Originally Posted by Ra_Ra
So what if I just switched tires each season on the OEM 19s? Seems uncommon so what are the pitfalls? I know the tires are bigger, wider etc and I'm aware of the general tradeoffs. I'm going with performance snow tires rather than the full deal.
Most my driving is inside the city of Chicago. Limited distances and well-maintained roads, but its cold and snows frequently. Parallel parking is a necessity and snow accumulates in parking spaces despite plowing.
What should I expect for the maintenance costs of mount/dismount each season? Advantages seem that I avoid purchasing winter wheels & get good looking (19") forged wheels year round. I'd probably buy non-forged, 18" vmr v710s otherwise.
What you propose is certainly possible. You asked about the possible pitfalls, so there they are:
1) Fatigue/damage of tire sidewalls. The tires have to be mounted/dismounted twice per year. This can weaken the beads and sidewalls. It also gives more chances to have some type if damage, for example a nick in the bead.
2) Your nice wheels see all the general nastiness of winter. They're forged, they're high-quality, but winter salt/slush/ice/potholes etc will take their toll eventually.
3) You need professional assistance to change over. The ability to do my own switch saved my bacon at least once. Expect to pay somewhere between $60 and $120 depending on where you take them for the swap.
4) Fewer snow tire choices in 19".
So there are downsides, but for someone who does not plan to own the car long enough for the cost of wheels to be offset by the savings on labor it is an option.