tire rotation / where do you put the best tires on your X1? - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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X1 E84 (2011 - 2015)
First generation BMW X1 availbe as a X1 28i with either sDrive (RWD) or xDrive (AWD) or the US exclusive I6 N55 powered X1 35i xDrive.

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  #1  
Old 02-05-2017, 09:31 PM
wvadam wvadam is offline
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tire rotation / where do you put the best tires on your X1?

Background:

I had a mercedes where I did a front brake job and used upgraded brake pads. The result I didn't realize at the time was the front tires also wore much faster than the rear even though it was rear wheel drive. The braking must have been terribly unbalanced. Such a bad idea in hind sight.

Anyways now I have the xdrive everything oem and I just want people opinions on where I should put the tires with the best tread and if the xdrive generally makes the tire wear uniform front to rear or do you still need to rotate every 10k or so

Thanks,

new member
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  #2  
Old 02-05-2017, 10:33 PM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is offline
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BMW's have a lot of negative camber (tire/wheel tilted in at the top) in the rear wheels. That causes the inside half of the rear tires to wear faster.

RWD BMW's tend to have faster wear on the rear tires, in addition to the camber wear, due to the power application. AWD (xDrive) would diminish this.

Each tire wears slightly differently, because of slight alignment differences and the environment (e.g. faster left or right turns, more braking than average, heavy acceleration, faster than normal turns). So, tire rotation would still be beneficial. BMW doesn't require it as part of the scheduled maintenance. But, a lot of that is because they don't want to pay for it under free maintenance.

The rotation intervals should be at the expected tire life divided by a multiple of four (or five if you have a full size spare included in the rotation). If you expect 40k miles, and you don't use a full size spare in the rotation, then you should rotate the tires every 10k (1/4 of 40k)miles or every 5k (1/8th of 40k) miles. That puts each tire at each position for the same number of miles. Uneven tire wear (tire conicity) can cause a vehicle to pull to the left or right. More frequent rotation diminishes the tire conicity caused by wear. Frequent rotation also mitigates feathering of the tread.

I endured the OEM RFT's on my RWD 535i for 30.4k miles. I rotated them roughly every 7.5k miles. Here are my tread depths, measured in the four circumferential channels, measured from the outer channel to the inner channel. I achieved almost perfectly even wear. The "+" and "-" signs indicate approximately one fourth of a 32nd of an inch (1/128th of an inch).

If you're encountering rain, you want the best tread up front to mitigate hydroplaning. The back tires aren't as prone to hydroplaning since the front tires have already pushed the water out of the way. For driving in snow, braking is generally more important that power application. So, you're still better off with the best tread in the front.
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  #3  
Old 02-05-2017, 10:56 PM
vstolpner vstolpner is offline
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With the tires that I had on previously (recently changed due to irreparable puncture) the wear was pretty much even over about 10kmi. Never rotated them, but was coming up on about the right time to do so.

If you're thinking about rotating, consider also issues with the transfer case. I'm not really sure if it's related but seems enough people have come to the same conclusion - if you have an AWD E84 - should do your best to keep the wheels at the same circumference or risk failed transfer case.

As a side note - lose the factory RFTs. I sold my old set for $400 on Craigslist and never looked back. Better comfort, better traction, more stable ride... Better in every way.
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Old 02-05-2017, 11:07 PM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is offline
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I tried to sell my used RFT's, Goodyear LS2's. The best offer I got was $60, and that wasn't worth lugging them home with me from having the new tires installed. They were an odd size, and LS2's are so horrible that nobody wanted them. The only thing they'd be good for is meeting the BMW FS requirement for tread depth on a lease turn-in (4/32nds of an inch). The BMW dealer waived the disposal fee. So, I guess I sort of got $8 for them.

If our next BMW (probably a 2018 X3 for Frau Putzer) has RFT's, they're going away as part of new car prep.
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  #5  
Old 02-06-2017, 09:46 AM
0w40X1 0w40X1 is offline
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Autoputzer,

That's very good tread depth data.

