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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 08-29-2011, 06:53 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Curious what you think of my excessive tire wear (is it due to camber or toe-in?)

At 102,278 miles, I have a recurring bad habit of driving the windy canyon roads going 'over the hill' a few times a week, up and down the Old Santa Cruz highway ... and ... well, while I'm a sedate driver ... hitting those sharp corners, even at 30mph, is (apparently) a bit wearing on the tires.

Looking at them today, I noticed, besides the obvious fact I need to order new round black donuts, to fit - the less obvious hint that the INSIDE of all four tires is more worn than the outside (rotated 'only' at brake changes, which is to say they weren't really rotated at all).

See the pics below of all four tires (admittedly worn well past the wear indicators) on my non-sport 525i.

Just curious: Do you think that additional inside wear is due to camber? Toe-in?
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Last edited by bluebee; 09-01-2011 at 03:24 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2011, 07:09 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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BB:
The inside tire wear is typically associated with camber and this is usually more pronounced on the sport suspension, which has more camber than the normal e39 suspension. I think the location of your inside tread wear is normal as the outside tread is also fairly worn. More importantly, how many miles have you run since you installed these tires. That will indicate if anything is amiss with your suspension.

FWIW: I've had Michelin Pilot Primacy (good performance but terrible noise at 10K), Pirelli P-Zero Nero A/S (very quiet, great ride and good performance) and General UHP A/S (average ride and performance). I hear the Conti ExtremeContact DWS are very nice.
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
I think the location of your inside tread wear is normal as the outside tread is also fairly worn.
Interesting that it's normal.

Unfortunately, I really don't know how many miles I've driven with those tires.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
I've had Michelin Pilot Primacy ... Pirelli P-Zero Nero A/S ... and General UHP A/S... I hear the Conti ExtremeContact DWS are very nice.
I ran a quick survey today, of all the similar tires at Tire Rack.

I'm going to choose a set of these soon (strictly by the numbers), and order them shipped to a local tire shop at tire-rack-contract prices (about $15 per tire, mounting, balancing, & stem ... plus $3 disposal fee & taxes).

These are my current (well worn) tires:
Michelin Energy MXV4 Plus P225/55R16 95H (1521lbs, 130mph) 400/A/A $185

