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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    For RWD car, you'll always be better off in winter with dedicated snow tires. And summer tires in the other 3 seasons. "All-season" tires really do nothing that well compared to the other two types of tires. They are the classic compromise: They do nothing great, some things mediocre, and some things poorly.

    BMW, like other premium marques, seems to have a lot of tire noise and wear issues. Buyers expect perfection. They want noise-free high performance with little wear. Ain't gonna happen. You read this in press reviews, on web, etc. Not sure they often have much to do with the tires. BMW doesn't recommend tire rotation. So if one tire is wearing "wrong" in a particular place it happens that much sooner. Also, it is hard to rotate those BMWs with staggered tires (i.e., the backs are bigger thant the fronts).

    Seems like a lot of the noise and wear issues are tied to the way BMW sets up the front and rear suspensions. Things like camber, toe-in, etc. These impact tires.

    I recommend at least annual 4-wheel alignments to set suspension components to factory spec or any updated spec.

    My '98 540i6 had Yokohamas (think Decibels?). I did a 4-wheel alignment at less than about 10K of use. But they wore poorly. Terrible tire noise after about 10K. When the tires were pulled, you could see the inside wear on at least 3 tires. Likely due to suspension set up. They were properly mounted, balanced, and inflated. No problems with suspension set up. I replaced them with Continental ContiSportContact 2s. These eliminated the tire noise. Sold car off at about 6k of use. So couldn't tell if the type tire was an issue.

    Aren't 330i and 530i speed governor limited to 130 mph? Even with Sport Pkg? Thought only 540i6 and 540ia Sport, M3, and M5 had the higher 155 mph governor limit.

    Not too many affordable snow tires in ZR, V, or Y speed ratings. Nothing wrong with right-sized H-rated snow tires. Who drives at or above 130 mph in winter?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 63,306
    You are correct about H-rated snow tires.. that would be fine.. The Bridgestones he mentioned are all-season touring tires, though... I think he was planning on making those his every day tires.. I wouldn't do that on a car designed with V-rated tires in mind. Its not just the top speed, its greater capability through the whole performance envelope.



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  • jbianjbian Posts: 10
    I thought someone posted this information a while ago. But I cannot find it anymore. Does Anyone have the prices? Thank you very much, and happy holidays.
  • From BMW tips chat. Compare Nov. '02 E39 sales to Nov '03 E60 sales for each model. Indicates significant sales uptrend vs. like model last Nov (full year figures don't compare).

    I put in // to separate, since the fonts don't format in tables on Edmunds.

    Happy motoring---

    Sales figures published today by BMW NA are as follows:

    MODEL // NOV 03 // YTD 03 // NOV 02 // YTD 02
    525i // 52 // 14,080 // 875 // 12,089
    525i sport wagon // 25 // 1,169 // 175 // 1,470
    525 (E60) // 1,197 // 1,651 // 0 // 0
    530i // 20 // 14,762 // 1,278 // 17,447
    530i (E60) // 1,908 // 4,878 // 0 // 0
    540i sport wagon // 1 // 259 // 36 // 309
    540i // 7 // 3,632 // 359 // 4,292
    545i (E60) // 649 // 881 // 0 // 0
    M5 // 29 // 1,427 // 165 // 1,536
    TOTALS // 3,888 // 42,739 // 2,888 // 37,143
  • yes, I was thinking about replacing the conti summer tires with bridgestone turanza (they make them h, v or z rated, by the way) for all seasons. Based on the reviews this tire is all year better pick. Any thoughts?
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    george94... IMHO, the only good all-season tire is the one not on my car. Only way to go is summer tires and winter tires. If you can afford the 5 Series, why skimp on tires?
  • understand your point. I am trying to be practical not cheap...
  • I also live in New England and own a 03 530i with the SP (conti's) & 5-spd. To put it simply, these tires cannot and should not be used for driving in snow and/or on ice. Changing to All Season tires can be an option but be aware that it presents a compromise in handling. The best solution would be to stay with the conti’s (or upgrade to Michelin Pilots) for non-winter use and buy a set of tires/rims for winter use. The cost would be roughly $1k for 4 tires & rims. I am using Blizzak WS-50’s (225 55 16) on Borbet rims.

    Curious, how did your car fair in today’s snow squall. I believe we are going to receive another batch this weekend.

