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BMW Z4 Tires and Wheels

ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,221
edited January 2014 in BMW
This is the place to talk about issues with the Z4's wheels/tires.


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  • iancariancar Posts: 31
    after reviewing the 2006 z4 photoes, i and my son are really interested in getting one instead of mercedes slk. However, since we r living in canada, i am not sure about the reliability of a soft top during the winter. Can anyone tell me how well their z4 soft top survive the canadian winter? And what kind of tires will be best suited for the z4 during winter time (my son is going to use it as daily car to his university)?
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    Didn't know if you were aware.... you can get a hardtop for the Z4.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,318
    I'd go for a second opinion. I live in Westchester a=nd work in the Bronx and encounter my fair share of potholes. Rims do bend and even crack, but I can't imagine ALL 4 wheels are damaged (NO WAY). Do you have the Sports Package on your Z4? Usually the Sport PAckage equipped cars have a lower ride height in addition to a firmer suspension tuning with larger wheels that have subsequently low profile tires. BUt you said you didn't drive over some huge pothole and get 2 blowouts. Take the car to a tire & wheels place and have them check it out.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • cucocuco Posts: 36

    I do have the Sport Package.

    I did find it surprising that ALL 4 RIMS needed work. But then, I bought the car with only a few miles on it, but it had been sitting at the dealer for a year before I bought it, so who knows what happened to it.

    All 4 RIMS were fixed, at a cost of $150 each plus about $100 for alignment.

    Next time I buy or lease a sports car, I'll try to get Tire/RIM insurance for it.
  • Hi,
    I have a 2003 Z4 with 19000 miles on it. I had a flat and after changing the flat, I noticed that on sharp turns I would hear a thumping sound after intervals. I took to a tire shop and the person said, the struts are gone and showed me by jacking the car and lifting the tire. I could lift the tire up and down. I plan to take to the dealer after the holidays. After reading your description, I think I am in for some major repairs. Hopefully the dealer covers it as the car is under warranty. By the way, I had to take my car to dealer four times for fixing the airbag light...very disappointed.
  • kslmdkslmd Posts: 1
    The convertible top in the Z4 is a pleasure to use. It is fast opening and closing, relatively quiet, and well insulated. Although I live in Arizona, I frequently drive my Z4 up to the mountains in winter, where temperatures are well below freezing. I've had no problems with the soft top. I think you'll enjoy it.
  • Hi,

    I love my Z4 2.5 2003! I drive it during summer, and I use another car during winter.

    I just crashed my winter car, and I'm wondering if I should buy another new small winter car, or go for the winter tires on the Z4... (I'd rather the later for financial reasons mainly).

    We have pretty decent winter here in upstate NY (Albany, USA), at least 4 months during the year, it easily goes down to 20 F, etc. I've a 25 mins ride to work everyday (same to come back), against traffic, on a highway. I got caught once on black ice with the Z4 and my factory tires (all season run-flat I guess), and it was not pretty, I really thought I was going to crash it any second, even at low speed.

    There is a recommended set of 4 Bridgestone Blizzak WS-50 at, and I've seen good things about it on this forum. And also adding weight in the trunk, etc.

    Do you have any experience about winter tires and the Z4?

    Thanks a lot
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I had a 2002 Honda S2000 and grew up in the snow belt (still have a second home there).

    My thoughts are that you could probably get by with a good set of snow tires on the Z4, IF (big letters), you are going to be driving on plowed streets/highways. If, on the other hand, you will need to be able to negotiate 4-6-8+ inches of unplwed snow, forget it. The low ground clearance of the Z4 will make any attempt at more than about 3-4" pretty dicey.

    Note that I assume you use a real ruler where you are from. Here in wimpy DC, a "dusting" is reported as 3-4" and they have canceled school on the forecast of snow that often never materializes. :confuse:

    Another factor to consider in your economic analysis is the wear and tear on your car, come trade in time. We sold our S2000 at 2.5 years and 19,000 miles and it did not have a single paint chip. We got the highest possible "excellent" trade in value from a PA dealer that claimed it was the only car he had given that rating to in a year. Had we driven it through mush and over salted or graveled roads, chances are it would have been rated "very good" at best, which would have cost us $1,500 in lower trade in value, not counting the extra miles on the odometer. A "good" trade in was over $2k less than we got.

    In the case of our new 2005 911S, the 3 year trade in difference would be about $6,000-$10,000+ going from excellent to very good/good, so you can be sure it will never be fitted with Blizzak's. But here in DC, I've had the top down almost every week since we bought it in September, so it's no big deal to keep it idle every once in awhile when we get a "dusting". ;)
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    To deal with chicago winters, i do have a separate set of winter tires (for my 328i). It's not as necessary as i thought, and i could do without, but i do like the security, and it is helpful when i venture to winter wisconsin. My BMW is old enough that it has ASC instead of the superior DSC a z4 will have. I did fine the one heavy snowfall we had this winter, and in wisconsin when i still had my summer tires on. As noted above, ground clearance is likely to be the real issue. Last winter we had that one big snowfall, and i knew that if i stopped in my building's parking lot, i might get stuck, as there was close to a foot, so i snowplowed straight into the stall. Good fun.

    If you can tolerate missing a day or two of driving, and watching the forecast for predictions of serious snow, a z4 will be fine.

  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    Last winter we had that one big snowfall, and i knew that if i stopped in my building's parking lot, i might get stuck, as there was close to a foot, so i snowplowed straight into the stall. Good fun.


