Winter is here in Buffalo and I need some advice. I’m leasing a 2007 BMW 335 with run flat tires for the next 3 years. I’m shopping for snow tires but there are 2 decisions I must make. Do I purchase run flat snow tires or not? Secondly, do I have the new tires mounted on the factory wheels or do I purchase the snows already mounted on a new set of wheels? I’ve heard that removal and re-mounting of these tires is not recommended. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Mounting and re-mounting summer vs. winter tires on the same set of wheels twice a year is an expensive, annoying pain in the neck in my opinion but I can’t really say that it harmful to either the tires or the wheels (assuming it’s done properly). It’s just simpler for me to keep a set of snow tire on their own set of rims year round and swap them myself at home. Buffalo is the buckle on the rust belt and I guarantee your pretty new wheels would appreciate getting the winter off while a cheap set of steel wheels plow through winter’s salty slush.
I second that. Buy some cheap steel rims and regular snow tires. They don’t have to be “run flat” snow tires. Not only will you lessen the stress put on the tires from removing and remounting them each year, you will lessen the labor expense of mounting and balancing. Swapping them out will be as simple as changing a flat four times.
Too bad you did not lease the AWD version of the car or did you?
I would highly recommend purchasing new rims for the sole reason that mount/dismount costs of tires on factory rims over the time period will be more than the cost of inexpensive rims.
Check out or call tirerack.com for winter tire packages. The wheels with rims/tires are shipped to your door mounted and balanced. So mounting them can be done anywhere and rather inexpensively($10-$30), my local tire dealer charged $10 to swap wheels.
On run-flats skip that. I say this because I imagine you are given road assistance free for your lease with BMW. If you have a flat you’d call anyway to change. In the unlikely event of a problem you can simply get your vehicle towed to a tire dealer and replace or fix the tire. Run-flats are junk once flat and more expensive to replace/buy anyway.
Me too. Get the steel rims. They are not expensive and likely will pay for themselves over the life of the lease. They are also stronger than the fancy OEM Alloy rims so you are less likely to damage them come late winter when the pot holes are everywhere. Personally I would avoid run-flats, but that is a personal choice and I do understand why you may want them.
I also recommend tirerack. I used them last year and got a set of tires mounted on the rims. I put them on myself, but tirerack will make arrangements with a local operation to install them for you if you like, even delivering them to the local business.
I will make one suggestion. In three years when your lease is up, think long and hard before you decide to lease again. It is usually more expensive and it is always more restrictive than buying a car. We get a lot of people who get in a situation and find that they are stuck with a car that they owe more on than it is worth.
The run flats are different and sometimes the wheels can’t take standard issue tires. The permanent wheels for snow tires is a good idea and the wheels will fit more than one model of car.
Yup, just buy a set of steel wheels with good snow tires mounted (try tirerack.com, etc.) and avoid all the mounting/un-mounting. Sell the wheels on ebay when you get rid of the car.
Steel wheels are likely out on the 335i due to brakes. 16" are max size for steel rims. Bulk of performance cars now require 17" rims due to clearing the brakes.