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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 08-22-2013, 09:41 AM
MWCAPECOD MWCAPECOD is offline
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Question regarding snow tires

I just recently purchased a 2009 535i with xdrive. I live in New England - would you reccommend that I put snow tires on for the winter. I previously owned a 528i with rear wheel drive and even with snows it was risky to drive in the winter.
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  #2  
Old 08-22-2013, 10:14 AM
KLR4LIFE KLR4LIFE is offline
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You have all wheel drive now so you should be good to go. As long as your car has all season tires on it now.
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  #3  
Old 08-22-2013, 10:24 AM
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Kamdog Kamdog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MWCAPECOD View Post
I just recently purchased a 2009 535i with xdrive. I live in New England - would you reccommend that I put snow tires on for the winter. I previously owned a 528i with rear wheel drive and even with snows it was risky to drive in the winter.
Depends.

Are you a doctor, or some sort of person who must always be able to get out and get around in the snow? If you must drive through falling or fallen snow before the roads clear, then yes, get the snows. X-Drive is the drive part, and does nothing for you in stopping and steering.

If you only occasionally might get caught at work while it is snowing, and can drop everything and go home, then, IMO, all seasons are enough.
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  #4  
Old 08-22-2013, 04:51 PM
Gilgorm Gilgorm is offline
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+1 Especially the stopping and cornering part. X-drive gets you going but that's it.
As your all-seasons wear they will get even worse in the winter. Winter tires do the job AND extend the life of your all-seasons since they're in storage half the year.
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  #5  
Old 08-22-2013, 07:13 PM
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Jay Arras Jay Arras is offline
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Originally Posted by Gilgorm View Post
+1 Especially the stopping and cornering part. X-drive gets you going but that's it.
As your all-seasons wear they will get even worse in the winter. Winter tires do the job AND extend the life of your all-seasons since they're in storage half the year.
Better yet, ditch the all-seasons during the summer and get some good UHP tires.
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  #6  
Old 08-23-2013, 08:30 AM
Baymar Baymar is offline
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Agreed on snows - best investment I have ever made for Northeast winters. With x-drive it makes the car almost unflappable in the nasty stuff. It is a totally different vehicle - I would not leave home without them.
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  #7  
Old 08-23-2013, 08:54 AM
njlou njlou is offline
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Forget the tires, get a jeep or 4wd f150 as a bad weather driver.
I have a f150 - very handy. You can get a used jeep very cheaply, but get one out of your salty area. A set of extra tires/wheels and changeovers will cost more than a rat jeep.
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  #8  
Old 08-25-2013, 03:46 PM
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Sumfuncomet Sumfuncomet is offline
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I have a set of factory 18" staggered setup on my 2008535xi with UHP summer only tire on them. I just bought a set of 17" standard wheels from a same year 535xi. I plan on running dedicated snow tires.....total cost including used wheels and new tires 1100.00 it was cheeaper than buying snows for my 18" wheels in staggered sizes and having them swapped out twice a year. I live in Maine and we have some nasty weather,for example my wife drives a 2007 mini S . On the siummer tires it is undrivable in the snow, on my winter wheel/ tire setup with studded snows it is basically unstoppable until the snow gets about 8" deep on the road surface.
Good point another poster made, my wife is an RN and HAS to be at work on time, if so, get the best winter tire on a separate set of wheels you can afford, up here we swear by Nokian studde snows,btw, I will not be using the studded tire on the 535.
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  #9  
Old 08-26-2013, 08:20 PM
whersdadipstick whersdadipstick is offline
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Blizzak winter tires,
I have a 1/4 mile long driveway, I have driven up it with no problem when the snow was as high as the hood. The car exceeds what you can do/see as a driver in these situations. Your car will drive like a Panzer with a set of Blizzaks.
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  #10  
Old 08-27-2013, 01:08 PM
Phoenix1 Phoenix1 is offline
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Question regarding snow tires

Would you rather be in the situation having all season tires and needing snows, or having snows and thinking all seasons might be better?




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  #11  
Old 08-28-2013, 04:05 AM
todd92 todd92 is offline
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Snow tires are always much better in snow than all-season tires. However, as an owner of several rear wheel drive cars with snow tires, I find them safe and enjoyable to drive in snow. If you found it risky to drive a rear wheel drive with snow tires, maybe you should just park it when it snows?
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  #12  
Old 09-19-2013, 11:02 AM
Antiprodigy Antiprodigy is offline
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I have a question.

