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BMW Z4 Tires and Wheels



  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    My Acura TL 6-speed came with Potenza summer tires that were drivable -albeit a little slippery - in the winter. But the Potenza "Pole Position" S02/S03 "W" rated summer performance tires that came on my S2000 are in a different league, and downright dangerous on packed snow in sub 25 degree weather. If the Z4 came with those kind of tires, snows would be a must.

    Thanks for the update.

    As I said, I do not recall what Potenzas came with the Miata sport package.

    Per your Acura experience, the Miata Potenzas were slippery but workable. I agree there are some tires that are not safe on snow (or even reasonably wet pavement for that matter) at all.
  • Coincidentally, my circumstances are very much like those of mdw1000. Bought my 2005 Z4 a year ago. It only comes with one set of tires and I can promise you that they're not all seasons. I have a Chevy s-10 2wd that I intended to sell which was never very good in the snow anyway. One afternoon driving home in roads that were only barely covered (a tiny fraction of an inch) made the car 100% undrivable. As much as the pick-up is not a great winter driver, I've had to keep it because the Z4 is a NO winter driver.

    That aside, I've gotta tell you that I LOVE this car.
  • Isn't it dangerous to drive any kind of car, with any kind of tires in Chicago, in any kind of weather??? ;)

  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    And, moreover, driving any car is dangerous.

    Let's all start walking more! :)
  • jking50jking50 Posts: 4
    I am sick of the runflats. I need to replace the tires and would like to put on regular tires but the dealer says the rims (2003 Z4 2.5i) are for runflats only. Can anyone verify this? Would I need to replace the rims also?
  • Hello, this is my first post as I just bought my 2003 Z4 2.5i 2 months back. The car is beautiful and I enjoyed my summer with it.
    I have read lots of reviews about not driving the Z4 in winter. Quite frankly I live 0.7 miles away from work and I take my car out for work and trips (which we wont have any in winter). Is it OK to drive my car to work?... I think it should be OK) I live in southern part of Michigan.

    Also, I really dont have much idea or knowledge about the details, but do I need to buy the Bridgestone Blizzak WS-50?
    Please advice.

    Thank you!
  • I've been running Mich Pilots for the last year (2003 Z4 3.0 w/sport).

    They are great but the flat tire indicator doesn't work now.
  • From earlier posts, it seems like there is confusion on the stock tires for a Z4. I bought a new Z4 Coupe in August, 2006 and it came with Potenza RE050A's. I did not get the sport package because I intended to drive the car year round (I live in the suburbs of Chicago). To quote a review of these tires, "do not even think of driving on this tire in the snow, or even when the temperature gets down to freezing". I didn't kill myself, anyone else or even put a dent in the car, but I credit that to many years of experience driving in snow and ice, plus autocrossing and SCCA experience.

    BMW does not offer an all season tire for the Z4, and neither they nor the dealer will tell you that the RE050A is a summer performance tire. I emphatically told the dealer that I was going to drive the car year round, and all I got was a mild suggestion that I might want to "think about" getting an extra set of tires.

  • esfoadesfoad Posts: 210
    I got a set of wheels/snow tires from Tirerack for my 3.0Si WITH tire pressure sensors for aabout $1200. That's a small price to pay for winter security. Also, if I choose to sell the car, the winter set will always be sellable.
  • I am picking up a used Z4 next week. What wheel/tire set did Tirerack recommend (sizes, brand, etc.)? BTW, I've used Tirerack for years, and swear by them!
  • Has anyone encountered any wear-related problems with the Bridgestone Potenza RFTs (Run Flat Tires)? I've got a 2005 Z4 3.0 with the sport package (18" wheels) and after 22k miles my tires are bad. The inside edge is completely worn down while the outside edge looks fine. I'm guessing that this is a problem with alignment (camber toed inside) but the problem is consistent with all four tires. I bought the car new from the dealership and it seems like this was "perfectly misaligned" since the beginning.

    Of course, the dealership (Classic BMW in Dallas) will have nothing to do with me over the matter and a new set of exact replacements is $1700 from Firestone (including install & tax). I'm hestitant to get non-RTFs because of the problems I've heard and because there is no place to put a spare.

    First, has anyone else experienced this type of problems with their tires and/or alignment? Second, make sure you know what you're getting yourself in to before you purchase this car -- it's a great ride by VERY expensive to fix ANYTHING (including tires).
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    All BMW's have the tire wear that you describe to some degree, regardless of tire brand. I have read many letters to the editor in the BMWCCA magazine "Roundel" about this issue. It has to do with how the suspension is configured, so you can drive the car more aggressively on the road. I believe its called "negative camber setup", but I could be mistaken...It gives the car a "squatty" look when cornering. Compounding this issue is that performance tires are made of a softer compound, which gives better traction, but poor tread-life.

    See if you can obtain a few issues of ROUNDEL and you will see that others have the same "Issue" (I hesitate to call it a complaint, only because many buyers prefer the BMW setup so they can enjoy the "Ultimate Driving Experience"). Of course, this little "item"is seldom brought up by the car salesman...

