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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-03-2013, 09:47 PM
christopherr117 christopherr117 is offline
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How Bad Could It Really Be???

Alright yall. My final days down here in the beautiful dirty South are wrapping up. It won't be long before I return to the snowy hell that is New England in the winter. (Sorry for the drama, sometimes I can't help it) I've been up there for the winter so I don't know what to expect. Come to think of it, I've never really driven in the snow.

My question to yall is do I REALLY need winter tires?? And if so, do I need all four?? Or can I get away with only two rears? Excuse my ignorance here; I'm a Southern boy true and true. I JUST bought four Yokohamas in August that are brand spankin new, and I'd hate to spend more money on tires. My father suggested chains, and someone was telling me about a "tire sock that looks kinda like a condom". I wasn't really sold on either one. So what do yall think?? Thanks in advance!!
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2013, 09:56 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Originally Posted by christopherr117 View Post
before I return to the snowy hell
When it gets this bad, even sn0w tyres aren't enough.
- What snow chains should we put on our bimmers (1)

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  #3  
Old 01-03-2013, 10:25 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Dedicated winter wheels with GOOD quality snow tires on them are worth their weight in gold when the weather turns to sh!t, an E46 (even RWD) can get through just about anything with *four* winter tires on it. It`s a good investment that can save your ass when the going gets nasty....
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  #4  
Old 01-03-2013, 10:48 PM
lgr122 lgr122 is offline
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Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Dedicated winter wheels with GOOD quality snow tires on them are worth their weight in gold when the weather turns to sh!t, an E46 (even RWD) can get through just about anything with *four* winter tires on it. It`s a good investment that can save your ass when the going gets nasty....
+1 set of good quality winter tires is what you need in winter time.
That's how to not get stuck and that's how to keep your e46 in original shape.

About chains... well... i never saw anyone who actually use them on car.
They're needed if going to forrest with tractor/truck in winter time, but winter tires should be enough for bimmer when you stay on the road.
E46 is not best choice for going offroad anyway.
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  #5  
Old 01-03-2013, 10:52 PM
christopherr117 christopherr117 is offline
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Hahaha thanks yall. Just curious as to why I should pick up a new set of wheels in addition to the tires. Again, please ignore the ignorance hahaha.
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  #6  
Old 01-03-2013, 11:01 PM
lgr122 lgr122 is offline
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Having another set of wheels just makes it easier to switch between summer tires and winter tires according season, and they're normally even different size, because in snow higher and more narrow tire kind of works better.

We who live in north know for sure that we will need them next year again, so they won't get wasted.

Last edited by lgr122; 01-03-2013 at 11:03 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-03-2013, 11:07 PM
christopherr117 christopherr117 is offline
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Oh I get what you're saying. Doing a preliminary Craigslist search. Yall think that honeycomb wheels from a 1996 740Li will have fitment issues?? Its amazing to me how cheap some of this stuff goes on Craigslist.
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  #8  
Old 01-03-2013, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by lgr122 View Post
Having another set of wheels just makes it easier to switch between summer tires and winter tires according season, and they're normally even different size, because in snow higher and more narrow tire kind of works better.

