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Time For Tires

Discussion in 'E31 (1991-1997)' started by wbmunroe, Jul 5, 2015.

    • Member

    wbmunroe

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    I recently came across a OEM set (5) wheels for my '93. I've been trying to find the best All Season tire to put on them. The original 235/50/16 is no longer carried by anyone. The guys over at terrace recommended a 225/55/16 or 240/50/16. Since there are more tire options with the 225, that's the way I'm leaning.

    Any suggestions on a good tire? The Pirelli Cinturato is their highest rated. However, the Michelin is a close 2nd.

    Thanks all!

    Cheers!
    • Member

    wbmunroe

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    ** Tire Rack, not terrace!
    • Member

    dmmai

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    .
    If you're in the market for the top performers in all-season (Ultra High Performance All-Season) we've experienced several recently.
    I've run Kumho Ecsta 4x as street tires for 3 years on my E30. I like the looks, they're reasonably quiet, ride is pretty good and performance is okay. Not bad for a light little car that sees no snow action but, there are better.
    We ran Continental Extreme Contact all-seasons on her 335xi a few years back and liked them very well.
    I had Yokohama Advan S.4 on my 540i Sport for a couple of years. Pretty darn good tires. Unfortunately, for us the tread life was disappointing and they were kinda noisy.
    The Yokohamas were followed by Continental Extreme Contact DWS on the 540i. Now that, my friend, is a tire.
    The Conti's ride is very nice, they're quiet and confident. For true 12 month tires, these are Very good.
    For ultimate dry grip and performance, the Advans were maybe a little better but, not much.
    Depending on your locale and weather extremes, the Advans aren't the best for real winter driving. Certainly okay, just not the best.
    We currently have two cars with Pirelli Cinturato all-seasons. They are perfectly fine but IMO nowhere near the best.

    Obviously, for extreme snow conditions, Blizzaks are in order but for the typical winters most of us experience, the DWS is very capable. They're available in 225/55-16.
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    • Member

    wbmunroe

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    Had looked at the Continental DWS... Didn't get much for a snow review. Now... I'm in Oklahoma, where we see 3-4 months MAX of "winter" conditions, and it's primarily ice. I'll look a little close at the Conti's. Had them on my old E390 (330i) and was pleased with them. Thanks for the input!!
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    charlson89

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    I second the DWS I use them on my 330i here in iowa winter and they were great.
    • Member

    dmmai

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    oh yea, Oklahoma ice. We have family / friends in OKC and we've gotten caught in Oklahoma ice storms visiting them, far too many times. Not fun. :eek:
    Interesting, our first time on Conti Contact all-seasons was on my wife's first Bimmer. Electric red 2006 E90 330xi.
    Small world. That was a Great little car.
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    • Member

    MGarrison

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    I'll throw in the thought of a set of dedicated snow tires on extra rims, mainly for the consideration of the ice. If you're daily-driving the E31 all-year-'round (& kudos on that, btw, maintenance considerations, etc.), and presumably you're dedicating the maintenance/operating expense and time to be using an older, less-common vehicle regularly because you really like the car and want to, an argument could be made that snow rims/tires, with their more-optimal cold-condition capabilities, could be justified as an extra measure towards (hopefully) accident avoidance, and thus car preservation, should you be transiting to/fro in crappy winter weather during presumably higher accident-chance times of congestion periods/rush hours. That would leave you the option of running a wider size for non-winter.

    It's a rationalization, but if, say, blizzaks kept you out of an accident or suffering damage to the car in icy conditions where all-seasons mightn't, it could be argued the extra rims/tires expense easily outweighed the negatives of damage to the car. If the car was more mundane and easily replaceable, that idea might not be remotely worth considering - that's on the assumption sourcing another 850, if say an accident was severe, is more of a challenge than something more recent, and that you would want another E31. You know your weather and likelihood/necessity of being in it and can obviously assess if that route is remotely worth considering. If the 850 has a limited-slip diff, that might weigh as a factor, I would kinda suspect that E31's being such a high-end model when new they all would have gotten lsd's, but I don't know if that's the case or not. Point being, dedicated snow tires might at least help to some degree compensate for the lack of snow performance from lacking a lsd, IF your E31 doesn't.

