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      09-26-2008, 06:37 PM   #1
ben@tirerack
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Exclamation Winter Packages for the M3

I have been receiving a lot of questions about this, and the website has not gotten the winter packages up for the M3, so I am putting winter package info out here for everyone.

BMW Recommended winter setup is 235/40R18 with 18x8 wheels all around. This will fit, although it does not fill the fender well in the rear. The narrower tires are better in snow and ice.

The best winter wheel is the Sport Edition A7


They have a silver painted and clearcoat finish, and are a direct fit with no spacer. They will even use the original bolts. I have used this style for 3 winters. They will not win any car show trophies, but they have held up well, and they look fine on a BMW .

18x8 is $129. 18x9 is $134 for those who want to keep the staggered setup.

If you want a staggered setup, use 255/40R18 for the Rear. The only snow tire in 265/40 is a Pirelli that will not be here until late October/early November. A little narrower will help in snow anyway. Front can be 245 or 235/40R18.

Tires are pretty much all good. Most popular are the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25's and Dunlop Wintersport 3D's. The new Pilot Alpin PA3's look very good as well. The Pirellis and Continentals are the sportiest handling, but the least focused on snow, more of a cold-weather performance tire, but still much better than all-season tires in snow.

An example cost for a package would be around $1400 with non-staggered Blizzak LM-25's delivered. Add $200 to any package to have BMW original Tire Pressure Monitoring Sensors (TPMS) installed. That will prevent the annoying "low tire pressure" light from coming on. (Unless you really have a flat)

The website does not show the wheels yet, but I am always in the office Monday-Friday 10AM-6PM Eastern. 800.428.8355 x660
Our website should have most of this info up soon.

Please visit: http://www.tirerack.com/a.jsp?a=AW8&...nter/index.jsp

Edits for Winter 2013-2014:


It has been a few years, and there are some new tires coming out, so I will add a few notes that I hope will be helpful.

Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4: The next tire in the Pilot Alpin line, will replace the PA3 in many sizes. Michelin has been on a hot streak lately, so while I have not driven the PA4 yet, I expect it will be good. 245/40R18 is here already. 245/35R19 announced, but might not arrive in time for winter. 255/35R19 is here. So this is really not a tire for staggered setups this year, but for 18" or 19" square setup it is a good option.

Dunlop Winter Sport 4D: Successor to the Winter Sport 3D, but very limited size availability. 245/40R18 would be good for a square 18" setup. No 19" available this year. Dunlop has been making slow and steady updates to the Winter Sport line over the years, so consider this if the size makes sense for you.

Bridgestone Blizzak LM32: These are the replacement for the LM60. Introduced last year for Aston Martin, they are moving to the broader market this year. Solid center rib for more precise steering feel vs the LM60. 235/40R18 and 255/40R18 are available. 255/35R19 H rated and 275/35R19 V rated is not ideal for staggering due to the speed rating mismatch, but would do in a pinch.

Staggered vs Square packages: For winter, I generally recommend going square if possible. Narrower tires are better in the snow, and the tire companies do not always release their new tires in sizes that are friendly to staggering. So you might have a front size with the new model and the rear size with an old model, or vice versa. The sport edition A7, our go-to winter wheel, is no longer made in the 18x9, which knocks out Tire Rack's most affordable option for staggered 18" packages.

A common question is what to put on the stock 19" wheels for winter. Blizzak LM60 in 255/35R19 and 275/35R19 is the best option. This may be the last year for the LM60. Maybe we'll see the LM32 in matching speed ratings for these sizes next year. Pirelli lists part #'s for the Sottozero Serie II, but no info on planned production or delivery dates.

Nothing matches in the stock sizing, and narrow running snow tires can look stretched if going 235/35R19F and 255/35R19R. We ran into that with the LM60 that used to come in the narrower sizes.
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Last edited by ben@tirerack; 10-15-2013 at 03:53 PM. Reason: Updates
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      09-26-2008, 10:39 PM   #2
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Ben,

I'm about ready to pull the trigger on a winter package, but I have a couple of questions. First, I'm in Southern Ohio, where we might get a big snow or two, but typically things are just wet and somewhat icy. What tire would you recommend for these conditions?

The last time I called I was told that the Contis were the only tires available for a staggered setup, and that I should stick with staggered in order to maintain the handling setup for the car. You say above that BMW recommends a non-staggered setup. Any idea why I got conflicting info?

