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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 03-17-2013, 01:04 PM
atatbl atatbl is offline
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Wheel question for 2008 535ix surprise surprise

Hi everyone,

As some of you know from my mechanical failure thread, I am new to BMWs. I have some questions on what all of you subject matter experts think about my possible choices.


I am trying to insert a picture, but I can't figure out how!

I have a 2008 535ix with sport, premium, cold weather. The current tire type is winterforce winterforce p225/50r17 935.

I am planning on buying new wheels with my new set of tires. I figure this is the fiscally responsible route. Is that correct?

The current wheels are the "sport edition". I kind of like the black wheels that some people have on theirs.

What size wheel/tire do I need. 17'?

Edit: Since I can't figure out the pictures, this ebay listing seems to be my exact setup: http://compare.ebay.com/like/3506919...Types&var=sbar

Now for the ridiculousness of my lack of knowledge. The wheels currently measure 18.5" across. When I go onto tire rack and look for wheels, they are all 19". Am I missing something?

Last edited by atatbl; 03-17-2013 at 01:18 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-17-2013, 02:27 PM
SoLucky SoLucky is offline
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Wheel diameter is not what you see on a tape measure stretched across the wheel -- reason being is there is a lip on the wheel that keeps the tire from sliding off. Your tires will have markings on them that indicate the wheel size, e.g. 225/50r17 would go on a 17" wheel and 245/40r18 is for an 18" wheel. Given your lack of knowledge I suggest you use a very reputable tire/wheel supplier such as Tire Rack. Tire Rack knows the ins and outs of each car and model and will set you up with wheels and tires that fit your car correctly. Since you have an all-wheel-drive e60, be aware that wheels which fit the rear-wheel-drive models will not fit your car.

When you talk with Tire Rack, the first thing you'll want to decide is wheel diameter. Bigger (19 or 20") = better looks, but worse ride comfort. Smaller (17") = smooth ride, but more tire sidewall means less precise handling. Factory equipped e60's came with 17" (non-sport) or 18" (sport package). Many folks are happy with 18" others prefer 19" and those who value looks over practicality go for 20". You need to factor the quality of roads you drive on as you decide wheel size. 18" is a good safe choice. 19" if you live in the sunbelt.

One last thing you need to be aware of -- tire pressure monitoring. If you car has TMPS (it will if it is a US model), then you'll need TMPS sensors in your new wheels. Tire Rack can install compatible units when they mount and balance tires on your new wheels.

Have fun shopping. There are many nice wheel designs out there and I'm sure you'll find one you like!
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  #3  
Old 03-17-2013, 02:33 PM
atatbl atatbl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoLucky View Post
Wheel diameter is not what you see on a tape measure stretched across the wheel -- reason being is there is a lip on the wheel that keeps the tire from sliding off. Your tires will have markings on them that indicate the wheel size, e.g. 225/50r17 would go on a 17" wheel and 245/40r18 is for an 18" wheel. Given your lack of knowledge I suggest you use a very reputable tire/wheel supplier such as Tire Rack. Tire Rack knows the ins and outs of each car and model and will set you up with wheels and tires that fit your car correctly. Since you have an all-wheel-drive e60, be aware that wheels which fit the rear-wheel-drive models will not fit your car.

When you talk with Tire Rack, the first thing you'll want to decide is wheel diameter. Bigger (19 or 20") = better looks, but worse ride comfort. Smaller (17") = smooth ride, but more tire sidewall means less precise handling. Factory equipped e60's came with 17" (non-sport) or 18" (sport package). Many folks are happy with 18" others prefer 19" and those who value looks over practicality go for 20". You need to factor the quality of roads you drive on as you decide wheel size. 18" is a good safe choice. 19" if you live in the sunbelt.

One last thing you need to be aware of -- tire pressure monitoring. If you car has TMPS (it will if it is a US model), then you'll need TMPS sensors in your new wheels. Tire Rack can install compatible units when they mount and balance tires on your new wheels.

Have fun shopping. There are many nice wheel designs out there and I'm sure you'll find one you like!
Hey thanks for the help!

I have a sport edition, I believe. It says it has the sport package. Is the fact that it will go into sport mode indicative of that? Do only sports do that?

