Do I have to Put Run-Flat Tires on My BMW?

Thursday, April 10, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

When it comes to tires for a BMW, many aren't pleased with the harsh ride and short treadlife of the Original Equipment run-flat tires. However, many owners are unsure if they're able to make the switch to a standard tire. The answer is not as difficult as you might think.

BMWs can make the switch to non-run-flat tires, the same is true when switching to dedicated winter tires. It's important to note that in most cases, the vehicle did not come with a spare tire. If you decide to make the switch to non-run-flat tires, a road hazard would leave you stranded on the side of the road without a spare to put on the car.

A solution to this issue is to purchase the Continental ContiComfortKit. The kit is capable of comfortably sealing typical tire punctures, making it possible for you to complete the drive home, to work or to a tire repair facility. It combines a powerful, high-volume, 12-volt air compressor, integral pressure gauge and a latex liquid tire sealant packaged in a compact, lightweight unit that's easy to store in a vehicle.

Another option worth considering is buying a full-size matching spare tire and wheel. Going this route essentially creates a set of five tires that will last longer than just four. The spare should be integrated into the vehicle's tire rotation from the beginning, as this will wear out the spare tire before it becomes too old.

The choice to switch to non-run-flat tires boils down to your comfort level. If having a tire failure and being on the side of the road until roadside service arrives or changing a spare on a busy highway are things you could never cope with, then staying with run-flats is probably best for you. If you're confident changing a spare tire in only a matter of minutes or waiting for roadside service is not a big deal, then you may be someone who could easily make the switch to a non-run-flat tire.

To view available non-run-flat tire options for your BMW, shop by vehicle.

Best Brake Pads for 2014? It Could Be Brembo's New Offering

Monday, March 31, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

All brake pads produce dust as they wear. However, there are some pad materials that create a less noticeable dust and don't make your wheels look like they're covered in tar. A newer form of friction material, called ceramic composite, creates a light-colored dust that's much less noticeable and is less likely to stick to your wheels. Ceramic pads are quieter and easier on brake rotors. These pads can also extend brake life beyond a semi-metallic pad.

New this year are the Ceramic Brake Pads from Brembo. The pads are available to fit most popular sporty sedans and coupes like BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Designed and engineered to enhance braking power, Brembo Ceramic Brake Pads minimize braking distances while offering a quiet and safe braking experience on a variety of road conditions. Original Equipment Direct Moulding Pressing Process provides a proper and accurate fit. The positive molding process uses extreme pressure to compress friction materials and provide balanced bonding to the backing plate. Each pad is then thermal scorched following Brembo's O.E. specifications to lessen running-in and fading.

Brembo's multi-layer ESE (Elastomer - Steel - Elastomer) red shim, clearly identifying the pads as Brembo pads, dampens noise and minimizes vibrations. Additional noise dampening is handled by the backing plate which also acts as a heat shield to reduce heat transfer to the caliper.

If you're looking to change the pads on your vehicle and want an alternative to black brake dust, take a look at the Brembo Ceramic Brake Pads. When changing brake pads, it's a good time to change brake wear sensors and maybe time to consider changing your brake fluid. Don't forget you'll get free shipping on all brakes, suspension and other parts and accessories on your order over $50.

Looking for Lightweight Track Wheels at a Great Price? The Enkei Racing Series RPF1 is Your Answer

Monday, March 24, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

Autocross and track season are quickly approaching and many racers have already begun to plan for upcoming races and events. As most enthusiasts know, switching out your vehicle's heavy, factory steel or alloy wheels is one of the easiest performance upgrades to your track vehicle. By switching to a lighter weight wheel, your car will instantly feel quicker and respond better compared to your stock wheels. The rotational force to get a lighter weight wheel to move and stop is less, therefore the engine and braking system of the car can respond quicker. Reducing the unsprung weight will also reap benefits when cornering, as the shocks and springs will have less weight to dampen during rebound and compression.

Typically, the answer to a lighter wheel is purchasing a fully forged alloy wheel, however, this option can become expensive for some. There are many highly engineered cast alloy options that are more affordable and provide a great bang for your buck.


Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Black Painted

Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Bright Silver Paint

Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Gold Painted

Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Special Brilliant Coating


Enkei Racing Series' RPF1 uses a revolutionary MAT Process to make lighter weight wheels. MAT is a technology for producing an aluminum wheel by combining Enkei's MAP (Most Advanced Production) and flow-forming forging technology. MAP is a highly automated system. Each process is connected in a single-piece flow system that transports wheels from the melting process, through heat treatment and on to machining. The process of spinning the rim vs. casting it to both shape and elongate it produces a finer, more even aluminum structure and ensures the wheel will remain lightweight and strong. The complete MAT process has a drastic impact on the microstructure of aluminum and results in outstanding improvement of the mechanical property of the material.

As wheels and tires become larger, use of the MAT process to manufacture wheels becomes even more important. In order to reduce weight under a vehicle's suspension, larger wheels must remain light. Enkei Racing Series' new generation of 10% - 15% lighter weight, forged MAT wheels are strong and retain optimum anti-flex properties.

The Enkei Racing Series RPF1 is offered in black painted, bright silver paint, gold painted and special brilliant coating finishes for a wide assortment of vehicles like BMW, Mazda, Subaru and Honda. Shop by vehicle to see if the Enkei Racing Series RPF1 is offered as a performance upgrade for your track car.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Hankook Ventus S1 noble2

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Hankook Ventus S1 noble2 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.91
 
 

2006 BMW 325i Sedan
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Grandville, MI
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
February 28, 2014

I bought these tires a couple months ago, based on the test ratings on this website. As usual, the Tire Rack ratings were dead on! I drive (on average) about 2,000 miles per week, and live in west Michigan. Due to the unpredictable nature of Michigan weather, I needed a tire that performed well in all weather conditions. These tires do everything they say they do, and at a good price.

I was concerned, having a rear-wheel drive car, that an all-season tire would not perform well enough for winter driving. Acceleration at times can be a struggle, but I've never had an issue with traction, when every other vehicle on the road didn't have the same problems. Stopping on icy, slushy, and snow covered roads is NEVER a problem. I've never had a set of tires that allows me to stop like these tires do.

In dry conditions, I don't think there is an UHP-tire available that out-perfoms these. I'm sure there are others that perform as well, but it would be a stretch to say they are better. The tires that are as good, are generally more than twice the price. The only tires that I would consider relatively equal both in performance and price, would be the Continental Extreme Contact DWS'. I think the tread wear is a little better on the Hankook tires though.

Road noise (on good roads) is all but non-existant. My car runs 40 series up front, with 35 series in the rear. I expected these tires to have a very harsh ride, but they are surprisingly comfortable. As anticipated, corner roll doesn't happen, but it shouldn't with such a low-profile tire. Heat disipation is good. I've only had them in weather up to 65 F at this point, but they have never felt surprisingly warm, even after several miles of spirited curved road driving.

The only complaint I have, is these tires "track" pretty bad on grooved roads. It may be due to the 225 front, and 255 rear widths, but I didn't notice this issue with the Goodyear tires my car came with.

Overall, Exceptional Tires

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Firestone Winterforce

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Firestone Winterforce Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.62
 
 

1986 BMW 735i
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 250
Location: Wayne, NJ
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 250 Miles on Tires
February 20, 2014

2014 In Northern New Jersey, so far has been bringing a snowstorm almost every week, 2 ice storms too. All my cars are (RWD) rear wheel drive and are very bad in snow driving conditions so i decided to buy the Firestone Winterforce tires with Studs installed on all 4 of them just in time before the major snowstorm we had on 2/13/14. I took my e23 BMW 5pd manuel on roads and steep hills that my car could never climb and those firestone winterforce gave so good traction in the snow, i was going almost the speed limit (40mph) of the road, climbing steep uphill through i say 5" of snow on an unplowed road. Actually had fun driving in the snow with no fear of getting stuck, lol. These tires saved me $28,000 from buying an AWD SUV do to harsh weather conditions this year. Also tried driving on black ice in parking lot at work and studs of tires griped through the ice at minimum slippage. Just speachless for 27 year old RWD. Also posted 2 video's on YouTube of my car going through the snow, "Snow Day Cruising BMW 735i (E23)" and video links ; http://youtu.be/HlMoVmECtA8 , http://youtu.be/Stfgt74w0P4

