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      02-22-2012, 02:19 PM   #1
John Tanglewood
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Snow Tires Making My Mom's 128i Drive Like ABSOLUTE CRAP!!!

Okay, I'll keep this first post short and descriptive. If I end up needing more info, I will do some more recon. I'm almost embarassed to post this problem without giving you the tire make/model, but I wanted to see if this could be a common problem to get some immediate feedback.

My mom put some snows on her 128i last year. Standard snows on her stock wheels for the car, purchased from Town Fair Tire (reputable wheel/tire shop in Stamford, CT).

Tires were mounted and balanced on the wheels.

Anyway, I have driven the car a bunch of times with the snows, and frankly it scares me. It drives like a Cadillac boat.

Here are the symptoms:
  • At 65mph, flooring the car in 5th or 6th causes DSC light to blink uncontrollably
  • Steering is VERY delayed, not responsive at all
  • Flooring in 1st/2nd gear from Stop results in squirrleyness and seems downright dangerous
  • This car now feels like a complete marshmallow

I have had snows on every car I have owned, and I have never experienced the numb, unpredictable feeling of my mom's 128i on her snows. It's just not right. Especially the part where flooring it in 5th gear on the highway at cruising speed; the car acts as if it has 800hp and cannot get traction!

Something is wrong. Initial thoughts? More info needed?

BTW, the car drives 100% fine on the standard OEM tires.
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      02-22-2012, 02:28 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Tanglewood View Post
...BTW, the car drives 100% fine on the standard OEM tires.

Then its safe to say you need better (snow) tires!

I would buy some top tier (snow)run flats for your mom. Look for RFT's with a "star" logo (besides the "RFT (RDC)", "M+S" and "snow flake" icons on the tire's sidewall. The "star" icon means THAT tire was tested and approved to be used on BMW cars.
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      02-22-2012, 02:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
Then its safe to say you need better (snow) tires!

I would buy some top tier (snow)run flats for your mom. Look for RFT's with a "star" logo (besides the "RFT (RDC)", "M+S" and "snow flake" icons on the tire's sidewall. The "star" icon means THAT tire was tested and approved to be used on BMW cars.
Interesting, lol. I'll check hers out a little more closely. I'll update this thread with the exact make and model of the tire so members can avoid them.
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      02-22-2012, 02:39 PM   #4
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There have been a few of these threads this year. Mine drove great from day 1 and they're non-RFT on aftermarket 17" wheels so it should be a similar setup to what your mommy is rolling on.

This may seem like a really stupid suggestion but are they properly inflated?
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      02-22-2012, 02:42 PM   #5
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What is the speed rating of the snows? I would suspect Q.

My 135i is running Dunlop SP WinterSport 3D with a V speed rating. They are very surefooted on dry roads running at 90-100mph.

I have no problem flooring the car in 3rd, 4th or 5th (which is done almost daily).
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      02-22-2012, 02:50 PM   #6
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Same setup I'm running.
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      02-22-2012, 02:52 PM   #7
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What are Standard Snows?
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      02-22-2012, 03:00 PM   #8
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There are no "standard snows" for the US.
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      02-22-2012, 03:18 PM   #9
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the symptoms you are describing are "normal" given you are used to the harder OEM RF Tires.

I experienced the same, when I switched from my 18 RFT, to 17" non-RF winter tires. However not as severely unbearable as you're describing it to be.

the only reason I can imagine you are experiencing it at a more severe level is that you have a set of low grade winter tires.
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      02-22-2012, 03:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDN_135i View Post
What are Standard Snows?

BMW NA does offer a snow tire/wheel package! Well.. at least it is shown on BMW Canada's website...


http://www.bmw.ca/ca/en/owners/acces...s_v_spoke.html



Name:  winter_whels___1series_wintertire_package2.jpg
Views: 874
Size:  230.4 KB

1 Series (2008 on)

17" V SPOKE 141 (not for 1 M Coupé)


17" Alloy Wheels
Goodyear Eagle UG-GW3 RSC
205/50R17 89H Run-Flat

MSRP $2,737.00 (Canadian)



I have this package on my 135i and I can attest that these tires work very well. They are "H rated" but I have "tested" them a lot faster than that.
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      02-22-2012, 03:48 PM   #11
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"Flooring" the gas pedal in snow tires, in dry, yet cold conditions, will cause the tires to slip and the DSC/DCT light to come on. The tires are made to improve traction on snow, not power launches.

But yeah, it would be good to know what brand/model they are. I'm running Pirelli's at the moment, can't remember the model though.
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      02-22-2012, 04:04 PM   #12
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Yep, +1 on poor traction with the snows on dry and wet pavement. It is very predictable for me now since I removed my tune (Cobb AP Stage II)...back on April 1st Yep, better snow tires will probably help in your mother's case.
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      02-22-2012, 04:46 PM   #13
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Move to a warmer climate.
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      02-22-2012, 04:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkoral View Post
What is the speed rating of the snows? I would suspect Q.

My 135i is running Dunlop SP WinterSport 3D with a V speed rating. They are very surefooted on dry roads running at 90-100mph.

