BMW 135i Winter Tire Question

I've just ordered a 135i but have some concerns about what to do during the winter with the 18" tires. Some have suggested getting another 4-whee 17"l set. That seems hard to believe.
I live in the northern suburbs of Baltimore where there are several days of snow.
My questions are:
1) Do those of you that live in similar climates change your wheels and tires as well?
2) Have you noticed any differences while driving with the 18" performance tires?
3) Has anyone installed snow tires on the 18" rims? Is there a clearance issue?
4) Have you noticed a need to put snow tires on the front as well?
5) Should I change to the all-weather 17" tires?
I know it is a lot of questions but hope I can get your real world experiences.
Thanks
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Yes, if you'll be driving in snow/ice.

They will be useless in snow/ice and dangerous in below freezing temps.

> 4) Have you noticed a need to put snow tires on the front as well?
Winter tires should be mounted on all 4 wheels. Steering & braking is also important.

If you don't mind compromised performance in both summer and winter.
While we haven't gotten much snow in MD in the past few years, if this is your only means of transportation, you need to think seriously about winter tires. Personally, I like the Dunlop M3s ( or another H or V rated winter tire) as they don't compromise dry road handling as much as the Q rated rubber. Also, look at it this way: by mounting winter tires you will probably ensure another mild winter for us in the Mid-Atlantic!
By the way, you'll love the 135i. I've been enjoying my 128i 'vert on the backroads of northern MD & southern PA. Tom K.
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I'd say the cost and inconvenience of changing the tyres on the same wheels would outweigh the costs of buying an extra set of wheels. And isn't it 'trendy' to have cheap steel wheels with winter tyres?
--
*Letting a cat out of the bag is easier than putting it back in *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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I always felt that way, but I don't think there any 17" steel wheels that will fit the 135i. However, Tire Rack does show some 17" wheels as low as $107.00 which should serve rather nicely.
http://www.tirerack.com/wheels/WheelCloseUpServlet?target=runWheelSearch&initialPartNumber=JH372P1S&wheelMake=Sport+Edition&wheelModel &wheelFinish=Silver+Painted&showRear=no&autoMake=BMW&autoModel5i+Coupe&autoYear 08&autoModClar=&filterSize=All&filterFinish=All&filterSpeciallse&filterBrand=All&filterNew=All&sort=Brand
Tom K.
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The path is straightforward:
1. Learn/read the wheel code for the 135;
2. Buy a set of 4 wheels on eBay;
3. Buy a set of Bridgestone Blizzaks that fit your car, perhaps one size narrower;
4. Swap the tires and wheels each May and October.
Hope this helps.
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I live within 40 miles of the OP and my swaps are closer to March 30 and December 1.
Tom K.
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Baltimore - that's south of Madrid - just how many is "several days snow a year" that you have to go to these lengths?
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Excellent comment!
Your response is exactly why I posted the question. I find it difficult to understand "why" one needs to change the tires.
On ice there are only a few options: 1) chains, 2) studs and 3) do not drive.
In snowy conditions what is so different about the 135i? Should not skillful, and cautious, driving be enough? Note, I am not talking about anything greater than say six inches.
Thanks once again. And oh yes, I clearly would prefer living in Spain versus Baltimore.
On Mon, 26 May 2008 11:58:49 +0100, "R. Mark Clayton"

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On ice a good winter tire will outperform summer tires and all season tires considerably. It;'s not just the tread configuration, but also the rubber compound.
The 135i is no different than any other vehicle as far as winter driving conditions is concerned. Skillful, cautious driving is always in order with snow, ice, or rain. One inch or 6 inches - no difference. You still have very little traction.
Only one day of snow or ice dictates using the best tires you can get for those conditions. There is a world of difference between my summer tires and my winter tires on snow or ice and it only takes about 45 minutes to change over each season. I usually do it in November and April.
Another consideration if you lease and must have suitable tires when turning the car back in, is that the tires that came with the car will normally have adequate tread left so you won't have to buy someone else a new set. You can then sell the extra wheels (and tires) to recoup your money. All in all it may be less expensive to put winter tires on.
Of course you make a good point about staying home. That would alleviate any traction problems.

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At the minimum, you need to replace your summer tires with all-season tires. At least they will not harden too much when the temps drop. If you choose to stick with summer tires that will turn to hockey pucks during winter, then at least stay away from all others on the roads. You'll be like a loaded gun in the hands of a child.
Also, sign up for a winter driving course, especially if this is your first RWD vehicle.
FYI, I used to live in NOVA (stone throw away from Baltimore), and used to have two dedicated sets of wheels and tires on my A4 quattro. One set of all-seasons would probably have sufficed for getting around town, but I often went on ski trips. Besides, all-seasons aren't that great during summer if you like spirited driving. Why spend the money on a sporty car and then cut yourself short by running mediocre tires?
Regards, Pete
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On Mon, 26 May 2008 11:58:49 +0100, "R. Mark Clayton"

I live near Philadelphia, the latitude being around 40N, which is well south of Madrid. Leaving aside (if we can) the oddball global climate changes of the last few years, let me tell you that we can get damned severe winters here.
There's a *huge* continental land mass behind me, as far as the prevailing winds are concerned. When the jet stream gets pushed far south in the winter, it's not all that unusual to see temperatures of -10 to -15C here. It's not *only* about latitude, you know.
--
Dan.

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On Mon, 26 May 2008 09:28:53 -0400, Dean Dark

Well said. I live in Minnesota, which is South of Milan. And I am willing to bet both my bimmers that I see more snow in one winter here then anybody living in Milan has seen in a lifetime. Mark Clayton, as evidenced by his "South of Madrid" comment, obviously has no clue about climate in context of continents.
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wrote:

Cheeky ***. Having been in New York in February it is indeed very cold some days colder than Scotland where I was brought up (56N) usually, but I wouldn't have thought you would need snow chains or special tyres etc., although a 4WD might be an idea!
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On Mon, 26 May 2008 19:37:44 +0100, "R. Mark Clayton"

For the last few winters the East Coast has been pounded with snowstorms. It's not at all uncommen there to get 18 inches of snow in a setting. When I get 10 inches here in Minnesota, even though I have all season tires on both my 328xi's I just stay put for the day. It just isn't worth it. We've had snowplows that gotten stuck in the stuff over here.
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wrote:

Could be. But for the past decade, the OP's area of Baltimore has only averaged about 10~15 inches of snow for the entire winter season (December thru March) with the one major storm occurring in Feb., 2003.
http://www.erh.noaa.gov/lwx/climate/bwi/bwisnow.txt
Tom K.
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wrote:

I thought they were wimping out. OK so it is cold and icy higher up and further north, but Baltimore - 39N and sea level - give me a break!
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