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4

Friday, February 28, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.45
 
 

2002 BMW 525i Sport Wagon
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 1,500
Location: La Crescent, MN
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 1,500 Miles on Tires
February 27, 2014

Like how PA4 communicates to driver in ice or snow conditions. First winter on the PA4 but has proved grippy and secure. Can tell when tire will break away on fresh or packed snow and what it takes to bring it back. More sophisticated than an average snow tire. In times past used Nokian, Blizzack, Dunlop, and many standard or high performance snow tires on various vehicles. Thus high expectations, even though there are few reviews of PA4. Interesting that Porsche had been involved with development too. We usually have traction control devices engaged in cars --on mode– when entering harsh weather. Recently, however, have been turning off DSC in Bimmer sport-wagon, as control and performance of vehicle seems even better with PA4's. Car handled better without using DSC. Added control with such throttle response has been fun and added new dynamic. Generally enhanced winter driving experience in the 5 Series wagon with sports suspension. Rear wheel drive BMW has been easier to drive fast in snow and ice latley, yet with more control. Car more predicable now. Cornering to date has been superb in dry/wet conditions and the sidewall feels firm while offering quiet, comfortable ride. Have not pushed tires too hard yet, as want to give belts and rubber break in period. Yet already feels like an Ultra High Performance tire with intriguing winter capability. Have not yet finished testing and haven’t been in really deep, heavy snow, but if these are first indications of what to expect then we're excited. For higher performance, lower clearance vehicles this should be a serious candidate for winter consideration. Looking forward to also trying the Michelin Xi-3 on other cars, as we are also big fans of the Conti Extreme Winter Contact which was very impressive on a Saab we own. That and the PA4 seem like the real leaders currently. Shall report back as we find out more about PA4 on BMW. Thus far does seem like a game changer in winter segment. Thanks Tirerack.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General G-MAX AS-03

Thursday, February 20, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

General G-MAX AS-03 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.12
 
 

2006 BMW 325i Sedan
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 20,000
Location: Deerfield Beach, FL
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 20,000 Miles on Tires
January 08, 2014

I just ordered a pair of 225/40/18 AS-03s for the front of the car and while looking at when I purchased these AS-03s for the rears, I saw that it was July of 2011. It's been about 20,000 miles and the rear tires still look like new. In that period I had totally worn out a front pair of Sumitomos that I had bought from another dealer (my Generals got nailed). This is a rear wheel drive car and the rears outlasted the fronts by a considerable margin. Pretty impressive. And like others have said, these AS-03s are comfortable, and handle great. I can also attest to the wet weather handling. I'm in South Florida where we get plenty of heavy summer rains, and these things track beautifully. All in all, great tires that I will continue to buy if I can ever wear out the ones I have.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General G-MAX AS-03

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

General G-MAX AS-03 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.7
 
 

2003 BMW 745i
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Miles driven on tires: 40
Location: Waterford, MI
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 40 Miles on Tires
February 14, 2014

I live I'm Michigan and this has been the worst winter in a very long time witch is why I decided to get new tires. I must say I completely with this tire and the tire rack. I use to get stuck in driveways with les then a inch of snow, now I feel like I have four wheel drive. They give confidence I never thought I would have in a real real drive car. The price is great, they look good and I would recommend this tires to anyone.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 RFT

Friday, February 7, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 RFT Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.1
 
 

2013 BMW 335i Cabriolet
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: West Harrison, NY
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
January 09, 2014

second pair of these tires originally ran on a 2011 335xdrive coupe. The tires were great especially in snow, I used last set for approximately 26k miles, they were still good and had plenty of treadwear left. Just put these on a RWD convertible with an M sport package. Bought the 17 inch wheels to replace the staggered 19 inch summer rims. Couldn't feel safer with my wife driving it in her commute over the Tappan Zee Bridge in the snow. If you live in a cold weather area, snow tires definitely stop quicker in cold weather!

 

Big Improvements in Snow Traction for Your 2014 Porsche Cayenne GTS

Thursday, February 6, 2014 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Our test BMWs are fun, but I have really enjoyed our Porsche Cayennes. For a large SUV, the Cayenne can really move. It's a Porsche, so the power is to be expected, but the cornering stability at this size and with this weight is a pleasant surprise.