I have no problem flooring the car in 3rd, 4th or 5th (which is done almost daily).
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfJericho View Post
Same setup I'm running.
+ 1 .... Mine are great !! i actually enjoy them.. I realize i have to hold back a bit on the corners....but in a straight line... foot to the floor ..

I think your mom got some sub-par snow tires... i alos think they may be a little too narrow...

find out the size and the make / model ...
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      02-22-2012, 05:29 PM   #15
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My Conti Extreme Winter Contacts do everthing you describe on my 135.
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      02-22-2012, 06:31 PM   #16
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Low tire pressure in warm conditions can make snows very mushy. Also if they are directional tires and they are on backwards they would act crazy like your describing.
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      02-22-2012, 07:43 PM   #17
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I was being a bit facetious because we all know that there are no standard snows. My blizzak WS60's work great and definately make the DSC light come on when there is no discernible slippage although I dont have half the symptoms you describe. Maybe you got some cheap tires, too soft or low inflation or....
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      02-22-2012, 08:18 PM   #18
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this is a common issue with cheaper snow tires, esp something with a lower speed rating. then tend to be soft and cause the car to wander a bunch. I've had the issue in the past, granted years ago, but have experienced it.

probably a tire with H or V speed rating, H will be plenty and should give you a ride that is softer than stock, ie smoother, but shouldn't be wandering or wavering all over the road.

also as everyone as noted check the pressure as well.
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      02-23-2012, 07:48 AM   #19
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I have the Conti Extreme Winter Contacts and they are not very good on dry pavement. And I can make the DSC light come on in 5 th or 6 th gear on the Freeway on dry pavement.

This is such a weird Winter where I live I have been swapping my winter tires for summer tires so I can enjoy my drive. When it is going to snow I put on my winter tires. I can do the swap in about 20 min

A few years ago I had studless snow tires on my truck and there was not as big different in summer and winter tires as the 135i
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      02-23-2012, 02:09 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylon View Post
"Flooring" the gas pedal in snow tires, in dry, yet cold conditions, will cause the tires to slip and the DSC/DCT light to come on. The tires are made to improve traction on snow, not power launches.
2 things man:
  • 1 - I'm not 17, a speed racer, or am prone to doing "power launches" lol
  • When I decide to overtake on the highway and I am going 65 in 6th gear, flooring the pedal at this speed and gear should not cause a loss of traction in any car that has less than 230hp, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ken1137 View Post
Yep, +1 on poor traction with the snows on dry and wet pavement. It is very predictable for me now since I removed my tune (Cobb AP Stage II)...back on April 1st Yep, better snow tires will probably help in your mother's case.
I mean, I would agree with you. But my M3 with Pilot Snows gets great traction on both dry and wet pavement when I am driving aggressively.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diver View Post
Move to a warmer climate.
Comments not needed or wanted, please go away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyofspice View Post
Low tire pressure in warm conditions can make snows very mushy. Also if they are directional tires and they are on backwards they would act crazy like your describing.
Now THIS is interesting, on both accounts. I'll check the directions, but as far as I know they were installed correctly.

Now I would also ASSUME the pressures were correct, being they were mounted, balanced, and inflated by a reputable tire shop; that being said, I have never personally checked them, so this could definitely be a contributing factor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DriveHard View Post
+ 1 .... Mine are great !! i actually enjoy them.. I realize i have to hold back a bit on the corners....but in a straight line... foot to the floor ..

I think your mom got some sub-par snow tires... i alos think they may be a little too narrow...

find out the size and the make / model ...
Found the make and model:

General Tire Altimax Arctic
205/50/R17
Speed Rating: Q


Tirerack Price: $109.99
Link: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....num=05QR7AMAXA

Review (Tested on 08 e90 sedan):
Tires Tested:
General Altimax Arctic (Studdable Winter 205/55R16 91Q)
What We Liked: Excellent snow and ice traction
What We'd Improve: A small improvement in dry braking traction
Conclusion: Even unstudded, this tire delivers excellent wintertime traction in the snow and on ice
Latest Test Rank: 1st
Previous Test Rank: Not previously tested

So there you have it? The tires got good reviews (at least on Tirerack and from purchasers on Tirerack), so it's either improper installation or over/under inflation?
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      02-23-2012, 02:48 PM   #21
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Consumer reports

Just an FYI...the General Altimax are not listed as Performance tires. See PDFs. Consumer reports ratings are generally flawed from an overall testing basis in many categories but I do tend to take note of their tire ratings.

Winter Tire ratings.pdf

Performance Winter Tire ratings.pdf

Maybe the current performance of the General Altimax is the sacrifice between Winter tires and Performance Winter tires. Good luck.
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      02-23-2012, 04:05 PM   #22
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the tires seem fine except that they appear to be overly agressive... They must be killer when there is snow down all the time, they are even prepped for studs!!!

i think becuse the overly mild winter we have had ( im in NY) you are getting the short end of the dry traction stick.. and the thin tires also. and i know that is what is recomended ( 205's) i went with 225/45/17's square set up on dedicated wheels.. some may say that the wider the tire the worse snow traction... but i had to base my judgement on truely, how many snow days do we really get here in NY.. and as a point, last years 7 snowstorms, i made it too work first...11 miles and 3 hwy's .. the car was on rails.
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