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X5 E53 (1999 - 2006)
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  #1  
Old 11-12-2013, 08:29 AM
tolgatt tolgatt is offline
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Mein Auto: 2005 BMW X5 4.4 Sport
Exclamation Not happy with X5's snow-ice performance

I wasnt really expecting it to be this bad when I bought my X5 in the middle of summer.
Yesterday was the first icy-snowy day that I had to drive my car. I was expecting it to be slightly worse than my old car which was a Volvo XC70 .Volvo was so perfect in handling in snow , I just wasnt thinking anything could actually be better than perfect.

Anyways , my X5 has sport package with 19 inch rims with huuuge 285 tires on rear and 255 or 245 front (i forgot). Compared to my old cars 235's I knew it would be trouble in snow.
In snow , tires need to dig into the snow to get a grip , if it lays flat on it without digging in , its bad.

The X5 ride yesterday was soo slippery ,I thought I was riding a formula1 car. I was almost going into a ditch driving around 10 miles an hour. I brake slowly , no luck , steering wheel wont respond to my turns. and these are at ridiculously slow speeds. I cant even imagine if i get stuck on highway in winterstorm conditions which is highly possible here in Alberta.

Well Im mostly blaming my tires not the X5 itself but what do you guys think of the overall performance of X5 in snow-ice ?
I wasnt thinking of buying snow tires at all cause I never had to with my old car , but it looks like its a must with X5 cause I know I cant drive like this in winter. I dont want to wreck my car.
What do you guys use for winter tires ?
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  #2  
Old 11-12-2013, 02:09 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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What type of tires are mounted? If they are summer or even all season tires...then don't expect much from them when temps get colder and stay below 45 F / 7 C.

Regardless if you have FWD/AWD/4WD & ASC+T/DSC/DSC-X...your traction and handling in winter weather can't be any better than the tires you have mounted. Tires are like shoes for your vehicle. Wear the shoes for the type of environment. We don't were slippers when rock climbing, we don't were slippers running track, we don't were flip flops in the snow.

When I purchased my X5 last November, one of the first things on my list where a set of dedicated winter tires. I went with a set of 18" 235/60/18 Michelin X-Ice xi2 tires...and they were excellent during the entire season...even up to the last late spring snowfall that dumped approx 15" of snow. While my neighbors were shoveling and snow blowing their drives to get out & off the street...I took the lazy mans way out...I saw that the ambient temps were going up above freezing the rest of the week...thus it all was going to melt. I opened the garage, back down the drive, and drove off down the street with no problem at all...while my neighbors all stopped and looked as I drove off...leaving them there still shoveling & blowing.

Buy tires designed for the conditions you'll be driving in. If your 19" tires are performance or summer or all season tires and you get lots of cold/wet/icy/slippery/snowy conditions during the winter months...then really consider a dedicated set of snows.



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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg

Last edited by QSilver7; 11-12-2013 at 08:18 PM.
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  #3  
Old 11-12-2013, 02:31 PM
tolgatt tolgatt is offline
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Mein Auto: 2005 BMW X5 4.4 Sport
Thank you for the advice !! Always great to read your replies with lots of info.

I guess I was shocked at first , cause again i just was comparing it with my old car , I had all season tires on my XC70 year around for the past 5 years . Never really felt the need for winter tires , the traction was great accelerating and braking.

After my experience over the weekend , now I know I need to get proper winter shoes to my X5 . So I looked at my options of sizes , found a great thread on here with one of your replies including the image of the door jamb tire size chart.

I decided to go with a 235 65 17 size winter tires . I was looking at local ads for used sets and i found this :

http://calgary.kijiji.ca/c-cars-vehi...AdIdZ542178078

when i individually look at the costs though , he is almost asking brand new prices in US , Im sure these are a little more expensive in canada though.
I will probably get these if he is willing to chop down a bit on the price.

Reading what you are saying about the performance of X5 in snow ( with proper shoes ) , now I feel much better cause I really thought it was a nightmare.

and I noticed what I have is actually Bridgestone Turanza summer tires , no wonder why i felt like I was trying to drive on a hockey rink
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  #4  
Old 11-12-2013, 08:32 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Summer tires....yep, that's the reason for the "hockey rink" feel. Good luck in your search. Again, a good set of winter tires will work in concert with your x-Drive and DSC. Not only will you have traction for the "get-up-and-go" side of things, but you will have increased stopping & steering response...which can be critical in avoiding or escaping out of the path of others that are slipping and sliding.

I love this TireRack video that compares summer/all season/winter tires in an acceleration, stopping, and turning test on glare ice. The difference in being able to stop, turn and steer when driving within reason for the conditions is incredible...add x-Drive or AWD/DSC-X with good winter tires...and winter driving becomes a whole new experience:

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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg

Last edited by QSilver7; 11-13-2013 at 08:52 AM.
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  #5  
Old 11-13-2013, 10:32 AM
tolgatt tolgatt is offline
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Awesome video !
that really explains a lot , I always drove on all-season tires so I guess I wasnt expecting summer tires to be that different than all-seasons but this video clearly shows the difference on ice

I am buying Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 's today , I will get them installed sometime and will give my feedback again after my first encounter with snow again . (I hope not anytime soon)
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  #6  
Old 11-13-2013, 11:58 AM
Tiazsauce Tiazsauce is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 525 E39 / Volvo V50
OnT- Its the tires

OffT - Theres a reason why we drive Volvo in Sweden
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  #7  
Old 11-17-2013, 05:05 PM
tolgatt tolgatt is offline
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Thanks to Calgary weather , I was able to test the new snow tires pretty fairly quickly !
I just wanted to give an update on this .

