Replacing Tires on BMW X3

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jeanpierremelville
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Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by jeanpierremelville »

Hi Bogleheads,

I own a BMW X3 2015. We went in for routine maintenance at the dealer and were told that the tires need to be replaced.

These are runflat tires and have about 29000 miles on them. I was surprised that the tires needed to be changed so early (the treads look ok to me).
Also the dealer price for the 4 tire change and wheel alignment is $1440.00 which seems really high.

Does anyone have similar experience of needing to replace the runflat tires in 3 years or around 30K miles?

I am thinking about maybe just replacing them with regular tires (although the only issue is there is no compartment for a spare in the trunk due to the fact that they were manufactured with runflats).

Also, does anyone know if a regular workshop (non-dealer) can replace runflat tires?

Thanks for the suggestions.
bi0hazard
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by bi0hazard »

Just replaced all 4 tires on my Tahoe with 29k miles on them. I think 4wd is partially to blame for this premature wear, but i have little desire to research this assumption. My stock tires are 22inch, so not cheap.

I always use discount tire, and I'm always happy with their service. You can look up on their website what fits your vehicle. I get well rates tires and not what came stock. For example I switched to Michelin from Bridgestone. I find it's always cheaper to not purchase from dealer.

I'm not sure how vehicle sensors work without run-flats if that's standard on yours. I'd call bmw service adviser.
Sleepydoc99
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by Sleepydoc99 »

Run flats are definitely more expensive but not by that much. Costco price would probably be 30 percent less...
NextMil
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by NextMil »

My BMW Indy mechanic buys from tire rack.com and I have gone with OEM tires every time. He is a super trustworthy mechanic. I have a different year X3, but I think I was paying around $300 a tire before install, so $1440 might be accurate from the dealer, although you might be able to do slightly better with an indy, but I would find an indy that specializes in BMWs.

If IWIYS, I would go on tire rack and spec out your tires and see what comes up - I did it quickly, but I didn't know all your details so I just picked base model - and they were coming up around $200 a tire. 30k seems a little premature, but not impossible, depending on the wear on your tires. I think there are some hard and fast rules on how much tread is too little left before replacing, and you can easily measure with a ruler to see if they in fact do need replacing. I would just google it. Bimmers forums might help with this question better than bogleheads.

Best of luck.
randomguy
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by randomguy »

30k+-5k is in the range for a lot of performance tires. They should be able to give you the tread measurement. You are not getting 50k+ out if them.

Pretty much any place can do these tires. You can look on tirerack for specials but 18/19 run flats run about 250 and up. The dealer might be bit high but not by much.
clsms
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by clsms »

I own a 2009 328i with runflats - 30k miles of wear isn't too bad for runflats based on my experience. I typically purchase my tires (runflats but not the OEM version - there are better versions and less expensive) from Tirerack.com and have them installed by a local tire shop. Supposedly it's best to get the tires mounted and "Road Force Balanced" so I search for tire shops that have the proper equipment to do this. No issues at all to date and no reason to be limited to BMW dealerships and their prices. However, if you do decide to switch to non-runflats, you can buy a spare tire kit and necessary tools. I believe BMW sells this.
Jack FFR1846
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

I took the liberty to see what I could do with Tire Rack. I put together the lowest price 17" wheel (found a closeout) with tires and sensors shipped to Boston. $701 delivered.

I'd rather pay that than double, and this is wheels and tires with lug bolts. They come to you and you bolt them on. The end. Put one of your OEM wheels in the back for a spare.

don't know if this will work for you.....https://www.tirerack.com/register/Login ... ping=false
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victorb
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by victorb »

Tread may look OK, but needs to be measured. Depth of 4/32" or less can cause hydroplaning and should be replaced. 2/32" of an inch or less is the shortest legal depth in many States. TireRack has great data on tire characteristics from actual users. My dealer matched Michelin prices from Costco and that surprised me. You can try and see what the BMW dealer will do. Some weeks they are slow and will do some dealing to keep shop busy. Don't run tires too close to 2/32", because stopping distances increase also on wet surfaces.
researcher
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by researcher »

jsong23 wrote: Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:40 am We went in for routine maintenance at the dealer and were told that the tires need to be replaced.

I was surprised that the tires needed to be changed so early (the treads look ok to me).

Does anyone have similar experience of needing to replace the runflat tires in 3 years or around 30K miles?
Why don't you just buy a 50 cent tread depth gauge from any auto parts store and check the tread depth yourself?

