude is a front wheel drive, not all wheel.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    It has been said here many times that AWD, while offering good acceleration in slippery conditions, is no substitute for equipping a car with proper tires. While I might agree that an AWD equipped BMW with all-season rubber will make a passable winter time driver, short of living up in the mountains, I would MUCH prefer to drive a properly shod (i.e. with winter tires) RWD BMW during the winter months. That said, if I did in fact live up in them-thar-hills, I'd probably opt for AWD and winter rubber.

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • idoc2idoc2 Posts: 78
    "While I might agree that an AWD equipped BMW with all-season rubber will make a passable winter time driver..."

    I live in a hilly part of CT where we get plenty of snowy/icy days. I also frequent the Green Mountains of VT to ski; Stratton and Okemo this weekend :). My 328xi with all-season Conti RFTs (now with 38K miles) is more than "passable" under winter conditions, its very good. It is far better than was my FWD Maxima with 4 snow tires. I'm sure that my 328xi with snow tires x 4 would be best of all but the down sides of expense, inconvenience of switching twice per year and a noisy rough ride make them undesirable. Based on my actual recent experience where I do agree with you is that performance tires, even on AWD, are awful!

    IDOC
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "My 328xi with all-season Conti RFTs (now with 38K miles) is more than "passable" under winter conditions, its very good. It is far better than was my FWD Maxima with 4 snow tires."

    While that may well be, I'd bet that a 328i with four winter tires would perform as well as or better than your all-season shod 328xi when in the white stuff in every driving metric except acceleration.

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • idoc2idoc2 Posts: 78
    Why? Have you actually driven both or is this theoretical? As I said my FWD Maxima with snows x 4 was definitely not as good as my 328xi with all-season rubber especially when it comes to traction. To be specific there are several hills with stop lights at which in wintery conditions my Maxima would really struggle and the 328xi has absolutely no problem. So why would a RWD BMW with snows do better?? Frankly, I doubt it would. But I suppose this example of better traction equates to better acceleration. Additionally, you alluded to lateral acceleration when you said "every driving metric except acceleration" but honestly here I detect no advantage either way. Perhaps this in a small sense is apples to oranges but the Maxima with snows and the AWD BMW with all-seasons seem to handle twisties (and stopping) about the same. Admittedly, I try not to test the limits to avoid as Lynyrd Skynyrd said :"...oak tree your in my way." ;)
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,574
    While that may well be, I'd bet that a 328i with four winter tires would perform as well as or better than your all-season shod 328xi when in the white stuff in every driving metric except acceleration.


    Agreed!

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

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Why? Have you actually driven both or is this theoretical?"

    Those two particular cars? No.

    That said, back when I worked for MB-USA, I was afforded the opportunity to drive an All-Season shod AWD and Winter tire equipped RWD version of the E-Class in a controlled environment (i.e on a track) in wintery conditions. Apart from the theoretical logic of the RWD performing better in turns and in braking due to it weighing less, having better Front-to-Rear weight balance, and having tires with more grip both laterally and linearly; the drives on the track handsomely underscore the true apples to apples difference.

    As I said before, the AWD car with all season tires did in fact accelerate better (and by extension climb steep hills better), however, in the braking department, the winter tire shod RWD car stopped in a significantly shorter distance from any given speed (like forty feet shorter from 50 mph). That leaves turning; this is an area that showed mixed results with the RWD car handily besting the AWD car in all but the off-camber turn test (where the AWD was the victor by a narrow margin).

    In addition, there was test between two versions of the E-Class and two versions of the Audi A6 that was published by Car & Driver a few years ago that quantifies what I've written with hard facts. If you're interested you might want to take a peek in their archives for the article.

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • I just like to add, that AWD is not a requirement for Winter Driving. So why do so many people that live in the snow belt, want to pay the extra almost 2 grand ... many disadvantages like increased weight, decreased gas mileage, more noise, less balance, and less reliability. Is it really worth it? I frankly think AWD is oversold to the public, not just in BMW, but by many manufacturers. Forget most all season tires as useful in the winter, gets some snows and go light on the accelerator. I see more people in awd, fwd, and rwd drive cars just spinning their tires in the snow like they were testing on a dynamo. Maybe America should wean themselves off AWD as it has SUV's to save on gas. I'm obviously not a big fan off all these cross over AWD vehicles either, heavier and a little higher than cars of equal interior and luggage volume. The cross over awd vehicles are huge compromises, they just don't do anything really well.
  • idoc2idoc2 Posts: 78
    Very interesting and I'm sure all true. Nevertheless, in the real world of day to day driving, not on a test track but in the hills of New England, given my needs to climb steep driveways and other assorted hills the tremendous traction advantage of AWD even with all-season rubber out ways all the "measurable" (but of dubious real world value) advantages of RWD with snow tires. Perhaps if I lived in the flat land of say wintery Chicago I would opt for RWD with snow tires. But you see I must get up those hills and driveways which was often hard with even FWD and snow tires. Since one must prioritize, as a trade-off I am willing to drive slower than perhaps I could with a RWD or FWD vehicle equipped with snows tires for the advantage that is most important to me: linear traction. ;)
  • 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,
    Shipo
  • 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,
    Shipo
  • 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: 6,574
    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!!!
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