Last post on Apr 21, 2013 at 12:52 PM
You are in the BMW 3-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 3 Series, Tires
#817 of 3108 Re: RFT's & bmw [circlew]
Feb 03, 2007 (10:30 am)
"Shipo, when will you be in the market for a new car?"
Hmmm, when will I be in the market for a new car? Tough call. As of last November when my (then) current contract was ending I was looking forward to finding a new assignment a little closer to home and thus changing the economics of a new car back into my favor. Prior that that contract I'd driven between ten and fifteen thousand miles per year for some twenty years, and so leasing new cars (through my business) was an easy decision. Coincidentally, the lease on my 530i ended just as that contract was about to begin, and given that it was only a six month gig, I opted to drive our old spare car for the duration and wait on the new car. Turns out that was a good decision as the contract lasted seventeen months, during which time I bumped the mileage on our old car (a 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.8) from about 86,000 to just over 130,000. Yikes, 44,000 miles in seventeen months, I haven't driven that many miles in that period of time since I put 72,000 miles on my 1979 Scirocco in twenty-two months back in 1980 and 1981.
So, come January this year I started looking for another contract and wouldn't you know it, I ended up accepting an offer from a different division of the same company I'd just left. This new assignment has me once again driving about the same number of miles as before, not good for my new car prospects. To make matters worse, they are moving to a different building this September, a move that will tack ANOTHER fifty miles per day to my commute. With the prospect of accruing an easy 45,000 miles per year staring me in the face, I'm back to a plan that I cooked up a year ago or so, namely to shop for a deal on a low mileage/good condition 2000 528i 5-Speed with PP, SP and the "M" interior as my minimum set of requirements. These cars are fairly rare, however, at any given point I usually can find a few for sale, typically for ~$16,000 with ~70,000 miles on the clock.
Assuming I don't scare up a better paying contract closer to home in the near future, this looks like a much more viable option for me as I figure that a car such as that can be fairly easily pushed to a quarter of a million miles without too much difficulty.
To your other questions:
"If you go for a 3er or 5er (I believe you mentioned the wagon for more room back a few posts) and will you keep run flats or go for the RFT's? Since I know you prefer GFT's and snows, that would be a rather large investment in rubber."
Hmmm, assuming I go for a 328iT SP, I have a couple of options for the summer rubber, and both would cost about the same (although I'd probably get 10,000 to 15,000 miles out of the OEM set first, taking them down to ~6mm of tread depth, enough to send back at end of lease).
Option 1: Find two 17 x 8 Style 161 wheels via E-Bay or Craig's List (probably cost about $500-$600) to be used for the rear of the car. Then I would pull the rear wheels and the two front tires and mount something like a set of 225/45 ZR17 Kumho ECSTA ASX GFTs at all four corners (235/45 ZR17s are an option too). Total cost (including the necessary mounting and balancing): ~$1,100.
Option 2: Buy something like a set of 17 x 8 ASA AR1 wheels for $676 or the Rial Combo wheels (which kind of look like the Style 161s) in the same size for $596 and wrap them with the same tires from above. Total cost (no mounting and balancing charges here at all): ~$1,100.
The second option is probably my best bet as it saves me from paying for a couple of mountings and balancings, and I like both sets of wheels as much as the OEM wheels. In either case, since I won't have to buy a new set of worn out factory RFT rubber (at about $1,000 per set), the cost of the new wheels and tires will be a wash.
For the winter set, tires that I'll need to buy whether I opt for the old 528i or a new 328iT, I'd probably opt for a cheap set of 16 x 7 Sport Edition F6 wheels for $340 and a set of 205/55 R16 Michelin X-Ice tires for $408 giving me a total of about $800 with shipping. Given that if I simply stayed with the factory rubber year round I'd probably need to buy a third set of the expensive RFTs, this set of tires will pay for itself too.
The thing is, if I opt for "Option 2" for the summer rubber and buy the winter set as well, I'll end up with two complete sets of wheels and tires on my hands when the lease ends. Since those sets will have been completely paid for by virtue of the fact that I was able to send the car back with the actual wheels and tires it was built with, I effectively got them for free. Of course they still have value, and I would certainly be willing to sell them via Craig's List. In the end I suspect that I will actually SAVE about a thousand dollars by spending about two thousand dollars up front. Go figure.
#818 of 3108 EL42's to Conti's
Feb 03, 2007 (4:56 pm)
I finally got "approval" from my dealer to change out my el 42's (with 10,800 miles on them) with Conti's. Drove 200+ miles on them last night -- the car finally feels as it should. I am amazed at the difference and delighted with the way the car now drives. I encountered dry pavement, rain, then snow, then A LOT OF SNOW (drove to the Catskill Mountains in New York from New York City). There has been discussion between Shipo and others about Winter rubber vs. Summer rubber. I was pleasantly surprised with the performance of the new Conti's in the snow. Granted, there was only 2-4" of precipitation, we passed dozens of cars spun-off the parkway.
For those still wrestling with the dealers to pay for the swap, here is the process I went through and hope this helps others get rid of the bridgestone's:
*The dealer has to call the BMW NA territory "rep" to get approval as well as a bill-back code for the "faulty tires"
*Once this is done, the dealer of your choice can then get full reimbursement for the work from BMW NA
*The total invoice was $1,280, of which, I paid $0
Good luck...and for anyone teetering about whether or not to make the switch to another set of RFT's, I say "go for it" and happy driving.