No reason to replace the tires just because the stealership says you should.
nyjetfan
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by nyjetfan »

+1 for Tire rack - I have a 2015 BMW X3 and I got the exact same OEM tires for about $250/tire shipped to my local shop, who then did the install. Note: Tire rack has the "special star sidewall" that the dealership touts as being made specifically by pirelli for the BMW X3 (at least that's what came on mine from factory).

Also, there are plenty of other options of run flats you can try, but I know dealership near me was about $80/tire for mounting and balancing on "approved BMW tire machines". I think I paid <$80 for all 4 mounting and balancing at my local place, and saved some money per tire on the purchase.

Also, I found a spare rim and took one of my old tires and mounted it and now keep it in my garage, that way in a pinch I can drive home with a flat, swap the tire, and then use it sparingly for the next day or two while tire rack delivers the tires to the local shop for replacement.
jminv
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by jminv »

Assuming you have 18" then: Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS

Prices before tax:
Sam's Club: $263.86/tire +15 install/tire=$1115.44
Costco: $335.99/tire +17.99 install/tire=$1415.92
Tire Rack: $258.06/tire +$20/tire delivery fee - install them yourself or pick a local installer for extra fee - will end up being similar priced to Costco and BMW dealer.
Discount Tire: $1006 total including installation (230/tire + 86 in install/fees).

Edit: Didn't check discount tire because thought they wouldn't have the tire. They do and it's the cheapest. Go with them.

Yes, performance tires wear out more frequently. You could also get a second opinion somewhere else if they really need to be replaced now or if BMW dealer is trying to sell you something before you need it. My guess is it is around time to get new ones but maybe can wait few thousand more miles. I'd probably get a second opinion at Discount Tire just because they're not pressure sales people. Since they're also the cheapest place to get these Bridgestone's, order them if you do need to while you're there. $1006 is actually a pretty good deal.

Go with BMW's recommended tire which apparently is this Bridgestone. I wouldn't run it without runflats since you don't have room for the spare.
CFIT
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by CFIT »

This post caught my eye because I have just purchased at 2017 X3, CPO, with 9,500 miles. One question I have: will standard tires give better performance that run flats? I recall that when run flats first came out I read a lot in sports car forums about how inferior their performance to standard tires. Is that still the case?
jbranx
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by jbranx »

CFIT wrote: Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:22 pm This post caught my eye because I have just purchased at 2017 X3, CPO, with 9,500 miles. One question I have: will standard tires give better performance that run flats? I recall that when run flats first came out I read a lot in sports car forums about how inferior their performance to standard tires. Is that still the case?
That's been my experience with run-flats. Had to replace them on my 2007 Ridgeline at about 30,000 miles. They always made steering hard and made more noise than regular tires. My impression is that run-flats are hard to sell, so the tire manufacturers discount them to auto cos. Last I checked sales of them were down, tho I did read that there were some improvements coming from some tire cos. I would never, ever buy a car or truck with run-flats. Expensive waste of money for a 50-mile tow fee or change it yourself. They are nothing magic: just a very thick sidewall if I understand it right.
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Ged
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by Ged »

The thing about run flats is that your suspension is designed for the stiffness of the thicker tire walls. Using conventional tires will affect your handling.

Ultimately this along with the maintenance cost statistics is why I decided not to purchase a BMW.
ljb1234
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by ljb1234 »

CFIT wrote: Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:22 pm This post caught my eye because I have just purchased at 2017 X3, CPO, with 9,500 miles. One question I have: will standard tires give better performance that run flats? I recall that when run flats first came out I read a lot in sports car forums about how inferior their performance to standard tires. Is that still the case?
I just put on Pirelli Cinturato P7 Run Flat All Seasons on my BMW X1. They are much better than the ones that were on it previously.
If you go with non-Run Flat, you need to do something for a spare or an inflator kit. Some places won't put on non-Run Flats on a BMW.
DavidW
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by DavidW »

It might be worthwhile to check on a BMW X3 forum to see what others are running on their tires. I use Costco and what is nice is that they can service the tires while I shop. Pricing is reasonably and rotation/balance is free after you pay the 1x cost. If you use TIre Rack, you have to balance out the extra costs to balance/rotate your tires (probably 6 to 7 times for the life of tires)...

One thing that causes premature tire wear is tire inflation and/or alignment. The tread wear will tell you what happened.

