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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is just a rant about BMW's poor decision on using "summer" only tires on BMW vehicles sold in area that have all 4 seasons.
I find the decision a poor one. Yes, I wanted the sport package but I had NO choice in getting an all season tire with that. I think it's a poor decision on BMW's part as it makes the cost of the vehicle go up due to the fact that now you have to get new tires. You either get winter tires and put them on the OEM wheels or pay even more and get a second set of wheels to mount the winter tires on.

I've decided on all-season tires mounted on the OEM wheels. This is the choice BMW SHOULD have used to begin with. Granted, some people want the full one summer only capability of summer only tires and are willing to switch out tires. However, that should be a choice and not mandatory.
Selling the sport package in areas where there are 4 seasons should come with an all season alternative. There are all season tires that, in my opinion, are better than the summer only Conti-contacts currently on my car.

I find BMW's decision to be lacking. Further, I'm sure this will sound odd, but BMW says this car is covered under FULL warranty for 50,000 miles. This implies it will function in it's intended purpose for 50,000 miles within reason.
Is it reasonable to assume your car can be driven in the winter?
If so, then is it or should it be BMW's responsibility to change out the summer only tires to tires that will allow the customer to drive their car in the winter months with some measure of safety?
I'm looking at a new set of Pirelli Pzero Nero M/S for all year driving.
The cost is rougly $668 mounted, balanced, road hazard warrantied.
This is an additional cost to the customer just so I can actually be able to drive my car in the winter. If I do not change tires, then my safety is at risk due to BMW's poor decision on which tires to use for my driving area.

I only offer this as argument due to the fact the most every other automobile company uses tires designed to work within the environment, save for actual sports cars. The 3 series BMW is not a sports car even when equipped with the "sport" package. The 3 series sold by BMW which is the sports car model is the M3. I can see using purpose built tires on that vehicle, to a point.
However, the 325/330, especially the sedan, is a vehicle designed for passengers. It has broader use intent and it's use in the winter time goes without question. Thus, why summer only tires?

Audi, has addressed this issue on the A4 and offers their sport package with or without all season tires and so does Lexus on the IS300 as well as Acura's TSX, and just about every other BMW competitor.

The real cost of the sport package on the 3 series is about $$700-$1000 more if you live in an area that has all 4 seasons.
I DO feel cheated by BMW. Those customers that live in areas where winter tires are not needed, need not worry nor need chance the OEM tires until they are worn. The rest of us HAVE to get different tires to allow us to drive our BWM's in a safe manner.

I'm willing to trade BMW these summer only conti's for a set of equivalent
ultra high performance all season tires at no additional cost to me.
BMW probably doesn't want to accept this, but it may be worth
a discussion on this issue. It's fair for a customer to have the expectation that their vehicle be able to function safely in the general weather conditions of thier environment. I never signed a waiver of any kind saying I waive my expectation of safety in the general weather conditions of my living area.
Granted, snow storms or blizzards may be outside of certain expectations, but typical snow fall and cold temperatures are very common in areas such as Chicago, IL. Summer only tread composition compromises your safety even when there is no snow or ice on the road. Simply driving in extreme cold weather lessens the summer only tires ability to stop the vehicle in an expected safe manner.
I, as any customer, have an expectation that my 325i, as delivered, is capable of providing safe operation during the whole year of driving.

Yes?

TT
 

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I am going to try and answer this in the shortest way possible... A rear wheel drive vehicle has always needed winter tires to perform well in the winter snow areas of this country. Years ago back in the '60's and '70's there were very few FWD cars. Most were all RWD drive and you had to get winter tires on your car if you wanted to drive in any kind of snow. Even with All Season tires on a RWD car, you are going to have a hard time getting around... My advice to you is to keep your summer tires on 9 months of the year and get yourself some winter tires and wheels for the other three winter months... Or do like I do and keep the BMW in the garage and drive a FWD drive Honda with all season tires in the bad winter weather. And by the way... No car manufacturer years ago provided two sets of tires for their rear wheel drive cars...Everyone automatically knew that they had to go out and purchase a set of winter tires if they wanted to GO in the snow...
 

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i did not read your post but

on bmw's they all need 4 snow tires on your car. if you live in snow country. thats all i will say you won't be sorry trust me.
get lm22 those are the badboys very body gets and likes..........
bobm3 :thumbup: :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ok, that's NOT what I was trying to discuss.
I grew up on RWD cars and I don't agree about "winter tires" vs. "all season". Modern All season tires are vastly superior to any all season of the RWD era. Further, traction control was not an option on those RWD cars of the past.

I DO NOT like snow tires because there rarely is snow on the ground around the Chicago area for more than 1/2 day after a snow fall.
Thus you drive on crappy snow tires for 90% of the time on clear dry roads.
You must then put up with lower MPG, aweful dry handling, longer braking, MUCH more noise. NOT worth it to me.
If I lived in an area where there is a lot of snow and it doesn't get cleared quickly, then I wouldn't be driving the RWD 3 series, I'd have the AWD.

