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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 11-29-2012, 11:58 AM
agbasher agbasher is offline
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Question Drop all the hammers you want, but I have a legit Winter Tire question!

I know I am going to get massacred for this ("search previous discussions", "this has already been answered", etc.) but I have a winter tire question and I CANNOT find a previous discussion about it!

Just got my second ever BMW -- first in several years -- e90 335 x-drive / m-sport. Just swapped summer 18"s with winter 18"s that came with it.

WHOA! Horrible ride. Squishy, much worse handling, etc. IS THIS NORMAL?!

Thanks, and please refrain from what I probably deserve.
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  #2  
Old 11-29-2012, 12:06 PM
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floydarogers floydarogers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agbasher View Post
I know I am going to get massacred for this ("search previous discussions", "this has already been answered", etc.) but I have a winter tire question and I CANNOT find a previous discussion about it!

Just got my second ever BMW -- first in several years -- e90 335 x-drive / m-sport. Just swapped summer 18"s with winter 18"s that came with it.

WHOA! Horrible ride. Squishy, much worse handling, etc. IS THIS NORMAL?!

Thanks, and please refrain from what I probably deserve.
Yes, it's normal. If you read all the winter tire threads you'll discover mention of this, but it's not the #1 element of most of the threads. I advise you to go to tirerack.com and read about winter tires there.
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  #3  
Old 11-29-2012, 12:08 PM
Alarbus Alarbus is offline
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Yup. Summer and winter tires have entirely different purposes. I'm holding off on swapping mine, since the car feels like it floats, and I just picked it up. (Sold my 2006 and bought a 2009) I wanted some fun time before I have to be practical, but I'm probably only good for another week.

That's also why it's not good to run winter tires in warm weather - the softer compound wears faster when it's warm. Plus, the tread is designed for snow, and will function poorly without it.

A lot of people just run all seasons in the winter as more of a compromise. Vermont weather is bad enough I just use snows for 4-5 months.
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  #4  
Old 11-29-2012, 12:33 PM
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galahad05 galahad05 is offline
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Winter PERFORMANCE tires can (somewhat) bridge the gap in handling and feel between true high-winter tires and summer performance tires.
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  #5  
Old 11-29-2012, 12:36 PM
agbasher agbasher is offline
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Are All Seasons an OK Replacement?

The winter tires I have are nearly run down, with just enough tread for one more season.

I am considering All Seasons as the replacement and not winters. These winters are HORRENDOUS!
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  #6  
Old 11-29-2012, 12:39 PM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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OP, you've tested backwards. Wait until you've got 6" of fresh snow on top of an inch of hardpack. Do your driving test again. Let us know which tires you like then!
FYI, some of the very best Winter tires are the worst for dry performance. It's the nature of the beast. You want the best Summer tires you will have the worst Winters, and vise versa. I will give you some encouragement though. You are going to notice that your Winter tires perform better and better on snowless roads as time goes by. They will be at their best just before you junk them.
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  #7  
Old 11-29-2012, 12:56 PM
Alarbus Alarbus is offline
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Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
You want the best Summer tires you will have the worst Winters, and vise versa.
Oh, if only, IF ONLY, cheap summer tires functioned as great winter tires. IF ONLY.
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  #8  
Old 11-29-2012, 02:44 PM
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Zooks527 Zooks527 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agbasher View Post
The winter tires I have are nearly run down, with just enough tread for one more season.

I am considering All Seasons as the replacement and not winters. These winters are HORRENDOUS!
I run an xDrive with winters 3 months of the year, and all-seasons the rest of the year.

We got an early snow storm a few weeks back, so I was on it on relatively new Continental DWS All-Season tires (about 5000 miles on them).

In the rain at the start of the storm, they were fine.

In the snow, they were OK (not great, not good, OK).

However, I got onto one section where there was 1/2" of slush on patches of ice. Past winters on the snow tires, this type of surface was not a problem if care was used. However, with the A/S tires, I was going under 5 mph (creeping at a light) and suddenly found myself sliding with no control at all. Zero. Nada. None. I slid for about 15' at less than walking speed until I got back onto slush-on-pavement under the new A/S tires.

There are people here who insist A/S tires are fine, if you just slow down. If there's ice involved, they're wrong. Grossly, utterly wrong.

If you expect to see wet snow coexisting with ice, you need winter tires. Dry ice, A/S are barely tolerable. Wet ice, A/S tires are not acceptable, regardless of how many people start telling you how many years they've used them without a problem.
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Last edited by Zooks527; 11-29-2012 at 02:46 PM.
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  #9  
Old 11-29-2012, 03:14 PM
agbasher agbasher is offline
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Thanks all

Thanks everyone for the perspective.

I live in MN and definitely face torrents of extreme winter conditions.

I think I will be slower on the trigger next year in putting on my winters.
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  #10  
Old 11-29-2012, 06:21 PM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agbasher View Post
Thanks everyone for the perspective.

I live in MN and definitely face torrents of extreme winter conditions.

I think I will be slower on the trigger next year in putting on my winters.
MN??? Why are we not discussing the use of studded winter tires vs. chains?
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  #11  
Old 11-29-2012, 06:28 PM
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Orient330iNYC Orient330iNYC is online now
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Originally Posted by dsxmachina View Post
mn??? Why are we not discussing the use of studded winter tires vs. Chains?
chains vs tracks. Discuss
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  #12  
Old 11-29-2012, 07:06 PM
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jummo jummo is offline
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Originally Posted by galahad05 View Post
Winter PERFORMANCE tires can (somewhat) bridge the gap in handling and feel between true high-winter tires and summer performance tires.
This is how I roll.



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  #13  
Old 11-29-2012, 08:18 PM
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chains vs tracks. Discuss
Rule 1: Check your local laws! Often one or both are against statute and will cost you quite a fine.
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  #14  
Old 11-29-2012, 09:33 PM
Alarbus Alarbus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agbasher View Post
Thanks everyone for the perspective.

I live in MN and definitely face torrents of extreme winter conditions.

I think I will be slower on the trigger next year in putting on my winters.
A set of rims per set of tires is great. If you decide you put them on too early, a bit of time in the garage fixes it.
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  #15  
Old 11-29-2012, 10:20 PM
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Zeichen311 Zeichen311 is offline
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Originally Posted by Orient330iNYC View Post
chains vs tracks. Discuss
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  #16  
Old 11-30-2012, 06:08 PM
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pointandgo pointandgo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agbasher View Post
I know I am going to get massacred for this ("search previous discussions", "this has already been answered", etc.) but I have a winter tire question and I CANNOT find a previous discussion about it!

Just got my second ever BMW -- first in several years -- e90 335 x-drive / m-sport. Just swapped summer 18"s with winter 18"s that came with it.

WHOA! Horrible ride. Squishy, much worse handling, etc. IS THIS NORMAL?!

Thanks, and please refrain from what I probably deserve.
We presume that you don't have studded tires? Winter tires usually have all the (tread design) features that will result in less precise handling "feel," such as: slightly deeper tread depth, "softer" tread rubber, numerous slits and "sipes." All this results in a more "squirmy" tire footprint...especially when new (or underinflated!). The sensation will improve as they wear down as noted above.

Probably the greatest contributing factor is the tread rubber compounding which is specially formulated to stay soft in sub-freezing temps. Quite the opposite of what we want for crisp handling. As they say, all tires are a compromise of sorts, and dedicated winter tires are certainly a compromise for winter snow traction.

Don't try to take that on/off ramp at the same speed that you're used to with your summer tires...the winter tires certainly won't pull the same G-loads!!
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