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      09-12-2012, 09:11 AM   #1
ssedha
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Winter Tires Assistance / Opinions Requested...

I want to say I have done quite a lot of research for the past 2-3 weeks and have my mind set on two different tires.

Some Basic Info:
- 2011 135i Manual Transmission
- I live in Canfield, OH & work in Niles, OH (Considered in the lake effect snow belt area, although didn't get a lot of snow last year) So daily commute is about 16 miles
- GF lives in Cleveland, OH. So 2x a week, I'm driving to Cleveland (~50 odd miles one-way)
- Car is a lease. Ends next August
- Going square on OEM M Rims (225/40 R 18) as recommended by TireRack.
- Car is also my daily driver

So I didn't want to go the BRAND NEW Tires / Wheel route, since the lease will end and my car will only see 1 winter. Therefore I went the CL or Used route and have narrowed my choice to these 2 (based on price / convenience)...

Option 1:
4 Michelin X-Ice Xi2 Tires (practically brand new). Owner claims that because of the less snow last year, they only saw ~1000 miles.
Price: $500 for all 4 tires (Negotiated to $400)

Option 2:
Person is selling 3 Michelin Alpin PA3 Tires. I have negotiated to $150 (plus I will have to pay shipping) for the 3 tires. (Have yet to send payment)
Plus I will have to purchase 1 more tire. He sent me pictures of the tires. (see attached). I'm assuming shipping will be ~$20 a tire. So $210 for 3 tires + $208 for a brand new tire from Tirerack, unless I can find a used / cheap one locally.
So approx. cost will probably be around $400 give or take.

So given my driving habits / geographic condition, which tires should I go for? (Assuming that according to the pictures the tread on the Alpin PA3s is good)... I really don't want to spend more than $350 and I'm stretching a bit here to go $400.

I'd like an unbiased / honest opinion. If you were in my situation (where your car will only see 1 winter) what's a cost effective way to make sure you keep this thing on the road?

I will highly appreciate your input here...

Thank You
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      09-26-2012, 09:49 PM   #2
Neon01
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I don't know those two different makes of tires, but this much I can say - the second set looks more worn to me than it might appear. When you're dealing with winter tires, keep in mind that tread life is not 10/32" (100%) to 2/32" (0%), it's more like 11/32" (100%) to 5-6/32" (0%). Unlike normal tires which will function in the dry just fine with very low tread depth, snow tires absolutely will not function in the snow/ice without a pretty significant amount of it.

The tires you've shown pics of in your post look to me to be at around 5-6/32" tread depth, so they're probably getting reasonably close to their end of life. Will they last one season? Probably, but they certainly won't be ideal for that season.

I can understand wanting to just save the money and get rid of the car next year, but consider another option that may save you in the long run - buy a lightly used *set* of winter wheels/tires now, and sell them next year. This does a couple things for you - reasonably priced winter sets are usually pretty easy to sell (I would imagine even easier in your area). If you get one used now, you've let the first owner take the depreciation hit, and you will likely end up losing only a couple hundred dollars. Also keep in mind that most decent tire shops will charge you from $70-100 to swap a set of tires, and you'll have to do this twice if you put winters on your current rims, then again in the spring to turn in your lease (unless BMW will accept the car with snow tires on it?). Those are sunk costs, and the whole process takes more of your time, not even to mention the cost of the used snow tires.

I don't know if I've been helpful here, but it's just food for thought. If you're still not convinced this is the way to go for you, I'd probably go with option 1 in your list. At least you could probably sell a near-new tire that you buy now after the season is over. With the second set, as I said, they look close to shot already, so it's extremely doubtful they'd be worth anything at all. Not to mention you'd get a safer set of tires with the first option since they're newer.

My 2c
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      09-27-2012, 10:27 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neon01 View Post
I don't know those two different makes of tires, but this much I can say - the second set looks more worn to me than it might appear. When you're dealing with winter tires, keep in mind that tread life is not 10/32" (100%) to 2/32" (0%), it's more like 11/32" (100%) to 5-6/32" (0%). Unlike normal tires which will function in the dry just fine with very low tread depth, snow tires absolutely will not function in the snow/ice without a pretty significant amount of it.

The tires you've shown pics of in your post look to me to be at around 5-6/32" tread depth, so they're probably getting reasonably close to their end of life. Will they last one season? Probably, but they certainly won't be ideal for that season.

I can understand wanting to just save the money and get rid of the car next year, but consider another option that may save you in the long run - buy a lightly used *set* of winter wheels/tires now, and sell them next year. This does a couple things for you - reasonably priced winter sets are usually pretty easy to sell (I would imagine even easier in your area). If you get one used now, you've let the first owner take the depreciation hit, and you will likely end up losing only a couple hundred dollars. Also keep in mind that most decent tire shops will charge you from $70-100 to swap a set of tires, and you'll have to do this twice if you put winters on your current rims, then again in the spring to turn in your lease (unless BMW will accept the car with snow tires on it?). Those are sunk costs, and the whole process takes more of your time, not even to mention the cost of the used snow tires.

I don't know if I've been helpful here, but it's just food for thought. If you're still not convinced this is the way to go for you, I'd probably go with option 1 in your list. At least you could probably sell a near-new tire that you buy now after the season is over. With the second set, as I said, they look close to shot already, so it's extremely doubtful they'd be worth anything at all. Not to mention you'd get a safer set of tires with the first option since they're newer.

My 2c
Great big picture advice.
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      10-01-2012, 10:09 AM   #4
ssedha
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neon01 View Post
I don't know those two different makes of tires, but this much I can say - the second set looks more worn to me than it might appear. When you're dealing with winter tires, keep in mind that tread life is not 10/32" (100%) to 2/32" (0%), it's more like 11/32" (100%) to 5-6/32" (0%). Unlike normal tires which will function in the dry just fine with very low tread depth, snow tires absolutely will not function in the snow/ice without a pretty significant amount of it.

The tires you've shown pics of in your post look to me to be at around 5-6/32" tread depth, so they're probably getting reasonably close to their end of life. Will they last one season? Probably, but they certainly won't be ideal for that season.

I can understand wanting to just save the money and get rid of the car next year, but consider another option that may save you in the long run - buy a lightly used *set* of winter wheels/tires now, and sell them next year. This does a couple things for you - reasonably priced winter sets are usually pretty easy to sell (I would imagine even easier in your area). If you get one used now, you've let the first owner take the depreciation hit, and you will likely end up losing only a couple hundred dollars. Also keep in mind that most decent tire shops will charge you from $70-100 to swap a set of tires, and you'll have to do this twice if you put winters on your current rims, then again in the spring to turn in your lease (unless BMW will accept the car with snow tires on it?). Those are sunk costs, and the whole process takes more of your time, not even to mention the cost of the used snow tires.

I don't know if I've been helpful here, but it's just food for thought. If you're still not convinced this is the way to go for you, I'd probably go with option 1 in your list. At least you could probably sell a near-new tire that you buy now after the season is over. With the second set, as I said, they look close to shot already, so it's extremely doubtful they'd be worth anything at all. Not to mention you'd get a safer set of tires with the first option since they're newer.

My 2c
Thank you so much for responding I ended up with Option 1. I got the tires for $400. They are practically brand new. So I'll take a hit on the swap of tires when need comes. I figured I won't be driving a lot during the winter so the tires should still be in good shape next winter when I sell them
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