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      08-23-2011, 03:33 PM   #1
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UK BMW winter wheel packages

Anyone know why style 305 is only available with Pirelli run flats and style 304 with Dunlop non-run flats and not available the other way round? The Dunlops get better reviews on Tirerack.com but the alloys don't match my 305s to allow me to swap. Ta!
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      08-23-2011, 04:33 PM   #2
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any ideas about the cost of the winter packages btw?

am still contemplating whether to get a set of winter tyres.... have been stuck the last 2 winters during the busiest time of the year for me... can't handle walking 3 miles to work every day!
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      08-23-2011, 08:38 PM   #3
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1500 304s. 1700 305s. 120 per year for them to swap & store spare set.
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      08-27-2011, 06:00 PM   #4
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Just to add these are the only UK package options. Other 17" combinations are possible but you get no discount so it is cheaper to buy the rims and source the tyres yourself. Seems some dealers are discounting the "tyre hotel" thing but as most were inundated due to last winter they may not. Stocks of tyres are already with dealers, indeed some are fitting them already - a bit premature whilst the average temp stays above 7C. BMW do not support or recommend all weather compromise tyres, tho the eagle eyed will see lots of these bought after market. Reason given? Compromises performance all year and makes mpg figures unobtainable (remember the bit about using special efficient tyres in the brochure as part of ED technology?)
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      08-28-2011, 06:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X3buyerScotland View Post
1500 304s. 1700 305s. 120 per year for them to swap & store spare set.
It would be nice but you'd need a fair bit of snow to make it worthwhile IMO. 1 day in total where I am near Reading this year means it would cheaper to hire a Land Rover / have a day off
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      08-28-2011, 09:08 AM   #6
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Whilst "winter tyres" are what they are called, they are defined for all weathers below 7C (so should be called under 7C tyres") and are much grippier on wet as well as snow below that temp. Check out the details here: http://www.btmauk.com/data/files/Why...1_May_2011.pdf Put another way, if you read up on most "summer" tyres you will find they are not recommended in the UK Oct to Mar. Fact is in Uk most folks drive all year on tyres that those who make them say are not as safe 5 months of the year. Most of Northern Europe use 2 sets per year. My view is that with 4 wheels all driving plus all the fancy electronic gizmos on the X3 plus to allow you to apply the power of the 3.0d winter tyres make sense. Plus they could save you fuel, keep you moving and maybe save your neck.
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      08-28-2011, 04:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X3buyerScotland View Post
Whilst "winter tyres" are what they are called, they are defined for all weathers below 7C (so should be called under 7C tyres") and are much grippier on wet as well as snow below that temp. Check out the details here: http://www.btmauk.com/data/files/Why...1_May_2011.pdf Put another way, if you read up on most "summer" tyres you will find they are not recommended in the UK Oct to Mar. Fact is in Uk most folks drive all year on tyres that those who make them say are not as safe 5 months of the year. Most of Northern Europe use 2 sets per year. My view is that with 4 wheels all driving plus all the fancy electronic gizmos on the X3 plus to allow you to apply the power of the 3.0d winter tyres make sense. Plus they could save you fuel, keep you moving and maybe save your neck.
I would argue that the data in that article backs up my reason for not getting them. The only significant improvement in braking distance is on snow/ice which I rarely ever see where I live. The improvement on wet roads at 5C is only 7% (5% when you add thinking distance) which is insignificant IMO, and they make braking distance longer on dry roads.

In Berkshire, the average daytime max temp is about 8C through the winter months, average min 2-3C. Most of northern europe see a lot more snow and ice than the UK because they're not on an island in the gulf stream
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      08-28-2011, 04:18 PM   #8
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Fair points indeed. It also depends on mileage you do under each condition. I learned this week that most of our taxi drivers do switch, not least as another factor at lower temps is higher wear rates as summer rubber struggles to grip.

