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mike_mike
12-27-2001, 08:36 AM
Hey all, new here. I'm looking at picking up a 3-series sedan, and deciding to go with the sports package or not. The dealer was telling me that BMW recommends replacing the 17 inch wheels with winter 17 inch tires during the cold months. I'm thinking to just get the regular 16 inch wheels instead.

Does anyone here replace 17 inch sports package tires in the winter? If not, do you have any problems with them? Keep in mind, I do live in New Jersey and this will be my only car. Thanks in advance for any kindly advice.

nate
12-27-2001, 08:39 AM
Performance tires suck in winter. If you are going to drive in snow, you need to have at least all-seasons, but prefferably snow tires.

TD
12-27-2001, 08:40 AM
RE: 16 vs 17 inch winter wheels

If you get a 325, you CAN use 16 inch winter wheels. But if you get a 330, you CANNOT. The reason is the size of the brakes on the 330s. 16 inch rims will NOT clear the brakes.

doubletee
12-27-2001, 08:40 AM
My SP came with 16" wheels, and I drop down to 15" for my winter wheel/tire package. Much softer, spongier ride with the bigger sidewalls, but they are narrower which helps with traction in the snow. They were less expensive than the 16s, too.

doubletee
12-27-2001, 08:42 AM
Originally posted by TD
RE: 16 vs 17 inch winter wheels

If you get a 325, you CAN use 16 inch winter wheels. But if you get a 330, you CANNOT. The reason is the size of the brakes on the 330s. 16 inch rims will NOT clear the brakes.

Good call!

TD
12-27-2001, 08:44 AM
Same wheel size rule applies to the E36 M3. You can't go smaller than 17s on it either.

geomax
12-27-2001, 08:56 AM
Yes, its a great idea to get a winter wheel set. As mentioned, with the 325, you can use 16" wheels. You can get winter tires which will fit the 17" SP wheels. But snow/ice grip may not be as good due to the larger foot print.

I opted for steel wheels for durability (Boston potholes), shod with 205/55/16 rubber. The steels wheels are ugly as sin, but BMW does make a 16" wheelcover, available at your local dealer.

For tires, I got Dunlop Winter Sports. I have to say that I was very surprised by the performance of these tires. Terrific handling wet or dry. Quiet too. A bit firm though, and they flat spot easily (but this wears out after about 10min of driving). Have yet to drive them in any real snow...

Got them from the Tirerack, which has pretty good prices. I have received excellent service from them - however, 2 of the 4 steel wheels were slightly bent upon delivery. I had to send them back. They replaced and delivered them for free within 2 days. I'm picking them up tomorrow....