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      05-08-2008, 11:14 AM   #1
bpbenda
Private First Class
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Drives: 2006 BMW 325i
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Nashville, TN

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2006 BMW 325i  [0.00]
Urgent Wheel and Tire Question

Hello! Three flat tires today! When it rains it pours, right? Well, not all that bad really because I need new tires anyway. I guess this event is just forcing the issue for me. 24,000 miles and down to 1mm of tread depth. So, I have a 2006 325i non-sport (jet black). Came with what I think are the 16" run-flat low-profile Birdgestones.

BMW dealer is quoting me $218/tire for the same in a Continental run-flat plus $198 extra to mount and balance. So, that would run me about $1,150 with tax included. I have found the same Continentals at Discount Tire (a local place) for $660 out the door (including mount and balance). Again, these are 16" run-flats. BMW dealer tells me that the Continental is a better and cheaper run-flat than the Bridgestone. Fewer wear and noise issues.

The dilemma I am faced with here is that I would like to upgrade my wheels to 18s. A few questions ...

First, even though I have a non-sport 325, can I go with a staggered setup? Would this even be noticable? That is, all 18s but wider tires in the back than in the front. Are there other benefits besides looks as to why I would want to do this?

Second, if I go to an 18" wheel, is it advisable to stick with run-flats or is it just as good (and cheaper) to go with a standard low-profile tire? Bear in mind that I still have free roadside coverage for the next 27,000 miles, which should cover me for the life of this next set of tires I am about to buy.

Third, I have been looking at the M6 reps. It looks like I can get them in chrome or anthracite. I do not like the look of shiny chrome, but I also do not want something that is or is close to being blacked out. Is anthracite just a darker gray? And are these the only two options for M6 reps or am I looking in the wrong place?

I was quoted $175/wheel for the 18" M6 reps. The 18" run-flats were quoted starting at $225/tire, but I could go with a low-profile non-RF for $130-180/tire. Let's just call it $150/tire. So, I am looking at $700 for the reps and about $600 for the non-RF tires for a total of about $1,300. Is this fair?

$660 out the door for new 16" Continental run-flats.
vs.
~$1,300 for new 18" M6 reps with non-RF tires.

I know it is a personal decision, but generally speaking is the price difference (about $640 or double the price) worth it for upgrading to 18s?

Thanks in advance.