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New Tire Dilemma

Discussion in 'Wheels & Tires' started by rich235, Jul 6, 2010.

    rich235 guest

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    I have a 2003 325i basic sedan model that I picked up in Munich, November 2002. Best car I've ever owned. It came with Conti touring contact 205/55R/16 91H. The car has 35K miles and the tires are almost worn out and make a lot of road noise. Ive been doing research for the last several days trying to find a decent replacement, and one that wont break the bank. I dont sport the track, just in town and occasional trip up to Tampa. The care lives relatively clean, and in the garage.

    I have been perusing TireRack.com for the last few days and alwasy seem to find a bad review that scares me whenever I find a tire I think is right. I recently visited Pep Boys and found a nice deal on some Hankook Ventus ES H105 205/55VR16 but when I got home and checked the reviews on tire rack and another tire web site I read where the sidewall was flimsy and degraded the cornering ability of the car!

    I live in Southwest Florida and would like to buy a Summer performance tire that does not make a Lot of noise and will perform in an emergency, and in heavy rain.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. I live south of Tampa Florida and dont need the all season type snow tires. Low noise and good ride is nice but I/m afraid to lose some of the handling characteristics of my car if buy the wrong tire.

    Thanks for any help,

    Rich
    • Member

    Pyewacket1

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    Yes, I know the feeling. But, I look at the selection process differently than most.

    There will always be someone totally dis-satisfied with even the best product....as well as the one who can't say enough good things about the most failed product.

    So, I have adopted a system similar to the Olympic scoring method in use over the years. I throw out the best and worst scores/reviews and then place more emphasis on the remaining ones.

    If you were buying a cell-phone, and there were 100 reviews, would you place the same value on a prospective phone if only 2 reviewers said the battery life was lousy as compared to 60 of the reviewers making the observation? I wouldn't.

    In the end, as it relates to you tire purchase, the largest factor on how YOUR tires perform will be YOUR driving style.

    I know, I didn't give you any specific recommendations. Good luck!
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    az3579

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    You have to take the reviews on any website with a grain of salt. Many people use their tires for "performance" driving, be in track or autocross, and so they will make comments like the sidewall thing you mentioned to warn those that do similar kinds of activities. You only drive on the street, so you shouldn't be so worried about certain things that don't apply to you.

    Tire Rack has pretty good tests and pit each tire against the other and they determine which is best in certain conditions. I would look up the chart for the category you're interested in and see which tires does the best for the price.

    .

    rich235 guest

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    I supposes you're right, I'm taling the reviews a bit to seriously. Yire rack does have some nice reviews which seem to be non biased. I'll move the reviews a little lower on the list of decion making criteria. Thanks. I wish there were a place were I coukd test drive some of these tires, Ill just have to settle for a lenghty test drive.

    Thanks for the perspective>
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    CRKrieger

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    You didn't mention what you thought of your Contis. Good? Bad? Indifferent? Have you used Tire Rack's excellent website to directly compare it with other tires you're considering?

    If you want a particular reference, after all the tires I've owned over the years (including some pretty decent Contis) I usually recommend, and use, Yokohamas.

    A few negative reviews is less significant than the overall reviewer rating you see on the tires. Notice that the Hankook you're looking at is rated 6.5 (pretty average) compared to the Yokohama at 8.1 (quite good) for only $4/tire more. I know which one I'd pick.
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    bluewagon

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    Tires

    I also live in Southwest Florida. I drive a 2003 sport wagon. (17 inch wheels) I like Kumhos Ultra high performance All season Great in the Rain.They are priced right from Tire Rack.
    bluewagon
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    RickQuinn

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    I like the Toyo Versado LX

    I have had very good experience with the Toyo Versado LX on my 98 Z3, two 325XiTs, and a Volvo V70 XC. They are vey quiet and handle well.
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    eam3

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    Check out General Exclaim UHP. I've had them for 2 years on our Volvo and their performance in wet or dry has been outstanding. Very reasonable price too from the Tire Rack.

    rich235 guest

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    The continentals seemd to be a good tire. Opinions?