There are the available choices, by the specs, from Tire Rack:
Hankook Ventus V4 ES H105 P225/55R16 99V (1709lbs 149mph) 420 A A $88.00
Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 (H&V) P225/55R16 95V (1521lbs 149mph) 360 AA A $88.00
Kumho Ecsta SPT P225/55ZR16 99W (1709lbs 168mph) 320 AA A $89.00
Fuzion Touring (H&V) P225/55R16 99V (1709lbs 149mph) 400 A A $94.00
Kumho Ecsta ASX P225/55R16 95W (1521lbs 168mph 420 AA A $96.00
Kumho Ecsta SPT P225/55ZR16 99W (1709lbs 168mph) 320 AA A $97.00
Firestone Firehawk GT P225/55R16 95H (1521lbs 130mph) 460 A A $100.00
Dunlop Direzza DZ101 P225/55R16 95V (1521lbs 149mph) 300 A A $101.00
Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 (H&V) P225/55R16 95H (1521lbs 130mph) 360 AA A $102.00
Continental ExtremeContact DWS P225/55ZR16 95W (1521lbs 168mph) 540 A A $103.00
Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum P225/55ZR16 95W (1521lbs 168mph) 600 A A $103.00
Kumho Ecsta 4X P225/55R16 95W (1521lbs 168mph) 420 AA A $104.00
Kumho Solus KH16 P225/55R16 94H (1477lbs 130mph) 440 AA A $104.00
BFGoodrich g-Force Sport P225/55ZR16 Z 340 AA A $105.00
Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500 P225/55R16 95W (1521lbs 168mph) 320 A A $105.00
Firestone Precision Sport P225/55R16 95H (1521lbs 130mph) 400 A A $107.00
Goodyear Eagle GT (V) P225/55R16 95V (1521lbs 149mph) 440 A A $107.00
General Altimax HP P225/55R16 95H (1521lbs 130mph) 440 A A $109.00
Fuzion ZRi P225/55R16 95W (1521lbs 168mph) 320 A A $110.00
Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval AS (H&V) P225/55R16 95H (1521lbs 130mph 460 A A $110.00
Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport P225/55R16 95W (1521lbs 168mph) 340 A A $111.00
Yokohama S.drive P225/55R16 95W (1521lbs (168mph 300 AA A $112.00
Continental ExtremeContact DW P225/55ZR16 95W (1521lbs 168mph) 340 AA A $114.00
General G-MAX AS-03 P225/55ZR16 95W (1521lbs 168mph) 480 A A $114.00
Yokohama ADVAN S.4. P225/55R16 95W (1521lbs 168mph) 400 AA A $115.00
Bridgestone Potenza G 019 Grid P225/55R16 95V (1521lbs 149mph) 460 A A $116.00
Yokohama AVID ENVigor (H&V) P225/55R16 99V (1709lbs 149mph) 560 A A $119.00
Continental ContiPremiumContact P225/55ZR16 99 (1709lbs ) 280 A A $121.00
BFGoodrich g-Force Super Sport A/S H&V P225/55R16 95H (1521lbs 130mph) 460 AA A $122.00
Yokohama AVID TRZ P225/55R16 95H (1521lbs 130mph) 580 A A $122.00
Pirelli P6 Four Seasons P225/55R16 95H (1521lbs 130mph) 400 A A $123.00
BFGoodrich g-Force Super Sport A/S P225/55ZR16 95W (1521lbs 168mph) 400 AA A $129.00
Goodyear Eagle RS-A P225/55R16 94H (1477lbs 130mph) 260 A A $129.00
Pirelli Winter 210 Sottozero P225/55R16 95H (1521lbs 130mph) $129.00
Pirelli P6 Four Seasons Plus P225/55R16 95H (1521lbs 130mph) 500 A A $133.00
Continental ContiProContact P225/55R16 99H (1709lbs 130mph) 400 AA A $135.00
Pirelli P6 Four Seasons P225/55R16 95V (1521lbs 149mph) 400 A A $135.00
Bridgestone Turanza Serenity P225/55R16 95H (1521lbs 130mph) 740 A A $137.00
Continental ContiProContact P225/55R16 95V (1521lbs 149mph) 400 AA A $137.00
BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW 2 P225/55ZR16 95Y (1521lbs x) 300 AA A $141.00
Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S P225/55R16 95H (1521lbs 130mph) 400 A A $141.00
Michelin Primacy Alpin PA3 P225/55R16 95H (1521lbs 130mph) $144.00
Bridgestone Potenza RE040 P225/55R16 94V (1477lbs 149mph) 140 A A $148.00
Continental ContiTouringContact CH95 P225/55R16 95H (1521lbs 130mph) 360 A A $148.00
Bridgestone Turanza Serenity P225/55R16 95V (1521lbs 149mph) 440 AA A $153.00
Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring P225/55R16 95H (1521lbs 130mph) 740 A B $154.00
Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 P225/55R16 95H (1521lbs 130mph) 300 A A $157.00
Michelin Pilot Exalto PE2 P225/55ZR16 95W (1521lbs 168mph) 240 A A $170.00
Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus P225/55ZR16 95W (1521lbs 168mph) 500 AA A $185.00
Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 P225/55R16 95V (1521lbs 149mph) 300 A A $191.00
Michelin Primacy HP P225/55R16 99W (1709lbs 168mph) 240 A A $193.00
Michelin Primacy HP P225/55R16 95Y (1521lbs x) 240 A A $193.00
Pirelli Cinturato P7 P225/55R16 95W (1521lbs 168mph) 260 A A $200.00
Pirelli Cinturato P7 P225/55R16 99W (1709lbs 168mph) 260 AA A $210.00
Pirelli Cinturato P7 P225/55R16 99Y (1709lbs 186mph) 260 AA A $229.00
Pirelli P6000 P225/55ZR16 95W (1521lbs 168mph) 180 A A $239.00

