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      10-02-2019, 08:54 PM   #1
jcmbmw
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Newbie question - Snow performance

Hey all, really close to getting my first BMW and settling on X3 Xline. Comes with 19" run flats as you know. I've been a Jeep guy and have had great experiences with Good Year Wrangler All Seasons on my Wrangler, but had to upgrade to Blizzaks to get the same confidence with my Grand Cherokee.

So my question is, should I expect solid snow performance on the GoodYear LS2's that are on the Xline? Or should I plan on investing on a set of snows. I live in a pretty brutal snowbelt and the dealer is trying to sell me a Nitrogen package which I feel is a money grab.

So how good are these X3's in the snow?
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      10-02-2019, 10:33 PM   #2
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Since you live in a "brutal snowbelt" I'd recommend winter tires. I'm not saying you can get around on all season tires, but the winter tires are just going to make things much more confident inspiring. You could always try the stock tires and see how it goes. The X3 doesn't have allot of ground clearance, so that may be the limiting factor when it gets deeper.
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      10-02-2019, 10:53 PM   #3
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I need to be able to go at 02:00 in a blizzard. The F25 is very good in snow, but it's not a beast. There's no question for me. Snows.

In my opinion, buy the Snows and skip the Nitrogen. Nitrogen is a typical dealer scare-mongering profit enhancer.

In Winter my F25 currently runs on 18" aftermarket rims which I bought from Tirerack, with Pirelli Winter Sottozeros. When the Pirellis were used up, I bought Nokian Hakkapeliittas through my indy. I liked the Pirellis, but I've always been a fan of Hakkas.

Tirerack didn't (and may still not) sell Hakkas at the time, hence the Pirellis for the initial wheel/lugbolt/centering ring/center-BMW-logo purchase.

The Pirellis were fine. I just like Hakkas better.
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      10-03-2019, 06:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02420X3 View Post
In my opinion, buy the Snows and skip the Nitrogen. Nitrogen is a typical dealer scare-mongering profit enhancer
Never understood why people think nitrogen is such a big deal for tires. Maybe they don't realize that the air we breathe is 78% nitrogen.
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      10-03-2019, 07:55 AM   #5
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My advice is to look at the sale forums/craigslist/ebay/etc for some OEM 18" rims with snowtires that the dealer sold to someone else that you can get cheap. Thats what I did, full set with almost new tires for $400!

But I seriously do recommend 18" and snow tires for the winter if you are going to be seeing snow...between the tread and the extra sidewall height it makes winter driving a breeze in the F25 X3
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      10-03-2019, 08:21 AM   #6
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Seeing the thread title I was optimistic about this device discussion :



OP, according to your location sig, you have the exact same winter condition as we can find here. before the winter tire law, lot of people ran all season tire.
got wrangler tire on my 2000 Durango even in winter. And it was ok.

Then, put some yoko geolander. it wasn't that day in night, because 2000's car, dont got that good electronically control AWD antislip system.

On my X3 I have DWS06 tires on summer, and tried it in winter. Then , when it was time, I put Nokian hakka8.

That was day n' night, because the freaking anti slip system is very sensitive, and cut too much power for my taste in a slippiry condition.

This has been said, use good all season tire or winter, If not you gonna be pissed off about not having power on a stop light.
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      10-04-2019, 02:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by najnad View Post
My advice is to look at the sale forums/craigslist/ebay/etc for some OEM 18" rims with snowtires that the dealer sold to someone else that you can get cheap. Thats what I did, full set with almost new tires for $400!

But I seriously do recommend 18" and snow tires for the winter if you are going to be seeing snow...between the tread and the extra sidewall height it makes winter driving a breeze in the F25 X3
Does this require any recoding of the odometer to accommodate for the smaller tire diameter?
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      10-04-2019, 03:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jcmbmw View Post
Does this require any recoding of the odometer to accommodate for the smaller tire diameter?
No, smaller rim size doesnt matter as long as overall tire height is relatively unchanged.
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      10-04-2019, 09:33 PM   #9
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I'm in Portland, OR, which is hardly the snow belt. I grew up in eastern Washington, which is closer to the snow belt; an average of 100+ inches of snow a year. However, when it snows, or there is freezing rain (more common), in Portland, it's worse than I've experienced in a place that is used to dealing with snow.