$1400 delivered sounds great. Just tell me the tire and I'll place my order. Thanks!
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      09-29-2008, 12:38 PM   #3
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Good questions. We completed your order by phone, but I will put this online too for reference.

The Pilot Alpin PA3 that we chose for your package incorporates Michelin's new Helio compound, which gives enhanced wet traction, so those will work well in a winter that has a lot of rain. Like all winter they will be good for snow as well. The Dunlops and Bridgestones would also be good choices.

With regard to information that you may have received from other reps, we are currently working on completing the winter section of our database for this vehicle, and incorporating BMW's recommended size along with the standard sizes that come on the car. The gentleman you spoke with may not have had the new information at hand, so he did the right thing to stick with what was recommended until he knew otherwise.

Running the narrower tires will help your snow traction, while keeping the staggered setup will give better traction when the road is clear. Both are acceptable for the vehicle.
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      09-29-2008, 02:26 PM   #4
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What makes the Sport Edition so good?
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      09-29-2008, 10:51 PM   #5
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how about choices for 19" tires? plan on using stocker for winter

Last edited by hkwallace328; 09-29-2008 at 11:35 PM.
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      09-29-2008, 11:23 PM   #6
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I need to use my 19 inch for winter and custom rims with tires for summer.. Do you have winter tire's for 19 inch??And how much for michlin x ice??thanks
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      10-01-2008, 05:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mvagusta View Post
I need to use my 19 inch for winter and custom rims with tires for summer.. Do you have winter tire's for 19 inch??And how much for michlin x ice??thanks
It is very hard to get 19" winter tires. If you want to have the same tire front and rear, but use them on the OE staggered wheels, the Blizzak LM25's are available. They are $272 per tire front and $277 per tire rear.
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      10-01-2008, 05:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Windy View Post
What makes the Sport Edition so good?
Durable finish: paint and clearcoat just like on the body of the car
Easy fitment: bolts right on with no spacers, uses OE bolts
Low cost: just over half the cost of a TRM MT1, which is probably the next best choice

With that said, if you see something you prefer, I am happy to build a package around whatever wheel you like. Just give me a call.
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      10-02-2008, 01:42 PM   #9
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I'll post this here since I didn't see a reply to the PM : )

I need some winter tires for the stock 18s I just purchased. I'm in Pittsburgh, so snow performance is definitely important. I had M3s on my STi and liked those a lot ... for a winter tire.

I'm wondering what size you would recommend as well given the width of the rear tires (8.5 and 9.5" respectively).

At this point I'm thinking M3s in 235/45 front and 245/45 rear.

Any issue with running the "taller" tires in front? I would think this will be better for winter.

Are the 245s in the back too narrow for a 9.5" wheel?

Thanks!
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      10-02-2008, 05:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Singletrack View Post
I'll post this here since I didn't see a reply to the PM : )

I need some winter tires for the stock 18s I just purchased. I'm in Pittsburgh, so snow performance is definitely important. I had M3s on my STi and liked those a lot ... for a winter tire.

I'm wondering what size you would recommend as well given the width of the rear tires (8.5 and 9.5" respectively).

At this point I'm thinking M3s in 235/45 front and 245/45 rear.

Any issue with running the "taller" tires in front? I would think this will be better for winter.

Are the 245s in the back too narrow for a 9.5" wheel?

Thanks!
The 245/45R18 are a little narrow for the 9.5", as you guessed. They are only recommended up to a 9". The usual way I have been doing the M3's on staggered stock-type wheels is 245/40 front and 255/40 rear. That covers the wheels better, keeps your height more correct and the M3 comes in both sizes.

Non staggered tires on staggered wheels still don't let you rotate front to rear (unless you dismount the tire ), so I usually use that as a last resort to get the tire you want.
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      10-02-2008, 06:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben@tirerack View Post
The 245/45R18 are a little narrow for the 9.5", as you guessed. They are only recommended up to a 9". The usual way I have been doing the M3's on staggered stock-type wheels is 245/40 front and 255/40 rear. That covers the wheels better, keeps your height more correct and the M3 comes in both sizes.

Non staggered tires on staggered wheels still don't let you rotate front to rear (unless you dismount the tire ), so I usually use that as a last resort to get the tire you want.

