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Re: Big tire snow question (archive)

[ Follow Ups ] [ 5-series (E39) Message Board ] [ Msg. Board FAQ ]

Posted by Gregg on July 04, 2000 at 11:51:38:

In Reply to: Big tire snow question posted by Eric on July 03, 2000 at 16:06:39:


: I know, I know - wrong season! I live in Eastern Mass and plan to buy a 528 soon. What do you guys with big tires (17") do in the winter? I plan to get a separate set of steels with actual snow tires, but I don't know what size would be appropriate. Would I go back down to 15"? If so, would that wreak havoc with a tighter-than-stock suspension?

: Thanks-
: Eric

LONG: All posters have offered good advice. However, keep in mind that--unlike one of the responses indicated--the 225-55-16s (std on non Sport premium 528s and on all non sport 540s) are not quite same O.D., but actually a notch taller than the 235-45-17s of the sport. (215-55-16s--oem on Mercedes E320 and maybe some Audis now, etc.--actually being the Sport's "correct Minus One" fitment for "close-to-exact" same O.D., but don't know anyone who's gone that skinny--actually not a bad idea strictly for "severe/long-winter only" but dry handling and appearance will suffer). I agree with the posts that have said go with the 225-55-16s, but get assurance from Tire Rack or other reputable "authority" that the taller 225-16 tire (though nice and skinny) will not be a problem due to lowering of sport. Doubt it, but...never know when it comes to tires. I'm sure many on this board have done this winter tire change and hopefully will give their opinion as to how well the "taller" 16s work. 16s generally will be superior snow tires (narrower footprint = more 'point pressure' = better bite & taller sidewall as mentioned = more wheel protection, but if you are so inclined, decent snows are now available in the "more exotic" 235-45-17 size if you've got a spare set of 17s. Most don't have quite that luxury but it's another route, esp if you're in an area which doesn't get a lot of snow over a long winter (but guess form you post you do) but gets enough to warrant some kind of changeover and so want/need to maintain more of the "normal (i.e., great) 5er handling year 'round. Good luck..


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