What psi cold or hot do you think you ran for that 30.4k miles?
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  #6  
Old 02-06-2017, 12:36 PM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is offline
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I have 245/40-19's. The door sticker says 35 PSI front and 39 PSI rear. But, the owners manual says for speeds over 100 MPH, the pressures should be 35 PSI front and 42 PSI rear, "without high-speed tuning feature." I have a Luxury Line and it's governed to 130 MPH instead of the M Sport's 155 MPH. For the 'high speed tuning feature," M Sports with "performance" RFT's, they call for 41 PSI front and 48 PSI rear for speeds over 100 MPH.

I started out at 10% over the door sticker, 38.5 PSI front and 43 PSI rear. I measured the tread depths after each rotation "stint," 7.5k miles and adjusted the pressures accordingly, first to 40 PSI front and 45 PSI rear, ~15% over the sticker pressures. Toward the end, I was up to 42 PSI front and 47 PSI rear, ~20% over the sticker pressures. The tires rode horribly.

When I got my new Michelin PSS's, I had the dealership inflate them to 40 PSI front and 45 PSI rear. Coming out of the dealer's driveway, rolling across the gutter between the driveway and street, the car rode so much better than I stopped and checked the air pressure. I was sure they'd under inflated them. But, they were spot on with my inflation instructions. So, the bad ride was more from the Goodyear LS2 RFT's than from my over inflation.

I only have 3500 miles on the new tires. I'm probably going to do 6k miles rotations (eight stints to accumulate 48k miles). I'll measure the tread at the rotation and adjust the pressures accordingly.

I have multiple quality Burdon movement tire gauges. They're all measuring within one PSI of the others. So, my gauges are likely correct. If they're precise, they're likely also accurate.

I measure my pressure the first thing in the morning, when the tires are totally cooled off. Here's something with modern BMW's though; the engine compartment is sealed up so tight that it stays hot for well over twelve hours, and that heats the front tires, especially the right front on a 535i, where the exhaust and turbocharger are. I've learned that if I'm going to measure tire pressure in the morning I need to open the hood the night before to let the engine compartment and front tires cool down.

The reason radial tires are so good (better grip, better fuel economy, more even wear across the width of the tire) is that they allow the sidewalls to stretch in the circumferential direction. That allows the tread to better conform to the flat road surface. The cords in a radial tire are only in the radial direction, hence their name. So, the rubber in the sidewalls can stretch in between the cords, in the circumferential direction. That's also why radial tires have a "radial bulge" even when they're properly inflated. RFT's only have radial cords. But, they also have a rigid sidewall reinforcement which doesn't stretch much. So, the sidewalls don't stretch much, diminishing the benefits of radial cord construction.

I record my pressure and tread depth measurements in my maintenance logbook (an Excel worksheet), along with the date and mileage of the measurements. I also record the temperature at which I take pressure measurements.

The Goodyear LS2's had 10/32nds inch of tread when new. The Michelin PSS's had 8.5/32nds inch of tread on the inner and outer channels, and 9.5/32nds inch of tread in the interior channels. When the tires have 6k miles on them, I'll measure the tread depths before rotation, and then adjust the pressures based on the tread wear patterns.
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  #7  
Old 02-06-2017, 07:31 PM
0w40X1 0w40X1 is offline
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I've sold normal size replacement tires for years, and track a X1 and Rx8.

I try to find the right pressures by feel tread, depth, and a laser temp gun.

On my Rx8 I put some Hankook Ventus V12 225/40r18 which need approx 43 to 46 psi new(hot).

After a few years they seem harder, and 38 all around seems to feel and wear right.

On the X1 s28i MSport with 225/45r18 and 255/40r18 Pirelli summer P7's, I tried to follow the door, and was running approx 40 f and 42 rear (hot).

