View Full Version : Help needed: New tyres for the car

9th Dec 2007, 11:52
Just been doing the Sunday cleaning of the CherokeeMobile and noticed that there's a nail in the middle of one tyre, and the other front tyre is down past the "wear" marks on about one thrid of the tread. That explains why the "check tyre pressure" light keeps coming on......

I looked on the Interweb at an etyres company and the cost to replace is anywhere between 72 to 135 each depending on make. I don't understand as the existing tyres are 235 45 17 W Speed rating - surely they are all the same and made to European standards???

Can anyone give advice on the subject? I phoned up the fitters who are quickest and they will match the cheapest price on the internet - actually 68 / tyre fitted / balanced / new valves / disposal of old ones etc....which is almost half of putting on another brand of tyres.:confused:

Car: BMW 530i Sport Touring
Miles / Year : 8,000
Speed: Me - Motorway (85mph) Mrs CD - Town (30mph)
Both new tyres are for the front - the rear two wheels that provide the power are in excellent condition and were changed by the previous owner of the car about 6 months ago.

ford cortina
9th Dec 2007, 12:19
Hi mate, I am not an expert, but, on my 3 series coupe I have 225/50/16 ZR Dunlop SP 9000's they were standard fit when I bought the car new and I still fit them, similar speeds to yourself, they cost a little more than the cheaper ones, but have never let me down.
Same with the wife's. She has a Volvo V70 T5, with Continental Contisports on and they are dammed expensive but regarded as among the best.

Personally bearing in mind that the only part of your car that touches the road is one of the most important parts and having a good footprint, whatever the weather is worth the extra cost.
Maybe it would be worth putting the same make and type as the rear of your car?
Have you thought of having a look on a bmw forum???

9th Dec 2007, 13:34
As someone who used to be a vehicle test engineer, I would recommend sticking with the original fit make and type. Extensive comparison tests are done before selection of what are fitted as 'OE', and the compound-mix of cheaper brands may be so different that the balance of the car might change as you move from dry to wet conditions (I can recall one brand that 'turned to oil' when wet). You should also keep front and rear the same (for the above reason) and remember it might be your final security before leaving the road if you get it wrong (or somebody causes you to take evasive action).
Try and find who are the distributors of the make of tyre that you are looking for (rather than buying from the vehicle manufacturer's dealership) - look in Yellow Pages and check their display adverts, or ring various outlets and ask if they stock your particular brand (rather than just being able to 'get them') then start haggling . . .
Even if you intend to part with the vehicle OE-fit tyres are more impressive than cheapo-remoulds on value price.
Of course there are probably alternative brands supplied as original, so ask the dealership which they recommend (some are better for 'performance' - others for life) and change all four if necessary. Which? and Autocar do tests on tyres and report on the characteristics such as dry-grip, wet-grip and progressive breakaway as well as endurance (wear).

It's usually false economy to fit 'cheap' tyres. Save money elsewhere on things that aren't so safety-critical.

Oh and get them to fit the new tyres to the rear (unless they are different section-profiles) - some high performance cars have larger rear boots.

9th Dec 2007, 14:01
Thanks G-CPTN. I knew there had to be something in it. I have run company C-Class Mercedes Benz's for the past few years and have always been impressed with the Continental brand tyres they fit. Last set had done 19k and still was nowhere near the wear marks when the car was returned. It has been over 10 years since I had to get some tyres fitted so I need a refresher course. One final question if I may - for my tyre size (assume I am going to fit 4 new ones) Continental do "normal" and "run flat" variants. Not much in it cost wise once you accept a tyre should cost more tha 50... I have Tyre Pressure Warning System (TPWS) - would it be a good idea to fit run flats? What are the pro/cons?

Thanks for all your help - you're exactly the type of expert in vehicles I need advice from!


9th Dec 2007, 14:14
Run-flats inevitably involve a compromise on compound (it has to be durable when running flat) against grip performance, and the casing structure is also 'different' so not idealised for handling. In years to come runflats may replace standard tyres (remember the Denovo?), but until then I'd carry one of those foam-cylinders that seal and inflate the tyre (unless you have a proper spare - or even a 'get-you-home'). Alternatively, call out the Fourth Service guys to get your puncture repaired (especially if you can detect low pressure) - the damage to the tyre occurs when you continue driving with an under-inflated tyre and the side-walls chafe and overheat causing the cords to separate and the tyre to delaminate or even burst.


