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snow tires for 128I cabriolet

Discussion in 'Wheels & Tires' started by jgold823, Nov 29, 2011.

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    jgold823

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    i have my old snow tires from my 528i. 225/50 R17. will they be good on the 128? any recommendations to leave my all seasons instead?
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    MGarrison

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    Not enough information to answer your question - you can check the Tirerack.com website to see what it suggests, once you input your year, model, and whether it's a sport package or not. Looking at a 2010 128ic, Tire Rack says the sport pkg. tires are 17", 205/50 fronts, 225/45 rears, and the stock sizing is 205/55-16. I don't know if those sizes are valid for all years for your model, or not.

    Presumably 17" tires would work, diameter-wise, whether you have the sport pkg. or not, but since your old snows are the same width as sport pkg. rears, I don't know if there would be any clearance issues for the front. I would tend to think 225's would fit on the front, given BMW's tendency to run smaller tires on the front so the car will understeer, but I don't know if they would or not, as I don't have any experience with your car.

    Typically, for snow tires, it's preferable to run a narrower tire width rather than a wider one. If you don't have a limited slip differential, having relatively wide tires on the front end may be more of a hindrance than a help, even if they're all snows.

    What winter weather you face might also be a factor to consider - snow tires will work better in colder conditions, as they're designed to, vs. all-seasons, which typically are designed to cover a broad range, but may not be ideal if your winter conditions are extreme.

    Another factor might be the age of your snows - if they're 5 or more years old, and/or are halfway worn, trying a less-than-optimal size on old tires that perhaps have aged/heat-cycle/worn past the better part of their useful life might not end up working so well.

    It may be a secondary consideration, but since your old tires aren't exactly the right size, your speedometer would be off, slightly.

    If you have your old snows on rims that were for the other car, you'd also have to check if the rims were the right bolt pattern and offset to be a correct fitment. Probably wouldn't be advisable to try to run them, if not.

    Unless you have the sport pkg., and the sport pkg. has brakes that require 17" wheels to clear them, your more ideal winter snow setup would be to run 205/55-16 snow tires on all 4 corners. Particularly if you really have to get around in the snow, and will have winter conditions to contend with. If you don't have a limited slip differential, and hope to get around in most all but the worst of winter conditions, you might find you'd really need snows, and perhaps the narrower width, to successfully traverse the roads. On a rear-wheel-drive car without a limited slip, the various electronic traction systems are only going to be able to compensate so far, even with snow tires. If you face road conditions that would start to bog you down even with a lsd and snows and electronic systems, you get into wanting 4wd, or hoping that something like chains or something similar (adding traction/grip for the drive wheels) can work. Presumably, wherever you are, it's typically not quite that bad.

    If it were me, I might try to sell the old snows if they have useable life, and get some dedicated wheels with snows. I might even think about a size narrower than stock, maybe a 195/60-16, but, it might not be advisable to run that narrow a size on a 1'er - one would have to remain vigilantly aware of being on the undersized tires and be careful not to overdrive them, particularly in turns. And, if one is tempted to take advantage of the car's performance potential, forgetting that you have tires that just ain't gonna give you the lateral grip you'd normally expect could end up having some disastrous consequences. With such a small-width tire, plus electronic aids, and a lsd, it probably would plow through most winter conditions pretty well, however. Still, the 1'er is big enough that running the base size 205/55-16 is probably better advised, and would work just fine in snow, particularly if lsd-equipped.

    If your snows off your 528i are pretty new, the other approach could be to try 'em, wouldn't cost much to mount them up, if they're the same diameter as what's on the car now; worst case scenario is they don't fit the front end, or you get stuck/struggle 'coz the fronts are too wide. If your 1 has 16" rims and you'd have to buy wheels anyway for the other snows, then I'd say you'd be better off to buy dedicated rims and snow tires for the 128i. The rims are a bit of an expense, but then you don't have to deal with mounting and balancing twice a year, easy to just pop 'em on & off as needed.
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Yeah, what he said!

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