The Goodyears were okay, but the Blizzacks are so much better that it's not even close. My neighborhood has an easy 500 feet of cumulative elevation change to deal with before hitting an arterial. When it snows hard people are hitting cars, smashing curbs, and giving up and walking. Buses stop and just let people out. The X3 with Blizzacks doesn't care at all. Not a single issue.

The car is capable, but the part of the car the touches the road is what matters. If you're going to deal with snow regularly, just get the winter tires and enjoy the peace of mind. That's my thought.
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      10-05-2019, 12:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WagonR View Post
I'm in Portland, OR, which is hardly the snow belt. I grew up in eastern Washington, which is closer to the snow belt; an average of 100+ inches of snow a year. However, when it snows, or there is freezing rain (more common), in Portland, it's worse than I've experienced in a place that is used to dealing with snow.

The Goodyears were okay, but the Blizzacks are so much better that it's not even close. My neighborhood has an easy 500 feet of cumulative elevation change to deal with before hitting an arterial. When it snows hard people are hitting cars, smashing curbs, and giving up and walking. Buses stop and just let people out. The X3 with Blizzacks doesn't care at all. Not a single issue.

The car is capable, but the part of the car the touches the road is what matters. If you're going to deal with snow regularly, just get the winter tires and enjoy the peace of mind. That's my thought.
Yes, I am a big proponent of running snows and I know the difference they made with the Jeep so I'm assuming the same would be true on the x3.

So would you recommend running winter rims at 18" with the Bilzzaks? I'll keep the 19's with the LS2's for summer.
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      10-05-2019, 04:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcmbmw View Post
So would you recommend running winter rims at 18" with the Bilzzaks? I'll keep the 19's with the LS2's for summer.
Go with 18s, more/cheaper tire selection and extra cushion for rough winter damaged roads.
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      10-05-2019, 05:04 PM   #12
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A search of this forum will reveal that 17" wheels (from an older X5) and 225/60-17 tires will also work. This combination has the advantages of even cheaper wheels and tires. This size 17" tire results in the same overall diameter and load rating of your 19's and provides a narrower-width tire that works best in snow-covered roads. If one lives in a snow belt, the overall appearance of wheels and tires doesn't matter when the entire vehicle is covered with dirt, grime and salt for months at a time.
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      10-06-2019, 06:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TEF View Post
A search of this forum will reveal that 17" wheels (from an older X5) and 225/60-17 tires will also work. This combination has the advantages of even cheaper wheels and tires. This size 17" tire results in the same overall diameter and load rating of your 19's and provides a narrower-width tire that works best in snow-covered roads. If one lives in a snow belt, the overall appearance of wheels and tires doesn't matter when the entire vehicle is covered with dirt, grime and salt for months at a time.
Thanks for this info!
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      11-11-2019, 11:39 AM   #14
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LS2s are not as great in ice/snow. Winter set is the way to go!
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      11-18-2019, 07:52 PM   #15
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I am in Eastern WA and while I would disagree with one reply that we get 100+" of snow per year (it did happen in 1996 but that was a rare year), snow tires are considerably more effective than all season. There's also a new class of 4 season tires called "all weather". Have a look at info and reviews on Tire Rack and Consumer Reports websites. Ignore Amazon reviews, they are merely opinions.

You can in fact use 17" wheels, as I did on my 35i. They are cheaper and lighter and the corresponding tires are cheaper. Consider getting not-run-flat tires and a compressor and some sealant. I run not-run-flats year round. Ride better, lighter, cheaper. I found a chart somewhere online that lists all the allowed sizes - getting the correct offset is important. Then get a tire size that has the same outside diameter as you OEM tires. Tire Rack, and good retailers can help you with all this.

The BMW AWD system is sufficient for snow. It's biased to the rear so there's some occasional slip there until it engages the front. Doesn't compare to e.g. Jeep Quadradrive II, but as I said, BMW xDrive is sufficient.

Edit: I discourage studded tires. They are noisy and bad for roads. Thus I prefer studless winter tires. Again, Tire Rack and Consumer Reports have info.