Does this mean that the previous owner took it down to 17" tires? I would guess he may have wanted smaller winter tires? I have heard that is better for poor road conditions.

Alright, so now I am confused. The sport edition wheels are factory (from what I can tell). I can't uplaod my photo. Does that mean he bought OEM wheels for 17" tires? Or do I have a sport edition with 17" tires, or not a sport edition at all?

Thanks again. There is too much I don't know!
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  #4  
Old 03-17-2013, 03:24 PM
SoLucky SoLucky is offline
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Those "Sport Edition" wheels are not from BMW. They are a wheel commonly sold as part of winter tire packages by Tire Rack and other vendors. Nothing wrong with them other than they are plain looking and 17". I run a 17" winter package on my car (with Blizzaks) and it plows through snow and ice without a problem. The narrow tire on 17" diameter wheels does help it cut through snow.

As you suspect, a previous owner of your car must have replaced the factory wheels.

Are you trying to go back to factory set up? If so, someone with an XI will have to guide you -- I don't know which wheel design came from the factory on sport package XI models.
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  #5  
Old 03-17-2013, 03:33 PM
atatbl atatbl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoLucky View Post
Those "Sport Edition" wheels are not from BMW. They are a wheel commonly sold as part of winter tire packages by Tire Rack and other vendors. Nothing wrong with them other than they are plain looking and 17". I run a 17" winter package on my car (with Blizzaks) and it plows through snow and ice without a problem. The narrow tire on 17" diameter wheels does help it cut through snow.

As you suspect, a previous owner of your car must have replaced the factory wheels.

Are you trying to go back to factory set up? If so, someone with an XI will have to guide you -- I don't know which wheel design came from the factory on sport package XI models.
I don't think I want the factory look. After looking around tire rack and doing some research I think I want 18". I am thinking black wheels and possibly adding the BMW decals. Are the decals expensive? My car is sapphire black so I think it will look good. I'd even consider getting a black grill in the future.

My concern over OEM is that I do not know if it can be problematic to deviate from factory discretion. However, from what you are saying, I gather that I do have a sport edition and that it actually had 18" from the factory?

If so, I think black, 18" wheels with the added BMW emblem would be current path.


My next line of questioning for anyone with knowledge.

I've read on here that road force balance is important. I looked for installers on the tire rack site and the only one near me (~5 miles) that offers this service is National Tire and Battery. I've never heard of this company and am not sure about them.

Is road force balance critical? Can I go to any chain to have my tires and wheels changed? I am assuming I should go to an Indy for aligment and not a normal tire shop?

Last edited by atatbl; 03-17-2013 at 03:35 PM.
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  #6  
Old 03-17-2013, 06:38 PM
NOTORIOUSe60 NOTORIOUSe60 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atatbl View Post
I don't think I want the factory look. After looking around tire rack and doing some research I think I want 18". I am thinking black wheels and possibly adding the BMW decals. Are the decals expensive? My car is sapphire black so I think it will look good. I'd even consider getting a black grill in the future.

My concern over OEM is that I do not know if it can be problematic to deviate from factory discretion. However, from what you are saying, I gather that I do have a sport edition and that it actually had 18" from the factory?

If so, I think black, 18" wheels with the added BMW emblem would be current path.


My next line of questioning for anyone with knowledge.

I've read on here that road force balance is important. I looked for installers on the tire rack site and the only one near me (~5 miles) that offers this service is National Tire and Battery. I've never heard of this company and am not sure about them.

Is road force balance critical? Can I go to any chain to have my tires and wheels changed? I am assuming I should go to an Indy for aligment and not a normal tire shop?
National Tire & Battery is a huge chain, I've used them before, they're fine but don't assume they'll have any real cognizant employees who make you feel comfortable or answer your questions with confidence or true knowledge :/

I'd find a local BMW shop and use them personally... Search the forum here/threads for good shops in your area and if you can't find any already discussed in here, start a new thread asking for some rec's.
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  #7  
Old 03-17-2013, 06:48 PM
atatbl atatbl is offline
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Alright. Thanks for the help. I am taking my car in for rear pads and rotors tomorrow and I found a shop with great credentials in my town! I am very happy with this possibility and I hope that are as good and ethical as others say they are.