If you've recently picked up a 2014 Porsche Cayenne GTS (Turbo S model is pictured), I'm sure you've also been impressed. Once winter arrived, you quickly discovered that the Original Equipment 295/35R21 Max Performance Summer tires lack even minimum cold weather competence. Don't be too hard on them, their specialty is great dry and wet grip. That's why you need to find the right winter tire for your new Porsche.

Winter / Snow Tire Category

Since tire engineers balance snow grip with dry road handling, it's helpful to ask yourself the following questions as you make your choice:

  1. How severe do winters in your area tend to be?
  2. How often will you drive on icy and hard-packed snow roads?
  3. How spirited of a driver are you?

Performance Winter / Snow Wheel & Tire Package

Many spirited drivers in the light blue region of our snowfall map rarely see ice-covered roads for a long period of time, so they are best served by options in the Performance Winter / Snow category. The ideal Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package for a spirited driver would be the 275/45R20 Pirelli Scorpion Ice & Snow on the 20x10 5-130 45ET silver painted Andros Spec P.

275/45-20 Pirelli Scorpion Ice and Snow N0 $317**
275/45R20 Pirelli Scorpion
Ice & Snow
20x10 5-130 45ET Silver Andros Spec P $229**
20x10 5-130 45ET Silver Painted
Andros Spec P


With the 275/45R20 being about one inch narrower than your O.E. 295/35R21, it's skinny enough to handle a deep snow blizzard, yet wide enough for your Cayenne GTS to remain fun on good weather days.

Studless Ice & Snow Tire & Package

Moderate drivers in the dark blue region of the map who frequently experiences icy roads should search for a tire from the Studless Ice & Snow category. The optimal package for this driver is the 255/55R18 Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2 on 18x8 5-130 50ET silver painted Sport Edition TX8 wheels.

255/55-18 Michelin Latitude X-ICE Xi2 $160**
255/55R18 Michelin Latitude
X-Ice Xi2
18x8 5-130 50ET Silver Sport Edition TX8 $155**
18x8 5-130 50ET Silver Painted
Sport Edition TX8


255/55R18 is approximately 1.5" narrower than your O.E. 295/35R21 and provides more emphasis on deeper snow traction. Among the 255/55R18 Studless Ice & Snow options, the Latitude X-Ice Xi2 does the best job at balancing ice and packed snow grip with dry road handling.

Create your ideal Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package today!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Monday, February 3, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin Pilot Super Sport Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.62
 
 

2006 BMW M3 Coupe Competition Package
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 9,500
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 9,500 Miles on Tires
November 26, 2013

Use these as my street tires, in 255/35R19 front and 275/30R19 rear, mounted on a set of Volk TE37SL wheels (19x9.5" & 19x11") on my extensively modified M3. For reference, track tires are usually PS Cups, or Nitto/Hoosier R-comps.

First off, these are the ONLY Street Tires I have run on this car that aren't immediately overpowered by the brakes, which are StopTech Trophy 6P/4P 380mm/355mm 2pc that I use for competition. Braking distance is better with these than anything else that is daily driveable, and in the wet I have more traction than I would have ever thought possible especially from these widths!

With a quite stiff race suspension, these tires have improved ride quality and decreased noise, with no perceptible change in NVH since new.

Control is phenomenal, with very good feedback and they are very communicative as to their limits, while allowing throttle on oversteer but being perfectly easy to reign back in.

Since going with these for my M3, I have also swapped to them on my GT3 RS and they're every bit as good there.

Another benefit is that they weigh in at about 2.5lbs less than other comparable tires, and in my pursuit of decreasing drivetrain loss as much as absolutely possible, the extra 10lbs of unsprung weight combined with the 28lb from the wheels is immense.

11/10.

 

Non-Run-Flat All-Season Tire Option for BMW X5 (20" Wheels)

Thursday, January 30, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

One of the most difficult vehicles to outfit with all-season tires is the BMW X5 and X6 with staggered 20" wheels. Unfortunately, with the 275/40R20 front and 315/35R20 rear tire sizes, there aren't any run-flat options up to the task of performing in snowy conditions.