Last edited by bluebee; 08-29-2011 at 08:02 PM.
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  #4  
Old 08-29-2011, 07:53 PM
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dalekressin dalekressin is offline
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Yep,
Inside wear is very common.
I had a friend with a 911 that had a tire blow out. The tires were very good on the outer edge and bald inside.
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  #5  
Old 08-29-2011, 07:54 PM
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dalekressin dalekressin is offline
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oops, hit the post too soon.
This is typically associated with camber.
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  #6  
Old 08-29-2011, 07:59 PM
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Based on my experience with them on a previous car, I'll recommend against the Potenza RE040s unless you want to buy tires again in 20,000 miles (or less). They are soft and sticky so they are good when still relatively new, but they wear quickly and once they do they're not good at all in the wet.
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For me, the e39 is the ... best balance of luxury ... performance ... good looks and class. Sort of the Catherine Deneuve of cars, if you get my drift.
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  #7  
Old 08-29-2011, 08:00 PM
NNY528i NNY528i is offline
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looks pretty good, relatively even wear with the majority on the inside,do you rotate the tires regularly if so that is why the fronts look the way they do, if not then it is probably all the hard driving. I have read the DWS is a better tire than the MXV4. I just had a set installed for 175 each at a local tire place. so far am very happy with the tire, smooth and quite, actually think I can hear a bearing grumbling now that I couldn't hear over my old abused tires.
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:04 PM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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BB,

While Fudman is correct about inside wear and camber, you may already know camber is not adjustable on the front without the use of a camber kit. Standard camber will fall into place at -5 deg (very slight) if the caster and toe are within spec after an alignment.

Assuming that inside wear was NOT PRESENTwhen they were on the back end, just before the rotation during your brake job, you might want to take a look at your tie rods as that may actually be a sign of TOE-OUT. FYI, excessive Toe-out causes feathering on the inside while Toe-in as you questioned in the title of the post would actually cause feathering on the OUTSIDE edge, which I don't see in your photos.

So before you go out and spend your hard earned money on new donuts, have your suspension and alignment checked. Otherwise, you'll find your new donuts wearing out prematurely.

Considering tires typically last about 30k miles with proper alignment and good suspension, you might want to take the opportunity to overhaul your suspension as well so you can enjoy those canyon drives that much more.

And to be sure the rear end tire wear doesn't get excessive due to the standard -2 deg negative camber, you really should rotate the tires at least every 5-7k. IF you buy at your favorite place, Costco, you'll get free rotations there and can be done in the time it takes to do your normal shopping.

Last edited by dvsgene; 08-29-2011 at 08:14 PM.
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  #9  
Old 08-30-2011, 05:08 AM
crazy4trains crazy4trains is offline
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I have not point of reference as the tires on my newly purchased 02 530i sport are also new and were installed by the selling dealer. They are Continental ContiProContact which TireRack classifies as a Touring/All Season tire. I have no complaints to this point but again, I have no other point of reference.

Whatever you get and wherever you get them negotiate lifetime rotation and balance into your purchase price. Most reputable tire installers will agree to this to get your business as they assume that most people won't be back for the rotations. You may have to pay a little more up front but most of the time I get the lifetime rotations and balance for the original quoted price. Make sure your purchase agreement indicates this.

If your suspension geometry checks out, regular rotations are the best way to ensure maximum life and even wear from your tires. I do my rotations at every 5000 mile increment on the odometer. Easy to remember that way.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:39 AM
mycul mycul is offline
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I agree with most of whats been said pertaining to alignment. The lowering associated with the sport suspension introduces additional negative camber which will cause uneven tire wear as exemplified on your car. "Sport suspension" is yet another design compromise with the trade-off being increased tire wear (of more expensive, low profile tires) and stiffer suspension compliance for higher road grip and less body roll.