    I think a lot of people worry unnecessarily about RWD and the snow.

    Caution is always advisiable. Snow offers unique opportunities for thrills if you are keen to take them.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Personally, i think snowfall is great, as it allows me to practice donuts and 360's without putting a lot of wear on my tires.

    IMHO, a lot of people fear RWD needlessly. I've heard a lot of people claim they'd never own a RWD car because it's "unsafe." There's been a lot of marketing put into FWD promoting this drivel. My bmw is better in the snow than my last two FWD cars.

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I grew up in the snow belt (Erie, PA) and we still have a second home there. This is a mild winter so far, but it averages 110" of snow a year, which I believe is 2-3 times Chicago's level.

    I believe there would be a significant difference between the Z4 and 3 series convertible in the snow. My Honda S2000 came with Bridgestone Potenza Pole Position S02 tires. They are "W" rated and stick like glue to dry pavement, hydroplane fairly easliy on wet and freeze and glide on snow and ice. That car was undrivable on snow covered roads with the standard tires. I believe the Z4 OEM tires are a little less extreme than the S2000's, but I suspect they would exhibit some of the same characteristics. The 3 series, on the other hand, has all-season tires unless you get the sport package.

    Ground clearance will also be noticably less on the Z4 than the 3 series.

    I'd have a lot more confidence in getting by without snow tires in a 3 series. If you opt to try the Z4 with high performance summer tires, make sure your life insurance is paid up.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,724
    Hmmmm... Doesn't the Z4 come with all-seasons? I thought it only got Summer tires with the Sport Package? I could be wrong.. it happens often.. ;) I agree... if the Z4 comes with Summer tires, you'll have to get winter tires for Chicago, if you plan on driving it at all in the winter months..

    Neither car is driveable in winter weather with the Sport Package tires...


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  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    I'd have a lot more confidence in getting by without snow tires in a 3 series. If you opt to try the Z4 with high performance summer tires, make sure your life insurance is paid up.

    Well, I know my Miata with the sports suspension had Potenzas. Don't know what they were rated.

    I would not recommend it as a daily driver in the winter. But if the op has a truck, the Mazda would do in Chicago for the occasional spin. I don't think the Z4 would be all that more extreme.

    I am with Dhanley. I took the relatively mild Chicago winters as a chance to have a little unique fun. During regular driving, I kept the baby sitter on and took it easy with the accelerator.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Habitat, i was not advising him to drive a z4 *all* winter with stock tires. That is indeed a bad idea. However, in chicago, there are very few times the snow will be too deep, and he'll have a truck besides. He'll do fine with snows or even all seasons, and avoiding the deep stuff.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282

    You may be right, that the Z4 comes standard with all seasons. I was going by the ones that I have seen - all with the sport package. Byt the way, has the Z4 been discountinued for 2006? - it's not listed in Edmunds BMW models list.


    According to Edmunds, the Miata Sport comes standard with rather benign all season tires. And there are many "Potenza" tires that include all seasons. 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. I doubt even the sport package 3-series comes with that type of dedicated summer tire.


    I don't disagree. The point I was making was that I thought the stock 3-series tires would be more winter friendly than the stock Z4 tires. However, since I haven't been able to verify what the stock Z4 tires are, I may be wrong. It may indeed be the case that you only stray from all-seasons if you select a sport package on either.

    And I agree with your comments regarding RWD being unfairly criticized for winter driving.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,724
    The '06 Z4 is in production right now...

    1st deliveries are scheduled for March..


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  • mdw1000mdw1000 Posts: 171
    Good points. I used to drive a 2wd S-10 in winter without much trouble. Definitely was much easier though when I got 4wd. I was more concerned about the tires and ground clearance of the BMWs than anything else.

    I will hopefully be able to keep the truck when I get this car, but it may not be the case. We only have a 2 car garage, and the other stall is taken up by my wife's 05 TL (and I don't really want to leave a vehicle parked outside). That car is what brought on a lot of thinking for me about getting something that drives nicer than my truck. The TL drives so nice I've found it much less fatiguing to drive than my truck, which is a consideration with my chronic health problems. My thoughts at this point center around 4 options...

    1. If I can find a place to cheaply store a 3rd vehicle indoors, keep the truck for winter driving and hauling, and get a convertible, such as a Z4.

    2. Get rid of the truck and get a convertible that will do reasonably well in the snow, such as a 3 series.

    3. Get a sedan or two door with a nice sunroof that will handle well in all seasons, such as a TSX.

    4. Do nothing, and keep swiping the TL when I need to drive any kind of distance :)

    None of this will happen in the immediate future (except option #4). I am just in the research stages for now. But thanks to you guys I have some more info to work with!

    For those of you with snow tires - do you get them just for the rear wheels or all 4 wheels? I remember 30 years ago my dad having an old Nova that he'd put snow tires on the rear for, but that's my only experience with snow tires.

    I'm thinking I will go the used route if I get a convertible. Seems you can find some low mileage convertibles around here for fairly reasonable prices. Any thoughts on that approach?
  • mdw1000mdw1000 Posts: 171
    One other question. Someone mentioned increased road noise. How bad is this generally? I realize with the top down you will hear everything, but with the top up is it bad?
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    I realize with the top down you will hear everything, but with the top up is it bad?

    Some people think it's too much, some people think it's fine.... The best thing to do is to drive it and decide for yourself.
  • 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!
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