You drive an average rate so this may not apply but when you get your tires, check the manufactured date on the tires (assuming you see them before buying). It is a 4 digit number with the first two digit being the week number and the next two for the year. Tires are only good for 7 years and you don't want to buy tires that have been sitting in the warehouse for years.... Even 3 year old tires will push to you the boarder line of end of life on the tires.

https://www.edmunds.com/car-care/how-ol ... tires.html
smackboy1
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by smackboy1 »

jsong23 wrote: Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:40 am These are runflat tires and have about 29000 miles on them. I was surprised that the tires needed to be changed so early (the treads look ok to me).
Also the dealer price for the 4 tire change and wheel alignment is $1440.00 which seems really high.

Does anyone have similar experience of needing to replace the runflat tires in 3 years or around 30K miles?

I am thinking about maybe just replacing them with regular tires (although the only issue is there is no compartment for a spare in the trunk due to the fact that they were manufactured with runflats).

Also, does anyone know if a regular workshop (non-dealer) can replace runflat tires?
30K miles on performance tires is actually pretty good.

Tires need to be replaced when the tread depth is <3 mm. Use a quarter to test it. Don't drive the tires down to the wear bars. That's the legal tread depth but the tires will hydroplane was before that.

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/new-t ... y-car-news

Use and independent shop to mount and balance tires and alignment. The best selection and price is usually Tirerack.com (some tires include a 2 year road hazard protection plan). You can bring them to the shop and just pay labor. Or you can request the shop match the Tirerack price. Any decent shop will be able to mount RFT w/ TPMS.

Non-RFT are lighter and less stiff so they ride better, perform better and are more fuel efficient. But if you suffer a blow out you may be waiting for a flatbed. On my cars without RFT I carry an air pump w/ Slime kit and a plug repair kit. I've had a pothole tear a 3" rip in an RFT that no repair kit could have fixed and I was able to just drive home (<30 mph). It's a compromise.
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Topic Author
jeanpierremelville
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by jeanpierremelville »

OK thank you everyone. I appreciate all the suggestions.
FireSekr
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by FireSekr »

All season tires are not performance tires.

The OEM tires are not the greatest. Look on Bmw forums to see what other X3 owners are using. The Bridgestones are definitely not great. I had those on my 2011 328 and hated them. Lots of road noise and handling was poor. When the tires lost grip it was like an on and off switch not progressive the way a good tire would be.

On the 328 I switched to non run flat tires a few months after I got the car that’s how bad they were

on my 5 series I have Michelin primacy 3 run flat tires and they’re a huge improvement from the Bridgestone but those are performance tires and don’t make sense on an X3, but I’m sure there are run flat options that you will like better than what cams on the car originally
tev9876
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by tev9876 »

Another vote for not seeking OEM tires.

Last fall I was shopping tires for my Ram pickup. OME Goodyears made it 50k miles, but their wet pavement performance sucked, and they were at the high end price wise. Costco had a Michelin that fit, but with two part numbers and same price. I did tons of searching to figure out why the same tire had two part numbers. Turned out that the Michelin was OEM for a Ford F250. Only difference was OEM version had 12/32 tread depth while consumer version had 16/32. Basically Ford cut a deal to save a few pennies with 1/8" less rubber.

I ended up with high rated Kumho from tire rack. Went straight from the UPS truck to the bed of mine. Independent shop 75 feet from my office installed for $100 and had it ready in time for lunch. Saved about $300 over Costco and got better tires.
anoop
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by anoop »

jsong23 wrote: Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:40 am Hi Bogleheads,

I own a BMW X3 2015. We went in for routine maintenance at the dealer and were told that the tires need to be replaced.

These are runflat tires and have about 29000 miles on them. I was surprised that the tires needed to be changed so early (the treads look ok to me).
Also the dealer price for the 4 tire change and wheel alignment is $1440.00 which seems really high.

Does anyone have similar experience of needing to replace the runflat tires in 3 years or around 30K miles?

I am thinking about maybe just replacing them with regular tires (although the only issue is there is no compartment for a spare in the trunk due to the fact that they were manufactured with runflats).

Also, does anyone know if a regular workshop (non-dealer) can replace runflat tires?

Thanks for the suggestions.
Almost all shops can do run flats. I got my last set at America's Tire Co.

