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Old 28th September 2018, 20:05   #1
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Default Germany: Advice on buying new winter tyres & wheels

Hi there to all the learned people!

I currently drive a 430d Gran Coupe here in Germany. I have the car on a three year lease beginning July 2018. It's time to buy winter tyres, now that the season is right around the corner. Most people have two sets of wheels, one for summer and one for the winter. My car currently has just the summer tyres on (19 inch M type).

I need help in resolving this dilemma. Should I be buying new set of wheels for the car and then winter tyres as well? Or should I go for just buying new tyres and have the workshop exchange them for the current summer ones?

The problem with buying an additional set of wheels for the winter tyres is that I will have to see them go practically waste at the end of three years (no resale and they don't exactly come cheap, not to forget the cost of 4 new tyres pressure monitors that go into the tyre).

As far as the other option is considered, I'm getting mixed feedback with regards to these being Run-Flats and it not being safe to remove and put them on (at least 6 times - twice for three years).

Please note that I drive about 70kms each day and most of that stretch at speeds upwards of 230kmph. (That adds to my fear).

P.S. Wheels plus tyres cost double that of just tyres.

Last edited by aah78 : 28th September 2018 at 20:11. Reason: Moved post to a new thread.
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Old 28th September 2018, 20:29   #2
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Default re: Germany: Advice on buying new winter tyres & wheels

Are you considering buying from a dealer? That will keep the cost high. Buy aftermarket wheels & tyres - look for a local tyre shop, or a Tire Rack style online retailer. Will save you a bunch of money.

If you have the storage space & if you do want to go in for a complete set of winter tyres & wheels I'd recommend downsizing to an 18" square set-up, or even 17" if the front brakes can accommodate.
Also, 18"/17" tyres will be cheaper and more effective than 19".

Yes, you won't make any money in resale.

You don't need to buy tyre pressure monitors for your new set of wheels (unless German motoring laws specifically require you to). It will just leave the yellow TPMS light On in the dashboard - no other issues.
Jeroen, Thad E. Ginathom or some of our other Euro-members can can shed more light on this point.

Your 430d is RWD? If it's AWD, then you can get away with all-season tyres, which will be cheaper than winter tyres.
(Again, I'm not familiar with German motoring laws).

If you do decide to buy 19" winter tyres on your current set of wheels, then again go for a square set up. They don't have to be run-flat.
Also, no harm in switching tyres on your current set of wheels.

At-most you can buy a donut (temporary spare) & leave it in the boot, for peace of mind.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by aah78 : 28th September 2018 at 20:57.
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Old 28th September 2018, 21:28   #3
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Default re: Germany: Advice on buying new winter tyres & wheels

Quote:
Originally Posted by aplang1 View Post

I currently drive a 430d Gran Coupe here in Germany. It's time to buy winter tyres, now that the season is right around the corner.
Should I be buying new set of wheels for the car and then winter tyres as well? Or should I go for just buying new tyres and have the workshop exchange them for the current summer ones?

Please note that I drive about 70kms each day and most of that stretch at speeds upwards of 230kmph. (That adds to my fear).
Few things, where exactly do you live in Germany? How many days does it snow in your area? Are you sure your's is not an X-Drive variant and just the rear wheel? I am not sure how much winter tyres are going to help you on a rear wheel drive at first place. But if others drive with winter tyres and find them useful, you should look to buying the complete set. If you are worried about the losses, you can check something used. Visit the preowned section of BMW Dealership and see if they have some tyres to sell from the cars they bought. Many times, they wholesale or drop the prices to costs and selling such tyres can get them some profits.

Do you guys drive at 230Km and more on a 430? I thought they have electronically limited the speeds to 220 or so and who drives at those speeds in snow? even on the good day, apart from a few stretches on autobahns, these speeds may be practically difficult to maintain in my opinion.

Is it your first winter in Germany?

Last edited by Turbanator : 28th September 2018 at 21:30.
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Old 28th September 2018, 21:39   #4
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Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
Few things, where exactly do you live in Germany? How many days does it snow in your area?
======
Is it your first winter in Germany?
I live slightly north of Stuttgart. We have about 30 days of proper snow. The rest is just wet weather. This is my third winter here.

