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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 10-30-2012, 11:06 AM
RAS256 RAS256 is offline
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Snow tires

It's been a long time since I drove a rear wheel drive car in the winter. I know that I need snow tires, but don't know whether to get two or four. The local tire dealer was pushing four, said something about the new suspensions, etc.

BTW: I have an 06 330 Ci Convertible.

Thanks,
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  #2  
Old 10-30-2012, 11:37 AM
lgr122 lgr122 is offline
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If you're going to get, then you should get four, otherwise your car will handle very unstable in turns.
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  #3  
Old 10-30-2012, 03:09 PM
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bmw330ci04 bmw330ci04 is offline
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four
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:40 PM
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cwsqbm cwsqbm is offline
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Absolutely 4. You need them on the rear to go, and on the front to stop and turn. The difference in traction between modern snow tires and all-seasons is night and day.

That said, consider which type of snow tire you're getting. The three options are high performance, studless, and studdable. In your area, studdable might be an option. They're not an option for me, so I don't know much about them. However, between studless and high performance, I went with studless and regret it. The studless are better in snow and ice than the high performance, but you pay dearly for it in dry pavement handling precision once the road is cleared. I put my snow tires on yesterday, and now will suffer until spring.
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:18 PM
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djstrachan djstrachan is offline
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Four is an absolute must. The handling characteristics and safety of the car will be seriously compromised if you only use 2 on the back.

I have performance winters in the 225/45/17 configuration and they are fantastic in everything. The new compounds used in winter tires and siping designs make studs almost obsolete. They also perform extremely well on wet and dry roads so you give up almost nothing to have winter tires.
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:07 AM
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Coconutpete Coconutpete is offline
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Four, absolutely positively four.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:20 PM
jimvideopro jimvideopro is offline
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Yes, 4. Think about what happens if you only do two on the rear. Good traction and road holding in the ice and snow. Fronts, not so much. That's understeer. You can accelerate, but hit the wall because you can't turn.

Previous posters make good points about the type of snow tire you buy. I have four General Altimax Artics (they were the cheapest), which are amazing in the snow and ice, but REALLY squirmy in dry conditions on the highway. Probably should have bought the "performance" snows. Go to tirerack.com and do some research.
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Last edited by jimvideopro; 11-01-2012 at 08:21 PM. Reason: addl info
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  #8  
Old 11-02-2012, 09:52 AM
RAS256 RAS256 is offline
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Snow tire question

Thank you for your help.
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