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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 > Winter tire problem - what are my options?



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      11-12-2012, 01:06 PM   #1
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Winter tire problem - what are my options?

OK, so as I educated myself on options for winter driving with my sport 335i sedan, the answer became clear: There just aren't any options for run flat tires.

BMW really puts us in a bad spot here. I bought the tire protection plan, and I assume if I remove RFT, I won't be covered. The dealership guy even told me that roadside assistance won't come if I don't have RFTs.

Having said that, I currently have summer RE50 Bridgestone tires - the ones that came with the car. My only other option was the All season RE60AS RFT, but they are impossible to find in the 255/35/18 size.

So, I'm down to either not going with RFT, which I really don't want to do as my wife also drives the car, to....what else can I do? Can I not run a staggered setup? Would any other tires fit in my back wheels? Or would I need completely need wheels?

I'm a bit disappointed at the sheer lack of options, considering BMW comes with RFT from the factory but have no options for winter driving.
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      11-12-2012, 01:10 PM   #2
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For winter tires, if it snows a lot in your area do not run all seasons.
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      11-12-2012, 01:11 PM   #3
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We do get snow of course, but I can use another car if it's really bad. I'm just worried about getting caught by surprise if I'm out and it starts to snow.
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      11-12-2012, 01:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rondocap View Post
We do get snow of course, but I can use another car if it's really bad. I'm just worried about getting caught by surprise if I'm out and it starts to snow.
Blizzaks. Most important thing is being able to stop.

It happened to me in my last bmw. I had all seasons on and wasnt able to stop going through an intersection. This forum just about ripped me a new one and I bought Blizzaks the next day.
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      11-12-2012, 01:18 PM   #5
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I don't think they make the Blizzaks in my rear size, 255/35/18.

In that case, would I need to get new rims? If the car was designed to be a staggered setup, how will it perform on different rims, say 17 inch equal sizes all around?
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      11-12-2012, 01:32 PM   #6
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Your options are either to buy non staggered RFT snow tires. Buy entirely new wheels and snow tires. Buy a second hand wheel for a spare tire and put it in the trunk.

I dont think you can fit 17's with the large brakes in the front (unless tire rack says you can).

Performance should not be an issue, but remember, snow tires handle like garbage in the dry conditions and wet conditions when there is no snow, it's like driving on a sponge. Trust me I've driven on snow tires for about 5 seasons now.
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      11-12-2012, 01:39 PM   #7
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The best option is getting a full winter tire like a Blizzak or X-Ice. You can fit 17 on the 335i it is the lowest rim you can go to. Look in your local classified you should be able to find something a a fair price The size that you should look for is a square setup with the size 225/45/17
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      11-12-2012, 01:41 PM   #8
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I was thinking of getting this, BMW 158 rims with Blizzaks. Only if I could find it cheaper..

http://www.shopbmwusa.com/ProductDet...ProductId=3632
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      11-12-2012, 01:53 PM   #9
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There are options, including for RFTs. You will need new rims but honestly there is no point in owning winter tires without rims for them. It's really hard on your tires and rims to have them swapped out twice per year.

Go to tirerack.com, order up a set of 17" wheels with the Bridgestone LM-25, Michelin Primacy Alpin PA3 ZP, or Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D DSST RunOnFlat tires. All are available in the correct size (225/45/17) and all are good RFT winter tires.

It will cost you slightly more up front than just buying the tires but will quickly pay for itself since you will be able to change your own tires, or even get it done at a shop for far less money than having the tires removed from the rims, new tires put on, and balanced.

I personally picked the Dunlops. I read good things about them and I am not disappointed. The don't grip quite as well as the X-Ice tires I had before but it's really close.

I considered buying non RFTs and getting a spare, but if I am ever travelling it would just take up too much space to carry the spare.
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      11-12-2012, 01:59 PM   #10
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This is my first post.. and it happens to be about winter tires...

I just got my Michelin winter tires installed and I've been noticing that a lot of people recommend Blizzak tires. Can anyone tell me why the Blizzak's are so popular?? Thanks!
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      11-12-2012, 05:30 PM   #11
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I think Bridgestone got some good brand recognition on the Blizzak by being really one of the first studless snow tires on the market. They have their fancy Multicell compounds.

Don't get me wrong - they are great tires. But so are Michelin. If you look at Tirerack.com, the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 is the top rated studless snow tire right now.