Previously, I had all weather tyres on my VW Golf and they had considerable loss of traction and wheelspins around bends. The law requires me to either have winter tyres or all weather tyres on. An accident caused due to the wrong tyres invites heavy penalties inluding suspension of driving license.

The car is not an Xdrive. It's a rear wheel drive. (It's a lot of fun with traction control off ). I am looking at the used section and trying to secure a good deal. Thank you for that tip.

My work timing allows me to drive in the wee hours or late in the evenings where it's pretty normal to be driving upwards of 230kmph. The car being a 3 litre 6-cyl is limited to 260kmph. I meant driving those speeds in the summers though, and not winters. I don't think they sell tyres rated for speeds upwards of 210kmph for winter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aah78 View Post
Are you considering buying from a dealer?
==========
Hope this helps.
The car is a rear wheel drive, so no chance with all weathers, although law says both all weather and winter are allowed. The current setup is a staggered 225 fronts and 255 rears.

The bmw dealer quotes 2 grand for 18 inch alloys with all four pirelli 225ers. Just buying pirelli tyres costs 1 grand.

TPMS tip helps, let me look it up on the internet too. Maybe there's a workaround like you suggest.

If taking Run-Flats off and putting them back on isn't an issue, I'd just go for new tyres on the current 19 inch alloys. The M wheels look so so good!

Last edited by Akshay1234 : 29th September 2018 at 12:43. Reason: Merging back to back posts
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Old 29th September 2018, 00:35   #5
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Default re: Germany: Advice on buying new winter tyres & wheels

I've seen many people in Canada downsize the wheel and also get steel wheels instead of alloys. You could save a grand or so going this route or go with the winter tyres + alloys combo and use them on this car and potentially the next car.

I also would not recommend the RWD + All season combo.

I have a the FWD + All season combo and I've felt the loss of traction on a few occasions. It's esp unnerving when it happens at high speeds even though the "high speeds" in Canada mostly won't exceed 100- 120 kmph. I've tiptoed quite a bit between traffic lights on days with heavy snow. I believe braking with winter tyres is much better than all seasons too.
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Old 29th September 2018, 01:57   #6
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Default re: Germany: Advice on buying new winter tyres & wheels

Quote:
Originally Posted by aplang1 View Post
(no resale and they don't exactly come cheap, not to forget the cost of 4 new tyres pressure monitors that go into the tyre).

.
Isn't that a good thing. This means you can go buy a used set for cheap. Problem solved. This is what many people who drive RWDs in Montana etc., do. Even though not legally mandated, driving on all weather tires gets very "interesting".

Winter tires will improve your handling, stopping distance, and overall car control. If your laws allow it, do consider studded winter tires

Last edited by tsk1979 : 29th September 2018 at 01:59.
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Old 29th September 2018, 12:37   #7
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Originally Posted by HKap View Post
I've seen many people in Canada downsize the wheel and also get steel wheels instead of alloys. You could save a grand or so going this route or go with the winter tyres + alloys combo and use them on this car and potentially the next car.

I also would not recommend the RWD + All season combo.

I have a the FWD + All season combo and I've felt the loss of traction on a few occasions. It's esp unnerving when it happens at high speeds even though the "high speeds" in Canada mostly won't exceed 100- 120 kmph. I've tiptoed quite a bit between traffic lights on days with heavy snow. I believe braking with winter tyres is much better than all seasons too.

The steel wheels are popular here as well, however the BMW wouldn't look so good on steels though. If I go for the new alloys and winter tires, I'll go for a square setup of 225ers since they increase the probability that those could be used on the next car. Thanks for that one.

Also, I can exactly relate to the feeling you are talking about. Having had multiple instances of traction loss (one particularly interesting one when I was driving up the San Bernardino pass in Switzerland last year), I would never do FWD + All weathers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Isn't that a good thing. This means you can go buy a used set for cheap. Problem solved. This is what many people who drive RWDs in Montana etc., do. Even though not legally mandated, driving on all weather tires gets very "interesting".

Winter tires will improve your handling, stopping distance, and overall car control. If your laws allow it, do consider studded winter tires
I agree about the 'interesting' bit. Since I often travel on the Autobahn at say 4am when the snow clearing trucks have been napping, it's sometimes just crazy trying to take an exit. The wheels just spin.

I will look for used wheels this weekend. Maybe I can pick up a good used set with winter tyres on already. Can already see a few sets available for about 1 grand.