    -The tires wore evenly per side, may be due to the cars good engineering and appropriate tire pressure.
    -The car seemed to handle well on the street, not sure how much of that might be the tires.
    -The car has 35K and needs tires, at least two. They are 7 plus years old so its time anyway,

    Nothing bad to say about the tires really, except they are getting loud.

    Thanks for the advice, what Yokohama rated 8.1 are you referring to? I'll check those.
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    14th BMW

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    Continentals

    I put Conti ProContact A/S on my daughter's '02 525i (and had a full alignment done at the time). The rears wore completely out in 8 months and under 15k. Continental would not honor the warranty since they now have a requirement in their warranty that says you must have the tires rotated every 5-7k and have the written data to prove it...and BMW recommends that you DON'T rotate your tires!! We had the alignment checked again at the time of replacement and it was still dead on. These are the last Continentals our family will EVER put on our BMWs. My daughter is a social worker/teacher, doesn't drive aggresively, burn out, etc. Don't know what happened, but the fronts were still just fine. FWIW...

    (Kein') Freude am (Conti) Fahren...
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    CRKrieger

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    Tires are subjective choices. If you liked them well enough for 35K, then it would seem to make sense to replace them with the same tire so you can buy two instead of either buying four or having a mismatched set (not always a good thing). I replaced the original tires on my Jeep with another identical set because I liked them. Then I replaced the replacements with a Yokohama (Geolandar) and like them better.
    I don't recall. I searched by size and checked three manufacturers (Conti, Yoko, & Hankook) and arranged by price. The Yoko was the second or third cheapest of the lot. Even so, in general, the Yokohamas rate better than the Hankooks and the Continentals.

    rich235 guest

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    my continentals wore similarly, but not as bad. 325i thats unsatisfactory for the tire dealer to do that, could have been poor rubber? were the tires the same lot and manufacture date?
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    eam3

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    It's not just Continental. It's an E46 thing. I wore out the Bridgestone rears (especially the right rear) on my 330Ci in about 12K miles. No abuse, no track time, no autocrosses, just daily driving.

    The best part is when I stopped by the dealer to service our 535i, there were signs everywhere explaining that it's perfectly normal (in the BMW world) for tires to wear out in 10-15K miles. While I find this acceptable in an M car due to its increased performance, I find it absolutely ridiculous in a regular E46. People who buy a regular 325i are not looking to get Nurburgring record times out of their cars, yet BMW finds it totally acceptable for tire wear to be the same as an exotic car. I got 30K+ miles easily out of all 4 performance tires from my modified E30 325is (H&Rs, Bilsteins, 16" BBS RS). Ditto for the tires on my Porsche 968, easy 30K. Hell, even our 535i is still riding on its original front tires with 35K miles (rears were replaced due to punctures). Our Volvo averages about 35-40K miles between tire changes.
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    14th BMW

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    What's strange about the Continental wear is that when I bought the '02 525i CPO'ed in 2004, it had new Continentals on it which lasted 5 years and had even wear on all four tires and were never rotated. So why would the new Conti's wear out so fast? Has the rubber compound on these tires changed so radically since 2004 that they just burn up in no time at all? However, what really upset me was Continental's absolute refusal to do anything about the situation. I'm now setting the mileage/trip counter on all of our cars so that we don't forget to rotate the tires every @5k, since its not just Continental, but all tire manufacturers now make you prove that you've rotated your tires or you're out of luck. And since BMW specifically recommends that you DON'T rotate the tires, the dealer isn't going to remember to do it unless you specifically ask for it to be done.

    (Weniger) Freude am Fahren...
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    Zeichen311

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    Just out of curiosity, how many of you look at the treadwear grades when shopping for tires? Specifically, do you compare the grades of the worn-out tires with the replacement candidates? (Not meaning to be snarky, here--this is a pretty savvy group but no one has brought it up.)

