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Need to replace 1 tire, can I mismatch pairs?

Discussion in 'Wheels & Tires' started by 190796, Sep 6, 2012.

    • Member

    190796

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    Today I had a blow out. My Bridgestone Potenza RE760 shredded. It was not worn out, but stuff happens. No drama BTW, just pulled over, totally controllable even at highway speeds. So, now I have 3 really fine Potenza RE-760s with about 1/2 the tread left. I could (A) buy 1 more same tire and have uneven wear (B) buy 2 new of the same size and have uneven wear ft vs rear (C) buy 2 new different model tires (like the hot new Michelins) or (D) buy 4 new tires. What do you think about running mismatched wear levels and or different models front & rear. My car has M5 staggered size wheels.
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    steven s

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    I've driven with different worn tires on each corner. Never bothered bother me.
    But if it did bother me I'd probably go with 2 new tires but certainly not all 4.

    I wouldn't consider worn tires as being mismatched.
    I don't like mixing different brands/models if I don't have to.

    Put the new ones on the rear and the older ones up front.
    I wouldn't go through the trouble of breaking tires down to swap from front to rear.

    Maybe even find a spare wheel to give yourself a real spare, even if you can't carry it around.
    I'm guessing your front wheel will fit on the back in a pinch?
    • Member

    190796

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    Oh yes, they fit in any position. I have 3 sets of wheels, 1 with snows, M5s with summer tires and a spare set because I got 'em cheap. I appreciate the advice. I am thinking the same. I don't like mixing brands either and since the rears wear out faster a new pair of rears is probably the way to go.
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    190796

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    Update. I measured the tread depth, pretty shallow. I bought 1 matching tire, almost as cheap as the cheapest 275/35/18 at Tire Rack, and they will ship it tomorrow. I think that will get me into snow tire season and then I can consider what the best tire is for next summer.
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    MGarrison

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    With 2-3 months to go before throwing on the snows, probably not that big of a deal. For street driven tires, besides the obvious tread-depth consideration you've already measured (which, for spring/summer tires, goes towards hydroplaning resistance), the age of the tires should be considered, as tire tread compounds harden not only with use, but also age, even if they're not driven on much, or even just sitting. A substantial difference in age between the tires on the vehicle should be avoided, for the risk of handling issues. Sticking brand new tires on the front of a rear-wheel drive BMW but not the rears, possibly puts one at risk for something like an unexpected spin, if the rears were to lose traction before the fronts. Steven's suggestion to throw the older tires on the front axle would put you in the situation that if the older tires did lose traction, you'd be in a less-panic-inducing situation of understeer, compared to having the back end of the car unexpectedly stepping out sideways on you. Replaced the set of tires on my mom's car earlier this year when one tire was vandalized - she doesn't drive that much, plenty of tread depth remaining, but, besides the same tire being no longer available, the set was 8 years old; not worth the risk to continue running on 'em.
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Not just hydroplaning, but braking efficiency: It goes away at a scary rate when your tires are down to 60% of their original tread depth...
    • Member

    steven s

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    I think tire compound makes a huge difference too. Not just depth and sipes.
    My Toyo T1S or T1Rs handle very well in the rain even at the wear bars whereas my Yokohama Intermediates where deadly at the wear bars. This is going back ~10 years though.

    Rain, better tires up front.
    Performance, better tires in the rear.

    Guess I'm the only one around here who drives until I start to see cords. :)
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    CRKrieger

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    Sorry, Steven, but the better tires ALWAYS go on the back!

    two30grain guest

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    As a note in this thread, its best practice to replace tires in pairs, side to side.
    • Member

    steven s

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    We are in agreement there. In the rain I'd probably want tires with deeper thread and sipes on the front. But generally, my better tires are on the rear right now.
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    LisaLisa

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    Is it essential to buy tires from the BMW dealer? They didn't properly align the wheels and one of my run-flats is wearing with bald spots. You have to pay extra at BMW to get the Road Hazard Warranty, which Sun Tire includes in the tire purchase. Then, there is the issue of BMW tires having the "Star" on the sidewall. Is that a big deal? I presume that there are tire companies that can do proper wheel alignment on BMWs (2009 335i, in my case). Is there one that any of you have had a good experience with? Thanks very much, Lisa (brand new member, btw)
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Hi Lisa - welcome to the club & forums! (If you wish, tell us about your ride and anything additional you might wish to share in the member introductions forum, here: http://www.bmwcca.org/forum/index.php?forums/member-introductions.157/)

    Short answer - no.