I take it you don't plan to swap Sfax? You'll have me looking at socks again for those few bad days (or weeks last season!).
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      08-28-2011, 04:28 PM   #9
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I won't be switching and I live in the NE of Scotland. Previously owned a 3 series running on 18" wheels with low profile summer tyres and was even able to get about in that except for the days it was really bad snow. Winter tyres will always sound like a good investment from the marketing but while it's not law in the uk I ll keep the money and stick with my 309s and summer tyres. If the weather is really bad then the police usually tell you not to travel and therefore work from home.
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      08-28-2011, 04:46 PM   #10
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Gulp! Not the responses I expected but respect the views and thanks for sharing. Moving from rear drive to 4 drive this year should help me, but my problem is untreated stretches of steep road where last winter with rear drive I could get nowhere as soon as there was a sprinkling of snow and had to abandon the car - annoying and a risk to the car too. I guess I could just wait to see how X3 works, tho a friend who has an old shape tells me they found it surprisingly slidey, noting I guess you can't beat the laws of physics.
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      08-28-2011, 04:54 PM   #11
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Pirelli P Zero Nero's are the solution for such conditions, I think. Sadly, can't find them for the mixed 309s even though Pirelli says they make them. And, before you say it, no, my beloved TireRack.com doesn't have them.
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      08-28-2011, 05:00 PM   #12
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The reviews of this summer tyre here: http://www.tyrereviews.co.uk/Tyre/Pi...PZero-Nero.htm don't look great. Do you think they are better than the standard Dunlop Maxx TT?
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      08-28-2011, 05:01 PM   #13
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I also live in NE Scotland and currently running a 3 series with 19" x 265's on the back.
The first 2 winters of ownership, my car mostly sat in the garage because of the lack of traction from the PS2's.
Last winter i bought a set of winter wheel/tyre set and the only time i was off the road was when the spoiler started to plough the deep snow.
Therefore i shall be looking to get a set of winter wheels + tyres again for my new X3.
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      08-28-2011, 05:08 PM   #14
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Thanks for the comment Broch. When you say lack of traction presume you mean on snow and ice? Also can you comment on how the winters performed on wet and dry cold roads plus any other observations? I should add for Sfax, I have to do a lot of early morning driving so start many days below 7C.
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      08-28-2011, 06:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X3buyerScotland View Post
1500 304s. 1700 305s. 120 per year for them to swap & store spare set.
flipping hell.. just done a search for winter tyres (run flats) and they are running at 230 each without the rims! the bmw pricing might not be that bad!
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      08-28-2011, 06:16 PM   #16
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In the Midwest where temperatures stay well below 7C from November to April you would never think of driving on summer tires. You'd either be suicidal or certifiable or both. It's not about snow but about temperature. So if you have extended period of below 7C you have a choice: spend money on the "insurance" of winter tires or run the risk of accident damage and run summer tires.
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      08-28-2011, 06:34 PM   #17
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think i might need to look into snow socks again... had a pair for last yr for the e60 but never got to use it...
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      08-28-2011, 06:57 PM   #18
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Yep for a snow emergency but as above, snow socks dont like non-snow roads so seem to be a very limited alternative.
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      08-29-2011, 05:33 AM   #19
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I did some met office desktop research into the UK ave temp and from Nov thru Mar the mean is just over 4 deg C in England and under 3 in Scotland. A side from the very low snow factor the temperature point of view is valid in favour of winter rubber. I have been with a friend in Germany when they change over the wheel at the local stealer, with a confirmed booking it was 30 mins from arrival to departure and the winter tyres were still rated at 240km/h!
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      08-29-2011, 05:55 AM   #20
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To summarise the range of views so far then considering "winters" as an insurance policy against a number of issues seems to be a good way of looking at this option. Once bought, the "annual premium" is the fee to swap them over, wear & tear, plus any over 7C / dry road issues. More views?
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      08-29-2011, 04:07 PM   #21
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I think if there was a significant increase in danger by driving in mild winters * with summer tyres, it would a legal requirement to switch to winter tyres, as it is in many parts of Northern Europe. Who knows, it might become a legal requirement in the UK but I doubt it ever will. E.g. it's a legal requirement in Poland where I spend a lot of time but it is so much colder there and you're guaranteed a lot of snow every winter. Even their airports work in the snow!

* I'm thinking south of England here, I might get them or at least consider them if I lived in Scotland and regularly saw snow. If you ignore the last couple of winters, I used to see maybe one day of snow a year and it was all gone a day later.

I also take your point on early morning driving and appreciate you'll see more ice but I don't think a 7% improvement in stopping distance is a good enough reason. You could get a much better safety margin by just driving more slowly in freezing conditions IMO
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      08-29-2011, 04:28 PM   #22
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Thanks again Sfax. Interestingly I have not in recent years had trouble stopping or skidding. My issue has been getting moving from a standing start on slippery surfaces (frost / ice / snow) not least because of lack of grip on even minor hills, uphill ramp out of office garage etc. Might a 7% improvement plus 4 wheel drive get me going as others with similar kit seemed to last winter? That said, I had to push a Range Rover on standard tyres out of my own street last year, despite lots of grit under the tyres so got to be realistic.
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