Luckily, for drivers willing to step away from a run-flat tire, Continental offers a fantastic choice. Their ExtremeContact DWS (DWS for Dry, Wet and Snow) has been one of our highest rated Ultra High Performance All-Season tires for quite some time and is available for the X5 and X6. While some tires in the category don't perform well in cold temperatures, the DWS has the highest ratings in the category for light snow and deep snow traction.

The ExtremeContact DWS features Tuned Performance Indicators -- visible letters molded into the second rib from the outboard shoulder to alert drivers of the tire's performance levels. A visible "DWS" indicates the tire has sufficient tread depth for dry conditions as well as wet roads and light snow. After the "S" has worn away, the remaining "DW" indicates the tire is only suitable for dry and most wet road conditions. And after the "W" and "S" have both worn away, the remaining "D" indicates the tire has appropriate tread depth for dry conditions only.

To view all tire options for your BMW, shop by vehicle.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic LT

Monday, January 27, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

General Altimax Arctic LT Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.09
 
 

2007 BMW 328i Sedan Base Model
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location: South Bend, IN
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
January 20, 2014

I was looking for a great winter tire for my BMW E90 RWD. I have a daily 150 mile commute through the heart of the Indiana-Michigan Lake Effect Region(Kalamazoo-South Bend). I had the tires put on just after Thanksgiving at Tire Rack in South Bend and couldn't be happier with my choice. During the holidays I drove over 1,000 miles visiting family in East Michigan to Southern Illinois. During this trek it took me through the toughest of conditions from black ice, to light-heavy snow and severe drifting. The tires couldn't have handled better in these environments. These tires were made for winter weather! I could not believe how well these handled drifting on I-94. I was able to safely change lanes (through drifted snow) without any pull on the steering wheel. What would normally be a white knuckle drive (primarily worrying about how other cars drive), became somewhat fun! The only complaint is that they have a slower handling response and the car seems to float with highway speeds. But that is to be expected with winter tires with a deeper tread. Overall I would not hesitate in buying this tire again. Thank you General and thank you Tire Rack!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60

Monday, January 27, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7

2007 BMW 550i Sedan Sport Package
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 500
Location: Chicago, IL
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
December 26, 2009

I decided to use my OEM wheels to mount these tires. I was somewhat skeptical prior to purchasing them and did a ton of homework. Chicago winters are extremely harsh. Having a sport sedan, I wanted to keep the sporty look during the winter months while maintaining some level of performance. I have driven in ice, (heavy) snow, rain and extreme cold. I felt extremely confident (handling and performance) with these tires. I don't know how other tires perform but I'm sold on these for the long haul.

Pirelli Makes Some of the Best Winter Tires for 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 by Gary Stanley

Pirelli doesn't just make performance tires like the P Zero line, they also produce world class winter / snow tires for a range of vehicles from small cars and high performance sports cars to large SUVs, trucks and crossover vehicles. So, whether you need affordable studded snow tires for your Honda Civic, performance snow tires for your BMW 3 Series or tires for the family's SUV for ski trips, Pirelli has you covered!

 Pirelli Winter Carving
Pirelli Winter Carving
 Pirelli Scorpion Winter
Pirelli Scorpion Winter
 Pirelli Winter SottoZero 3
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3


The Pirelli Winter Carving is a Studdable Winter / Snow tire made in a variety of sizes for those looking for a traditional studdable snow tire. With or without studs, the Winter Carving represents a great value in a traditional studdable winter tire. Note, that while studded tires are not the quietest tires, they do offer great snow and ice traction. To learn more about about using studded tires, read "Studded Tires for Winter Driving."

Pirelli's Scorpion Winter is an outstanding choice for crossovers, trucks and SUVs. It features an Ecoimpact icon branded on the sidewall to highlight the tire's contribution to the environment with regards to energy efficiency, clean air and low noise. The tire is designed to deliver low temperature wintertime driving performance by combining predictable handling on dry and wet roads with traction in snow and on ice.

Drivers looking for a high performance winter tire that will provide some winter traction for better dry road grip and steering response should consider the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3. The tire was developed with the philosophy that winter tires must perform in a variety of unpredictable weather conditions.

All three tires feature aggressive, directional tread patterns for great water and snow/slush evacuation. Looking for winter aftermarket alloy wheels or steel wheels to mount your winter tires on? Check out "Steel Wheels Available at Tire Rack" for some great options.