One of the differentiating symptoms of camber wear versus toe wear is whether or not the wear is smooth or scalloped. Camber wear tends to be smooth and improper toe wear tends to be scalloped.
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  #11  
Old 08-30-2011, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mycul View Post
"Sport suspension" is yet another design compromise with the trade-off being increased tire wear
Interestingly, QSilver7 just posted a nice E39 Buyers Guide:
- E39 Buyers Guide (PDF) (download or view)

Where it says:
Quote:
Sports Package Tire Wear:

We've gotten a number of letters regarding excessive tire wear and noise on E39s equipped with the Sports Package. BMW does a certain disservice to buyers by not clearly informing them exactly how those heavy cars are made to handle so well, which is by creating a lot of friction at the tires that in turn creates tire noise and a high degree of wear.

An E39 can easily tear through a set of ultra high performance summer tires in 7,000 miles, especially the rears. That's the price you pay to make a big heavy limo handle like a sports car - which will only happen through the use of large contact patches and aggressive suspension geometry that use a lot of negative camber.

Last edited by bluebee; 08-30-2011 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 08-30-2011, 02:33 PM
bimmerteck bimmerteck is offline
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That statement is a large part of why you can't simply pick a tire "by the numbers" what works extremely well on my lowered, lighter, and much harder driven car, may not meet your goals for an e39 chassis.

I.E. I'm currently running 180 tread wear tire that last almost 15k on my car but if you put them on a car with the weight and suspension characteristics of a non-sport e39 they would do well to last half of that and would likely be very loud while at it. If you were to put 400 tread wear tire on my little car it would likely slide all over the place b/c it's designed from the ground up(suspension, brakes, ect) for very sticky tires.( R-comps )
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Old 08-30-2011, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerteck View Post
you can't simply pick a tire "by the numbers"
I fully concur with your sentiment that the numbers only tell the story of the vehicle they were tested with and the test regimen and test instruments used.

For example, here's my current tire, 'by the numbers':
  • Brand (e.g., Michelin)
  • Model (e.g, Energy MXV4 Plus)
  • Size (e.g., P225/55R16)
  • Load Range (e.g., 95 ... 1521lbs)
  • Speed Designation (e.g., H ... 130mph)
  • Treadwear (e.g., 400)
  • Traction (e.g., A)
  • Temperature (e.g., A)
  • Price (e.g., $185.00)
However, what else do we have other than 'the numbers'?

If we rely on tire reviews, for example, Tire Rack reviews, the inconsistency of vehicles, driving habits, test instruments, and measurements would vastly confuse the results.

So, what 'else' is there other than 'the numbers' for me to compare my existing tire, with, for example, the cheapest & most expensive alternative:

My Current (worn) Tires:
Michelin Energy MXV4 Plus P225/55R16 95H (1521lbs, 130mph) 400/A/A $185

Cheapest TireRack Alternative:
Hankook Ventus V4 ES H105 P225/55R16 99V (1709lbs 149mph) 420 A A $88.00

Most Expensive TireRack Alternative:
Pirelli P6000 P225/55ZR16 95W (1521lbs 168mph) 180 A A $239.00

Last edited by bluebee; 08-30-2011 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:57 PM
crazy4trains crazy4trains is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
If we rely on tire reviews, for example, Tire Rack reviews, the inconsistency of vehicles, driving habits, test instruments, and measurements would vastly confuse the results.
Bought a set of Kumho All Terrain tires for my 99 Tahoe based on the hundreds of positive reviews on TireRack. Luckily I purchased them from a local shop. Three of the original 4 were replaced for being out of round. No argument from the shop as the owner stood there and watched the tires wave at me. Two of the three replacements were junk. Owner replaced them with a set of Deathstones that receive marginal reviews on TireRack. They worked just fine.

My opinion is that you take the reviews with a grain of salt.

Good Luck!!
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:18 PM
mycul mycul is offline
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BB,
I think thats all you're going to get on the subject. Consider both the objective (the numbers) and the subjective (the reviews) and make your best guess.