    For a single manufacturer, relative grades are an excellent predictor of relative lifetimes. For different manufacturers it's still useful but the correlation is much weaker.

    There's the rub, it is normal--because they say "don't rotate them." Front/rear, left/right tires develop different wear patterns; rotation minimizes the effects. BMW's engineers and/or marketers want to preserve the characteristic handling of the "ultimate driving machine" throughout its life. For that purpose, "no rotation" is sound advice because there will be brief periods of reduced capability each time the tires have to take a "set" to a new corner of the car. That means you're spending more on tires? Well, so what, we pick up all your other maintenance for four years, don't we? You can afford it now. :rolleyes:

    You see the problem. Manufacturers increasingly write their manuals, recommendations and service policies for that vast majority of car owners who do not want to think. They just want car go. When car not go, they want dealer make car go again. Pretty much it.

    Those who do think, quickly discover the flaws in one-size-fits-all recommendations, like the one being discussed here. Then they consider the various conflicting requirements, assess which one is most important for their particular needs, and make maintenance/purchasing decisions to support that assessment.

    Which is pretty much what every conscientious car owner did back in the days when "personal responsibility" was not an alien, abstruse concept and the entire country wasn't conditioned to expect zero compromise for zero cost.

    (Yeah, that turned into a rant. Nothing personal to anyone here, just commentary on the state of affairs.)
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    CRKrieger

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    Traction control?

    I was surprised to discover that my rear brake pads wore out faster than the front ones on our Jaguar X-Type. Then I realized that the first step in the traction control program was to brake the inside rear wheel. This could extend to the tires, of course, so it may be subtle but constant wear on the rear tires and brakes whenever your traction control comes on.
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    14th BMW

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    NotTheStig (Nicht Der Stig)...I couldn't agree with you more (actually on the whole thing). That's why I've only BOUGHT Michelins for all my Bimmers since I put a set of the original Asymetricals on my 2002 (well...except for the Kumhos that replaced them, which were a blast to drive but wore out pretty quick). I know what to expect from Michelin for their various grades and buy accordingly. I just replaced the tires on both my Z4 and X3 with Michelins. The only reason I bought the Contis was that they were highly rated in TireRack reviews, there was a BIG sale going on and they were the original CPO'ed tires and had done quite well on the 5er for 4+ years. If they are rotated, they probably will last 30k...I don't think my daughter cares at all about the change in driving chacteristics every 5k mi.

    One of the great things about all of these forums is that the "lay of the land" keeps changing as the technology behind cars changes, and many times pitfalls are exposed before you fall into them. I used to do all the maintenance on my 2002 (even helped a tech replace the 2nd gear synchro on transmission of the previous one...had to have a tech/shop do it because of the equipment needed). Gradually it gets to the point where its very difficult to do your own work and you lose touch with your car on that very personal level. For better or worse you end up having to trust others with your car...that's why a trustworthy SA is worth his weight in gold nowadays. But, as in this case, when your trusted SA (and the tire guy at the dealer) are suprised and caught flat-footed as well... Hopefully others can learn from my/our problems in this area and adjust their car care habits accordingly. For me, lesson learned!

    Freude am Fahren (und Wissen)...

    rich235 guest

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    new tires

    I bought the Michelan Primacy MXV4.

    They seem to ride nice and are relatively quiet. 60K mile tread warranty. I realize I would need to rotate to maintain the tread warranty.

    Spoke recently to a coworker who has an M3 and he also recommended Michelan.

    Thanks for all the help
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    m3rsr

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    Call Tire Rack, tell them the size(s) and usage, ask for tire/brand recommendations, go to the tire rack website and run competitive comparison chart search which grades from excellent to poor and compare tire brands.
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    dave335

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    Continental Extreme DWS - Phenomenal tire. I run Yokohama S Drives on my E36 M3 as well and love them. Both are very affordable through TireRack or Discounttire Direct.

    David

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