Considering just 20-30 days of proper snow, I'd avoid the studded winter tyres.

Last edited by GTO : 1st October 2018 at 13:18. Reason: Merging back to back posts
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Old 29th September 2018, 12:53   #8
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Default re: Germany: Advice on buying new winter tyres & wheels

Double check, do not take my word for it but I believe there is no formal law on winter tires in Germany. However, when there is snow on the roads, you must have appropriated tires fitted. The Germans go by from October to EasterĒ (von Oktober bis Ostern).

Some ten years ago, a motorist in Germany was fined for not having winter tires. He successfully contested the fine in court on the basis of that German law did not specify what constitutes a winter tire. Since then, trust the Germans, it is defined in nauseating detail, by law, what defines a winter tire.

As you noticed a lot of people will have two complete set of rims/tires. It is convenient, but also many people donít like to take their fancy alloys into the snow/ice/grit/salt.

Check out the various auction sites such as Ebay.de You should be able to pick up a good set of rims at reasonable price.

I would always use the TPMS. I donít know the legal requirements for Germany. But I consider it safety feature on modern cars with high power and low tires. It is not easy spotting a slowly deflating tire, until it is too late and all of a sudden you find the handling compromised when you least expect it.

Jeroen
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Old 29th September 2018, 15:55   #9
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Default re: Germany: Advice on buying new winter tyres & wheels

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Double check, do not take my word for it but I believe there is no formal law on winter tires in Germany. However, when there is snow on the roads, you must have appropriated tires fitted. The Germans go by from October to EasterĒ (von Oktober bis Ostern).

Some ten years ago, a motorist in Germany was fined for not having winter tires. He successfully contested the fine in court on the basis of that German law did not specify what constitutes a winter tire. Since then, trust the Germans, it is defined in nauseating detail, by law, what defines a winter tire.

As you noticed a lot of people will have two complete set of rims/tires. It is convenient, but also many people donít like to take their fancy alloys into the snow/ice/grit/salt.

Check out the various auction sites such as Ebay.de You should be able to pick up a good set of rims at reasonable price.

I would always use the TPMS. I donít know the legal requirements for Germany. But I consider it safety feature on modern cars with high power and low tires. It is not easy spotting a slowly deflating tire, until it is too late and all of a sudden you find the handling compromised when you least expect it.

Jeroen
Thank you. Here is an interesting update that I came across.

https://www.bavariannews.com/everyth...es-in-germany/

Apparently in addition to the law being amended in 2010 to describe (like you said, in nauseating details - yes somebody took the state to court back then over the definition) a winter tyre, it was again amended in 2015 to require use of winter tyres in icy conditions (the tyres should have the M+S marking which stands for Mud + Snow). It was again amended in 2018 to now include the 'three peak' marking in 2018 (however tyres with M+S will still be acceptable till 2024).

The way I see it, a used set of alloys on eBay and a new set of pirellis seems to be the way to go. This being the weekend now, I'll quickly start looking around.

As for the TPMS, I totally agree. I was taught to drive by my dad and one of the most important things he taught me was to always do a visual inspection of all 4 tyres (just a quick glance around the car to see if everything is okay) each time you drove off. However with low profile tyres you tend not to notice that slight puncture till you're a 100 KMS away.
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Old 29th September 2018, 16:44   #10
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Default re: Germany: Advice on buying new winter tyres & wheels

Here in Finland, it is required by law to use winter tires during the winter months. I have 2 sets of wheels and two sets of tires. Most people I know also have the same arrangement. Luckily for me, my lease agreement covers winter wheels and tires.

If you have proper snow during the winter, I would highly recommend getting a set of winter tires - studded tires, if those are allowed by law.
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Old 20th September 2019, 09:18   #11
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Default Winter Tire upgrade for my GLE 350D

Hi All,

Sorry if this is a noob question, but I literally have zero knowledge about tires and upsizing. I have gone through a lot of threads to no avail

My Current 9Jx20 ET57 rims on 5x112 PCD wheels have the 265-45R20 all season runflat tires on them. For the coming winter season, I am getting a great deal on a 6 month set of tires with size 275-55R20 and I'm unsure if they will fit on the wheels.

Any advise and recommendations will be great, i don't want to miss out on the deal as I'm afraid the winter tires might be snapped by someone else.
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