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I have a 2001 325xi, non-sport. The OEM tire size is 205/55/16. I wanted a slightly wider tire and thus figured I should get a 225/50/16, which the people at tirerack also said I could do. However, when I looked for tire specifications in the owner's manual, I found the following listed under 325i/325xi tire specifications:

205/55/16
225/50/16 (not for 325xi)

Does anyone know why the 225/50/16 is not allowed for the xi?

I called a number of BMW dealerships and none were able to give me a hard answer. They started off by saying that I couldn't do it. Then when I ask them why and explain that the 205/55/16 and 225/50/16 is the same profile thickness (55% of 205 is the same as 50% of 225), they say I can do it after all. When I point out what the owner's manual says, they again say right, I can't do it. When I ask why again, they say they do not really know.

Can anyone help? Does anyone know whether I really can do? If not, why not? If I can, why does the owner's manual say this?
 

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You had the same question that I had but for my 330xi...

The service manual for my car also references the 205/50/17, but that is it - no other reference is made; however a 225 width tire would fit: such as 225/45/17 for my car. The 205 width is perferred because it is an AWD and the size of the tires (thinner) are dessigned to work better, particularly in the snow.

See the following link to the thread I posted in the tire section. Good feedback from others that helped me out and that will answer your questions...

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=94307

Mike
 
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