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BMW 3-Series Tires and Wheels



  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Agreed, however, I'm thinking that something like the Yokos would give up very little in day-to-day driving and be better able to deal with the oil slicked wet roads that can be found in places where rain isn't as frequent as it is here in New England.

    Best Regards,
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    The main difference between an all-season tires and its summer counterpart is the rubber compound, not the tread. What this means is - in a place where it doesn't get cold, an all-season tire is not needed.

    A high performance summer tire will grip a wet road just as well as it's all-season counterpart.

    Like Roadburner, I am also a Pirelli PZero Nero believer. I have the all-season version on my M3 and they are terrific wet or dry, hot or cold. Pirelli makes a summer-only version that I think would be perfect - though I've also heard great things about the Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3 - which comes with a $50 rebate off a set of 4 right now...
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "The main difference between an all-season tires and its summer counterpart is the rubber compound, not the tread."

    Not the tread??? Uhhh, maybe I'm missing something (highly possible), but as a general rule, All-Season tires have tread patterns that have greater voids, smaller tread blocks and more siping than summer performance tires. The only exception to that rule that I can think of is the Pirelli PZero Neros.

    I'm thinking that I'd be far more comfortable driving on rain slicked roads with All-Season tires than summer rubber.

    Best Regards,
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Well I was thinking specifically of the Pirelli's (which have identical tread pattern for both all-season and summer). They are a good (and maybe the only) example of the "fundamental difference" between all-season and summer tires.

    No other tire manufacturer that I can think of has "comparable" all-season and summer tires. So yes, in most cases, the tread pattern will be different. And with that in mind, it's up to each tire manufacturer to decide how to cater the performance of their tires for each road condition.

    That being said, summer tires like the Eagle F1 GS-D3 are supposedly very good at evacuating water. Heck, even my Toyo RA-1's do well in the rain (when they're brand new, anyways :blush: ).
  • JingleJillJingleJill Posts: 120
    Thanks Shipo. I know I can always ask a question and you'll answer it.

    What a lively little message board we have here regarding tires.

    Yes, it has been a long time. I have a little critter in the back seat now, but I still have a BMW. I'm now on my 5th one; which I am very happy with, (I had the 2005 330ci w/performance package but when I found out I was pregnant I realized a 2-door wouldn't do, so I had to sell that and the Porsche and go get a couple of "grocery getters"... I was able to find the exact same 330 but with 4 doors and a year older...

    I'll have to look into the tires... I've been putting off getting a new set, but Pig Pen (car) is starting to slip and slide all over the place...

    If anyone else has some thoughts on tires, please feel free to chime in...

  • Hi. I'm new owner of a 2004 330 ci , 34 k miles, and it came with fairly new Michelin Xalto V a/s tires, 205/50/17 ... the wheels are 17inch all around. I live in Midwest and will be able to use the all season tires in winter as long as snows don't get heavy.

    My intention is to track (but not race) the car in the summer. I'm thinking of getting a summer tire. What size should I get-- or maybe I should ask what wheel size I should work with, and what size tire should I get? I have heard driving 17 in on track goes pretty good... but I dont know what tire size is actually used for best results. I frequent the Mid Ohio track when I can. It's also important that my summer tire be capable in rain conditions...tho not snow/ice. And I hope to purchase a moderate priced tire r/t an expensive one... of course

    Thanks for your recs re tire sizes.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Size doesn't matter - as long as they fit. Personally, I'd go with 16" wheels and 225ish tires, but you could really use anything you want.

    When I first started attending HPDE's, I used high performance street tires and very quickly came to the conclusion that they were inadequate for lapping, and lapping tore them up too much to really use them on the street. A lose, lose situation.

    What works for me is to keep my street tires on the car year-round, and have a set of dedicated wheels/tires for the track. I picked up an inexpensive set of "previously loved" wheels and mounted a set of Toyo RA-1's. If you cruise your local chapter boards (and maybe Craigslist and e-bay), you may be able to find some SCAA racers left-over used RA-1's too.

    Don't forget your brakes - they're more important than your tires. Flush your brake fluid and check (or better yet, upgrade) your pads/rotors. Most of all though, have fun.
  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
    I had a quite a few different Summer performance tires and my favorite is the Michelin PS/2.
  • How did you go about finding 16's to put on -- I understand that very few will work on the E46 ? I've heard that Tire Rack sells some rims with their packages - but other than that I wouldn't know where to start to find some that would fit correctly.

    I guess there are a lot of potential sellers, or "deals" , and I don't know the particulars of what to buy yet....

    If I didn't buy wheels til later , say at end of season , what 17 tire size would work well with my stock 17" wheels (4) ?