Introducing the New Cost-Effective BBS SR!

Thursday, December 19, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

BBS is considered one of the leaders in wheel manufacturing and engineering technology. They are dedicated to pursuing the highest level of technology possible and then applying this experience to the street.

With the release of their new SR, BBS is creating quite a buzz with this new wheel. Featuring an anthracite painted finish, the wheel looks great and is a welcomed addition to the BBS line. Also, with a price point that is lower than other BBS options, a set of SR wheels is a great way to improve the look of your vehicle at a good price. For example, an 18x8" SR wheel for a 2011 BMW 3 Series costs $265*, that's less than half the cost of BBS' popular CH-R.

The BBS SR is offered in 16", 17" and 18" rim diameters and covers many of the popular bolt patterns on the market. It also has the following features:

  • Five Y-shaped spokes
  • One-piece, cast
  • Snap-in, exposed lugs
  • Center cap at no additional charge

Shop by vehicle to see if the new BBS SR is available for your application.

* Prices subject to change

No Spare Tire? We've Got the Option for You!

Thursday, December 5, 2013 by Doc Horvath

For the last several years, many car manufacturers (particularly BMW) have been switching to run-flat tires as Original Equipment with the advertised benefit of up to 50 miles of driving range once the tire has completely deflated. This ability can be very convenient when weather or other conditions do not allow for the driver to safely install a spare tire. 

With the addition of run-flat tires, most manufacturers will typically remove the spare tire and jack from the car. Even more interesting, many new cars with conventional tires are being delivered without a spare tire as well. With or without run-flat tires, what option is there in the event of a flat tire? Continental has the answer with their ContiComfortKit.

The Continental ContiComfortKit can easily restore sufficient pressure and seal many small punctures, allowing the tire to be used on a temporary basis until a garage or tire shop is found. In many cases, car owners have elected to purchase a full size wheel and tire to have available for longer trips or when driving in rural areas where help may be hard to find. We can help you find an inexpensive wheel (either steel or aluminum alloy) and tire combination that can be used for an extended period of time!

Continental ContiComfortKit Features:
  • Braided air hose
  • Threaded hose end (More secure than push-on, thumb-lock inflation head)
  • 15-foot power cord
  • Lighted pressure gauge
  • Low-intensity LED supplemental work light

Every ContiComfortKit has a "use before" date printed on a seal that's placed adjacent to the instructions of the face of the ContiComfortKit. The date identifies the latex liquid tire sealant's forty-eight month life span from the time the sealant was bottled. If you already own a ContiComfortKit and the "use before" date is reached, you should replace the sealant canister with a new one by ordering ContiComfortKit Replacement Parts.

Best Winter / Snow Tires for a BMW 335i

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 by Colin .

Just like any vehicle, a BMW 335i will really benefit from running winter tires during the colder months. Even if you own the all-wheel drive model, a winter tire will help you steer and stop with confidence in snow and on ice. The most popular winter tires we offer to BMW customers come from Bridgestone, Michelin and Dunlop. Offerings in this category for the 335i are divided into two performance categories.


Performance Winter / Snow

Tires in this category will keep a lot of the handling you enjoy from your 335i but still provide very good winter traction. The main disadvantage to performance winter tires is that they won't have the same level of ice and snow traction as Studless Ice & Winter tires. If you live in an area that doesn't see large amounts of snow and ice or where the roads are normally plowed, this may be the best category for you.  

Studless Ice & Snow

Studless Ice & Snow tires are designed for drivers who want to maximize snow and ice traction without using winter tire studs (if you're interested in studded tires, check out tires in the Studdable Winter / Snow category). These tires will maximize your snow and ice traction by trading in some handling in dry and wet conditions. Some models exhibit this more than others, but none of them offer the precise steering response and cornering stability as a Performance Winter / Snow tire.

Purchasing a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package will give you the convenience of switching your tires on your own and ability to downsize your wheels and tires. Downsizing often reduces your overall cost and opens up more options in winter tires. Also, narrower tires will give you better winter traction than a wider option, so if you have a staggered wider rear set-up, switching to a square narrower set-up will help.  

