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Martin_London

advice requested for winter tyres G31 520d Sport (2020)

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I would like to ask your advice on winter tyres for my G31 BMW Sport Touring 520d. My BMW currently has 19" run-flat summer tyres fitted, which is not ideal as I'm facing winter conditions in my area.

 

I noticed that 19" run flat winter tyres are a bit hard to find and very expensive (for example Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 run-flat tyres on the rear (275/35/R19) go for over 400 pound each), with a whole set in excess over 1,300 pound.

 

Could you advice what a more budget friendly solution could be? Would it be wise to buy 17" alloys for example? I don't care so much about the look of my wheels in winter time, with safety being the priority.


Much appreciated if anybody could advise...

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Edited by Martin_London

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That's a good point. The site you suggests seems to be down at the moment.

 

I checked the https://www.pirelli.com website which suggests the following fit on my car;

 

225/55 R17

245/45 R18

245/45 R18 F and 275/40 R18 R

245/40 R19 F and 275/35 R19R

245/40 R19

 

The 225/55 R17 Winter 210 Sottozero Serie II is priced just over 140 pound per tyre, but I would still need wheels clearly.

 

Perhaps a second hand set could make more sense?

 

 

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52 minutes ago, Johnny Grabble said:

My G30 530d has 245/45 R18 winters all round.


Mine too - Goodyear RoFs - seem to perform well. Like the OP I have 19” summers but it was cheaper to buy 18” wheels and tyres for winter than just 19” tyres and less hassle too.

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2 hours ago, Boba said:


Mine too - Goodyear RoFs - seem to perform well. Like the OP I have 19” summers but it was cheaper to buy 18” wheels and tyres for winter than just 19” tyres and less hassle too.

^^ Me as well!!

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If you have the pre-LCI 520d Touring, then you will be safe to use 17 wheel - 225/55 R17. This is what I have in my 2020 G31 520d pre-LCI built in March. The reason is that in UK, pre-LCI 520d can only have 330mm stardard brake unlike the LCI 520d which can have the blue 348mm (if I remember correctly) brake. 

 

I got a set of second hand 17inch wheel with tyre pressure sensor from ebay then buy the winter tyre to put on. In total, it's about £800 compared to brand new set from bmw which is almost £2000.

Edited by q96169we

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35 minutes ago, q96169we said:

If you have the pre-LCI 520d Touring, then you will be safe to use 17 wheel - 225/55 R17. This is what I have in my 2020 G31 520d pre-LCI built in March. The reason is that in UK, pre-LCI 520d can only have 330mm stardard brake unlike the LCI 520d which can have the blue 348mm (if I remember correctly) brake. 

 

I wouldn’t say things like ‘can only’ though.

My last car was a 2017 G31 520d ex demonstrator and came with the standard mSport larger brakes and 19” staggered wheels.

I agree it’s less likely though I notice the OP is on 19”.

Edited by Boba

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I had a pre LCI 520D Msport and got 17" BMW winters for it, as well as standard wheels.

They do not fit over the blue brakes on a LCI 530 as I had to buy new set when I changed car.

 

I used the BMW accessories configurator with chassis number to check what wheels would fit. Useful source to check what will fit before buying a set, be it new or used.

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3 hours ago, Boba said:

I wouldn’t say things like ‘can only’ though.

My last car was a 2017 G31 520d ex demonstrator and came with the standard mSport larger brakes and 19” staggered wheels.

I agree it’s less likely though I notice the OP is on 19”.

Okay, I should remove the 'only'. Thanks. ex demo or bmw press car may have different configuration options. But, for the pre-LCI, at least for the 520d with mild hybrid (so second half of 2019 till the LCI) can not specify m sport brake in UK even with the m sport plus package which gives you the dark rear glasses, 19 wheel and HK sound. This is what mine has and dealer specifically said that m sport plus package in 520d don't have the m sport brake. However, you can pay the extra to fit the m performance brake which requires 19 inch wheel at least.

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If the m sport brakes are the Blue ones my Sport plus MHT has then as standard.