Look into Bridgestone Driveguard. If they are available for your car that's what I would recommend. There are a 3rd gen RFT so they feel like go flat tires (less harshness) and they last a bit longer and actually come with a mileage warranty unlike a lot of the performance RFTs

Also are you rotating the tires? BMW has not been recommending rotation but that just wastes some tire as the rears wear quicker.
lazydavid
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by lazydavid »

Replacing the horrid runflats was literally the first thing I did, about a month after buying my (demo) 2011 335d. Didn't even consider runflats for the replacement, and run 17" Blizzaks on the stock wheels, and 18" Pilot Super Sport on a set of aftermarket wheels. If I ever have a tire that's so bad I can't limp home by stopping for air, I'll call a tow truck. Since that's happened to me exactly once in 24 years of driving, seems like an acceptable risk.
EnjoyLife3D
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by EnjoyLife3D »

Similar situation here, on my 2-year-old X3 - needs new tires due to low tread at only 22k miles! And total cost with alignment is $2k! The dealer rep told me these tires are just softer on this car, and so need to be replaced every 15K-20K miles, which I am not OK with. My last BMW, also with RFTs (run-flats), got me ~30K miles standard wear.

So, I'd like to find alternatives. The OEM tire is a Goodyear Eagle LS2. TireRack and Costco both suggest the Michelin Primacy MXM4, which is also an RFT, which I plan on keeping. Total tire cost with install at Costco is about $600 or 1/3 less than the BMW dealer. I've just never used anything other than the OEM tire before and am worried about unanticipated additional risks with that - e.g. will I need to do more balance/rotation? Does the 30K mileage guarantee on the Michelins mean they'll last longer than the OEM Goodyear? Am I taking risks I'm not aware of? Advice appreciated, and thank you in advance.
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sk2101
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by sk2101 »

lazydavid wrote: Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:58 am Replacing the horrid runflats was literally the first thing I did, about a month after buying my (demo) 2011 335d. Didn't even consider runflats for the replacement, and run 17" Blizzaks on the stock wheels, and 18" Pilot Super Sport on a set of aftermarket wheels. If I ever have a tire that's so bad I can't limp home by stopping for air, I'll call a tow truck. Since that's happened to me exactly once in 24 years of driving, seems like an acceptable risk.
First thing I did too when I had an E90 was to ditch the run flats. However I am not as brave as you, I need the reasurance of a spare tire (even though I admit I never used it). This is what I did:
Image

Now my new car came with no spare and a fix-a-flat kit. Thankfully it has a spare wheel well (that filled with a piece of styrofoam :confused ) and I was able to add a spare tire under the trunk floor.

I always carry a portable compressor in my car. All the flats that I have had were slow leaks (nails, screws) and I can just inflate the tire and take care of fixing it when I get home. The spare tire would be for a worst case scenario that I hit a pothole and damage the tire or bend a wheel, but (knock on wood), it has been over 20+ years since this last happened.
Last edited by sk2101 on Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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FlyAF
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by FlyAF »

lazydavid wrote: Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:58 am Replacing the horrid runflats was literally the first thing I did, about a month after buying my (demo) 2011 335d. Didn't even consider runflats for the replacement, and run 17" Blizzaks on the stock wheels, and 18" Pilot Super Sport on a set of aftermarket wheels. If I ever have a tire that's so bad I can't limp home by stopping for air, I'll call a tow truck. Since that's happened to me exactly once in 24 years of driving, seems like an acceptable risk.
I don't have a BMW (Caddilac), but I too replaced the harsh run flats with normal tires as soon as I took possession. Run flats are atrocious. If I get a flat, I'm calling AAA for a tow. Even when I had a spare, I still call AAA to have them change it. In my 25ish years of driving, I've been stranded because of a tire all of once. I live dangerously on the edge, opting to go w/o a spare.
lazydavid
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by lazydavid »

sk2101 wrote: Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:51 am I always carry a portable compressor in my car. All the flats that I have had were slow leaks (nails, screws) and I can just inflate the tire and take care of fixing it when I get home. The spare tire would be for a worst case scenario that I hit a pothole and damage the tire or bend a wheel, but (knock on wood), it has been over 20+ years since this last happened.
It's happened to me 4 or 5 times in the past 4 years (putting 19s on an E90 in Chicago was not the wisest decision I've ever made), but still have no regrets about not carrying a spare.
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LiveSimple
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by LiveSimple »

The rubber in the tire gets harder over time so With BMW X3 type of cars the handling becomes more harder over time st this 30000 mile range, so do not look at the tire tread alone, see if you can change and move on.
JackoC
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by JackoC »

jminv wrote: Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:24 pm Assuming you have 18" then: Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS

Prices before tax:

Yes, performance tires wear out more frequently.

Go with BMW's recommended tire which apparently is this Bridgestone.