    Maybe somebody knows something about a star on the sidewall, maybe that's for installation and to help balancing, but I have no idea what that may be referring to.

    BMW does not manufacture tires, they commonly may use Bridgestone, Pirelli, Michelin, Continental, and so on - any tires for your car can be sourced from anyplace that sells tires.

    I'm a big fan of the Tire Rack (http://www.tirerack.com/), and they have recommended installers around the country. Their sales personnel are very good, if you have questions or prefer speaking to someone vs. website shopping. Depending on where you live, shipping can be fast too. Almost without exception, even though their South Bend HQ is 250 miles away from me, if I order in the morning, they typically ship the same day and I receive the following day, at regular 2-3 day rates. I think they have another couple of distribution hq's, one out west and another up east.

    Contacts in your local chapter may have recommendations for alignment shops besides the dealer - check your local chapter website. You can use bimmers.org to find independent shops that service BMW's, which might possibly have the equipment to do alignments, or also have places they would recommend.
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    LisaLisa

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    LisaLisa

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    Thanks very much!

    BMW says (and I am on my 10th Bimmer and they have "always" said this) that the Star on the sidewall means that the manufacturer (a la Bridgestone) made the tires specially for BMWs. It sounds like hype to me but they say it means that the sidewall is thicker.

    The dealer gave me a printout on the recommended tire Bridgestone 225/40R18 Auto run flat. But the description says that it is a Summer tire and "not intended to be driven in near-freezing temperatures, through snow or ice."

    Well, it freezes regularly in Jacksonville, Fl and I do periodically drive to DC. This seems like a bad recommendation to me - another reason I am ready to stop being held hostage to BMW for tires. I have all my other work done at BMW, though (under maintenance contract).

    Thanks again,
    Lisa
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    I'm sure the Tire Rack folks could get you squared away - discuss what conditions you drive in, and they'll have recommendations. You can see what's recommended on their website also, and check buyer's ratings and reviews as well.

    The specifics could get drawn out, but some time ago (early-to-mid 2000's?), BMW went to using run-flat tires only, and not giving us a spare tire, mini-jack, lug wrench, & wheel chock (as they always had before), or, any wheel-well accommodation for a spare in the trunk. So, your car uses run-flats. Run-flats have a much more substantial sidewall construction, since they're made to be driven on for something like 50 miles at speeds no higher than 50 mph with no air in them. Not a bad idea, but, as with all tires, there are trade-offs, and a catastrophic blowout badly damaging the tire or rim could still leave one stranded in-place - hopefully a rare occurrence these days, but, possible.

    In the past, folks have had all kinds of complaints about the oem run-flats - short tread-life (a byproduct of a sticky, high-perf. summer-oriented tire with low treadwear rating), ride quality, noise, lack of availability, replacement expense, and so on. I think things have improved on some of those fronts, but I would think, even if your dealer offers a club-member discount (many do, at least on parts, sometimes labor - not sure if any particular dealer might offer it on tires), you'd still be able to get a set of tires including mounting and balancing for less than what your dealer may charge.

    Might be worth finding a recommended installer near you and checking them out first with a visit, and see if you can have tires shipped to them directly - save you the hassle of lugging anything shipped to you to an installer.
    LisaLisa likes this.
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    floydarogers

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    As the dealer's SA explained to Lisa, the Star on the tire designates a BMW OEM-spec tire (just like the N-x for Porsche): http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=23&

    You should replace both tires on the axle you have the bad tire on, unless the remaining one is substantially new/unworn. Tirerack will tell you what tires are available (sounds like you have the sport package?) I and others have also bought Bridgestone and Michelin tires from Costco - same or slightly lower prices as Tirerack (and you get FREE NITROGEN from Costco!);)
    LisaLisa likes this.
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    LisaLisa

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    Free Nitrogen?? Sign me up!
    If you buy from Costco, do they install and do wheel alignment? If you buy fromTirerack, do you have to find an installer? I do have the sports package.

    I am finding that not every tire store can align BMWs. This is the first time I have tried to go outside of BMW for tires.
    Thanks, Lisa
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    MGarrison

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    • Member

    floydarogers

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    No alignments at Costco. Their installers seem to be pretty expert/trained.

    Fortunately, the local Issaquah Costco is only 1/2 mile from my BMW independent.

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