Tires seemed hard, car swayed on hwy, and at 20k miles the wear on rears is more in center and inside, so I lowered psi to about the 35 r and 38 r that door says.

Your tire use is meticulous, and I can't even watch them that good.

I was going to suggest that you could get more even across the center wear by upping pressure 2 to 4 psi, but I see you've been all over that.

I think the base door jam pressures are about right for cold, and those other for high speed are taken after car driven and tires hot.

Of course each make and size of tire has a different shape, and reacts different to pressure.

I had a cheap sports car tire once that had curved inward tread in the center, so no amount of pressure would make tread flat.

I guess that was a design or production flaw, since other sizes didn't do that.

In my case I can't rotate, and so I try to watch the rears, and I think I can get another 10k miles so that's pretty good for some track days, also.

My philosophy on tires is to buy the best in the wet, and perfect fit for wheel, not bigger; These days it turns out that Michelin PSS is about best in wet and dry of an true street tire.
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  #8  
Old 02-07-2017, 07:25 AM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0w40X1 View Post
I've sold normal size replacement tires for years, and track a X1 and Rx8.

I try to find the right pressures by feel tread, depth, and a laser temp gun.

On my Rx8 I put some Hankook Ventus V12 225/40r18 which need approx 43 to 46 psi new(hot).

After a few years they seem harder, and 38 all around seems to feel and wear right.

On the X1 s28i MSport with 225/45r18 and 255/40r18 Pirelli summer P7's, I tried to follow the door, and was running approx 40 f and 42 rear (hot).

Tires seemed hard, car swayed on hwy, and at 20k miles the wear on rears is more in center and inside, so I lowered psi to about the 35 r and 38 r that door says.

Your tire use is meticulous, and I can't even watch them that good.

I was going to suggest that you could get more even across the center wear by upping pressure 2 to 4 psi, but I see you've been all over that.

I think the base door jam pressures are about right for cold, and those other for high speed are taken after car driven and tires hot.

Of course each make and size of tire has a different shape, and reacts different to pressure.

I had a cheap sports car tire once that had curved inward tread in the center, so no amount of pressure would make tread flat.

I guess that was a design or production flaw, since other sizes didn't do that.

In my case I can't rotate, and so I try to watch the rears, and I think I can get another 10k miles so that's pretty good for some track days, also.

My philosophy on tires is to buy the best in the wet, and perfect fit for wheel, not bigger; These days it turns out that Michelin PSS is about best in wet and dry of an true street tire.
I've been using this method for adjusting tire pressure for decades. I almost always end up with more pressure than is stated on the decal. The only exception was the rear 255/40-18 Michelin Pilot Sports on my E46 M3. The manual called for 35 PSI under light loading. But, even at 30 PSI they'd still wear as if they were overinflated. The front tires were fine. I suspect the extra 30mm of width in the rear tires made them sensitive to inflation pressures.
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  #9  
Old 02-07-2017, 10:37 AM
wunderkind wunderkind is offline
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If you look at your manual, the recommended tire pressure is for fully laden (passengers + cargo). I find at this pressures, my x1 on 225/45/18 91V Conti SSR RFT (stock) to run a bit stiff. I have lowered it a few psi as the car is seldom fully laden. Rides much better.

Per the manual, it doesn't recommend rotation either. But who follows the manual right?
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  #10  
Old 02-07-2017, 08:08 PM
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stonex1 stonex1 is offline
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From my experience, if you have a square setup on an X-Drive BMW X1, you are just fine keeping the tires where they are. Rotating them is probably ok too.
My OEM rubber is due this summer for replacement and the wear is quite even on all four.
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Old 02-08-2017, 02:23 AM
0w40X1 0w40X1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autoputzer View Post
I've been using this method for adjusting tire pressure for decades. I almost always end up with more pressure than is stated on the decal. The only exception was the rear 255/40-18 Michelin Pilot Sports on my E46 M3. The manual called for 35 PSI under light loading. But, even at 30 PSI they'd still wear as if they were overinflated. The front tires were fine. I suspect the extra 30mm of width in the rear tires made them sensitive to inflation pressures.
Yeah, I was thinking the rears need less and less psi, but they really need to be 3 psi approx more in back to help car rotate or be more neutral handling.