I wouldn't run it without runflats since you don't have room for the spare.
I agree on checking prices and every serious tire dealer has runflats suitable for that car. And *runflats* wear out faster. People might debate if OEM all season runflats offered on vehicles like an X3 are 'performance tires', a somewhat flexible term.

I don't agree that what brand tires the car came with determines anything. Most BMW (and other car manufacturer) models come with various brands of tire, changing year to year for a model or even different ones in a given model year, depending on tire meeting basic requirements and best price to car manufacturer. That's actually a problem if you have reason to like one brand (for example some people really like Michelin PSS over Continental equivalent summer performance tires on BMW's) but want to order the car from the factory: they can't gtee the tire brand, which you can at least see if you get the car from dealer stock.

On the last point, BMW now sells various models with non-runflats but no spare (just a kit with tire goop and an electric compressor run off the car's auxiliary plug). So BMW could not in good faith say that they recommend either runflats or a spare as a strict principal. :happy Although of course a given owner must decide whether they are comfortable going non-runflat/no spare, or having a spare kit take up space with no special place for it.

Our 2015 F30 328i came with runflats, no special space for spare. Wear wasn't the problem but rather too stiff over bad road surfaces in our area (of northern NJ). I got rid of them for non-runflat (Pirelli P-zero All Season) at ca 30k miles when not worn out. The Pirelli's ride noticeably better over potholes and handling performance seems similar or better. I bought a spare kit and it just takes up part of the trunk. Our 2018 F87 M2 came with non-runflat summer tires (actual performance tires) but no spare. I again bought a spare kit from same outfit (online seller 'Bimmerzone'). I've never had a real flat in 40+ yrs of driving (somebody let the air out of my tire, family members have 'air outed' tires by hitting a curb etc). But earlier this year we had the M2 on roads 100+ miles from a gas station. It's for those cases that I don't mind giving up some trunk space for spare kit.

I also concur with others about user forums except there's loads of conflicting opinions on stuff like which particular brand/model of tire is best. Hard to get an absolute answer for that kind of thing, tirerack.com, consumer reports etc reviews might have a higher signal to noise ratio.
sbutt
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by sbutt »

Hi all,

Just have a short question.

Can I use winter 18" wheels (in mint condition), which were previously on a BMW X3 2007 model onto a BMW X3 2018 model?

A local dealer where I bought my X3 2018 model said that the old BMW X3 wheel are not compatible with the new X3. He was saying that the new X3 requires a different rim with 5 bolts or perhaps its rim frame is different.

If true, then my question is how if I just buy new 18" BMW X3 2018 rims and still put the old winter tires on it? Would the old tires be compatible?

Thanks.
Dilbydog
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by Dilbydog »

Our BMW dealer matches Tire Rack pricing, which is convenient as I prefer the dealer perform four wheel alignment. Also, the dealer didn’t have an issue with my desire to swap out the run flats with “go flats” on my E92. Which lead to a noticeably less harsh ride without any performance sacrifice.

We stick with run flats on our X5 and will replace the OEM Dunlop’s when this set goes. Currently 24k on the OEM with a significant amount of tread left. Both vehicles have a staggered set up, so rotation is not an option.
BuddyJet
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by BuddyJet »

My Cadillac XLRV came with run flats and I changed them to regular tires. The ride was smoother and the cost was less. I keep a can of tire sealant/air in the trunk in case of emergency.

I'm happy with the switch as it opened a wider variety of tire choice.
People say nothing is impossible. I do nothing all day.
neilpilot
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Re: Replacing Tires on BMW X3

Post by neilpilot »

Ged wrote: Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:28 pm The thing about run flats is that your suspension is designed for the stiffness of the thicker tire walls. Using conventional tires will affect your handling.

Ultimately this along with the maintenance cost statistics is why I decided not to purchase a BMW.
That maybe true for OP's BMW, but my GLC300 with AWD comes with run flats in the USA & Austrailian markets, but not in the UK. I maybe getting incorrect info, but I'm told the suspension design is the same. Other's have posted the same experience as mine; OEM Pirelli run flats, rated for 60k miles, typically wear out in 15-25k miles and Pirelli will now warranty tread wear on these OEMs.

At 16k, I switched to non-run flats. Too early to report on tread wear, but the ride seems much better. I was willing to go without a spare, since I'd rather get towed and be able to purchase a reasonable non-run flat replacement than buy another set of run flats. However, bought a space saver spare on eBay from a different Mercedes model that fits on my 18" wheels, and my GLC300 has room in the wheel well.

Note that at lease some tire dealers in my area will not sell non-run flats if the OEM tire was a run flat.
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