#819 of 3108 Re: RFT's & bmw [shipo]
Feb 04, 2007 (10:39 am)
Shipo, you probably have 2MM miles under your belt! You got a good GC minivan judging by your use!
Thanks for your strategy on tires. I was hoping you go for the 328T SP. Will the twin turbo be appealing to you if offered when you are ready?
I never thought of dropping down to 16's as as a way to save cash. Great idea for the snows. Makes even better sense if you can use them on a second vehicle later on.
Can you do the same 16 inch on the 5 series?
#820 of 3108 Re: RFT's & bmw [circlew]
Feb 04, 2007 (11:45 am)
"Shipo, you probably have 2MM miles under your belt!"
I added it up a year ago or so and if I recall correctly, I'm going to cross the one million mile mark sometime later this year.
"You got a good GC minivan judging by your use!"
Our 1998 (a Gen3 van) only has 132K and change on the clock, on a different forum I've run across a couple of individuals that have in excess of 300K on their Gen3 vans and I rode in a Gen3 taxi a couple of years back that was over 400K. Yikes! Needless to say, with those other vans in mind ours is barely broken in.
"Will the twin turbo be appealing to you if offered when you are ready?"
Ohhh, well, depending on how things work out in the future, I could be tempted, sorely tempted. I have a few irons in the fire, and coupled with some of the spy shots of the soon to be "lifted" E60, a 535i might could well be my next new car. In the mean time, there are so many different directions that our future might take, hedging my bets by staying with the DGC or picking up an old 528i is probably the smartest thing I can do.
"I never thought of dropping down to 16s as as a way to save cash."
For the E90 325i and 328i, the best wheel tire combination for winter tires (for both performance and cost reasons) are with 16" rims, unfortunatly there are no sixteens made that will fit on either the 330i or the 335i (no clearance for the larger brakes).
Regarding the 5-Series, the situation is a little muddier. If I recal correctly, the following is the optimal wheel size for the various E39 and E60 5-Series models:
E39 - 525i - 16" wheels
E39 - 528i - 16" wheels
E39 - 530i - 17" wheels*
E39 - 540i - 17" wheels*
E60 - 525i - 17" wheels*
E60 - 528i - 17" wheels**
E60 - 530i - 17" wheels*
E60 - 535i - 17" wheels***
E60 - 545i - 17" wheels
E60 - 550i - 17" wheels
* There are actually a few 16" wheels that have proper caliper clearance (different offset and such than the 3-Series).
** Speculation here as the 528i isn't out yet, this car will most likely have the same brakes as the 530i.
*** Speculation again as my guess is that the 535i will have the larger 545i/550i brakes.
Feb 04, 2007 (12:34 pm)
We have the same problem here in the UK for fitting 16" wheels on the 330's. 17" is the minimum. Like my E39 540i 17" is the smallest to fit around the brakes.
BMW UK don't seem to be admitting there is a RFT problem with the Bridgestone's over here. True it is the Potenza RE050A's that I have problems with, severe 'heel and toe' wear. Awful driving dymanics. I hate 'bump' and 'tug' steer.
We are not yet supported in the UK for winter RFT's. The RE050 A is a summer tyre, not even all season.
I've been in contact with Bridgestone and they have opened up dialog. Hope they will further their investigation, even road test my tyres.
My Goodyear F1's are giving a completely different drive. A 'real' BMW.
QUESTION: Do any of you guys find that lower ambient temperatures spoil your drive? Not freezing conditions, but a few above, say around 40-45 deg F.
I'm researching this issue and believe lower temperatures are making for the rougher driving, contributing to the premature wear as well. The static pressure doesn't convert to full working pressures during short journeys and/or in colder ambient temperatures. Add a wet environment and add to the problem, even longer journeys are needed to warm the tyres and achieve working pressure.
I've conducted some experiments and been recording pressures and tyre warmth, this supports what I'm saying.
Any experiences or observations to assist/support this thinking?
#822 of 3108 Re: RFT's & bmw [highlandpete]
Feb 04, 2007 (1:22 pm)
My experience regarding extreme wear during the 12K miles was about 60% over the temperature range you suggest (mostly highway miles on GSP). That makes about 40% of your target range. I had the tires between Dec. 31 2005 and January 2006 in New Jersey. Our winter last year was above average so I believe the rubber compound on the EL 42 (produced 2005) was a problem despite temperature since even the summer was not that hot in 2006. I noticed the noise, hard ride at about 8-10K miles.
Put another way, considering a non-extreme temperature range, the uneven wear caused the shoulder 'cupping' that was apparent before 10K miles on a 300 treadwear tire which should provide normal wear for at least 20K miles. My dealer had no problem changing for free on the first request.
Just me personal observations.
#823 of 3108 Re: RFT's & bmw [shipo]
Feb 05, 2007 (10:45 am)
The first E39's had 15 inch wheels. My 97 528 is shod with 225X60X15 tires. I think they went to 16 inch wheels for the 99 model year.
#824 of 3108 Re: RFT's & bmw [pearl]
Feb 05, 2007 (10:59 am)
I did not know that.
Thanks for the correction.
#825 of 3108 Patching run flats
Feb 05, 2007 (9:19 pm)
I've browsed through this thread and from the looks of it a couple people have simply patched up their tire, rather than buy a new one (ie small nail/leak). I'm currently in the same situation so I was just wondering if a simple patch work will hold me over for a while. Are there any problems in doing this with the pressure sensors?
#826 of 3108 RFT- BMW Technical Services Bulletin
Feb 12, 2007 (7:48 am)
At last a bulletin from BMW on Run Flat Tires.