Be careful what dealer/salesman says about spec, they are salesmen and tend to be a bit clueless. I went from new car sales to second hand sales (the other side of the show room) because I ended up buying a pre reg car with 18 miles instead of a new car with 12 miles.(£17k saving for 6 miles) With my dealing with new sales and my pre purchase research I knew far more about the m sport plus and MHT than the salesman. Fortunately the salesman was honest enough to admit this. The second hand sales people don't always do the same "new car" course that the new car sales people do and therefore don't always know the catl details on spec and how the cars work.

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Check with your insurance also. 
My car came with 18” 662 staggered set up, which I now use as winter wheels, after buying 19” 664 as summers. 
When I went to buy winter tyres in 2019, I chose 275 width rears (as per original rear width) which the seller ( Camskill) refused to sell me, and in fact did not list them under their OE BMW section, so I picked them from another section which they noticed. 
They explained over the phone the reasons why, which were mostly that the insurance and warranty could be voided if I were to fit 275 width rear winter tyres. 
A quick check on the car sticker also confirmed that there are no pressure listed for 18” 275 rear winter tyres. 
At the time, it looked like everyone was a using straight set up rather than staggered for winter wheels, and aftermarket set ups on eBay from Germany were also straight set up, typically 8j 18” winter wheels with 245 width tyres. 
So I ended up with 245 width all round, which while they fit the 9j rear wheels with no issue, do not look good at all IMO. 
I fully understand the reasoning that narrower width tyres work better in the snow, but we don’t see a lot of that now, just cold, wet weather more than anything, so my preference would be to have more rubber on the road and have wider rear tyres. 
I noticed more recently that BMW now sell staggered winter setups, maybe they always did. 
I checked with my insurance (BMW) who would have no apparent issue with this although I never got a straight answer from them and I advised Camskill of this, and they gave me a link to suitable 275 width rears. 
My.advice would be to go with staggered set up (assuming your wheels are staggered) all season / cross climate tyres rather than winter tyres, given the type of weather we see more in the UK, these would fare better over an average UK winter. 
I don’t think I would buy winter tyres again, and would choose cross climates the next time around. 

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2 hours ago, Stressed said:

If the m sport brakes are the Blue ones my Sport plus MHT has then as standard.

Be careful what dealer/salesman says about spec, they are salesmen and tend to be a bit clueless. I went from new car sales to second hand sales (the other side of the show room) because I ended up buying a pre reg car with 18 miles instead of a new car with 12 miles.(£17k saving for 6 miles) With my dealing with new sales and my pre purchase research I knew far more about the m sport plus and MHT than the salesman. Fortunately the salesman was honest enough to admit this. The second hand sales people don't always do the same "new car" course that the new car sales people do and therefore don't always know the catl details on spec and how the cars work.

 

I was the same as you, in that I knew more about the AUC I was buying than the salesman did, I put that down to my studying and researching that particular model, and him dealing with dozens of different models and specs, but is that not what the BMW “genius” is there for now?

They should be found at any dealership now and should be to tell you everything about the car. 

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4 hours ago, Stressed said:

If the m sport brakes are the Blue ones my Sport plus MHT has then as standard.

Be careful what dealer/salesman says about spec, they are salesmen and tend to be a bit clueless. I went from new car sales to second hand sales (the other side of the show room) because I ended up buying a pre reg car with 18 miles instead of a new car with 12 miles.(£17k saving for 6 miles) With my dealing with new sales and my pre purchase research I knew far more about the m sport plus and MHT than the salesman. Fortunately the salesman was honest enough to admit this. The second hand sales people don't always do the same "new car" course that the new car sales people do and therefore don't always know the catl details on spec and how the cars work.

Yours are LCI or Pre-LCI? When I bought mine (type code is 12DX), I actually did the homework and it was very clear that blue M Sport brake didn't even appear in the option list of 520d M Sport even with M sport plus package. That's why I gave previous comment. Now, if there was a way to add this option to 520d, then a new item is added to my list of options I should have had.

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Thanks

I'll have a look and take a better picture of the wheel/brake tomorrow.

Again it could be the salesman saying that the  m sport plus has the m sport brakes!

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2 hours ago, Stressed said:

Thanks

I'll have a look and take a better picture of the wheel/brake tomorrow.

Again it could be the salesman saying that the  m sport plus has the m sport brakes!

