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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wheels and Tires Forum Sponsored by The Tire Rack > Did I screw up with 16" Winter Tires?



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      11-10-2011, 02:01 PM   #1
Faceofboe
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Did I screw up with 16" Winter Tires?

I have an 2011 E91 328xi Sport Wagon which came with 225/45R17 Run Flats.

I ordered off of Tire Rack smaller rims, 205/55R16 (w/Michelin Primacy Alpin PA3 tires), for my Winter Set for use in Germany and Austria mostly.

Should I have gone with 17" rims like the ones that came with my car? I ask because I can't find anyone on this site that seem to use less that 17" snow tires with their BMW's. Did I screw up my driving experience or make driving in snow worse?

Plus, the guy at a local garage (in Germany) wondered if putting smaller wheels was legal on a wagon with a large engine. (I thought that very strange, but he was an OPEL mech...). He said something about my car registration having to note that I could use smaller tires.

Would appreciate your thoughts.

Last edited by Faceofboe; 11-13-2011 at 06:33 AM.
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      11-10-2011, 02:07 PM   #2
Tom K.
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No problem. My '07 328i wagon came with OEM 16" A/S wheels and tires. And 16" winter tires are cheaper and will give better snow/ice performance.

Tom
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      11-10-2011, 04:51 PM   #3
Faceofboe
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Thanks. That's what I've always thought, go down one size in winter. But, between the posts I've read here and the mechanic weirding me out, I started to get worried.
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      11-11-2011, 10:12 AM   #4
wiseweasel
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I am also running 16" winters... just about to go on the car today. Should be fine! BTW, mine came stock with 16's. I am using my factory rims for my winter set.
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      11-11-2011, 11:11 AM   #5
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205/55R16 is actually a very common way to go for winter use on 325i and 328i cars. If you'd like to shoot me an email with your Tire Rack order # I would be happy to double check the fitment for you.
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      11-13-2011, 05:50 AM   #6
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Gary, thank you. I have to say that the TireRack was great. I received all the tires, mounted and balanced within days. They even put the BMW center caps on! I wish I had ordered from them a long time ago. The fitting is perfect, right down to the TPM sensors. I'm just confused about why the mechanic was so odd about having smaller tires.
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      11-13-2011, 01:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faceofboe View Post
I'm just confused about why the mechanic was so odd about having smaller tires.
I would think that the only issue might be with the speed rating as most of the "studless" winters carry a rating which is well below your car's maximum speed. But since your Michelins are performance snows with a V rating, I'd simply try to avoid that mechanic in the future.

Tom
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      11-13-2011, 01:41 PM   #8
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i want to run 16s with snow tires......thats a better setup for winter......i am wondering if 16s will fit over 335i brakes......anyone know about that?
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      11-13-2011, 07:28 PM   #9
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The reason most people on here run 17+ is likely becasue the 335 cant fit anything smaller over the brakes (and some 17s done even fit)
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      11-13-2011, 07:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merchomini View Post
i want to run 16s with snow tires......thats a better setup for winter......i am wondering if 16s will fit over 335i brakes......anyone know about that?
Nope, won't fit.
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      11-13-2011, 07:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faceofboe View Post
Gary, thank you. I have to say that the TireRack was great. I received all the tires, mounted and balanced within days. They even put the BMW center caps on! I wish I had ordered from them a long time ago. The fitting is perfect, right down to the TPM sensors. I'm just confused about why the mechanic was so odd about having smaller tires.
I assume you are military or otherwise under the SOFA (the ordering from Tirerack was a dead giveaway.)

Accordingly, your car does not need to meet the technical requirements in the Fahrzeugbrief for your car (assuming it is Euro spec - you wouldn't have that document if it is US spec.)

The Fahrzeugbrief (the German equivalent of a US title) spells out not only things like tire size but in some cases even approved manufacturers. Any deviation (aftermarket wheels for example) must be tested for that application and an entry made in the document if approved. Some manufacturers will get pre-approvals for certain applications so that no separate entry needs to be made - but the manufacturer's approval document needs to be kept with the car.

It is quite possible that a 16" wheel might require a supplemental authorization if the 328 doesn't come with 16" wheels fitted as standard in Germany. However, the 328 comes fitted with 205/55 R 16 H tires, so your Opel mechanic was wrong.

Long story short - you're perfectly fine on the 16's. The smaller tires will give you superior winter performance and would be the appropriate size for that car in Germany and in the US.
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      11-14-2011, 04:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remmib View Post
Nope, won't fit.
thats what i figured.....thanks for clearing it up and the quick response tho...
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      11-15-2011, 10:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remmib View Post
Nope, won't fit.
+1 , no 16"ers will clear the 335i brakes.
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      11-23-2011, 10:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceb View Post
I assume you are military or otherwise under the SOFA (the ordering from Tirerack was a dead giveaway.)

Accordingly, your car does not need to meet the technical requirements in the Fahrzeugbrief for your car (assuming it is Euro spec - you wouldn't have that document if it is US spec.)

The Fahrzeugbrief (the German equivalent of a US title) spells out not only things like tire size but in some cases even approved manufacturers. Any deviation (aftermarket wheels for example) must be tested for that application and an entry made in the document if approved. Some manufacturers will get pre-approvals for certain applications so that no separate entry needs to be made - but the manufacturer's approval document needs to be kept with the car.

It is quite possible that a 16" wheel might require a supplemental authorization if the 328 doesn't come with 16" wheels fitted as standard in Germany. However, the 328 comes fitted with 205/55 R 16 H tires, so your Opel mechanic was wrong.

Long story short - you're perfectly fine on the 16's. The smaller tires will give you superior winter performance and would be the appropriate size for that car in Germany and in the US.
Ceb - you got me, I am driving an American spec car. Thanks for clearing up what he was talking about. He did mention the Fahrzeugbrief and I said I didn't have one since it was US spec. It still concerned me though since I had never heard of an issue like that before. Later on I went through the manual ( LOL) and saw the 16" mentioned, with the only difference being an H rating noted in the manual vs. the V on the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3 XL that I bought.

Thanks again for clearing up the Fahrzeugbrief issue and thanks to the other posters for their responses.
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      11-23-2011, 12:58 PM   #15
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How do you like the PA3 so far?
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      11-28-2011, 04:38 PM   #16
Faceofboe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asus389 View Post
How do you like the PA3 so far?
So far they seem to handle quite well on dry/wet roads. No snow, so I can't speak for that yet. I have noticed that the ride is a lot more cushy than with the all-season run flats that came with the car. The car bounces more on some types of bumps at higher speeds.
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      11-28-2011, 08:08 PM   #17
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I ran 16's on my 06 325i in the winter vs. 19's in the summer. The winter 16's were awesome (stock 16's plus general artimax snows).
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