We who live in north know for sure that we will need them next year again, so they won't get wasted.
This. You get winter tires that are narrower and taller than your summers.
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  #9  
Old 01-03-2013, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by christopherr117 View Post
Hahaha thanks yall. Just curious as to why I should pick up a new set of wheels in addition to the tires. Again, please ignore the ignorance hahaha.
Because you generally run larger-diameter and wider wheels with your summer (3-season) tires, and in many cases they are not really suitable for winter duty, which you want to be slightly smaller & narrower, so you can run a narrower, taller-profile tire that will bite down *through* the snow, rather than act like a flotation device as most wide, low-profile tires tend to do.
Plus, all that breaking down, re-mounting, and re-balancing is not really good for wheels & tires, in addition to becoming quite expensive when you`re doing it twice a year....much easier to switch everything over if they`re already mounted.
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  #10  
Old 01-03-2013, 11:21 PM
christopherr117 christopherr117 is offline
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Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Because you generally run larger-diameter and wider wheels with your summer (3-season) tires, and in many cases they are not really suitable for winter duty, which you want to be slightly smaller & narrower, so you can run a narrower, taller-profile tire that will bite down *through* the snow, rather than act like a flotation device as most wide, low-profile tires tend to do.
Plus, all that breaking down, re-mounting, and re-balancing is not really good for wheels & tires, in addition to becoming quite expensive when you`re doing it twice a year....much easier to switch everything over if they`re already mounted.
Thanks for the knowledge!! I've already got a few leads for some inexpensive OEM wheels people don't seem to want. I'll pursue those tomorrow, and then look into some winter tires! I am noticing there are a few types. Opinions on whether to go performance, studable, or stud less??
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  #11  
Old 01-03-2013, 11:45 PM
scarede46er scarede46er is offline
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After living in Wyoming, nothing fazes me. That being said, I love it in SC and am NOT leaving!!!
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  #12  
Old 01-04-2013, 04:38 AM
vandyboy vandyboy is offline
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I am a Southern boy who lived in NYC/NJ for a while, and I inherited a set of winter tires with the purchase of my E30. They were awesome up there. When I got back to Nashville, the tires were shot and I just ran all season Michelins on it. Was able to drive here in 10" of snow with no problems (I know ten inches isn't much to your Northerners, but that will shut down a Southern city.) I think you can almost drive anything with a 5 speed and good tires in the snow.

Last edited by vandyboy; 01-04-2013 at 04:39 AM.
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  #13  
Old 01-04-2013, 07:02 AM
christopherr117 christopherr117 is offline
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(I know ten inches isn't much to your Northerners, but that will shut down a Southern city.)
I think thats more snow than I have seen over the course of my life! If I wasn't up there for school I'd be staying right here in the sunshine and warmth.
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  #14  
Old 01-04-2013, 07:03 AM
Cheflance Cheflance is offline
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You'll have to check the state laws on whether you can use the studded snow tires or not. I know that Vermont allows you to use studded snow tires. Lived there for a couple years and I had them on my Grand Am. Never had any problems driving, I remember losing control once but the tires caught again pretty quick. I was working at a ski resort at the time and had to drive through everything. I don't miss it AT ALL!! Hate getting up early to shovel out the car and always having to keep an ice scraper and brush. And all the snow and water that gets into the car, wow, bringing back some bad memories

I think you can have the tires re-studded, also, every season. They will wear down after a winter of heavy driving. I, also, just kept the studded for winter and had spring/fall tires. There is no summer in Vermont
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  #15  
Old 01-04-2013, 09:43 AM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christopherr117 View Post
Thanks for the knowledge!! I've already got a few leads for some inexpensive OEM wheels people don't seem to want. I'll pursue those tomorrow, and then look into some winter tires! I am noticing there are a few types. Opinions on whether to go performance, studable, or stud less??
No studs ! A good performance tire is preferable....I`ve gotten great service from my Dunlop Wintersport M3s and 3Ds, they do everything right, including remaining stable at triple-digit speeds, which is not the case with many snow tires. Nokian and Vredestein make some excellent winter tires, but are not as widely available as the more common brands.
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  #16  
Old 01-04-2013, 10:55 AM
Fishful Thinking Fishful Thinking is offline
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I found some stock 325i wheels on Craigslist for cheap and put the Continental WinterContact tires on them, and I can go anywhere I want with my car. These tires are a little mushy for non-snow use, however. On the family Honda we put the Michelin X-ice Xi2 winter tires, and they ride more like all season tires, with less mush. So, unless you're going where they don't plow or salt/sand, I'd go with the Michelins.

Generally, there are 3 basic types of winter tire: Studded, non-studded, and performance. The performance types are less mushy, but you sacrifice ultimate grip in snow. These are great if you plan to see just a little snow and drive on plowed/sanded/salted roads. If you're going to encounter a lot of snow, go with the dedicated non-studded. You can read up on this and read reviews on Tire Rack's website. Very helpful. Good luck.
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