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My 1998 BMW 540i came used with 4 yokohama tires.

Now I need two new ones on the rear. The front tires are fine. The service writer at the shop where I have my maintenance says that BMW says not to rotate the tires. Now I have uneven wear.

Now I am told I have to replace the two tires with the same brand. I’d like to switch to Michelin tires, but they say it’s not good to have two of one brand and two of another brand, so I’d have to buy four new ones or stay with yokohama. I only need two, though.

Is it true that rotating on a BMW isn’t recommended? Why? Everyone else rotates.

Is it true that I need to stick with the same brand tire if I replace two tires? Should I just buy four new Michelin’s which are designed to be rotated and be happier in the long run?

If you still have the manual to your car, read it first. It should mention tire maintenance somewhere in the manual

Yeah, the manual does state that rotation from front to rear is not recommended due to tread wear patterns.
There is a question of the expense of tire rotation. Is this amortized over the life of the tires to realize in savings? The manual also recommends all four tires be of the same manufacturer.
One tire dealer said that it would be okay as long as the tire was the same design and specification.
Another tire dealer said that all four tires should be the same.


Anyone like yokohamas over michelins?

the manual does state that rotation from front to rear is not recommended due to tread wear patterns.

I really wonder about that. After all the wear on the front and back is going to be different and it will vary with driving style. How do they know that rotating them or not would be best?

That said, I don’t like to recommend any manufacturer’s recommendations without knowing why they recommended it. They should know their car.

Otherwise I would say go ahead and rotate if you like, and even mix tyre brands (making sure you meed the recommended tyre attributes like speed ratings) and that you keep the BEST tyres on the back. You need the best tyres on the back in an emergency handling situation to keep the back end at the back so you are looking where you are going and not where you have been.

I wonder if the above is not the bases for their recommendations?

The major reason for not having different model pairs rear and front is they can exhibit different amount of traction in extreme conditions(rain or winter) and introduce a skid due to traction unbalance. However with RWD skid recovery is much easier and significantly less prone than FWD where that rule mainly comes from.

Not sure where you live. However in winter conditions on a regular basis I would be weary on different sets of tires. Rain you likely have stability control to overcome the traction difference.

In Europe, consumers think tire wear is not as important as grip. BMW doesn’t recommend rotation because immediately after rotation, there can be some loss of ultimate grip.

In the US, tire wear is extremely important. BMW’s European experience doesn’t apply here, but they still feel that the loss of grip over-rides the wear issues.

Did I mention that BMW dials in a lot of camber and this commonly causes wear issues? (BMW is unimpressed by this!)

Mounting different tires front to rear could cause some handling issues. It would be best to have all 4 tires the same - and the more different the tires, the more likely you will have handling issues. BTW, these types of handling issues show up when doing emergency maneuvers - just when you want to have NO issues.

I think a combination of Yoko’s and Michelin’s is about the worst combination you can have.


In every case where it is possible to rotate tires, do it! The only cases where it is not possible is where the front tires and the rear tires are different sizes.

The manual does go on to state that if you do rotate do so at short intervals, maximum 3000 miles. That’s a lot of rotating, so maybe leaving them on the original axle is best. I noticed the rear right tire wears out faster. It’s not clear if I should rotate from left to right if I stay on the same axle? But then the manual states that if you do rotate from axle to axle then leave the tires on the same side of the vehicle. "Braking response and traction may be adversely affected."
I live in NoCal, so I need a summer tire from April - October and a rainy weather tire from Nov - March, so for me it’s best to have an all-weather high performance tire.
It makes the most sense if the tires are a different size. How is the driving experience changed with different size tires front and back?

“Braking response and traction may be adversely affected.” if the tires are rotated, according to BMW. I guess I’d prefer optimum braking response and traction in most situations, especially, rain.

I’m happy with my Yokohamas (Avid H4s). Which model are on your car?

“Should I just buy four new Michelin’s which are designed to be rotated and be happier in the long run?”


ES 100 ultra high performance summer tire
a little cheaper than a more versatile Michelin.

Just to check - you have the 16" rims? The 17s take different sizes front/rear. Can you still get ES100s? The Yokohama web site doesn’t show them.

But more to your question - I would either get 2 matching Yokos, or 4 Michelins. I would not mix tire brands, especially on a 540, where much of the reason for paying the BMW premium comes from the great handling, which would be compromised with unmatched tires.

I agree with Texases.

I’d like to add that while Michelins are good tires, so are Yokos. With Michelins you’re paying a premium just for the name. I’d rather have the Yokos.

The ES100s are long time ago discontinued, so I’d have to select another Yokohama. Plus I still have to buy four. I guess I’ll price those out. I’ve been happy with these Yokos, so I wouldn’t have to go back to Michelins, so I guess I could save a little.

You like Michelin over Yokohama?