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Discussion Starter #1
Looking outside at the projected forecast of 95 degrees, this post may seem premature.
I'm in the DC Metro area, and was wondering if it's a given that I should run snow tires once the weather calls for them? This is NOT my first RWD ('84, '90 & '93 Mustangs previously), but was wondering how BMW's handled in less then desirable conditions? I never changed tires on my Mustangs but they were obviously terrible in the snow. I will have to drive the BMW all year, no other car to switch to in bad weather.
So if you guys would be kind enough to give me your opinions I would appreciate it.

P.S. I did search on this subject and found some size info, but I was just curious to how many of you run Snows or All Weathers.
Thanks in advance.
 

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Head-In-Sand Dumbass
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I run snows in the winter. I went with the narrower wheel/tire combo as well, since the stock SP setup (17x7.5 and 17x8.5 wheels) don't lend themselves to "cutting" through snow/slush very well.

My advice? Get snows. Without them I would have probably been all over the road, DSC or not. I did have to drive in the snow for a while with my SP tires/wheels on when I was traveling back from Florida and that was absolutely NOT fun! Don't let it happen to you!

 

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superwagon pilot
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I have them in the Philly area. Last year was a bit of a fluke winter, but I only needed them once. With them the car is a very solid performer in bad weather, without them you are asking for trouble (if you have sport tires). I went with Dunlop Winter Sports, I didn't lose all that much day to day performance compared to my RE730s.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the input guys!

I went to Tirerack, and came up with this combo. The Wheel was the cheapest/decent looking that I could find. Any thoughts/suggestions?

225/50HR16 Bridgestone Blizzak LM-22 In Stock $136.00

16x7.5 AT Italia Type 5 In Stock $109.00

Does it make a difference to run 205/55/16 or would 225's be alright?
 

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Go with the 205. For snow tires, go with the narrower one. It is easier to cut thru the snow. I got 205/55/16 for my snow tires also.
 

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Narrower tires are better in snow. More PSI on the footprint. I've found Tirerack's advice to be pretty reliable.
 

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Head-In-Sand Dumbass
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Case, if you can get a 16x7 or even a 16x6.5 wheel go for it. 7.5" is too wide for a 205 tire which is preferrable for winter driving over a 225 for sure.
 

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I had the Artic Alpine (205/55/16Q) on my A4 for the 3rd season, the tread wear out pretty good and grip very good in the 1st and 2nd season. Now is it not as good as used to be but, it is still far better than all season. Also I had the Pilot Alpine (205/55/16H) on the 325 last winter, I bought it used, but still in decent shape (used 1 season). For the grip, I think Artic Apline is much better, but it may be my confusion with the quattro. It grip very well on light snow, but not as good as the Artic Alpine when the road pack with > 3 inches of snow. And it lost less power than Artic Alpine. I think it all depends on where you are, Artic Alpine best for packed snow, but less performance in dry road, but Pilot Alpine is best for the light snow, no packed snow and good performance in dry road.
 

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Just to throw in my $.02, get some used factory BMW 16" wheels. IMHO, cheap wheels look nasty and out of place on a BMW, although there's a couple exceptions. Some BBS wheels aren't that expensive but look good and the Mille Miglia 5-spoke wheels look good since they look like Racing Dynamics wheels.

As for snow tires, I use Michelin Arctic Alpin snows on my car. Snow tires these days are incredibly good in snow and ice and most aren't that much worse than all seasons when its dry. IMO, they're definitely worth the $1k investment to protect your car.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the advice, so I'm gonna go 205/55/16 tires. And I guess I'm looking for 16x7 or 16x6.5. Do most of you run steel wheels? And if so where is the best place to find them? Dealer?
 

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Head-In-Sand Dumbass
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Case said:
Thanks for all the advice, so I'm gonna go 205/55/16 tires. And I guess I'm looking for 16x7 or 16x6.5. Do most of you run steel wheels? And if so where is the best place to find them? Dealer?
I bought a set of used wheels off a totalled 330 last year, so I got lucky. I think most people w/ 325s run steelies but with the 330 you need a 17" wheel or that one special 16" custom wheel made by TireRack... the other way to do it is to slap snow tires on your stock rims and buy aftermarkets for summer time. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wow, I'm glad I started this thread now. I didn't realize it would be so tough. So many decisions. :dunno: I think "steelies" would be my last result, I don't really like the look of wheel covers. But I guess it would look better than not switching anything and ending up on the side of the road in a ditch.
I have type 44's right now, which I love. :thumbup: If I was able to find some used 44's would I then need 205/55/17s?
 

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Two thoughts. I never once felt the slightest lack of confidence with 17" wheels and 225 tires. It may be true that narrower wheels and tires help in the snow, but you would be fine if you used the wider ones. In fact, I used 17x8.5 wheels with 225 wide tires one winter. The tires didn't fit all that well (no tire outside the rim of the wheel), but the traction was great.

Second, don't by $100 wheels unless you live where there are no pot holes or other winter related road problems. I made that mistake my first winter. I replaced them for the second winter.
 

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Color blind photographer
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Case, I'm in the DC area too and pick up my car next month. I have been trying to decide whether to get snow tires/wheels at all. If winter is like last year we probably won't need them, BUT, if we get one of those freekie winters then we may be in trouble. You're pretty sure you're buying? If so, let us know what you choose so I can consider them too, and oh btw, thanks for all this research.
 

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Ok, I had a third thought based on Beuport's comment. If you live in an area that has the risk of snow, you should at least consider getting snow tires. The high performance tires get hard at lower temperatures (below 40f if I remember right) and they don't stick to cold cement well at all.

I think I am up to my $.06 now.
 

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If I may (ahem) interject...

I happen to know where there are a set of ATP Italia type 5s in 17x7.5 with Pilot Alpin 225/45HR-17s mounted that are for sale. The ad can be seen on the NCCBMWCCA web site classified ads and the wheels & tires can be seen in my garage!
 

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Head-In-Sand Dumbass
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LOL... hey btw the Pilot Alpins are excellent snow tires IMO. I got 'em too.
 

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TMS Grand-AM Cup Crew
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webguy330i said:


I bought a set of used wheels off a totalled 330 last year, so I got lucky. I think most people w/ 325s run steelies but with the 330 you need a 17" wheel or that one special 16" custom wheel made by TireRack... the other way to do it is to slap snow tires on your stock rims and buy aftermarkets for summer time. :)

I bought 4 17" Steels from the BMW dealership. Slapped some Blizzak 205/55s (?) on them and had lots of grip. I driving in LI last winter, picking up the girlfriend during a bad storm and I was passing pathfinders and other 4WD trucks.

Rear never lost grip unless I punched it a bit.
 

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Head-In-Sand Dumbass
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Daniel said:



I bought 4 17" Steels from the BMW dealership. Slapped some Blizzak 205/55s (?) on them and had lots of grip. I driving in LI last winter, picking up the girlfriend during a bad storm and I was passing pathfinders and other 4WD trucks.

Rear never lost grip unless I punched it a bit.
Did you get the LM22's or the MZ01's? I know Al had the LM22's and said they were awesome. I like how the tread pattern is strikingly similar to that of the RE730 summer tire. :)
 
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