9th Dec 2007, 14:52
All good advice from G-CPTN.
One thing to consider though, is that neither you or your wife are likely to drive the car anywhere near to the extremes that the manufacturers go to in order to evaluate tyres.
I have found that all "branded" tyres give sufficiently good performance for everyday use and one needn't be too concerned about differentiating between the various makes, at least as far as handling goes anyway.
Sure, you might like to check the reports to find out which tyre lasts the longest, but then that tyre is likely to offer less grip in cornering.
Tyres are like aeroplanes, no one tyre does the best job given all variables, but if you stick to a good brand you'll be OK.
Always try to keep the tyres matched left to right, but don't worry so much about matching them up front to back.
Naturally, you should avoid the cheaper brands and remoulds (I didn't know you could still get them actually!)
Lastly: the Fourth Service is nothing to do with motoring, but is in fact the Coast Guard! So, G-CPTN and others who forget this, please drop a quid into the Life-boat collection tin next time you see one and atone yourself!
(Yes, yes, I know that the Coast Guard and the LBI are seperate institutions, but the latter is a charity and needs, in addition to more recognition, donated funds...)

Background Noise
9th Dec 2007, 15:17
I think it's worth spending a bit extra on good branded tyres (although I don't know how to tell how good they actually are) or original fit tyres - especially at this time of year when the roads are greasy and/or wet, even though it seems like a big hit at the time. Interestingly on one of the tyre sites I have book-marked, your BMW comes up with V rated tyres so maybe the ones on there now are not original fit?

9th Dec 2007, 15:33
Can confirm that my existing tyres are not origional fit. I'll pop down to the local dealership tomorrow morning and seek thier advice on size and speed rating - I'm on W at the moment which I understand is a better rating than a V but I'll ask the question.

I'm sure they'll be able to quote for suitable tyres that I can use as a comparison with the other dealers in the area.:hmm:

Thanks for everyones help.


9th Dec 2007, 16:17


9th Dec 2007, 17:22
Probably won't beat Cosco but there is a joining fee of about twenty quid.

Mini fan
9th Dec 2007, 17:59
All good advice so far.

All I'd add is don't skimp on tyres, and tyres that are sh*t hot in the dry may be just plain sh*t in the wet. eg, Yokohama A008, A048R, and Toyo T1Rs.

I'd recommend Goodyear Eagle F1s (I believe these are standard on some Bee Ems), Continental Contisport Contact 2s (standard on some Mercs and other high performance cars), and Bridgestone Potenza Re050A (currently fitted on MF senior's daily drive)

Pirelli P Zeros are good too but are quite expensive.

No longer ATC
9th Dec 2007, 18:04
I've always found Black Circles cheapest for my Pirelli P6000s ,but recently STS said they will beat any Black Circles quote-and they did....can throughly recommend both.....

9th Dec 2007, 18:24
BMW fit run-flat tyres to many of there cars. It is the reason that I have just changed cars and NOT bought another BMW. I had a 5 series saloon and the ride quality on anything other than a smooth road was appalling.

I believe, although am not absolutely certain, that the suspension setup is different when running on run-flats. The tyres are of course very safe because a blow out is virtually impossible but the weight of thetyre is approximately double that of a conventional tyre and the sidewall somewhere in the region of double the thickness. As a result the unsprung weight is increased and the rigidity of the tyre is far greater than that of a normal tyre.

Especially with a quality of handling of your 3 series I would not touch them with a bargepole although reading your previous post it is possible your car originally had run-flat tyres and the previous owner fitted standard tyres. I do know somebody who has done just that with a 5 series but, as stated, I would be wary of compromising the handling by such a drastic change.

Regarding speed rating, the rating is based on the car performance not your likely driving speeds!

Speed Rating Miles/Hour Kilometers/Hour
N 87 140
P 93 150
Q 99 160
R 106 170
S 112 180
T 118 190
U 124 200
H 130 210
V 149 240
Z 150+ 240+
W 168 270
Y 186 300

9th Dec 2007, 18:43
Be aware of possible "Construction and Use" and insurance implications if tyres with a lower speed rating than the manufacturer's recommends are fitted to any car.

In UK the recommended tyre speed rating must be complied with, irrespective of the actual speed at which the car is intended to be driven, or national speed limits.

This advice came to me first hand from an SVA inspector (whilst checking brand new tyres on a car I had built, they were OK) and also from tyre suppliers (albeit with a possible vested interest).

