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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 11-27-2012, 05:57 PM
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HWF HWF is offline
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Drop down in Size for Winter Tires?

After not being able to drive up my icy, slushy driveway today with my 2012 535xi, I'm considering storing my all-season 18" LS2's, in favor of winter tires. TireRack seems to suggest 17" tires for my car. Is this what most of the Festers are doing ... dropping down 1" for the winter. I understand why this may be advantageous. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 11-27-2012, 06:19 PM
RH512 RH512 is offline
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I went with 18" on separate set of wheels. Picked the Michelin Pilot Alpin –– wanted a good compromise of snow, wet and dry. There are better pure snow tires but that's not what I'm driving in the majority of the winter.

Just couldn't go to 17" for aesthetic reasons –– though would be fine. Especially since summer's are Pilot Super Sports on 19" 351M wheels.
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  #3  
Old 11-27-2012, 07:00 PM
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dunderhi dunderhi is online now
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I have a 19" Summer set-up and an 18" Winter set-up. I went with the Alpins since I prefer greater performance for the majority of the Winter too.
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  #4  
Old 11-27-2012, 07:41 PM
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Did both of you go for the RFT's? I know that the Michelin Pilot Alpins come both ways ... RFT and non-RFT.
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  #5  
Old 11-27-2012, 08:57 PM
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No RFTs for me.
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  #6  
Old 11-28-2012, 12:11 AM
Sophisto Sophisto is offline
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I have MSSP's 18 which I change for a 17 inch set of blizzaks for three months winterdriving, the only ones available 2 years ago.
I just put on the winters, which are RFT, they make a lot of noice. Next winter set will be non RFT Alpins.

Last edited by Sophisto; 11-28-2012 at 12:12 AM.
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  #7  
Old 11-28-2012, 02:11 PM
miotoo miotoo is offline
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I just installed the new winter Goodyear UG8 Performance on 17" and Im very happy. On dry autobahn speeds they feel as well connected and responsive as the summer tires.

Soon we will get some snow here and I cant wait to see how they will handle..
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  #8  
Old 11-28-2012, 02:42 PM
fplanner2000 fplanner2000 is offline
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I've also got summer 19's and Pilot Alpins on 18's for winter. For heavy snow, have an SUV. Wouldn't dream of putting runflats on either rims. If I wanted a Buick, I would have bought one
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  #9  
Old 11-28-2012, 04:40 PM
chill535ix chill535ix is offline
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I dropped down from 19"s to 17"s for the winter. Take into consideration that your overall wheel circumference will still be the same, so you'll have more rubber sidewall. Good for potholes and possible curb-rash. The 17"s look tough with my blizzacks.
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  #10  
Old 11-29-2012, 06:29 AM
Alan L. Alan L. is offline
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I don't think downsizing from 18-17"s for snow tires is necessary for NJ winters. True that 17" snow tires are cheaper but that price difference would be offset by the cost for an additional set of wheels. I would just get some Blizzak LM60 snow tires for your 18"s and you should be good to go. 17"s just looks really bad on the F10 and I couldn't bare to look at it that way for 4 months of the year but thats just me. Getting narrower tires will have a bigger impact for snow traction than going from 18 to 17"s

Alan
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  #11  
Old 11-29-2012, 08:41 AM
bubbahead bubbahead is offline
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I dropped down to 18 Dunlops RFT from the LS2 19inch. Getting use to the look but can't imagine putting on 17's
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  #12  
Old 11-29-2012, 11:53 AM
Gilgorm Gilgorm is offline
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I bought the original BMW OEM Winter Tire package (Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D runflats) from another owner who was selling his 18" set (they wouldn't fit his new M5). So far, they sound and feel exactly like my 18" all seasons.
My retired E60 had 17" non-runflat Michelin X-Ice tires which I thought were very good.
17" or 18" shouldn't matter a lot but 17" will cut through the snow better (in theory at least) than 18"
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  #13  
Old 11-29-2012, 04:12 PM
Sharbotcom Sharbotcom is offline
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I've had the 18" Blizzaks for the last 2 winters and using them again this winter. My summer setup was the 19" GY's but I'll be putting the Michelin Pilots on next spring. What is interesting is that my wife just bought a '13 Ford Edge to replace her '04 Murano and the summer setup on it is 20" but the winter package Ford supplies is 17". 3 inch drop. She picks it up next week so it will be intersting to see how works out.
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Last edited by Sharbotcom; 11-29-2012 at 04:13 PM.
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  #14  
Old 11-30-2012, 12:21 AM
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Gran Turismo Gran Turismo is offline
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Just to clarify: The rim size as such has no effect on snow performance, the latter is directly related to the tire width (= 1st number in the tire dimension) and of course the winter specific characteristics of the tire thread and compounds. As a rule of thumb, narrower tires of the same tire model will generally perform better on snow and slush, however such narrower tire dimensions will rather be available on smaller rim sizes. That's why many have smaller winter rims.

