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Another Tire Dilemma

Discussion in 'Wheels & Tires' started by lcjhnsn, Jul 7, 2010.

    • Member

    lcjhnsn

    Post Count: 462
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    With a little different twist...

    My case is that my (relatively) new to me 2003 325xiT is going to need tires before winter. Our winters in Southern CT are generally pretty mild with about a half dozen storms of 4 to 6 inches and maybe one 8 to 10 inch'er per year.

    The car currently has Michelin Energy MX4 all seasons which are quiet and ride well in the dry. They are starting to hydroplane in heavy rain due to reduced tread. I bought the car in March, so I have no experience with them in any snow, but I suspect the straight ribbed tread is a loser in the snow.

    My preference is to run the same tires year 'round but to bias my selection toward snow & wet performance over dry performance. But, I'd still like them to be quiet on the highway.

    I've used a couple sets of Goodyear Assurance triple-treads on my old Subaru & the wife's Town & Country. They worked great in heavy rain and dug through the snow pretty well (especially on the Subaru). But they were VERY noisy even when brand new.

    After perusing the Tire Rack website, the Conti Extreme Contact DWS is a strong front runner based on ratings and price. Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S is a close second.

    Please chime in with your personal experiences and recommendations. I'd also be very interested in comments on tires not available at Tire Rack, like Hakkepalita, Vredestein or Semprit all seasons.

    Bumer guest

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    Hi Lance ;)

    I was just recently on Tire Rack looking at different tire reviews, and it seems that in majority of tests Michelins get better ratings in most categories. And my experience with Michelins was always good: excellent traction in rain and good in snow. That's why I have Michelins on all my cars. The only comment I have about Michelins, is that they seem little soft. But I would think that would be least of your worries, since you bias your "selection toward snow & wet performance over dry performance."

    clcromartie guest

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    I've always been very happy with Michelin tires, but my response is in reference to the Conti extreme contact. I'm currently running them on my 335i, and i am extremely happy with them. I've always been critical of Continental, but i'll be going with them again. They handle extremely well dry, and just as good wet. I'd recommend them to anyone.
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    Your dilemma is that you want a tire that does everything well and makes no noise in the process. Every tire is a compromise. The tires that work best in snow will be inherently noisier because their tread pattern is broken up. The quietest tires have fewer and more continuous tread blocks. In the end, I am fairly certain you won't be happy with anything because you're demanding more than any single tire can produce.
    • Member

    lcjhnsn

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    CRK, I completely understand the compromise involved with my request. I know that I can't have everything I want.

    What I'm really after is some actual experiences with the tires I've mentioned, to help me with my decision. Are the Contis really good or really lousy in the snow? Are the Michelins really noisy on smooth pavement? How badly does dry cornering performance degrade as the tread nears the end of life. And how many miles did you get out of them under relatively normal driving conditions?

    Thanks for the input

    rich235 guest

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    I have a 2003 325i with Conti gran contact. (see my previous thread, sorry for the pun!) The car has 35K miles and need replacement. Cant remember if its the front or rear but two of the tires are at teh wear bars and the other two could be used another year.
    Regarding winter use, my car is rear wheel drive and two wheel only and not good in the winter so I never drove much in the snow. Tires are now very noisy and thanks to CRK I'm going to look at summer season tires for my next set. I live in FL

    Bumer guest

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    Here are Michelins tires I had/have:

    - MXV4: got about 35K-40K out of them,
    - MXV4 S8: after 50K tires still had plenty of tread left,
    - another MXV4 S8 (OEM, with new car): got only about 30K,
    - another MXV4 S8: right now tires got about 25K, with another 15K-20K left on them.
    - LTX® M/S: still new, only 4K on them.

    So, I've driven lots on miles on Michelin tires. As far as ride comfort and noise, Michelins are probably the least noisy, and most comfortable tires out there. When tires are new, you can barely hear them when you drive (unless I'm deaf :)).

    They all are ok in the snow (within reasons, of course), and fantastic in the rain.

    Michelin tires are little soft, though, and you can feel that softness while turning. I have not noticed any degradation of cornering performance with age.
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    Well, I've run every brand you mentioned at one time or another. The problem is, they're constantly developing new models, so much of my experience (Vredestein, Semperit, Conti) is irrelevant now. I'm not much of a fan of Michelins, finding them overpriced, for the most part, and not that great in snow for their dedicated snows. I've had direct comparison experience that goes both ways on Goodyears (not bad on an SUV, but disastrous in an OEM Audi application). Hakkas are great winter tires, but a little extreme for your purposes. I'd go for the Dunlop Winter M3 if you want a dedicated snow tire. I don't buy all season tires except for Da Jeep - and it has Yokohamas on it now. At the end of the day, if I have to name a single manufacturer, it's usually Yokohama - but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the best tire for YOU.
    • Member

    floydarogers

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    I agree with Kreiger on the need for summer and winter tires, and his disdain for "no-season" tires. Nevertheless, we have differing opinions on specifics.

    I personally like Michelin tires. They are consistently well-constructed and I've not had problems with defects. FYI, a recent CarandDriver magazine comparison rated the Pilot HX MXM4 to be very good, even compared to high performance snow tires. http://www.caranddriver.com/features/09q4/2009_winter_tire_test-comparison_tests

    My '01 330xi had Continental ContiTouringContact (or some such thing) on them as the OEM tire. They were ok in the snow, ok in rain, good on dry. Wore evenly, were no more noisy when worn than new, comfort good. Those are probably similar to what you're looking at but as CR says, that was 10 years ago.

    Although Goodyear makes swell truck and SUV tires, and I had a set of high performance F1 GS-D3 that I put on my 330xi, I would stay away from them. I have not had good luck with their passenger car tires. I liked the grip of the F1's, but they were noisey (but a far different tire than the Assurance.)

    We have a pair of Pilot Sport A/S on my wife's Boxster. They're wearing quite well, noise isn't really an issue, but they don't grip like pure performance tires and they're bad when it gets cold. The Exalto is lower-performance and might be ok.

    YMMV

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