Last post on Jun 16, 2011 at 7:53 PM
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BMW 3 Series, Tires, Sedan, Wagon
#224 of 273 Tire Damage and Steering wheel shake at low speeds
Sep 22, 2009 (8:12 am)
OK. The other day, I removed a 2 inch screw from the side of the tire and the air started to deflate. I took the car to the car immediately to nearby costco about two miles away. I took to costco because I put new tires about 20 months back from the same costco and know that they fix flats for the lifetime of the tire.
Costco said as the nail was on the side wall, it's unrepairable and with the road hazard warranty replaced the tire. They said that the tires had only 63% tread left which was surprising for a 20 month old tire. I had to shell out about $50 for the new tire. They are Michelin Pilot Exalto's.
Now after changing the rear right tire, I see a shake in my steering wheel at low speeds. This is occasional and doesn't come every time. I know the other three were worn similar to what Costco said: 37% of the tread gone.
I am not sure if I have to do a wheel balance or alignment. Does alignment fix this steering shakiness? I will take it to a dealer for the alignment typically.
Thanks for your help.
#226 of 273 Re: are snow tires enough at Indianapolis? [philchen]
Sep 26, 2009 (3:52 am)
I live in Toronto so let me take a stab at your questions:
1. You can get 4 tires and install them on your current rims, however, if you plan on keeping your car and being in Indianapolis for some time, it is recommended you get 4 rims.
2. Cannot comment as I have never purchased via Tirerack but some of my friends who have give it a thumbs up experience.
3. The Blizzak WS-60 is an excellent tire and you can read the reviews on Tirerack. I am going to finalize my decision between the Blizzaks and the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D this week. Just make sure that you get the correct tire size. Have a look at this URL that compare tire categories.
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/surveyresults/surveydisplay.jsp?type=W&VT=C&width=- 225%2F&ratio=45&diameter=17&tireSearch=true&autoMake=BMW&autoYear=2004&autoModel- =325Ci%20Coupe&autoModClar=
4. There is no special feature of a winter wheel. It is meant as a replacement to be used in the winter where salt/sand mixtures could damage your OEM wheels which may be more expensive to replace.
#227 of 273 Re: are snow tires enough at Indianapolis? [qali]
Sep 26, 2009 (10:47 am)
Hi man thanks for your nice reply.
1. Yes plan to keep my 2004 325CI for a while. So probably I will purchase 4 winter tires/rims and install them. Then I can drive to Indianapolis this winter. However, I am thinking do I have to buy 5? cuz I need one as a spare tire/rim.
2. Now I lean to Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D a little bit... I read comments and they said Blizzaks is no as good as Dunlop, and its thread wears out very quickly compared to Dunlop.
3. I am looking between "studless" and "performance snow". First, I am not sure what "studless" means. Is it a kind of more conservative and safe tires in snow? I will commute one-way 40 miles in Indiana. It is known that the high-way I65 in IN has icy-surface in winter. Not a lot snow because the snow will be plowed as long as it falls to the ground. In my case, I am not sure if I should pick '"snow performance" or a more conservative snow tire. My wife is using a Honda accord 2008. I think I will get her some more conservative snow tires, because she does not care performance. For me, I am still thinking what I should use...
4. As you said there is no special features on a winter wheel. However, I see many different sizes 17x7, 17x7.5, 17x8. Here the second number is the width of the wheel? If yes, how can they all fit the same tire (say, 225/45/R17), whose width is the same (225 mm). How should I pick the width of the rim?
5. Do I have to do downsizing? Is a 16" snow tire much better than a 17" one?? Tirerack recommends me to use 205/55/R16 for my winter tires. They also cost less ($300-400 less) than a package of 17 inch tires. My OEM tires are sport series and are 225/45/R17. I am thinking to use 17" snow tires for two reasons: 1) my OEM 17" wheels are old. If they broken someday I can use the new 17" wheels. 2) I will drive to IN from LA this winter with snow tires, which is a long trip. If any of my new snow tires gets broken, maybe I can use my OEM tires as a temporary one?
#228 of 273 Re: are snow tires enough at Indianapolis? [philchen]
by kyfdx@Edmunds HOST
Sep 27, 2009 (8:55 am)
1) I wouldn't buy five tires/rims... you still have a spare, don't you?