I have an '04 545i w/ sports package, so staggered wheels. 245/40R18 - Front, 275/35R18 - Rear

My winter tire of choice is Nokian, they make the 245's, but they don't make 275's. The manual seems to imply, though isn't entirely clear that the front wheel/tire combination will also fit on the rear. Is this actually the case?

I have never had to drive the BMW in the snow in the past, as I had other, better options, but find myself in the situation now.

Any suggestions for a relatively inexpensive set of wheels that I could permanently dedicate to the snow tires?
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  #13  
Old 09-19-2013, 11:10 AM
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Kamdog Kamdog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antiprodigy View Post
I have a question.

I have an '04 545i w/ sports package, so staggered wheels. 245/40R18 - Front, 275/35R18 - Rear

My winter tire of choice is Nokian, they make the 245's, but they don't make 275's. The manual seems to imply, though isn't entirely clear that the front wheel/tire combination will also fit on the rear. Is this actually the case?

I have never had to drive the BMW in the snow in the past, as I had other, better options, but find myself in the situation now.

Any suggestions for a relatively inexpensive set of wheels that I could permanently dedicate to the snow tires?
I am sure tire rack can set you up with a good combo. Keep in mind that narrower tires are better in the snow, so you might even try something narrower than the 245s if you want.
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  #14  
Old 09-19-2013, 11:52 AM
Antiprodigy Antiprodigy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamdog View Post
I am sure tire rack can set you up with a good combo. Keep in mind that narrower tires are better in the snow, so you might even try something narrower than the 245s if you want.
I appreciate the comment. Tire rack doesn't sell Nokian's. I have over 20 yrs of very happy experience with Nokian's, so I really would like to go that route. They are truly phenomenal snow tires.

I think that the 545 is a heavy enough vehicle that minus sizing probably will not gain me an advantage. I would love to hear others thoughts on that!

Tire rack wants to set me up with a set of Blizzak's at the stock size. My experience with Blizzak's is that they have great grip when new, but the grip levels drop off quickly after the first 10-20% of use.

I live in western maryland, so we get plenty of significant snow events, but also spend a fair amount of time on dry roads, so rapid wear is an issue. Therefore, I was leaning toward the Nokian WRG3.
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  #15  
Old 09-19-2013, 03:35 PM
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Sumfuncomet Sumfuncomet is offline
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I use General Altimax non studded snows on my 535xi. They are on a set of 17" factory wheels, this is my dedicated winter setup. I have a staggered 18" setup with summer tires also. If you want a compromise all year round drive a set of all seasons full time. They will be not quite the best in the summer AND the winter. We spend a scad of money buying a BMW yet people will not optimize their tire packages so they can save a thousand dollars!
Think about it!, a fifty thousand or more investment and you are cheaping out on the tires to the detriment of excellent summer handling and winter safety where your life and others could be at risk! I think the decision is a narrow(17") tire wheel combo with studless snows, studded if ou really need it and then a set of sweet wheels with hi perf summer skins. Plus the other advantage of not changing tires constantly is your wheels will never be scratched by the tire machine.
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  #16  
Old 09-19-2013, 03:47 PM
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Question regarding snow tires

With "all season" tires, you're making a compromise 100% of the time. Buy a set of dedicated winter wheels with snow tires (Blizzak, Arctic Alpin) and replace the all seasons with dedicated summer tires. Then you're ready for anything and your drive will be so much safer and enjoyable.


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  #17  
Old 09-19-2013, 04:30 PM
jayb328i jayb328i is offline
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No way I would go out without snows on the car. I tried it both ways, and snows make a big difference. But if you say you are never going to be caught in the snow, never use the car in the snow--then it is not necessary.
With the additional gripping power of snows, say 20%, that can be the difference between an accident and not. I think the 20% should be more like 50%.
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  #18  
Old 09-20-2013, 05:01 AM
Antiprodigy Antiprodigy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumfuncomet View Post
We spend a scad of money buying a BMW yet people will not optimize their tire packages so they can save a thousand dollars!
Think about it!, a fifty thousand or more investment and you are cheaping out on the tires to the detriment of excellent summer handling and winter safety where your life and others could be at risk! I think the decision is a narrow(17") tire wheel combo with studless snows, studded if ou really need it and then a set of sweet wheels with hi perf summer skins. Plus the other advantage of not changing tires constantly is your wheels will never be scratched by the tire machine.
I agree with this viewpoint whole-heartedly! Even though my friends and co-workers think I am crazy to own separate summer and winter tires, I wouldn't have it any other way. I have done this for almost 20 years and have never regretted it. I also have had tons of fun on the road when the white stuff flies!