    Perhaps the flip side is not to worry about those types of considerations much, opt for the best all-seasons you can get, and trust that it'll all work well enough based on prior experience and history! :)

    Fwiw, a narrower tire should help snow performance a tad (less snow to push out of the way), but at the expense of your lateral grip. 10mm less is probably not noticeable in everyday driving, but you might see a difference if you're out on spirited jaunt. Searching Tirerack, doesn't look like many choices in wider sizes - only a/s I see in 245/50r16 with a tread pattern that looks acceptable for winter is the Kumho Ecsta PA31, which I would figure to be ok-but-mundane for warmer weather.

    For a 225/55r16 (approx. same o.d. as stock), or 225/50, only one I'd go for would be Conti Extremecontact DWS. Looks like there's a new Extremecontact DWS 06 replacing the prior version, if the picture comparisons are accurate, looks to me, as far as tread pattern, the DWS might be better in snow than the DWS 06; 4 circumferential grooves with more cross-siping presumably would offer better snow traction than the 3-grooved DWS 6, which apparently has a single line of solid blocks on the outboard half of the tire, vs. two w/ sipes on the DWS. If you look at pics of both you'll see the difference. The Tire Rack review of the new tire mentions "equal to somewhat better snow performance" - (https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/testDisplay.jsp?ttid=199 ). The test of course was on new tires, with the optimal grip of new tires. If the somewhat-better performance is largely due to a grippier new tread compound, I could see where once the tires are older, more worn, and heat cycled from several years of driving, the old DWS tread design might offer some more bite in snow, comparatively (theoretically, mind you, I haven't run these). The DWS's are on closeout and will apparently be superceded by the new DWS 06, obviously the DWS's won't be available for your next tire-replacement go 'round if you opt for those.

    There are a few in 245/45r16, all r-comps, but for the not-quite r-comp, summer-only, Bridgestone RE-11 - grippy, would be a fun summer tire, but w/ 200 treadwear, destined to wear out relatively quickly, you'd have to rotate front to rear a few times to maximize wear. But, oooh, that would be a fun one, at least if you like taking turns with some, uh, "gusto". :D
    • Member

    wbmunroe

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    MG! You are a welcome wealth of information, and I appreciate your input vastly. Even when speaking to local merchants (Discount Tire, Hibdon Tire, etc...) I'm being "guided" to the Pirelli Cinturato. Coincidentally, it is the top rated 225/55/16 on Tire Rack. Weird, huh? ;) I have had Conti's on my old 330i and was very pleased with their performance in all types of weather, previously residing in Michigan. While I don't believe I could comfortably drive the E31 all year in Michigan, the limited amount of "bad weather" we receive in Oklahoma leads me to think a solid All Season will be sufficient. My 8 currently sits with 121,893 miles. As I do drive it daily, and plan to for the foreseeable future, I want the best overall ride. Sucks the 235/50/16's are no longer an option, but just like everything else, evolution must take place.

    Not to throw another curve in the mix... As I've been heavily researching tires, I came across a Finish Company (Nokian). After a brief visit to their website, my curiosity was peaked. However, Discount Tire is listed as their authorized dealer. After calling 3 different DT locations, not 1 employee could tell me anything about these tires. Has anyone in here heard of and/or used these?
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Have heard of folks using their snow tires, the Nokian Hakkapeliita's - since it's a Finnish company, no surprise there - have never read or heard anything about their other tires - dealers are listed, looks like it might be possible to get some, although I'd be surprised if there was any stock of Nokians in the U.S. besides snow tires (ie, I'm guessing it would be a wait for overseas shipping, but I don't know if that's the case) - Not surprised the phone agents don't know anything about 'em, they would be a rather esoteric tire choice, but I think Satch may have mentioned or used them in his past far-north winter driving/rallying.

    http://www.nokiantires.com/

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