Thanks for the info! I imagine the wider tires will also be the wiser choice for Pittsburgh potholes.

So being a tire expert - do you think I will be able to "get around" with 3" of snow on the rolling hills in this area? I have the ability to work from home on bad days, so lay it on me ; ) I expect the traction control to be up to the task and the weight of the car to help.
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      10-02-2008, 10:57 PM   #12
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Question...

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Originally Posted by Ben View Post
Low cost: just over half the cost of a TRM MT1, which is probably the next best choice
Does the TRM MT1 require spacers? Different bolts?
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      10-03-2008, 04:36 AM   #13
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thanks ben!
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      10-03-2008, 04:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Singletrack View Post
Thanks for the info! I imagine the wider tires will also be the wiser choice for Pittsburgh potholes.

So being a tire expert - do you think I will be able to "get around" with 3" of snow on the rolling hills in this area? I have the ability to work from home on bad days, so lay it on me ; ) I expect the traction control to be up to the task and the weight of the car to help.
track -

I can tell you that I got around just fine the last 8 years with my RWD e46 325i. I put Michelin X-ICE snows on and it was excellent in the snow. The 50/50 weight distribution helps tremendously.

I don't expect anything less from my e90 M3 with snows.
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      10-03-2008, 01:35 PM   #15
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Does the TRM MT1 require spacers? Different bolts?
It does take spacers, and therefore needs longer bolts. The bolts and spacers are included at no charge. This wheel would work well in the winter also, it just costs more and requires the separate hardware.
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      10-03-2008, 02:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Singletrack View Post
Thanks for the info! I imagine the wider tires will also be the wiser choice for Pittsburgh potholes.

So being a tire expert - do you think I will be able to "get around" with 3" of snow on the rolling hills in this area? I have the ability to work from home on bad days, so lay it on me ; ) I expect the traction control to be up to the task and the weight of the car to help.
Yes you would be mobile in the snow. Powder snow will be fun. Ice will still require caution. If the roads are glazed with ice, I'd stay home given the choice. If it's snow, go out and play.
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      10-03-2008, 02:27 PM   #17
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Another good question from a PM:

Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 996
Ben,

What size Blizzak LM 25's would I use on the stock 19 inch wheels?
255/35R19 and 265/35R19 are the best sizes for the LM25 on stock 19's. Current prices as of 10/3 are $272 and $277. The 255's do fit all four wheels, although staggered wheels with same-size tires always look a little funny.
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      10-03-2008, 03:09 PM   #18
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Thanks alpine and Ben!
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      10-03-2008, 07:13 PM   #19
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Quote:
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track -

I can tell you that I got around just fine the last 8 years with my RWD e46 325i. I put Michelin X-ICE snows on and it was excellent in the snow. The 50/50 weight distribution helps tremendously.

I don't expect anything less from my e90 M3 with snows.
I drove through two winters in Toronto with a Z4. Grip is fine if you`re careful. Only issue is clearance after a snow storm, but every passenger car will face that issue.
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      10-06-2008, 10:15 PM   #20
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Ben

I had sent this message to you via PM but didnt get a reply.
Maybe you can reply it here on this thread:
===============================================

I am looking to get a set of Winter tires for my 2008 M3 sedan.

I am fine with the 235/40-18 across all 4 tires.
But I dont like the SPort 7 wheels.
Do you have others available? Preferably in Black or Gun Metal?

Also how much delivered to Toronto, Ontario, Canada?

Thanks
Patrick
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      10-06-2008, 10:52 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptan55 View Post
Ben
I am looking to get a set of Winter tires for my 2008 M3 sedan.

I am fine with the 235/40-18 across all 4 tires.
But I dont like the SPort 7 wheels.
Do you have others available? Preferably in Black or Gun Metal?

Also how much delivered to Toronto, Ontario, Canada?

Thanks
Patrick
Looks like he said above that the TRM MT1 would work. Looks to be about $300/wheel in 8.5" width. I like the look of it.



Lots of options in 235/40-18 size. I would go with the Dunlops of any tires carried by Tirerack. Did well with those on my E46 M3.
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      10-07-2008, 06:33 PM   #22
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Signes, thanks for stepping in during my absence. Yes, the TRMotorsport MT-1 will be the next best choice after the Sport Edition A7. Anyone who needs to order while the winter section is not yet up on our website can always call me directly. 800.428.8355 x660
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