As another member of the BB fan club, allow me to express my gratitude for all the effort you put into organizing this site.

Regards,
Michael
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:07 AM
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Thanks for the kind words ... I do spend a lot of time making pictures and annotating them for the team!

As for the question, it may be useful to note the same question was asked of our E46 brethren just today:
- E46 (1999 - 2006) > Best strategy to troubleshoot front inner tire wear

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Old 10-30-2011, 12:55 PM
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gibo58 gibo58 is offline
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camber

This tire wear is obviously from negative camber on my msport 530i,


I have done 21,000 miles on these Toyo 255/40r17's, but would have changed them about 5000 miles ago if I had known about the negative camber wear. Funnily the right hand tire is no where near as bad. So that would point to an alignment required.
The front Toyo's (235/45) are still in pretty good shape and were put on the same time.

I was going to go with the Toyo's again but have been told for the same money the Continental Sport Contact3 are a much better tire. Although either one is still $300 each

Last edited by gibo58; 10-30-2011 at 12:57 PM.
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  #18  
Old 10-30-2011, 01:03 PM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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my rear tires last 15k max even i keep negative camber around 1.2 - 1.5
i usually replace 2 rear sets together with 1 front set
no rotation, tires Michelin and Conti

Last edited by champaign777; 10-30-2011 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 11-01-2011, 06:34 PM
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golferjohnm golferjohnm is offline
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now I don't feel so bad...I only got @ 8k on my Hankook V12 rear tires. Found some OEM M5 wheels and replaced the whole lot. I'm curious to see with new rear ball joints and a fresh alignment if any thing helps
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:00 AM
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menhir menhir is offline
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FWIW, my Conti DWS tires have 15K miles and very little signs of wear, which is very even so far. I had an alignment and ride height calibration done when they were installed.

I'm a fan of these tires and became a more devout fan after driving in 8" of slushy snow and icy roads this past weekend. Best combined traction of any tire I've ever used.

2001 530i Sport, BTW
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:44 AM
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For the record, a second set of tires were prematurely shredded, at which point I read up and learned a lot more about alignment, and we came to some good conclusions about how best to add weight and why - and - how to adjust the factory settings for better results.

Details here:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > What can I have done at the alignment shop to reduce my drastic E39 inside tire wear?

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See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:26 AM
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For the record, a similar question came up today over here

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockstar198403 View Post
my e39 touring edition is having trouble with premature wear on the rear tires what can cause this ?
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Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:08 PM
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Re: Curious what you think of my excessive tire wear (is it due to camber or toe-in?)

If your tire didn't reach it's mileage rating and it's that even around I would think over inflation. Like in earlier posts camber wear is more pronounced then that. Same with toe in and toe out. That tire looks like it wore out pretty even. Especially for a bmw. Also my little suggestion on tires. If you have low pro I would go Toyo proxies 4+ for sure. 50xxx mike tire and I've seen em last longer on most cars. If you have a bigger sidewall I would check out the Toyo ultra z9000 it's got a 80xxx rating. Both of those tires are my personal favorites

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  #24  
Old 10-06-2013, 10:16 PM
evanwest94 evanwest94 is offline
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Mein Auto: E39 540I
Re: Curious what you think of my excessive tire wear (is it due to camber or toe-in?)

Also if your non staggered which it looks like. Rotate a lot. At my shop we recommend every 3-5k, check front end and also have them examine the tires and see what could have cause certain wear. For ex. Cupping, toe can cause it and so can struts and shocks. But an experiences tire person should be able to tell by the direction and patterns of the cupping what could have caused it. Check the alignment also. I check mine every 6 months just to be safe. Some shops as like mine, have no charge alignment checks. If it's not out, no charge.

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Old 01-26-2014, 10:14 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
For the record, a similar thread was opened today:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Uneven tire wear

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw530ii View Post
Hey everybody. Today I was looking at my tires and noticed that my inner rear tires are wearing out unevenly. What's going on? The front tires are good.

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alignment, camber, survey, tire wear, toe-in


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