That would put the fronts kinda low, and they wear about right.

IT'S not a daily driver so I can run the rears to nothing driving in good weather.

Yeah, I test the twitch of every car I can get on track.
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Old 02-08-2017, 11:11 AM
Vidgamer Vidgamer is offline
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OK, you guys have about convinced me to replace the tires with non RFTs. I'm not ready to do that, but once the tires wear down a bit....

Sooo, what's the general consensus of how to live without runflats? Carry a can of fix-a-flat? Tire repair kit? These things are inexpensive, at least, and I always carry an air pump anyway; if a tire can hold pressure long enough to limp to a tire place, that's good enough.

For pressure, I used the numbers on the door; I thought it was interesting that the rears were higher. Ride is kinda stiff. :-)
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Old 02-08-2017, 03:13 PM
vstolpner vstolpner is offline
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I use the numbers on the door as well.

And for flats I've got a plug kit which is effectively permanent fix (one tire lasted 2000km and stayed within 0.5 psi of it's pair tire on the other side - sold the tires now so don't know from this point forward). And a can of slime for the times you hit a steel belt and a plug doesn't work, or just when you can't take the tire off.

You carry a jack with you just in case?
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Old 02-08-2017, 07:02 PM
0w40X1 0w40X1 is offline
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I bought a small hydraulic jack at Harbor Freight that worked great to jack my X1 at the rectangular jack point without hurting it.

It got fronts up just enough, and I have a short piece of 2 by 4 if I need higher.

Also, I had a long manual torque wrench laying around, and put the right socket on it.

I guess my plan is to take tire to Discount tire when I have a flat, but it's possible car would need road service to get wheel.

Summer high speed rated tires are pretty good to keep working with slow leak.
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Old 02-22-2017, 08:31 PM
Vidgamer Vidgamer is offline
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I guess I don't see the point in carrying a jack if there's no spare tire, unless you're close enough to home to have your spouse drive an SUV and pick up you and the bad tire. Or do you need to remove the tire to use the plug kit? I used to have a big hydrolic jack but it took up a lot of room. I wonder if a bottle jack (and a couple of stands of course) would work as well?

Anyway, yeah, usually if I have a tire going flat or something I can just limp it to a tire shop, if it's slow enough and I can refill with air. I always carry a tire pump. Most of the time I've had something in my tire, it's been a very slow leak, so must be the sporty tires. One time, we got a key stuck in a tire. Yes, a key. That was a big hole and I think I ended up using a spare donut tire. The car dealer was actually a few blocks away, so there probably were other options in this case, but it was easy enough to put the donut on I guess. On the same car, at a different time, I had a leak and was able to fill with air from the pump, and it lasted the trip to the tire shop where they patched it and I drove on!
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Old 02-22-2017, 10:58 PM
vstolpner vstolpner is offline
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Yes, only time you would need the jack is if you're looking to plug the tire and the hole is not accessible (or if you're having trouble finding the puncture). Alternatively if you have a summer/winter tire set you can have your spouse bring you a spare wheel...

If you can fill it up with air or use a slime kit then there isn't much need for a jack.
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Old 02-23-2017, 01:01 AM
0w40X1 0w40X1 is offline
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I think it's good to just leave tires in the same place to see how the alignment works out.

Front wheel drive only cars DO need to be rotated to even out the front severe wear, but on most other cars, wear is more equal.

I look at rotating as last resort to save a little money until the new set.
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Old 02-23-2017, 05:27 AM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is offline
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BMW sells a jack kit. It comes in a nice little bag. I got mine for $162.
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