Definitely just has the standard brakes - M brakes have blue calipers and are quite a bit lathers.  

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16 hours ago, Stressed said:

Thanks

I'll have a look and take a better picture of the wheel/brake tomorrow.

Again it could be the salesman saying that the  m sport plus has the m sport brakes!

Salesman usually mix up the option/package for different models. For F3x 3 and 4 series, the m sport plus package include the m sport brake system (blue calipers, bigger and thicker discs) regardless of engine. However, on pre-LCI G3x 5 series, the m sport brake system is related to the engine instead of m sport plus package. 530d, 530i, 540i can only have M Sport trim in UK and the m sport brake system is standard whereas the 520i, 520d can be either in SE or M Sport trim but it can only have standard brake system whose disc size is 330mm. 530e is a bit special though as it can be in SE or M Sport trim but I'm not sure about the brake system specification as 530e is not available in pre-LCI Touring so I hadn't done the homework on it. To make things worse, the M550i/d has a another brake spec. It has M Sport brake system as standard, but this m sport brake is different to the 530d/530i/540i m sport brake. The brake disc is even bigger and thicker and calipers, despite still blue, are different as well. I'm not sure whether it is the M5 brake system. On top of all of these brake systems, you can pay the extra to have the M Performance brake system (something like £2000 plus labour to fit them at dealer and the calipers are red).

 

Anyway, short story of all is that the retail UK spec car can "only" have the standard brake system for pre-LCI 520d and 520i regardless of which trim and package you have. However, as Boba pointed out, the 'only' might not be 100% accurate. There might be some ex-demo or press car that has m sport brake system (either from factory or dealer/bmw uk fitted) for 520d or 520i as these cars were built for demontration purpose but most of them ended up sold to customers.

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Back to the OP's question, if you have standard brake (most of pre-LCI 520d/520i), 17 inch wheel is ok. Plenty second hand original rim on ebay with/without sensors. Tyre itself is (much?) cheaper than 18/19 inch winter tyre. Compared to my 19 inch summer tyre, it's so quite and smooth (I would say depending on the tyre you go for, the difference may vary). I have the Bridgestone Blizzark LM005 and I'm in Sheffield on the edge of Peak District. Tried the snow/ice performance during the recent heavy snow. Day and night difference. In a short description, when I drove my F10 with summer tyre on one occasion, I thought the gearbox failed to engage a gear then realised it's the lack of tyre grip.

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Thanks for the info, these are my front brakes. Therefore from what you are saying I can put 17" winter wheels on my car!

 

I'm now wondering if I don't need to put a 17" wheels off my wife's 1 series on my g31 to see if it clears the brakes because of your information. (I know the PCD is different between the 1 series and g31)

61E750F3-7014-4A8F-B5BB-9B65F3E35096.heic

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This is how it looks with 17 inch wheel. I took this picture on the day when I put them on so the angle is not great but you can still see the "gun metal grey" caliper which is standard brake instead of M Sport Brake.

 

About the rim from 1 series, firstly, which version of 1 series? The bolt pattern might be different (5*112 for G-series and 5*120 for F-series or older car). Secondly, it may still not fit even with the same bolt pattern due to the offset. 5 series has quite aggressive off set which gives the horizontal clearance between the rim and the caliper.

 

I think you might be able to statically verify that the brake caliper can fit within the diameter of the 17 inch rim. Not 100% sure though as you can see from the other picture of the rim (taken when I received the rim from ebay seller), it seems the inner part is slightly enlarged. This gives the enough clearance for caliper. I'm not sure how the inner part of the 1 series rim looks like.

IMG_2625.jpeg

IMG_2621.jpeg

Edited by q96169we

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I realise the stud pattern is different between the ! series and g31 but would be able to get the 1 series 17" wheel on far enough to check it cleared the disks.

 

Thanks for the pictures. It seems that 17" might be a better/cheaper option and the dealer was talking out of his arse about the M sport plus having M sport brakes!

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Just to show the ability of winter tyre: confidently turned off main road, which was jammed up, and climb up a steep hill, passing a stuck bmw, whose driving wheels were on snow.

No four wheel drive, no diff lock or lsd. Just a rear wheel drive bmw with winter tyre.

snow1.png

snow2.png

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