You have to be careful though because with the RFT tires, you are generally getting a "performance snow" and because of this you don't actually get the Multicell compound on the Blizzaks (LM-25).

I've owned X-Ice (awesome on our Nissan X-Trail AWD SUV) and X-Ice Xi2 (even more awesome on my e46 325i) and now I have the Dunlop Wintersport 3D RFTs (not as awesome but still really good on my e90 335i xDrive) and I also owned Goodyear Nordic (Terrible - and so was the Neon they were on) way back when.

If you buy one of the big name winter tires, you aren't going to be disappointed.
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      11-12-2012, 05:32 PM   #12
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Do you guys know the difference between the Blizzaks LM-25 and the LM-60, both RFT? Is the LM-60 just a newer version? Or are they completely different?
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      11-12-2012, 06:30 PM   #13
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The LM-60 is not a RFT. Also the tread pattern is very different. Compared to the LM-25 it looks like the LM-60 would have better traction on ice because of the extra sipes, but I doubt there is any data to back up my theory.

Both would likely have less traction than the WS70, but it has a lower speed rating.
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      11-12-2012, 06:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braumin View Post
I think Bridgestone got some good brand recognition on the Blizzak by being really one of the first studless snow tires on the market. They have their fancy Multicell compounds.

Don't get me wrong - they are great tires. But so are Michelin. If you look at Tirerack.com, the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 is the top rated studless snow tire right now.

You have to be careful though because with the RFT tires, you are generally getting a "performance snow" and because of this you don't actually get the Multicell compound on the Blizzaks (LM-25).

I've owned X-Ice (awesome on our Nissan X-Trail AWD SUV) and X-Ice Xi2 (even more awesome on my e46 325i) and now I have the Dunlop Wintersport 3D RFTs (not as awesome but still really good on my e90 335i xDrive) and I also owned Goodyear Nordic (Terrible - and so was the Neon they were on) way back when.

If you buy one of the big name winter tires, you aren't going to be disappointed.

I got the Michelin Primacy Alpin PA3... I've already read some reviews and they say it's pretty good for winter. What do you think?
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      11-12-2012, 06:41 PM   #15
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They do make a RFT lm-60 it seems - google tells me, unless its wrong.
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      11-12-2012, 06:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff@topgearsolutions View Post
Your options are either to buy non staggered RFT snow tires. Buy entirely new wheels and snow tires. Buy a second hand wheel for a spare tire and put it in the trunk.

I dont think you can fit 17's with the large brakes in the front (unless tire rack says you can).

Performance should not be an issue, but remember, snow tires handle like garbage in the dry conditions and wet conditions when there is no snow, it's like driving on a sponge. Trust me I've driven on snow tires for about 5 seasons now.
This is not an exaggeration at all.

They really make the car feel like a boat in dry conditions, but in wet, nothing compares. I couldn't spin if I tried.
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      11-12-2012, 07:20 PM   #17
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x-ice 2's and some cheap wheels for the winter is your best bet, IMO.

Mine get installed later this week, early next.
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      11-12-2012, 07:40 PM   #18
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Missed Out On The Nor'easter

335xi + Rial Salerno Anthracite 17" + Blizzak LM-25 Performance Winters = Deep Sea Beast Mode:
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      11-12-2012, 09:58 PM   #19
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I'm probably going to go with a 17 inch BMW wheel plus Blizzak setup.

I just found it fairly amusing that there are virtually no options for winter driving - I asked BMW, and they said basically I'm not going anywhere with a staggered sport setup in the snow unless I switch out the rims. I wish they would make more RFT choices if that's what they choose to support on their cars from the factory. I could expect this difficulty in finding a tire for an exotic car, but not on a 3 series!
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      11-12-2012, 10:18 PM   #20
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There's really no point IMHO in buying 18" or 19" winter tires. The real problem is the limited selection of 17" wheels that fit over 335i brakes. 157s will fit as will 158s (and I would assume any other factory E9x 17" wheel) and there are some aftermarket wheels that will also fit however - check tire rack. My reasoning behind recommending 17" is that both the wheels and the tires cost more as you go up in diameter, and will you really care about the "crisper" handling of a 19" winter tire? I'd venture to say that rather you'll appreciate taller sidewalls the first time you hit a stealth pothole. At least that's my thoughts...
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