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      11-19-2012, 02:02 AM   #1
splitsecond
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Winter tires vs. winter-focused all-season tires

Hello team,

I've been overseas for a couple of months, and in the meantime, my dad was driving my 135i around a bit. At some point, he got a flat tire in the rear - I had Blizzaks on it at the time. He took it to a tire store, where the guy managed to sell him a set of Continental Extreme Contact DWS, saying that even though it's an "all-season" tire, the tread pattern is good for snow too.

Also, he ended up with 225mm tires, even though I had 8.5" rims and it previously had 245mm tires.

I'm particularly annoyed because I'm not sure where I'll be next year (currently job hunting), but I'll most likely be in either Iowa, Minnesota, or Massachusetts. So it'll be somewhere cold and I'll need good winter tires.

So, I want to know how bad this will be. Are these tires acceptable for winter in a really cold place? And why the hell would they have used 225s instead of 245s? Is there a chance that I can get a refund because of the incorrect sizing?
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Mods completed: JB4+ & FBO || LSD || BMW-P suspension + F/R sway bars || 18" Breyton GTS-R || M3 front bushings || Vogtland camber plates || BMW-P rotors + Stoptech pads |||| Acquired, not installed: BMS WW Meth kit || Logic HVI intake || Mishimoto OCC |||| Shopping for: Summer tires
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      11-19-2012, 02:53 AM   #2
Vigilante375
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For snow you want a smaller tire so the tire can move in the snow easier and maybe they only had 225 in stock at the moment. I hear so much on the All-season vs Winter tire thing and it's kinda hard to decipher unless you have personally experienced first hand with both tires in winter conditions. I have put all-season tires on my GTO and 135i but I haven't ran into any snow with them but I feel fairly confident that they will do well in the snow.

I know Tire Rack did a comparison on popular all-season vs winter tires and it was pretty insightful, so I would check them out for a review on them.

I'm not sure about the incorrect sizing refund but it would probably depend on how long the tires have been on and how many miles were put on them.
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      11-19-2012, 04:15 AM   #3
dknl
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coming from somewhere with lots of snow and cold temps...you can't even compare snows vs all seasons. The rubber compound is so much better on snows for winter conditions. Snow tires are actually a must during winter months here and punishable by fine. For safety, I would definitely get snows especially on a rear drive car pushing that much power...not even a question. You'll notice a huge difference between the two.
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      11-19-2012, 10:39 AM   #4
Nifty
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I've been running Conti DWS tires for 3+ years on my 135i because of their cost, tread life, and reputation as being a good snow performer. I'm in Illinois and we occasionally get heavy snow and very cold temperatures. I've gone from using them year round, to only using them for 3 seasons a year for the reasons below.

When I first bought the tires (225 up front and 255 at the rear) and they had deep tread, they did fairly well in the snow. Still didn't have the amount of grip that I would ideally want, but hey, it was an all season tire I didn't get stranded anywhere. Different story when year two rolled around and I had less tread. Quite a few white knuckle situations with grip which made me decide I should try the dedicated winter tire route.

Now that I've had winter tires, I'll never drive in winter without them. Even though the DWS (when new) are decent in snow, they don't compare to snow tires, and if your DWSs get below 7/32" you're not going to enjoy it. The tread pattern, compound and tire size (215s vs 255s) make a huge difference. I actually look forward to snow simply to test out the tires now. Ya can't go wrong with buying a good set of winter tires, definitely a smart move.
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      11-19-2012, 11:07 AM   #5
Cisitalia
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I agree with Nifty above. Any where that has real snow, you should go for winter tires. Any of those states you mentioned, I would have snow tires for winters. I live in Charlotte, NC and we don't have much of a winter, but I use the Conti DWS for November thru March do to cold temps. We some times get some snow (mainly ice) and the DWS are just ok to get by. I also concur any wear on these bring them to only dry and wet and not snow.

I would get rid of the 225s on 8.5" wheels. Kind of streatched even though Conti indicated rim width range of 7.5-9" is ok. Optimal is 8"

Last edited by Cisitalia; 11-20-2012 at 11:12 AM.
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      11-19-2012, 05:38 PM   #6
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Yeah, that's what I figured. I'm just trying to figure out how to fix this while minimizing the financial damage, since my dad already paid for these tires. I think he thought that he was doing me a favor by getting "all season" tires with a treadwear warranty. I think I'll be in Minnesota for all of next winter, so I'm pretty sure I'll need the best snow tires.
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      11-19-2012, 05:52 PM   #7
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I've got the DWS tires on 17" rims for winter duty (they came with the car) Mine are 225/45/17. Haven't had a chance to try them in the snow yet. We don't get more than an inch or two a year here, and on the rare occasion (once every 5 years or so) we may get 6 inches. I had dedicated Continental winter tires for my E90 and they were awesome in the snow, but pretty bad everywhere else. Very soft tire, felt like I was driving on marshmallows, but they worked well in snow. If we get a dusting this year and the DWS tires don't get me there, I'll get dedicated snows for next year.
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      11-20-2012, 06:27 AM   #8
dknl
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try to get the shop to take them back but i highly doubt they would. You'd probably have to sell them as near new to recoup as much cost as possible then purchase ur snows.
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      11-20-2012, 04:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
I'm particularly annoyed because I'm not sure where I'll be next year (currently job hunting), but I'll most likely be in either Iowa, Minnesota, or Massachusetts. So it'll be somewhere cold and I'll need good winter tires.
Personally, I would get snows if you end up moving to any of those states. To me, the delta between what you paid for the Conti's and what you sell them for, isn't worth the hassle of not having a set of snow tires. It would be more of a hassle to having to pay for a tow after sliding off the road, bumping into another car on any icy freeway, or bending a rim after bumping into a curb.
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      11-21-2012, 12:03 PM   #10
KrisM3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mzem View Post
Personally, I would get snows if you end up moving to any of those states. To me, the delta between what you paid for the Conti's and what you sell them for, isn't worth the hassle of not having a set of snow tires. It would be more of a hassle to having to pay for a tow after sliding off the road, bumping into another car on any icy freeway, or bending a rim after bumping into a curb.
+1 if it was an awd/fwd car you may be fine with DWS but with RWD I would 100% run dedicated snows.
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