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Old 09-14-2010, 02:08 AM   #1
blackdiamond
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Winter tires: T, R or H rated?

Hi,

I have been wrestling with what kind of winter tires to buy for the 335 for some days now and I thought I would ask what people are running on their 3 series. All the cars that I have driven so far have had H rated tires and I have never got stuck, but I also don't know any better. My wife's car has always had T rated tires, but it is a different car altogether, so it is hard to compare, so here I am asking folks what they are running on their 3 series.

We don't get that much snow, here in Calgary, but when it snows and it is -25 or below, it packs right down and becomes as slick as sheer ice as soon as someone spins their wheels and it can stay that way for weeks on end. We also don't get that much real ice as it typically either rains or snows.

Anyway, thanks a lot in advance for the help on this complicated subject,
Bertrand.
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Old 09-14-2010, 02:27 AM   #2
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get good M+S winter tires if you're gonna keep the car for a while

winter tires are probably cheaper than your deductible. Plus in AB, you'll get a discount on insurance for having winters.

BTW H & T are speed ratings of tires, not traction/season ratings. If you want to know what winter tire brands/models to look at, wait for mystikal.
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Old 09-14-2010, 03:35 AM   #3
blackdiamond
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Quote:
Originally Posted by propr'one View Post
get good M+S winter tires if you're gonna keep the car for a while

winter tires are probably cheaper than your deductible. Plus in AB, you'll get a discount on insurance for having winters.

BTW H & T are speed ratings of tires, not traction/season ratings. If you want to know what winter tire brands/models to look at, wait for mystikal.
It is true that H & T are speed rating, but there is usually a very strong correlation between speed rating and grip. Typically T rated tires have better grip at the expense of handling, because they use very soft rubber compound. H rated tires on the other hand are typically firmer, providing decent dry handling at the expense of pure traction. It is all a compromise, hence why I am interested in what folks on this forums are running.

Thanks a lot,
Bertrand.
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Old 09-14-2010, 01:00 PM   #4
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As Ivan pointed out, while the speed rating can indeed give a rough idea of what the tire will perform like, it's definitely not the end of the story. There's dozens of T-rated winter tires that are not as capable as H or V rated in deep snow or ice, and vice versa.

Instead, just focus on what tire model to look for. Most of Bridgestone, Michelin, and Continental's respective winter lines are top-tier. If you want to save 50% and still get 80-90% of their capability, look at Semperit, Nexen, Falken, Hankook.
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Old 09-14-2010, 06:54 PM   #5
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I've loved my Michelin Pilot Alpin 2s, amazing tire on a rear drive 330Ci. They're a high performance sports car winter tire though. You might not need something like that.

Michelin, and Bridgestone (various Blizzak models) would be my top picks, with Conti, Pirelli and Dunlop close behind.

You can definitely get cheap tires, but I'm a firm believer that you get what you pay for in the tire industry, and the difference in performance between respected and crap brands will be amplified once the traction is slick to begin with.
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Old 09-16-2010, 07:59 PM   #6
blackdiamond
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Originally Posted by mstearnsy View Post
I've loved my Michelin Pilot Alpin 2s, amazing tire on a rear drive 330Ci. They're a high performance sports car winter tire though. You might not need something like that.

Michelin, and Bridgestone (various Blizzak models) would be my top picks, with Conti, Pirelli and Dunlop close behind.

You can definitely get cheap tires, but I'm a firm believer that you get what you pay for in the tire industry, and the difference in performance between respected and crap brands will be amplified once the traction is slick to begin with.
Hi,

I completely agree with all the comments that have been made so far. Here is my dilemna: in the 225/45/17 size, I get several choices in the Blizzaks line, the LM-25, the LM-60, the WS-60 or the WS-70. The LM-25 is a V-rated tire, the LM-60 is an H-rated tire, and the WS-60 and WS-70 are T-rated tires. I can do the same thing with the Michelin line, with the Alpin PA3 and the X-Ice2. They are all good winter tires, but some are stickier than others.

Back to my original question: what do you guys tend to run on the 3 series. V, H or T-rated tires? Are T-rated tires too squirmy for the car or are they fine?

Sorry for being a bit thick, but it is a big decision considering the amount of money involved.
Thanks a lot in advance,
Bertrand.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:50 PM   #7
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I think it depends what type of feel you want out of your car. Don't go to T-rated though.
Pilot Alpins are ultra high performance for things like M3's, 911's, etc. You can get up to some serious speeds and cornering in them. If you won't be doing that, they might be overkill for you.

To give you an idea of the tires used by BMW winter tire pkgs, 3 series and 5 series cars get Dunlop SP Wintersport M3, Bridgestone Blizzak LM-22, or Conti TS810S, while the M3/M5/M6's get the Pilot Alpin 3.
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:16 PM   #8
blackdiamond
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Originally Posted by mstearnsy View Post
I think it depends what type of feel you want out of your car. Don't go to T-rated though.
Pilot Alpins are ultra high performance for things like M3's, 911's, etc. You can get up to some serious speeds and cornering in them. If you won't be doing that, they might be overkill for you.

To give you an idea of the tires used by BMW winter tire pkgs, 3 series and 5 series cars get Dunlop SP Wintersport M3, Bridgestone Blizzak LM-22, or Conti TS810S, while the M3/M5/M6's get the Pilot Alpin 3.
Thanks a lot for this. This is the sort of information I was looking for.
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