As I keep impressing on my offspring, who have their own cars, tyres are the one thing that can instantly improve or ruin the handling of a car. Especially if they are crossplies (I'm now on my third tyre choice with my little car and have finally found the best option).

BTW, I HATE those unsafe "get you home spare" wheel/tyre abominations. I removed the one in my boot having bought another full-size alloy wheel / tyre "spare" for my Beemer!

Say again s l o w l y
9th Dec 2007, 18:48
Get to Costco, you'll be amazed hom much cheaper they are than most tyre fitters. They know what they are doing as well.

Many Beemers use Michelin Pilot sports and they are excellent tyres. I use them on my 328 and they are quite frankly superb. Grip, feel, low noise and so far excellent wear.

They are OE on older BMW's and if you are going to dump the runflats tey are a good choice.

I have 245/45 17's on the rear and they were around 120 each fitted at costco.

Background Noise
9th Dec 2007, 20:52
Can confirm that my existing tyres are not origional fit. I'll pop down to the local dealership tomorrow morning and seek thier advice on size and speed rating - I'm on W at the moment which I understand is a better rating than a V but I'll ask the question.

Meant to add that my point there was that you probably open up plenty more choice with Vs (if they are appropriate) than Ws.

Mini fan
9th Dec 2007, 23:05
Costco are good, but they only do Michelins. If you're not too bothered about what tyre goes on, as long as it's name brand and decent quality then you're sorted. But if you're after a better tyre then you'll have to hunt around.

10th Dec 2007, 08:22
A colleague of mine has a beemer convertible, and also had a 3litre estate and coupe. He swears by the Dunlop SP2000 as the best tyres he's had on his beemers. Avoid Pirelli as they tramline something awful.

My own Zetec S Mondeo (18 inch rims) now has Goodyear Eagle F1, which are a whole lot better than the standard Conti SportContact2 it had as OE. They were awful in the dry and terrifying in the wet.

Getting good mileage out of the Eagles as well, about 15-18k on the fronts, about 25k on the rears.

Don't skimp on the black bits, they might be the only things between you and the hedge.

Had a bad experience with STS, but could recommend Lincoln Tyres in StEvenage, and I wouldn't let the fitters who are quickest near my wheelbarrow...:ok:

10th Dec 2007, 11:07
Many thanks to all who have offered their advice.

The Beemer dealer said they would recommend Continental tyres - they couldn't be sure what was OEM because I have non-Standard 17" M-wheels on the car, and BMW would have used whatever their supplier had in stock when the car was built. This surprised me, but the dealer was adiment they was no one particular brand they use!

So I picked Continental Sports Contact 2 tyres and found a company that would come to my house (Event Tyres) to fit them. They were not that much more expensive (110 all in per tyre) than "budget" brands, and over 50 / tyre cheaper than my Beemer dealer.

Dealer also confirmed that run flats could be fitted, but there was no point as I have an alloy full size rim in the boot as a spare - Runflats can drastically alter the road holding because of their construction (makes for a hard ride apparently).

Have also purchased a can of "tyre weld" per G-CPTNs advice to make sure Mrd CD and CD Jr Mk1&2 don't necessarly need to get stuck at the side of the raod waiting for a man with a green flag....:ok:

Thanks to all for your help and advice. Why are the supposedly simple things never simple?:ugh:

10th Dec 2007, 11:44
This post a little belated perhaps, but if you live in/near Hants or SW London, I want to offer a VERY STRONG recommendation for Micheldever Tyres.

Totally professional and large but family business. Best prices bar none, and only the best advice. From mini's to supercars and tractors, also with home service. A great guy called Tony Todd started it in his garden just outside Popham. (I have no connection or incentive, I've just used them for around 20 years...)

But they have just opened a number of outlets across the South, under the name PROTYRE.
You wont have heard of them yet, but check online prices at:

You'll see Dunlop SP3000 for 86 total, or if better price and performance is the Falken Sport at 72.

I would go (and have) with the Falkens (on a 95Aero)...excellent tyre.

But NEVER buy a cheap no-name tyre...

10th Dec 2007, 13:11
Agree with Airscrew 100% re Micheldever Tyres - very helpful and you will get a very good price.

10th Dec 2007, 18:04
Micheldever Tyres is just down the road from me and I have been a delighted customer for 20+ years. They are so popular these days that you can have a bit of a wait especially on Saturday. It is well worth it advice, price and service is superb. You can minimise the wait by arriving approx 15 mins before they open in the morning.