    Good luck!
  • drtkdrtk Posts: 2
    I have the same car 2005 Z4 3.0 with the sport package (18" wheels). I bought the car as a certified used BMW 4months ago. It has 26K miles on it. At the time of purchase the dealership had replaced the back tires, but the founts were good as the previous owner had recently replaced. Shortly after I got the car I noticed it was very squirrelly on uneven road surfaces to the point I thought it was dangerous to drive. I documented the issue and took it in for service. At that point they did an alignment, but told me they were not satisfied with the results. They got approval from BMW to do what was called a steering column replacement. It took about a2 days to complete. 90% of the problem went away, but occasionally depending on road surface the car would want to pull to one side or the other. I'm talking a quick darting type pull. This weekend I noticed the inside treads of only one of the front tires worn smooth about 1 1/2 inches across the tire. Tomorrow I am planning on replacing the Potenza RE050A's with Mich Pilots $236 each, and buying an auto air compressor with tire sealant. This should guard against anything but a total blow out. It seems several people on this post have done the same thing with very good results. BMW sells the inflation kit or you can buy a good one at an auto parts store for 50% the BMW price
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    That twitchy, tugging steering on grooved pavement is called tramlining. It's not unusual with high performance tires.
  • drtkdrtk Posts: 2
    Some will say tramlining is more pronounced with run flats. I also was told the stiffer sidewall of a runflat can affect the tracking characteristic in cold weather. Do you know if tramlining is generally better or worst with a run flat?
  • esfoadesfoad Posts: 210
    OUCH! Sorry for the delay but this is what I bought from Tirerack based on their recommendation.
    4 - 205/50VR-17 Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D Tires
    4 - 17x7.5 Sport Edition A7 Silver Wheels
    4 - BMWSEN1 Tire Pressure Sensors

    They are perfect.
  • dvp16dvp16 Posts: 15
    I have the sport package also. The Potenza's are only good for about 20K then they are trash. That is the catch to run flat sport tires. The run flats I had on my Corvette lasted about that long also. These tires are also horrible in any type of foul weather.Try replacing them with the pirelli all season runflats. Or you can replace them with non-runflats and keep a lot of goo and a small compressor in the trunk.
  • dvp16dvp16 Posts: 15
    The Z is for driving and hence you can drive the tires right about 20K. My experience with these runflats (Potenza) and other runflats (on Corvettes) is that they are sport/performance tires which means they have a very soft compund that lasts 20-25K then they are shot. So if you are buying a performance car you have to be prepared to deal with the fact that you will be replacing tires on a regular basis. That being said, most of the runflats I have had wear quickly but most hold their composure. The potenzas seem to twist and cup excessively with time. My personal opinion is that they are trash. I would try either another brand of runflat or a regular tire and keep a small compressor and goo in the trunk if it is time for tire replacment.
  • Can somebody tell me what are the stock tires on Z4 M Roadster? Are they summer or all-season?
  • I was the fortunate second owner of the most pristinely new, babied 2004 BMW Z4 2.5i convertible. After 2.5 years with the first owner, it was only driven 11,400 miles. It was kept in a garage at home and at work. Distance to work? 5 miles. The car seldom saw speeds above 40 miles an hour. It got garaged for the winter months. It seldom saw a drop of rain.

    Ah, the tires. Standard Potenza's High Performance ZR Run Flat Tires (RFT) with little to no wear. I have been driving the car between north of Baltimore to south of Washington DC at a 2000 mile a month pace. I picked up the car Oct 06 and dry docked it for Dec, Jan, Feb. Tire wear for highway miles was negligible. It rain straight and true as the most perfect balance of roadster and performance tire I have ever experienced. That was my first 10,000 miles.

    Around 22,000 miles, i picked up a small steel filament puncture in both driver side tires (months apart - Spring of 2007 and late Summer 2007) and both near the inner side wall on the bottom tread. Finding a place to plug a RFT is next to impossible. They want to sell you that $200 and up replacement tire in the worst way. "We were going to fix it for you, but ooops, its near the part of the tread near the side wall. Sorry - we won't touch it." So I squirted a couple of cans of fix flat goo into each tire and got easily another 10,000 miles out of these tires. I heard so many neigh sayers, "It will make the tires run unbalanced" or "It will ruin the tire." Poppiecock and bulltwinkies - if I couldn't use the fix flat goo, the tires were shot anyway. They are riding fine and holding tire pressure no problem. What's more, they are wearing evenly!

    Where I think I goofed was I didn't dry dock the car again for the winter months (2007 to 2008). I drove it all of December 08 and January 08 as they were abnormally Northeast mild but a specially snow and ice free. What I experienced could only be compared to the exorcist on mornings below freezing. The summer RFT's take a set while the car is parked over night. The first 10-15 minutes are a challenge of every fiber in ones' body. At speeds under 25-30 mph, there is a subtle wub-wub. At speeds of 40 mph and up, the steering wheel begins shaking violently and doesn't stop until the tires have warmed.

    As it turns out, I had to bring the car in for only its second service, an oil change early Feb 2008. Low and behold, with nearly 32,000 miles on the tires, they are beginning to get close to the wear indicator marks for the rear tires. A few wet cool morns, accellerating into traffic, the back was breaking free a bit with ever increasing frequency. I think if I baby the car, don't jump on it ever and only drive it when temps are over 40 degrees F, I may get another 5,000 miles out of them. The most beautiful thing is the wear has been totally even with no inside or outside wear deltas. If someone has wear only on the insides, it sounds like a definite toe, balance. alignment, or driving consistently at excess speeds on consistenly windy roads issue. I've dry docked the car now and won't drive it until late March.

    Because of the "unrepairable" punctures, instead of just replacing the rear tires, I'm thinking of getting an entire new set of 4. Problem is, even with internet tire purchase, the Factory OEM as everyone knows are freaking expensive. I'm willing to try Non-RFT, but haven't heard anything good about them on the Z4. I've hear that GoodYear are a solid replacement, but don't wear as well.

    I would even consider going with something less than ZR rated because I seldom even drive over 80 mph. I like the idea of All Season High Performance because odds are I will not have the luxury of dry docking her in future winters (my son gets his license and will take my non-Z4 set of keys).

    Does anyone have any recommendations on off brand RFT or non-RFT replacements they have had good luck with?
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