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 63,306
    Too lazy too search back.. but, are your current Continentals in good shape? If its time to replace them, you could certainly try a performance all season tire (is that an oxymoron?). If they are still good for another year or more, and you are worrying about winter driving, It would probably be just as practical to go ahead and get winter tires.
    If it was me, and if you are concerned about cost, you could always just put the tires on the rims you have now, and save the cost of getting dedicated wheels. Even though you are sacrificing some traction by going with 17" snow tires, the difference will still be dramatic in snowy conditions, and your handling should be even better with the factory wheels and stock tire size. After trying them for the first season, you could then decide if its worth getting dedicated rims. Of course, if your Contis are worn out, then the decision to get winter tires is tougher, as you will have to lay out for new tires again in March.



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  • vsaxenavsaxena Posts: 203
    When I was looking at a pre-owned private party 528, I called BMW USA with the VIN and got the exact description of the factory installed packages. 5 minutes and you have all the information!
  • Chrism124 - my commute is short one -:( as I take the commuter rail to town. So, the snow squall yeasterday did not impact me at all. I called my dealer and they said 16" tires/rims are not recommended. They priced me with their 17" package for $3,800. I know tirerack has the best price. I might as well go with them and get the same package as you do. How do you find your winter wheels? Are they noisy?

    kyfdx - my conti are in great shape. I have about 6K on them and they look brand new. I read posts about the quality of these tires going down the hill after you reach 10 - 15K. This is why I started the debate about going with all season vs summer/winter wheels. Looks like the advise is to stick with the summer and winter tires.
    I appreciate the help from all of you.
  • jbf5jbf5 Posts: 32
    For those of you who switch to Winter tires and wheels, what do you do with your Summer set? Will the tire dealers store them? If not, can you fit four tires/wheels in the trunk to get them home?
  • The TireRack recommended that I use a 16" tire/rim. The overall diameter is the same as the 17" tire/rim that comes with the Sport pkg. To be expected, the handling is not as crisp when driving on dry roads. But the snow and ice traction is suburb. There is not a lot of road noise transmitted into the cabin. If I were to purchase another set of tires, I would look at either the Alpins or LM-22’s. I have heard from others that both offer better dry road handling.

    When it comes to the proper size tire to use, I would trust the recommendation from the TireRack before my BMW service advisors. They have conducted extensive testing (especially on BMW’s). Good luck with your decision.

  • sergeymsergeym Posts: 266
    Got a set of 16'' wheels w/225-55 Dunlop M2 tires from tirerack last year for $1,000 and had no problems so far. Dealer wanted something like $3,000. As too fitting 4 wheels in the trunk - maybe if you have a vagon. Sedan can only fit ONE wheel unless you take out the spare.
  • erk5erk5 Posts: 21
    will changing the tires affect the warranty or the tire pressure monitor? Has anyone asked bmw or their dealer this?

    Maybe if reputable rims like breyton or AC Schnitzer were used, it'd be ok?
  • aggie76aggie76 Posts: 266
    While I don't have a 5, my local tire dealer stores my off-car set of tires for me at no charge and does so willingly. I just call him a day before I want to get them mounted and he pulls them out of the storage area, checks the balance and it takes about 20 -30 minutes to remount them in spring or fall.
  • hoopsrefhoopsref Posts: 140
    I had been reading the posts here for months and have not been on in a while. It seems like the majority of you have recommended going with dedicated snow tires & rims. I live south of Boston and I have been searching the web sites & local dealers for months. some "deals" have gone by or supplies "dried up". I have a 530 w/SP and ordered a set of Conti TS 770's ($159 ea. + $2.75/ value stem + $9.95/ computer balancing) and Borbet wheels @ $149 each for a total of $1282.80 plus MA tax $62.15. I ordered these from local Town Fair tire in Plymouth. Any comments on pricing, tires, trims... are welcome. Thanks for your help in advance.
  • I am not familiar with the TS 770's and therefore cannot say if it would be a good snow tire. I roughly paid $1200 for 4 tires/rims (Borbet type B) plus mounting. In September I made the purchase through the TireRack and had my local dealer, being BMW of Peabody, perform the swap. It worked out well as they gave me a loaner car plus my car received a much needed bath. My experience is that the TireRack has the best prices and any local shop will be higher. Did you call the TireRack?

    I do like the look of the Borbet rims. Not as nice as the stock Sport rims but it blends in well with the car.