2) Indy is relatively flat... I'd go for the more performance-oriented snow tire, as you'll be on dry roads 90% of the time (that would be the dunlops).
3) I don't think Indiana allows studded tires, any more... Either way, all the tires you are shopping are studless.. (which is what you want). Q-rated tires are basic snow tires... performance-snow tires are usually H- or V-rated.. which is how I would go... for where you live.
4) 205/50-17 with 7" or 7.5" wheels..
225/45-17 with 7.5" or 8" wheels..
205/55-16 with 7" or 7.5" wheels (16")
5) 16" wheels will give you a little more sidewall cushion, in case of winter potholes, but otherwise not any advantage vs. 205/50-17, other than less money... 17" wheels will look better, considering you'll have them on for 4-5 months... I always stuck with 17", if that's what my car comes with..
The 16" and 17" wheel tire/combo is the same overall diameter.. You can use your same spare, or mix one temporarily in an emergency..
I like OEM wheels... If you look on the BMW enthusiasts forums/classifieds, you can usually find a set for sale, that won't be any more than buying aftermarket wheels..
A lot of these recommended choices are because of where you live.. Relatively flat, and not a lot of snowfall (I live in a similar area, but with hills). If you lived in Minnesota, I might lean towards winter tires with maximum snow performance..
#229 of 273 Re: are snow tires enough at Indianapolis? [kyfdx]
Sep 27, 2009 (10:58 am)
Thanks a lot for your reply, which is really helpful.
I did not know the spare in my trunk can be used for 16", 17" and 18" tires,,, it is amazing.
the overall diameter of a 225/45/R17 tire is 17*2.54 + 2*4.5 = 52.18 (cm). The overall diameter for a 205/55/R16 is 16*2.54 + 2*5.5 = 51.64 (cm). So this is not a big difference? And we can mix these two 16- and 17-inch tires?
#230 of 273 Re: are snow tires enough at Indianapolis? [philchen]
by kyfdx@Edmunds HOST
Sep 27, 2009 (4:16 pm)
1/2 centimeter = 1/5 of an inch... Actually, the calculator I use, shows the difference to be only half that much..
You can mix the spare in.... for short distances... I didn't mean to imply that you could mix and match indiscriminately... But, 16" or 17", they both have the same overall diameter (well... very close, as I noted).
No one that I know of.. buys a winter tire/wheel for a spare... They just make do with their normal spare.
Those are all pretty much equivalent sizes for an E46 3-series (which is what you have).
One caveat for 330i owners.. you can't downsize to 16" wheels, as they won't clear the bigger brakes on the 330i.
#231 of 273 Re: are snow tires enough at Indianapolis? [kyfdx]
Sep 28, 2009 (8:57 am)
I agree with everything kyfdx has said on the topic except for one thing... there are 16" wheels that fit some(all?) 330's. A few years back tirerack.com sold a 16" wheel made by AT, I believe, that looked like the E36 M3 Contour wheels and they currently have 16" Sport Edition A7 wheels that will fit. There's something with the way they are dished out that allows them to clear the brakes.
That said, I would probably stick to 17" anyway since I don't know what, if any, negative effect the smaller wheel could have on brake cooling.
#232 of 273 snow tires - Toronto
Sep 28, 2009 (6:22 pm)
I am in Toronto and I have a 2009 328i xdrive coupe with sport package, and need a set of winter wheels / tires,
1. should I go for 225/45R17. Any wheels and tires suggestion which can keep the look of the coupe look great.
2. Should I go for normal tire or run flat tires
3. Should I get the Tire Pressure Monitor on the wheels (some tire store say not necessay). Will the warning light keep on all winter as long as the winter pacjage is on the car.
4. Any good tire store in Toronto can do good job?
Thanks everyone for the input.
#233 of 273 Re: New Winter tires on a 335i [kyfdx]
Oct 12, 2009 (12:48 pm)
Thanks kyfdx. I am putting on 205/50-17 non-RFT winter tires on new BMW rims. Do I need to do anything in terms of changing the settings in the car because I am not going to be using RFT tires?