Last edited by Oilverland; 11-19-2019 at 05:53 PM..
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      11-18-2019, 10:32 PM   #16
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How bad are 19" rims in plowed snow and Ice with the OEM Bridgestone Sports AS RFT Dueler HP on the X3? Thanks!
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      11-20-2019, 04:50 PM   #17
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I live in Alberta Canada and we definately get a fair bit of snow. And I have always found the X3 to be more than capable. I have a set of 18's with the Nokian winter tires and have never had a problem getting around. Next time I may even try their Hakka 9 studded tires, but I have been extremely happy with my non studded tires.
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      11-20-2019, 07:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oilverland View Post
I am in Eastern WA and while I would disagree with one reply that we get 100+" of snow per year (it did happen in 1996 but that was a rare year), snow tires are considerably more effective than all season. There's also a new class of 4 season tires called "all weather". Have a look at info and reviews on Tire Rack and Consumer Reports websites. Ignore Amazon reviews, they are merely opinions.

You can in fact use 17" wheels, as I did on my 35i. They are cheaper and lighter and the corresponding tires are cheaper. Consider getting not-run-flat tires and a compressor and some sealant. I run not-run-flats year round. Ride better, lighter, cheaper. I found a chart somewhere online that lists all the allowed sizes - getting the correct offset is important. Then get a tire size that has the same outside diameter as you OEM tires. Tire Rack, and good retailers can help you with all this.

The BMW AWD system is sufficient for snow. It's biased to the rear so there's some occasional slip there until it engages the front. Doesn't compare to e.g. Jeep Quadradrive II, but as I said, BMW xDrive is sufficient.

Edit: I discourage studded tires. They are noisy and bad for roads. Thus I prefer studless winter tires. Again, Tire Rack and Consumer Reports have info.
I have no idea where I got the 100+ from; its been about 5 years since I looked up that stat and clearly memory didnt serve me well. I was off by more than 2x. I grew up there, but have lived in Portland for the last 8 years...maybe the 08/09 snowfall was on my mind...

On topic, Im a fan of the dedicated snow tire setup. Sizing down is a great move, and Im not sure why youd really want studded tires given the advancements in snow tires the past 10-15 years.
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      11-23-2019, 10:45 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oilverland View Post
You can in fact use 17" wheels, as I did on my 35i. They are cheaper and lighter and the corresponding tires are cheaper. Consider getting not-run-flat tires and a compressor and some sealant. I run not-run-flats year round. Ride better, lighter, cheaper. I found a chart somewhere online that lists all the allowed sizes - getting the correct offset is important. Then get a tire size that has the same outside diameter as you OEM tires. Tire Rack, and good retailers can help you with all this.
Thanks for this!

I'm a big fan of dedicated snow tires in the winter! That said, I went all last winter with my then new-to-me 2016 X3 28d with the Goodyear all seasons. I'm looking to change that for this winter season.

Originally I'd been planning on 18" for my dedicated snow tires, but my wheel guy suggested 17" last week. I saw elsewhere that some 17" may not clear the brake calipers. Anybody had any issues with that? Other opinions on 17" or 18"?

Also, I have been on the fence but leaning to run-flats. Any opinions on pro/con (other than price and availability of tires)?

Thanks!
-Steve
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      11-24-2019, 10:22 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi6 View Post
Originally I'd been planning on 18" for my dedicated snow tires, but my wheel guy suggested 17" last week. I saw elsewhere that some 17" may not clear the brake calipers. Anybody had any issues with that?
I went 18 with 235/55 non-RFTs. Since mounting weve had one day of real snow which the Continental Vikings were a huge improvement over the Goodyear Eagle Tourings - they were scary in the snow. I can say the Contis have been good in the dry and cold, wet, but not quite freezing conditions. Pretty quiet too.
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      11-24-2019, 10:46 AM   #21
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I went with 17x7.5 et32 wheels (Rial X10). This is an OE wheel fitment for 28i with 225/60/17. There were no fitment issues on my '12 X3 35iX. I used them with 235/60/17 for a slightly taller tire. Package from tirerack came with wheels, TPMS, Blizzak WS-90 with mount and balance for about $1400. This Rial wheel fits the BMW center caps too.

If you want to go with the 245 factory width, I'd look for a 17x8 et43 wheel.
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      11-25-2019, 09:45 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi6 View Post
Thanks for this!
Also, I have been on the fence but leaning to run-flats. Any opinions on pro/con (other than price and availability of tires)?

Thanks!
-Steve
One of the biggest ride improvements to date with my X3 was getting rid of the run flats and going to non-RFT tires. When I got mine, it came with the Pirelli 18" winter package, and when I replaced them I went to the Nokian non-RFT winters, and when I drove home from the shop I was blown away by how much better it rode and drove. I understand why BMW uses them, but since then I have also replaced my summers with non-RFT to see ride improvements then too.
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