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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I have a couple of questions about low profile tires. First of all are the tires on my 330ci low profile? They are Bridgestone Potenza 225 45R17 91W in the front, and in the back they are Bridgestone Potenza 245 40R17 91W. Second what exactly are low profile tires, and how do they differ from regular tires? Thanks!
 

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245 (tire width)
40R17 (tire profile, as % to tire width)
91W (speed rating)

low profile = a small tire profile (usually anything 50 or less)

low profile means stiffer sidewalls and therefore better handling, but less ability to flex and may be a less comfortable ride
low profile also usually comes with a higher speed rating, which means the tread, rubber, and steel cords are all designed for higher friction/heat and better traction at higher speed - usually a tradeoff for adverse weather handling (rain and especially snow)
 

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With "40R17"....

"40" is the tire profile
and "R17" denotes it is for a 17" wheel.

And we normally consider a 35 series or lower, low profile.
 

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Hi I have a couple of questions about low profile tires. First of all are the tires on my 330ci low profile? They are Bridgestone Potenza 225 45R17 91W in the front, and in the back they are Bridgestone Potenza 245 40R17 91W. Second what exactly are low profile tires, and how do they differ from regular tires? Thanks!
Yes, those are low profile tires.

The highlighted figure is the profile (height of the tire side wall) expressed as a % of the tires width. Therefore in your example the front tire profile (side wall height) is approx 45% of it's width (225). As mentioned, generally any figure less than 50 is considered low profile.

1. They look sportier
2. They a have stiffer side wall
3. They are more responsive (direction change/braking)
4. The ride felt in the car is more harsh
5. They are more expensive
6. Get damaged easier by potholes
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow thank you guys so much for the information, I really appreciate the time that you guys took to explain this concept to me!!
 

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35 or lower? that's the lowest profilee. Low profile = less than 50.
You run monster truck tires?

Here's a common setup for E46's.
235/35/19 in the front
265/30/19 in the rear

What I can run on an E92
245/30/20
285/25/20


I use to sell wheels/tires for a living, I think I'd have a general idea of what's going on here..
 

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So let me get this straight, you're sugggesting 235/45ZR18 are considered "monster truck tires"? 20-30 profile tires are extremely low profile. I'm standing by what I said, anything lower than 45/50 is considered 'low profile', and anything under 30 'a waste of money'. 30 profile tires are certainly not "common" installations for our cars.

I used to not only sell but also install, balance, repair wheels/tires for a living as well as align suspensions - think I have a general idea myself. Our machines could handle low profile tires by definition, but not the excessively low profile (35 and lower).
 
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So let me get this straight, you're sugggesting 235/45ZR18 are considered "monster truck tires"? 20-30 profile tires are extremely low profile. I'm standing by what I said, anything lower than 45/50 is considered 'low profile', and anything under 30 'a waste of money'. 30 profile tires are certainly not "common" installations for our cars.

I used to not only sell but also install, balance, repair wheels/tires for a living as well as align suspensions - think I have a general idea myself. Our machines could handle low profile tires by definition, but not the excessively low profile (35 and lower).
+1 fibonacci you are correct. But re: your last sentence: 255/35 is the stock size for rear 18" tires.
 

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The recommended sizes for E46 3 Series on 18" wheels would be a 235/40/18 front and a 255/265 35/18 rear for a staggered fitment. If you plan on running taller sizes on both front and rears, you will definitely run into rubbing issues during compression or a full cabin of passengers.

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