  • I have a 98' 528i with about 158k miles. Recently I have noticed that it has been idling a little funny (idling high, then low to remain on), it will not stay running while warming up in cooler temps. I first noticed it around the 55 degree mark. We live in a pretty cool climate and the house does not have a garage yet...what needs to be looked at here? No lights have come on the dash to have it checked out. Shop said nothing came up on the computer....
  • I just ordered a set of Michelin Pilot Alpin PA2 plus rims. The total came to 1070 and I will get $40 rebate for tires. So, when all done the total came up to 1030. I can't wait to try them. We are suppose to get 6 inches over the weekend. Too bad I wan't have them on yet. Thanks for all help
  • Good luck. Keep us informed as to how the traction is in both dry & winter conditions.

  • chrism124:

    I bought my '03 530i (SP,PP, CWP) at BMW of Peabody and recently purchased winter tires (Dunlop M2's) and wheels (Borbet B) from TireRack which I haven't yet put on. Just curious as to how much BMW o Peabody charged to change over your tires?
  • I picked up a set of used 16 x 8 wheels ('98 528i) on ebay. They were $240 including shipping. Then I ordered 205 55 16 Blizzak WS-50's. The local tire shop mounted them for $510. That's a grand total of $750 for OE BMW wheels and new winter stock. The SP Dunlops are not meant for winter duty and now I don't cringe at every chuck hole. For anyone looking for an inexpensive winter tire swap it's an option. Good Luck
  • dabimmerdabimmer Posts: 165
    I certainly hope that the local tire shop didn't charge you $510 to mount your tires !! Local shops here in the SF Bay Area charge $33 a tire or less to mount and balance.
  • BMW of Peabody charged me $170 for all four tires. The price included mounting, balancing, valve steams and of-course the swapping of my summer setup to the new winter ones. All of the tires were placed in bags and put into my car.

    Not only do I used Peabody for my service but I also purchased my car from them. So far, so good.

    The weather forecast is for possibly 6” to a foot of snow by this weekend. Not quite ready for winter weather, yet. Just in the limited amount of snow on Tuesday, it was obvious that my car with the summer tires struggle to get around.

  • karmikankarmikan Posts: 116
    I've got a set of OE Michelin MXM4 All Seasons (about 12K mi old) on my '03 530 and I'd read that they were terrible in snow. I was all set to buy a set of winter tires but before I had the chance I had to make a last minute trip to Michigan on Tuesday.

    I decided to take the Port Huron border crossing to avoid Detroit and midway between London (Ontario) and Port Huron I was caught in a freak snowstorm. For about 40mi I went through some of the worst conditions I've ever encountered - 6in of snow, white-outs much of the way and high cross-winds, with a few hills to make it interesting. I lost count of the number of cars in ditches and jack-knifed tractor trailers but the car was rock steady and I didn't have a single problem.

    That scary trip has reinforced my belief in the value of DSC, a full tank and gentle use of the pedals.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Do the change yourself; it's ridiculously easy and you'll save money to boot. I changed the 5er over yesterday and it took all of thirty minutes. I used my three ton hydraulic jack but you can use the jack in the trunk. However, it won't be nearly as convenient or fast as the hydraulic unit. As for storage, I simply stack up my summer set in a corner of the garage and I'm good to go until early April.
  • Yes, I could change the tires myself except for one small problem. The tires were not mounted on the rims. Therefore I needed to have a little outside assistance.

    A little history, last year I purchased only tires as I was driving a 02 530i w/o the Sport pkg. This year I upgraded to a 03 530 w/ the Sport pkg resulting in the need to buy 16” rims.

  • I am in the market for a used 5 series and I'd like to buy one that is outfitted with the in-seat anchors for the LATCH car seat system. I'm talking about the anchors between the seat cushion and the seat back, not the rear deck tether connection points. Does anyone know what model year was the first to have in-seat anchors? I'm especially interested to know if 2000 model year cars have anchors or can be outfitted with anchors. Thanks.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I hear you on the Miata. That's why I like my ti so much; it's small, light, and nimble. It's not overrun with gadgets either-no power seats, no cruise, no trip computer-it even has a manual HVAC system. What it does have is a willing engine, a slick-shifting transmission, powerful brakes, and a chassis that-quietly but firmly-keeps you apprised of what's going on at each corner. I hope that Munich resists the temptation to cram the 1er full of high tech gadgets but I sadly suspect they cannot...
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