    Altho I'm not quite a novice, I feel like one as I have yet to learn to drive the car comfortably and smoothly - I miss downshifts as I'm not used to the 6 spd layout yet! So I'm not ready for prime time track anyway! So I'm very willing to compromise this season on wheels / tires and improve components later.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Tire Rack is a great place to start. If you want to find 16" wheels for the E46, just plug in a 1999 323i - 16's were standard for it. Tire Rack will also tell you the bolt pattern and offset needed for your car. As long as the bolt pattern (5-120) and offset (42mm) match, then the wheels will work.

    Wheels - 16" Kosei K1Racing (affordable and lightweight) - PartNumber=KR700S&wheelMake=Kosei&wheelModel=K1+Racing&wheelFinish=Silver+Painte- - d&showRear=no&autoMake=BMW&autoModel=323i&autoYear=2000&autoModClar=&filterSize=- - 16&filterFinish=All&filterSpecial=false&filterBrand=All&filterNew=All&sort=Brand- -

    As for tires, I wouldn't invest in "competition tires" until you have mastered the basics of car control and are ready for the next level of grip. I'd go for a good set of grippy, forgiving, and inexpensive summer street tires. Unfortunately my old favorite, the Yokohama ES100, is no longer available in your size. Too bad. Here's what I'd choose instead:

    Kumho Ecsta MX - m=25WR6EMX&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes&place=4

    Hankook Ventus R-S2 - ehicleSearch=false&partnum=25WR6Z212&fromCompare1=yes&place=3

    Or right now, I see the Bridgestone Potenza RE050 is on special right now... - E050A+Pole+Position&partnum=25WR6RE050APP&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes&p- - lace=5
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850

    That won't work... the 323i had smaller rotors than the 330's, 328's, and I think even the 325's. If you go to tirerack and put in the 330, only one sixteen inch wheel shows up. If you put in the 323, there are 9 choices.

    When I got my 330Ci, I wanted to go with a 16" winter setup. At that time, there was also only one 16" wheel that would fit over the rotors (ATA brand if I remember correctly). It was different from the one that's currently there so there may be other choices available elsewhere.
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    If you decide to go with 17's, I would probably try to find a set of the 7-spoke BMW wheels that came on the sport-pack 323's and 325's. They're 8" wide and will support either 225's or 235's on all corners. There was a guy who used to hang around these boards (braveheart1) who did a lot of track work and swore by his 235 setup.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    You're right, I didn't even think about the rotors being bigger on the later E46's.

    BTW, the rotors would have been "ATE", not "ATA." Other than that grievous error, you're completely correct. :blush:
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    Grieve no more... I was talking about the brand of the 16" wheels that fit over the rotors... but I think I got it wrong anyway... ASA, not ATA, was the brand, I believe.
  • My apologies for being away from the boards (its tax time of year!)
    And thanks for the generous responses and opinions to my questions about the wheel size and tire for summer sport driving.

    It sounds like finding the right size 16" wheel is a challenge ... I do have 17" x 7 now - what would be the adv/disadv of using the 7" width vs the 17x8" widths ?
    And what size tire would fit the wheels?
    One fellow told me that 17s would be great with 225s ... but I don't know what wheel width he was considering....

    I hate the idea of going to a tire store and buying what they want to sell me vs what I determine I need! But I need to define those needs better!
    Comments/ help????
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,030
    I hate the idea of going to a tire store and buying what they want to sell me vs what I determine I need! But I need to define those needs better!
    Comments/ help????

    I strongly suggest calling Tire Rack and speaking with one of their sales advisors. I'd be willing to bet that fewer than one in twenty tire store salespeople know anything about selecting the right tire for a true performance car. I've used Tire Rack exclusively since 1992 with zero complaints.
    Call 'em.

    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
    I agree... call Tire Rack! They're extremely helpful and will be able to tell you your options.
  • Thanks for the endorsements. I will talk to Tire Rack.

    It appears that the recommended wheel sizes for my 330ci are 8 x 8.5, with a less expensive but recommended alternative as 7 x 8.5 [not staggered, same sizes all around]... my stock wheels are 7 x 7.0. the larger wheels would be for summer driving schools and around town use.

    Anybody have experience with these?
  • kathyc2kathyc2 Posts: 159
    Love my 2002 325 manual convertible. I've had it for 2 years, and haven't driven it much in snow- live in Northern IN. My son will be needing the Gran Prix I've been driving in the winter. Will snow tires make it similar to getting around in snow as my front wheel car?
    I'd really rather not add a 3rd vehicle. My division doesn't always get plowed out early, and I would be need to drive thru a few inches of snow on a semi-regular basis. Any one out there who has experience doing this? Suggestions?
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,210
    There's a discussion called BMW 3 Series Tires & Wheels -- hit the link above for BMW 3-series & run down the list of topics until you find it. It contains several hundred posts & what you'll find is that good cold-weather tires on a RWD car make a world of difference -- all good.

    Buy the tires & a set of cheap wheels for use in the winter.

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