The issue I'm trying to address is whether or not the summer only tires is wise decision. The Pirelli Pzero all season tires I'm looking at are rated BETTER all around than the "summer only" Conti-contacts. If that is the case, then there is NO good reason for such a poor summer only tire.
If the intent is to give us an awesome summer tire then they should make it a very good one, not just average and not as good as some all season tires.

My experience with driving in this area for 23 years is that I've NEVER needed snow tires with RWD or FWD cars. Sure, there were maybe a handful of days in those years when snow tires would have helped move me quicker through some snow. But, I just drove slower and more cautiously and got through.
Besides, when the roads are that bad you don't need to be driving fast anyway.

This whole "rule" of needing snow tires is as dogmatic as having to leave
DSC on or you're simply crash. :) I don't think so.

TT
 

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sorry about that !!!!!!!!!!!!

SST said:
Ok, that's NOT what I was trying to discuss.
I grew up on RWD cars and I don't agree about "winter tires" vs. "all season". Modern All season tires are vastly superior to any all season of the RWD era. Further, traction control was not an option on those RWD cars of the past.

I DO NOT like snow tires because there rarely is snow on the ground around the Chicago area for more than 1/2 day after a snow fall.
Thus you drive on crappy snow tires for 90% of the time on clear dry roads.
You must then put up with lower MPG, aweful dry handling, longer braking, MUCH more noise. NOT worth it to me.
If I lived in an area where there is a lot of snow and it doesn't get cleared quickly, then I wouldn't be driving the RWD 3 series, I'd have the AWD.

The issue I'm trying to address is whether or not the summer only tires is wise decision. The Pirelli Pzero all season tires I'm looking at are rated BETTER all around than the "summer only" Conti-contacts. If that is the case, then there is NO good reason for such a poor summer only tire.
If the intent is to give us an awesome summer tire then they should make it a very good one, not just average and not as good as some all season tires.

My experience with driving in this area for 23 years is that I've NEVER needed snow tires with RWD or FWD cars. Sure, there were maybe a handful of days in those years when snow tires would have helped move me quicker through some snow. But, I just drove slower and more cautiously and got through.
Besides, when the roads are that bad you don't need to be driving fast anyway.

This whole "rule" of needing snow tires is as dogmatic as having to leave
DSC on or you're simply crash. :) I don't think so.

TT
i guess you don't drive a m3. i live in bklyn new york and know members that drive m3's and they skit out on 1/8" of snow. forget even ice. in new york area if you drive m3's you need lm22 snow tires on your car4 of them makes driving like day and night on the roads of new york............
bobm3 :thumbup: :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
M3 or any highpowered vehicle is prone to tire slipage due to the high power output and rear drive configuration. It has nothing specifically to do with being an M3 or not.

BTW, NO I don't drive an M3, but I noted that my car is a 325i, so it's self explanatory. :)

With traction control on and modern ultra high performance tires, I'm sure you'd be just fine in that low amount snow or even a bit more.
Point is, that snow won't sit on the road that long. The next day the road is clear and dry (for the most part), yet you're riding on high noise, high wear, low dry traction snow tires.
It's personal choice. My choice is all season.

But, that doesn't address the issue of why BMW put "summer only" tires on cars sold in all weather climates. That aspect alone increases the cost of the vehicle so that it can be driven in relative safety year round.
As I said, I understand the M3 having purpose built summer only tires as that is a car designed for ultimate performance, mainly on dry road conditions.

TT
 

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You make a very good, clear argument. Perhaps it is simply more cost effective for BMW to offer a summer tire on their sport package cars, as they assume that if people wanted all seasons, they would not get the sport package. Besides appearance (inside and out) ride height, and shock valving, I don't think there is much of a difference btw sport and non- sport...I may be wrong. Nonetheless your argument makes alot of sense. Im sure you're not the only one who wants the sport package and the all seasons...perhaps, one of very few. In any case the only gripe I have with your comments is that you say that only the M3 is a sports car. Perhaps this can be considered the most sporty of the 3-series, but the 325 and 330 are most definately sports cars. Consider their competition and you'll see wings and spoilers, and turbos everywhere. Im sure you would consider these to be sports cars.... what about the way they perform flawlessly at speed or on a track.... Many different tuning companies as well as BMW themselves have always raced the 3 series competitively in a number of different racing classes against many different and very capable cars, and have had incredible success year after year, body style after body style.... It is part of the company's heritage, one of the foundations at that.... In my opinion, only the 7 series would not be considered a sports car, even though it can out perform many much smaller cars which claim to be sports cars....
 

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Maybe you should have bought an Audi.

I just sprung for a set of winter tires and wheels for my car and I didn't mind at all. I knew what I was getting into when I ordered the car. I wanted the sport package and I wanted the excellent summer tires that came with it and I knew that I would need winter tires when I ordered the car. I was fully prepared to pay the extra dough to get them.
 
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