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I just got a new set of Continental DWS, and I have to recommend them as well. Great grip, low noise, smooth and the wear ratings are pretty good. I'll have to see how they wear over time.
 

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Also check the Nov 2010 issue of Consumer Reports. They evaluated several types of performance tires, including summer high performance and all-season.
 

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Seek to understand,^Value
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You won't ever agree with any algorithm, but, see this for details on how to purchase tires 'by the numbers' (yes, I know, it's contentious ... but ... the OP asked so I'm pointing him to the by-the-numbers method):

- Choosing the right BMW tire size (1) (2) & tyre circumference, diameter, offset, & clearance calculators (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & a torque conversion calculator (1) & how to logically choose tires by the numbers (1) (2) & where to buy your tires in the USA (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) & tire plant codes (1) (2) (3) & tire safety (1) & recommended tire pressures (1) (2) (3) & the claimed benefits of nitrogen gas (1) (2) & tire terminology (1) (2) & wheel terminology (1) & BMW wheel specs (1) & BMW & replica wheel styles (1) (2) (3) (4) & the difference between cast vs forged wheels (1) & where to find the wheel markings for proper match mounting (1) & the best products for cleaning wheels (1).
 

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Seek to understand,^Value
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So that the bestlinks is more 'balanced', I add this thread (see red below) to the tire recommendations (I don't feel like googling for the actual 'best' of the tire threads).

If you know of BETTER 'what tire' threads, just post them here and I'll add them for future reference.

- Choosing the right BMW tire size (1) (2) & tyre circumference, diameter, offset, & clearance calculators (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & a torque conversion calculator (1) & how to logically choose tires by the numbers (1) (2) or by recommendations (1) & where to buy your tires in the USA (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) & tire plant codes (1) (2) (3) & tire safety (1) & recommended tire pressures (1) (2) (3) & the claimed benefits of nitrogen gas (1) (2) & tire terminology (1) (2) & wheel terminology (1) & BMW wheel specs (1) & BMW & replica wheel styles (1) (2) (3) (4) & the difference between cast vs forged wheels (1) & where to find the wheel markings for proper match mounting (1) & the best products for cleaning wheels (1).
 

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I have Michilin Pilot A/S Plus, very good tire and has mileage rating of 40,000 miles. For me a very good all around tire. Tire rack has them priced at $174 each. Here is a review left on their site for this tire.

I replaced a set of New Continental ExtremeContact DWS's with these tires after only 1000 miles, and got exactly what I was looking for. I wanted a balanced combination of sporty driving response and performance with the benefits of an All-Season tire. The Continental's were too soft, flat spotted in less than an hour, and were definately not repsonsive when cornering. The only thing the Continental's had over these Michelin's were quietness. The Michelin's are much quieter than the original Dunlop Run Flats, but not nearly as quiet as the Continentals. I chose spirited driving enjoyment and performance over quietness. If you are like me and are trying to decide between the Conti DWS and the Pilot Sport A/S Plus, go with Michelin, you'll enjoy driving on them much more. The Continental's were too tame, and the flat spotting was completely unbearable - it made driving my car boring and annoying. The Michelin's make driving exciting like it should be.
 

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Did you try pumping up the DWS's tire pressure to 38-40 lbs to increase grip? I thought the DWS ompletely changed the way my car handled when I pumped them up to 40 psi. And the flat spot all but disappeared.
The DWS have such a high comfort and quiet quality to them that makes them so popular. I for one replaced a 10k mile set of 1/3rd worn Michelin sport a/s for the DWS. I found the road noise from the Michelin to be too much for a family car. If the car is just my personal car, I could live with it and crank up the tunes. But with a car full of passengers, having a conversation required speaking to be louder than the road noise, it was just a bit too much.
 

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I have Michilin Pilot A/S Plus, very good tire and has mileage rating of 40,000 miles. For me a very good all around tire. Tire rack has them priced at $174 each. Here is a review left on their site for this tire.

I replaced a set of New Continental ExtremeContact DWS's with these tires after only 1000 miles, and got exactly what I was looking for. I wanted a balanced combination of sporty driving response and performance with the benefits of an All-Season tire. The Continental's were too soft, flat spotted in less than an hour, and were definitely not responsive when cornering. The only thing the Continental's had over these Michelin's were quietness. The Michelin's are much quieter than the original Dunlop Run Flats, but not nearly as quiet as the Continentals. I chose spirited driving enjoyment and performance over quietness. If you are like me and are trying to decide between the Conti DWS and the Pilot Sport A/S Plus, go with Michelin, you'll enjoy driving on them much more. The Continental's were too tame, and the flat spotting was completely unbearable - it made driving my car boring and annoying. The Michelin's make driving exciting like it should be.
Interesting...
This is not the first time I have heard this...
 

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I just got a pair of Pilot Sport A/S plus on rear of my 540. Got to say I'm very disappointed. Made it feel "wobbly" in S turns. Traction control light flickers (reduces power) when accelerating out of curves. Feels like riding on tires with low pressure, but they're right on (35F, 39R). My last 4 pairs of rears were BF Goodrich G-force sports. The G-force do not last long (5-8k miles), probably mostly from the way I drive, but handle/grip great. I drive curvy 2 lane roads every day to/from work, 32 mi round-trip. Anyway, I am taking Michelin up on their 30 day satisfaction gaurantee, going back to the BF Goodrich for half the price.
 

