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      05-08-2008, 12:14 PM   #1
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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.
~$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.
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      05-08-2008, 12:23 PM   #2
Second Lieutenant

Drives: E92 335i
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Colorado Springs

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I'd say go with the 18s, it transforms the look of the car, but it's a slippery slope. First wheels, then lowering, then...
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      05-08-2008, 01:05 PM   #3
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Drives: Sapphire 335i coupe
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: SE, PA

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As long as you are not leasing, go for the 18" non runflats. BTW, I did not think the M6s wheels were chrome but rather polished alloy. The anthracite only covers the inside of the spokes. The non athracite wheels have no paint on the inside of the spokes. The spokes are the same.
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