For more help selecting the proper winter tire, read "Size Selection of Winter / Snow Tires."

Which Winter Performance Category Is Right for You?

Thursday, October 10, 2013 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Are you in the blue? Then it's time to find the winter / snow tire that works best for your vehicle. In order to purchase the correct snow tire, you should decide which performance category works best for your driving style and the winter weather you experience. There are three winter performance categories: Studless Ice & Snow, Studdable Winter / Snow and Performance Winter / Snow.

Studless Ice & Snow

Tires from this category give you optimum ice and packed snow grip, but are less responsive on dry roads. The tires trade a little handling for excellent ice and snow traction. On dry roads, your vehicle will not respond as crisply or quickly to steering inputs. Studless Ice & Snow tires are available in higher profile sizes and include the following:

If you go with a Studless Ice & Snow tire, you should consider going with a narrower tire as it cuts through deeper snow better. This is especially true for a lighter car like the MINI Cooper.

Studdable Winter / Snow

Studdable Winter / Snow tires can be run studded or unstudded. When studded, they'll give good ice and packed snow grip, but will be less responsive on dry roads. When unstudded, they'll perform well in moderate and deep snow. It's important to note that the use of studded tires may be prohibited or restricted in your area, be sure to check with local authorities to confirm legality. If you're looking for the traditional security of winter tire studs for enhanced traction on ice, consider the following Studdable Winter / Snow options:

The AltiMAX Arctic is slightly better on ice and packed snow and quieter than the the Winterforce. Winterforce tires will provide more effectiveness in deeper snow.

Performance Winter / Snow

These tires will exhibit the above dry road deficiencies to a much lesser degree. If your vehicle came with summer performance tires, the Performance Winter / Snow tires will be more comparable in steering response, acceleration, grip, braking and cornering grip. They will give up some ice and packed snow grip. Tires in this category will wear slightly better compared to Studless Ice & Snow tires, especially during the early and late winter days when temperatures are a little warmer. All winter / snow tires will have more tread noise and this will vary from tire to tire. Performance Winter / Snow tires do tend to be quieter than the other performance categories.

Available in lower profile sizes, the following Performance Winter / Snow tires are great options:

Is a Studless Ice & Snow, Studdable Winter / Snow or a Performance Winter / Snow tire right for your vehicle? It depends on your car, where you live, how you drive on dry roads and how you want to balance the above compromises. For example, my brother lives in Marion, Indiana, which is about an hour northeast of Indianapolis. He got the Bridgestone Blizzak WS60 Studless Ice & Snow tire in 235/40R18 on Sport Edition A7 wheels for his 2008 BMW M3. He chose this tire because central Indiana is more apt to get ice storms and there's the potential for heavier snow that wouldn't be quickly cleared from the country roads between his offices. He's willing to drive slower on dry roads.

Compare my brother's driving situation with another driver from Louisville with the same car but a heavier foot, he would be better served with the Performance Winter / Snow Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D tires in 235/40R18 front and 255/40R18 rear. Louisville's milder weather allows him to emphasize dry road performance, but still have emergency snow capability.

Let it snow.

 

Are You Looking to Graduate from Your BMW Run-Flat Tires?

Friday, August 9, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

BMW has a long standing preference of equipping their vehicles with run-flat tires. The benefit of not being stuck on the side of the road with a flat is attractive to a few people. However, the majority feel there may be a compromise in ride quality, noise levels and performance.

Is moving away from run-flats right for you? Since most vehicles with run-flats do not have spares, you must be comfortable with the possibility of having to call a tow truck in the event of a flat tire. If this is beyond your comfort level, you must stay with the run-flat solution. In this case, you should check to see if the Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position RFT is available for your vehicle. I believe this tire to be the best run-flat option in the marketplace today.

When talking with customers, many will ask if their original wheels can still be used with non-run-flat tires. They most certainly can!  With some exceptions, such as the PAX system from Honda, your factory original wheel will safely accept a non-run-flat tire. If making the switch to non-run-flats, the installer will need run-flat capable equipment to remove the original tires.

If you decide switching from run-flat tires is the route you'd like to go, consider the following three options.


Michelin Pilot Super
Sport

Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position

Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology


Shop by vehicle to view all options available for your BMW.