BTW I have 20" in summer and 18" in winter (same package Gilgorm mentioned above)
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  #15  
Old 11-30-2012, 04:04 AM
Ionic202 Ionic202 is offline
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I dropped from 19" to 18" and the tires are 245/45R18 Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60. Wheels are 18x8 Enkei Tuning Raijin Gunmetal Painted. Package purchased from Tire Rack. I really like how the car drives and sounds in comparison to the stock Goodyear RFT. When spring arrives, I will be going to non-RFT summer tires for sure.

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  #16  
Old 11-30-2012, 04:14 AM
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EnserioJose EnserioJose is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gran Turismo View Post
Just to clarify: The rim size as such has no effect on snow performance, the latter is directly related to the tire width (= 1st number in the tire dimension) and of course the winter specific characteristics of the tire thread and compounds. As a rule of thumb, narrower tires of the same tire model will generally perform better on snow and slush, however such narrower tire dimensions will rather be available on smaller rim sizes. That's why many have smaller winter rims.

BTW I have 20" in summer and 18" in winter (same package Gilgorm mentioned above)
+1

It's a win win situation. Decrease the contact patch area (most important), increase the side wall height, and decrease tire cost.
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  #17  
Old 11-30-2012, 10:46 PM
schnell525 schnell525 is offline
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I went to
18" V Spoke 281.
Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D Run-flat
245/45R18 100V

From my BMW parts dept. for these guys.

For my 550i i would not want to drop to 17" wheels. This is one big, heavy car. I miss the 19's for fair weather days.

The 18's do ok. I haven't had much snow, but with wet roads, the Wintersport 3D's are working very, very well.
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  #18  
Old 12-01-2012, 09:40 AM
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HWF HWF is offline
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I get the feeling that most, if not all, of the postings here are based on rear wheel drive cars. What about x-drives? Are most leaving the OEM all-seasons on the car throughout the winter?
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  #19  
Old 12-01-2012, 12:16 PM
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jimpal jimpal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HWF View Post
I get the feeling that most, if not all, of the postings here are based on rear wheel drive cars. What about x-drives? Are most leaving the OEM all-seasons on the car throughout the winter?
I don't know about most people, but my own experience here in Minneapolis may be useful.

I leave my all-seasons on all winter, but think it depends where you drive the car. I live in the center of Minneapolis, which is renowned for winter cold and snow. However, the city is awesomely well prepared to deal with it. Roads are cleared quickly, and kept that way. So, my 535xi does fine with just all-season tires.

AWD does make a difference here, though. I go up the small hill by my home with no problems, while RWD cars sometimes have a problem with the remaining snow and ice (fishtailing, etc.), even after plowing.

I'm sure I would feel differently about this if I lived in rural Minnesota.
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  #20  
Old 12-01-2012, 12:37 PM
Sophisto Sophisto is offline
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It is about cornering and stopping ability.
Winter tires is what you want for that.
The AWD extra, hmm, you do not need that.
As in the word, need.
The all season tire is a mistaken feature on a nice car any BMW is.

Last edited by Sophisto; 12-01-2012 at 12:47 PM.
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  #21  
Old 12-01-2012, 02:06 PM
mrcamp mrcamp is offline
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I leave my OEM all-season on my 535ix. No problems at all here in Chicago suburb. Of course, most of this area is usually well prepared, and the snow is cleared ASAP. Also, no problem driving up my driveway even with snow and ice on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HWF View Post
I get the feeling that most, if not all, of the postings here are based on rear wheel drive cars. What about x-drives? Are most leaving the OEM all-seasons on the car throughout the winter?
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