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If you do lots of highway driving, you won't need a sports tire. You're looking for a grand touring tire. A friend of mine bought some 225/60/16 Bridgestone Turanzas at Walmart for just over $80/per I believe. It's an 80,000 mile tire.

I have General Altimax HPs on my Grand Cherokee and I've never had a quieter tire. It handles well, even when turning my yacht of a jeep. They have been on for about 18 months and 35,000 miles, I still have 8/32nds of tread (new were 10 I think). I got them from tirerack.

Another perk to buying a tire from walmart is their road hazard warranty ($10/tire). Honored nationwide, if they can't fix something wrong with a tire then they'll replace it. For the first 25% of its life it's free, after that it is a prorated amount. Cheaper and easier then TireRacks warranty... They also have a lifetime balance and rotation package ($7.50/per) that let's you get them rebalanced and rotated as often as you wish at any walmart. They charge $5 for the one-time balance when you buy the tire so it's only $2.50 more.

Something to think about.


Sent from my iPhone using BimmerApp
 

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I just got a pair of Pilot Sport A/S plus on rear of my 540. Got to say I'm very disappointed.
Made it feel "wobbly" in S turns. Traction control light flickers (reduces power) when accelerating out of curves.
Feels like riding on tires with low pressure, but they're right on (35F, 39R).
My last 4 pairs of rears were BF Goodrich G-force sports.
The G-force do not last long (5-8k miles), probably mostly from the way I drive, but handle/grip great.
I drive curvy 2 lane roads every day to/from work, 32 mi round-trip.
Anyway, I am taking Michelin up on their 30 day satisfaction guarantee, going back to the BF Goodrich for half the price.
Do you have your original suspension?
Original rear ball joints and rear control arms..?
Hint-hint...

The Michelins probably helped you detect the weaker link in your suspension...
Also, check for bent wheels...
 

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I just got a pair of Pilot Sport A/S plus on rear of my 540. Got to say I'm very disappointed. Made it feel "wobbly" in S turns. Traction control light flickers (reduces power) when accelerating out of curves. Feels like riding on tires with low pressure, but they're right on (35F, 39R). My last 4 pairs of rears were BF Goodrich G-force sports. The G-force do not last long (5-8k miles), probably mostly from the way I drive, but handle/grip great. I drive curvy 2 lane roads every day to/from work, 32 mi round-trip. Anyway, I am taking Michelin up on their 30 day satisfaction gaurantee, going back to the BF Goodrich for half the price.
I don't really drive my 530I hard or push the performance/grip, it is a car we use for day to day driving. I'm sure if you push the Pilot Sport A/S to the limit it will not perform as well as a softer performance tire, but I was more interested in mileage versus performance for the BMW. My 911 rear tires are good for about 6,000 miles if your lucky but they are very performance oriented. Michelin is just releasing a Pilot Super Sport which replaces the Pilot Sport it is suppose to be a very good performance tire with a mileage warranty of up to 30,000 miles for certain cars, rear engine reduces the mileage in half.
 

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Seek to understand,^Value
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In an attempt (probably futile) to list the most recommended E39 tires, see this thread from today:
- New Tires Followup: ExtremeContact DWS tires are extreme and costs less

Based on this thread chock full of recommendations:
- Buying new tires. Think I found best bang for buck and need input

Where the OP states, in the end:

2002 BMW Sports Package ... Discount Tire ... Continental ExtremeContact DWS (Dry, Wet, Snow traction) and I LOVE THEM! ... 17" rims ...$645 installed...quiet, comfortable, and cling to the road in wet conditions. Have not driven them in snow
 

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Seek to understand,^Value
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For the crosslinked record, I am in need of tires myself, so, I updated the tire selection algorithm listed in this thread today:
- The absolute basics of how to select replacement tires for your beloved BMW E39

Note that thread, while it lists scores of tires, isn't about any particular tire; it's about the algorithm for choosing tires!

For example, here's one algorithm used to cull the 57 available tires for my sedan down to one:

So, here is, for all to make fun of, my ad-hoc best guess at a tire-choosing algorithm!

  1. Ignore all marketing literature & tire warranty claims (ask me over here why I say this)
  2. Organize all available tires & gather the 'numbers' (see below)
  3. Sort the numbers in a spreadsheet based on various criteria
  4. From that, create a short list (3 or 4 perhaps) based on those sorts
  5. Then, read the reviews for the chosen few - but - only as a doublecheck.
Note: I realize the reviews cover things like noise & dry traction which are not covered under the numbers (however, reviews are also very unscientific!).

In doing the research, these are the numbers I can consistently find for each tire (this happens to be my current tire):

  • Brand (e.g., Michelin)
  • Model (e.g, Energy MXV4 Plus)
  • Size (e.g., P225/55R16)
  • Load Range (e.g., 95 ... 1521lbs)
  • Speed Designation (e.g., H ... 130mph)
  • Treadwear (e.g., 400)
  • Traction (e.g., A)
  • Temperature (e.g., A)
  • Price (e.g., $185.00)
Here, for example, is a set of 'numbers' for the least expensive "equivalent":

  • Brand (e.g., Hankook)
  • Model (e.g, Ventus V4 ES H105)
  • Size (e.g., P225/55R16)
  • Load Range (e.g., 99, 1709lbs)
  • Speed Designation (e.g., V, 149mph)
  • Treadwear (e.g., 420)
  • Traction (e.g., A)
  • Temperature (e.g., A)
  • Price (e.g., $88.00)
Notice, that's a HUGE difference in price with not such a large difference in the 'numbers'!
 
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