It is a difference of night and day . I went with a set of 235/65/17 Bridgestone Blizzak WS70's and the car is back to gripping the road again . I am back to being safe driving my bimmer
Very happy , the handling is a tiny bit different as the tires are softer but perfect for winter conditions.

After about $1200 including the rims , now its driveable again
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  #8  
Old 11-17-2013, 05:32 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Great! Glad you found a set you like. If they are brand new tires...they'll probably get a bit better after you break them in. Usually takes a 100 miles or so.
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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg
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  #9  
Old 11-17-2013, 06:36 PM
puddinboo puddinboo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tolgatt View Post
Thanks to Calgary weather , I was able to test the new snow tires pretty fairly quickly !
I just wanted to give an update on this .

It is a difference of night and day . I went with a set of 235/65/17 Bridgestone Blizzak WS70's and the car is back to gripping the road again . I am back to being safe driving my bimmer
Very happy , the handling is a tiny bit different as the tires are softer but perfect for winter conditions.

After about $1200 including the rims , now its driveable again
what kind of rims did you get? that sounds like a good deal
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  #10  
Old 11-18-2013, 06:47 AM
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Scott ZHP Scott ZHP is offline
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I have a dedicated set of winter wheels as well. Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1s on 17in wheels for winter, Michelin Diamaris on 19in wheels for the summer. There's not much the X5 won't go through with real, honest to God snow tires.

I actually ordered the new Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2 from Tirerack, but apparently Michelin is having some production issues with this tire and thry're backordered until January. Kind of a bummer, because I've read the Xi2 is as good as the Nokian Hakkapelitta R2s, which is the Holy Grail of snow tires.
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JUST...LOOK...UNDER...THE...CAR....for Chrissakes....it`s like checking to see if a dog is male or female....
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  #11  
Old 11-18-2013, 07:44 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott ZHP View Post
I actually ordered the new Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2 from Tirerack, but apparently Michelin is having some production issues with this tire and thry're backordered until January. Kind of a bummer, because I've read the Xi2 is as good as the Nokian Hakkapelitta R2s, which is the Holy Grail of snow tires.
I can vouch for the Michelin/Lat/X-Ice/xi2 (man, they're getting as bad as BMW with these x-long names ) ...what a great winter tire. I've never driven on Hakka's...but boy do they have a great reputation.

But as far as the X-Ice xi2...I was really impressed not with just their snow/ice/wet/cold traction...but they've come a long way in performing well on those dry/clear winter days when temps rise-up between 45-60 degrees F (7-15 degrees C)...even when doing highway/interstate runs.

Ten years ago...my Michelin Arctic Alpins would get real mushy and loud when temps got that high...and it would take a real long time to stop. Winter/snow tire technology has come a LONG way in the last 10 years. You'll probably find that most modern studless winter/snow tires do very well in the temps & environment they're designed for.
__________________
Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg
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  #12  
Old 11-18-2013, 09:09 AM
tolgatt tolgatt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puddinboo View Post
what kind of rims did you get? that sounds like a good deal
I had these :

http://www.coreracingwheels.ca/Style...Light-Gunmetal

the one that is quoted $171.99

They have actually screwed up my initial order and offered some discount to compensate so I ended up getting them about $140 a piece.

The tires were used but only about 1000 miles. They looked like they were brand new.
Overall Im very happy with how they react in snow and also another plus is after the swap because of the difference in tire sizes and light rims ,my steering wheel feels a lot lighter while stopped and slow turns.
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  #13  
Old 11-19-2013, 05:52 AM
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Scott ZHP Scott ZHP is offline
We want the Lion!
Location: PA, USA
 
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Mein Auto: 03 ZHP, 01 X5, 73 MGB
Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
I can vouch for the Michelin/Lat/X-Ice/xi2 (man, they're getting as bad as BMW with these x-long names ) ...what a great winter tire. I've never driven on Hakka's...but boy do they have a great reputation.
I have Nokian WRG2s on my ZHP; similar compound to the Hakkas but not quite as agressive treadblock. They replaced the Pilot Alpin's with which I wasn't overly impressed. I love the Nokians.

Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
But as far as the X-Ice xi2...I was really impressed not with just their snow/ice/wet/cold traction...but they've come a long way in performing well on those dry/clear winter days when temps rise-up between 45-60 degrees F (7-15 degrees C)...even when doing highway/interstate runs.
That's precisely what sold me on the xi2 and the reviews confirmed it wasn't just marketing hype. Some years I run the snows until May (too lazy to take them off, the X5 is my wife's kid hauler). I wanted a full-on snow tire that wasn't noisy and offered good highway performance through spring.

I think the "production issues" quoted to be by Tirerack are just due to overwhelming demand; Michelin underestimated demand and can't make them fast enough, lol. The Blizzaks are proven and have a good reputation, so I'm hoping they'll be fine too.

Just for grins, I once drove the X5 around the neighborhood in the snow with the 19in Michelin Diamaris; it was downright scary. No traction and almost impossible to keep in a straight line. The front would just "push" and backs wanted to spin most of the time. The DSC was working overtime.

Also, for the OP, when it comes to winter tires, skinnier is better. If you have a choice between a 235/65 and a 255/60 with identical ODs and revs/mile, go with the narrower tire.
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JUST...LOOK...UNDER...THE...CAR....for Chrissakes....it`s like checking to see if a dog is male or female....
Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
A bimmer with forced induction should have a proper manual gearbox. Anything less is like french kissing your sister.
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