When all is said and done, the overall diameter of the 17s and the 16s is
the same (within a fraction of an inch -- a few mm, actually), but the width
is different. 17s come closer to the fender openings than the 16 do because
the offset on the back (inside) portion of the rim is the same, so wider
rims move the tires closer to the fenders. If you put narrow tires on the
17" rims, it will 1.) look like shit, and 2) defeat the purpose of having
the upgraded tires.
If you must drive this car in snow, then you should get a set of 16" snow
tires that fit, and swap the wheels in winter and again in summer. If you
can avoid driving the car in snow, then the 17s will be okay. If you are
out, and it snows, then you have to be careful until you get home, then park
the car or swap to winter tires (mentioned earlier) before you drive again.
Brett, you *are* aware of the requirements for getting "all season"
and "M+S" on the sidewall of the tire, aren't you? The requirement
is that the tread have 25% of it's running surface "open". Nothing
else. There is no "better" all season tire; they're all about the same.
If you're worried about winter traction, go to Discount (or whoever
your local tire retailer is) and ask for them to be "siped". This puts
a lot of small cuts into the tire, similar to those in most snow tires.
It's not just a matter of sipes. A proper winter tire is made of a
different rubber compound, one that does not harden as much as a typical
summer tire compound. I don't care how many sipes you put on a Bridgestone
S03 - it will still be aweful when the temps drop because it'll turn into a
To me, the idea of getting brand new summer tires and then paying someone to
butcher them left right and center is retarded, but it's your money I
If you actually go back and look at the post I replied to, the OP is
*clearly* talking about all-season tires at that point. I certainly
wasn't talking about siping summer tires, even if you believe I was.
Well, credit where credit is due, you're right on this one. S03s *really*
dislike cold pavement, and if you know it's gonna be near freezing (or worse,
snowing) and you're driving on S03s you deserve whatever befalls you (but pity
for anyone you run into). But then, close to freezing or below is what the
third car in the driveway is for ;-)
I've been running S03s for the last 15K miles, replaced a set of S02s. I
*love* the S03s as long as the road temperature is above 40F.
Above that, they stick like kittens on curtains and make any highway ramp an
E-ticket ride. Did you know you can do a tail-out powered drift in an S4? :-)
Below that, they're down right dangerous, and you'll find me in my Hemi
They're also not the quietest tires in the shop, for certain.
I've found going faster helps...
'00 s4 6spd
I don't know what tires are offered. Sorry.
I drive a '94 3 Series convertible that is fitted with 17s off of a '95 M3.
I run with 225/45x17 BFGoodrich g-Force Sports. I live in So. Calif., though
so I never ever drive in snow. Well, I do, but I've got other cars for the
job, and I can easily make my driving plans around the weather. If I even
_think_ there will be snow, the convertible remains in the garage ;-)
You do not sound like you need chains, just good tires for winter and the
rest of the year. I'd suggest getting the 17" tire package and driving it
until the tires wear out, then replacing them with a tire better suited for
your environment. I suspect the engineers have probably selected a tire that
will do the job pretty well though.
Right - I don't need chains. I have a Honda Civic now with regular
tires (not snow/winter tires and it does ok). I did fine in our more
unusual winter last year.
I'll be leasing the car so I don't want to replace tires unless it is
done before at the beginning of the lease. I would question the BMW
dealer about the driving around here with the sports package but I
imagine they will only stick to the book - performance tires shouldn't
be used on snow/ice. However, if the car will be like a hockey puck
on ice, I'll need to get the 16" wheels. Problem is that I don't like
the way they make the car look (looks like a Prius or something with
the small wheels).
You will be fine in a 3 Series with 17s. Yes, there are better tires, I
suppose, but if you are accustomed to a Honda Civic with whatever tires that
car gets, the BMW with 17s will be a huge improvement.
Exercise common sense when needed, and you will be fine.
The Sports Package is more than a tire upgrade. If you like the Sports
Package because of the tires and wheels, then get it.
Don't replace tires until they wear out.
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