It sounds like everyone is minus sizing when they are using snow tires. I had a very interesting conversation with an individual who used to rally in the 70's. Then supplied wheels & tires for people who rallied in the 80's & 90's. His philosophy on minus sizing is that was the thing to do back in the days of light cars. As they were so light, they had difficulty digging down through the snow to the pavement below, so narrower tires gave a high load on the road. In addition, tread design knowledge was at a very early stage of a deep learning curve.

Today we have heavier cars, we know a lot more about tread designs & there are much better materials used in car tires.

With all that being said, he feels that minus sizing may actually be disadvantageous.

So, anyone know if the 04-05 545i with sports package can use the stock front wheels on the rear as well?
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  #19  
Old 09-20-2013, 06:31 AM
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pistolpuma pistolpuma is offline
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Go with the snows. Even all season tires harden up in cold weather and have marginal grip in sub freezing weather. If you plan on driving it in the winter, I wouldn't skimp on safety. Remember, that tires are providing the grip and enable Xdrive to do its job more effectively.
Get yourself a good tire/wheel package and you won't have to worry about weather for years to come.
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  #20  
Old 09-24-2013, 10:20 AM
Antiprodigy Antiprodigy is offline
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For those who purchased a set of snows for their car, how did you deal with the tpms (tire pressure monitor) Did you buy the wheels locally and have the local shop take care of it? How about people who have used tirerack or other online suppliers?
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  #21  
Old 09-24-2013, 12:32 PM
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Sumfuncomet Sumfuncomet is offline
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I bought my wheels used without sensors. I bought the correct sensors and associated valve stems along with my tires from tirerack....as always great service and a reasonable price. I live in the middle of nowhere and I just can't get selection or decent price where I live. I have been ordering from them for years and never once have they f..cked up an order!
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  #22  
Old 09-24-2013, 07:02 PM
Phoenix1 Phoenix1 is offline
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Question regarding snow tires

I didn't get new rims - just changed snows every year so I did not need new sensors.

You can either get new rims and pay to have new sensors put in or get new rims and put up with the error messages all the time

up to you...


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  #23  
Old 09-25-2013, 12:47 PM
terrystu terrystu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antiprodigy View Post
I agree with this viewpoint whole-heartedly! Even though my friends and co-workers think I am crazy to own separate summer and winter tires, I wouldn't have it any other way. I have done this for almost 20 years and have never regretted it. I also have had tons of fun on the road when the white stuff flies!

It sounds like everyone is minus sizing when they are using snow tires. I had a very interesting conversation with an individual who used to rally in the 70's. Then supplied wheels & tires for people who rallied in the 80's & 90's. His philosophy on minus sizing is that was the thing to do back in the days of light cars. As they were so light, they had difficulty digging down through the snow to the pavement below, so narrower tires gave a high load on the road. In addition, tread design knowledge was at a very early stage of a deep learning curve.

Today we have heavier cars, we know a lot more about tread designs & there are much better materials used in car tires.

With all that being said, he feels that minus sizing may actually be disadvantageous.

So, anyone know if the 04-05 545i with sports package can use the stock front wheels on the rear as well?
Antiprodigy (or should it be uncleprodigy?) has it exactly correct. The idea of minus sizing went out with redline tires. With modern rubber compounds and tread designs, it offers no advantage in snow and a decided disadvantage in dry handling and braking. After all, doesn't 90% of most people's winter driving occur on cleared roads?
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  #24  
Old 09-26-2013, 07:48 AM
Antiprodigy Antiprodigy is offline
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I will answer one of my own questions.

According to tire rack, the 2004 545i has an indirect tpms, so there is no need to worry about sensors when buying new wheels.
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