As far as OEM, I found that my car came with "BMW LA wheel, star spoke 243" which I believe are all 17's? I also do not have the sport package, I don't think. Will 18's still be good on my car?
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  #8  
Old 03-17-2013, 07:11 PM
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Oceans10 Oceans10 is offline
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Here's the deal, your car does not have the sports suspension or wheels. It sits high and has crappy wheel sizes with high aspect ratio. Means it is not tight in corners and bouncy on the highway.
If you want it to handle more sporty then upgrade the wheels to 18". Tire Rack is a great place to shop. They'll ship the rim and tires mounted and balanced to your door. Then it's a simple bolt on job. Be sure to include TPMS.
The size to look for is 245/40/18. 8 or 8.5" wide. Be sure to select your car in the menu so it selects the right offsets. A smart choice of tire is the Continental ExtremeContact DWS. This way you don't have to worry about winter tires if you live up north. You can get BMW decals from ebay, just measure the diameter and order. Dirt cheap from China. Peel and stick, looks fine.

Next consider upgrading your suspension to coil overs. Lower the car 1.5" by adding something like KW V2 or similar. The car will ride vastly different, poised, balanced and confidence inspiring.
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  #9  
Old 03-17-2013, 07:15 PM
atatbl atatbl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oceans10 View Post
Here's the deal, your car does not have the sports suspension or wheels. It sits high and has crappy wheel sizes with high aspect ratio. Means it is not tight in corners and bouncy on the highway.
If you want it to handle more sporty then upgrade the wheels to 18". Tire Rack is a great place to shop. They'll ship the rim and tires mounted and balanced to your door. Then it's a simple bolt on job. Be sure to include TPMS.
The size to look for is 245/40/18. 8 or 8.5" wide. Be sure to select your car in the menu so it selects the right offsets. A smart choice of tire is the Continental ExtremeContact DWS. This way you don't have to worry about winter tires if you live up north. You can get BMW decals from ebay, just measure the diameter and order. Dirt cheap from China. Peel and stick, looks fine.

Next consider upgrading your suspension to coil overs. Lower the car 1.5" by adding something like KW V2 or similar. The car will ride vastly different, poised, balanced and confidence inspiring.
Thanks. Can I upgrade my suspension without lowering the car? Lowering it would be a bad idea where I live. I already have winter tires and wheels on it now so I don't need tires that are good for all season. I have a few seasons left when I can put summer tires on since the winter tires are pretty new.

Do you have recommendations for summer tires that handle well in rain?

Edit: I have been searching tire rack as my primary source. So many people here recommend it that I am sure I will end up buying from there. The only thing left is to find somewhere with a good reputation that can also do a road force balance.

And I am sold on going to 18". If I went to 19's, would acceleration suffer noticeably?

Last edited by atatbl; 03-17-2013 at 07:17 PM.
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  #10  
Old 03-18-2013, 12:22 AM
SoLucky SoLucky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atatbl View Post
The only thing left is to find somewhere with a good reputation that can also do a road force balance.
Your new tire/wheel package from Tire Rack comes balanced. Just bolt on and enjoy.
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  #11  
Old 03-18-2013, 12:24 AM
atatbl atatbl is offline
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Originally Posted by SoLucky View Post
Your new tire/wheel package from Tire Rack comes balanced. Just bolt on and enjoy.
Really? So a local Indy can do it even if they can't road force. Well, I hope this shop turns out to be good. I would like a place close to home to have this done.
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  #12  
Old 03-18-2013, 12:54 AM
SoLucky SoLucky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atatbl View Post
Really? So a local Indy can do it even if they can't road force. Well, I hope this shop turns out to be good. I would like a place close to home to have this done.
If you buy a complete tires+whees+tpms package from Tire Rack, what exactly will you have this local shop do -- swap wheels for you? Won't be much of a test of their skills.
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  #13  
Old 03-18-2013, 01:06 AM
atatbl atatbl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoLucky View Post
If you buy a complete tires+whees+tpms package from Tire Rack, what exactly will you have this local shop do -- swap wheels for you? Won't be much of a test of their skills.
Well they are doing my breaks and another repair for me today. I don't plan on changing the tires until the snow is gone.... and who the hell knows when that will be. Probably April.
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