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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Mon, Nov-13-2017, 03:48:15 AM   #1
TheDoogan
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Default Question about Tires: Michelin PS4s (and tires in general)

Hey guys,

I am sure the friction coefficient of all tires against a road surface decreases the colder the union is between the two surfaces, but I'm wondering: how drastic is that affect?

Assuming there isn't any snow on the road, how much less traction do you actually have? This will be my first winter with my M3. I don't plan on driving it unless there's a very clear day, but the weather does change fast up here in Michigan, and one can't predict everything.

I've heard talk of actually having the PS4s swapped out for winter tires. Is this necessary if you don't plan on driving in any snow - serious snow or snow at all?

Changing tires seems like an awful lot of hassle. And how would you get the stored set back to your house to even store them?

What do you guys think? I'm curious to hear your thoughts on traction against dry (but sub zero) pavement.
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Old Mon, Nov-13-2017, 04:18:22 AM   #2
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Default Re: Question about Tires: Michelin PS4s (and tires in general)

Having been on the track yesterday with air temp at 22F to 36F....

Different tire compounds behave differently in cold temps - so traction is affected differently. I had to change out my RE71R tires to my rains - Dunlop Direzzas to have a prayer at grip...and to keep from actually damaging the RE71Rs.

I was in four different student cars with differing but mostly all season tires. You manage grip within the limits of the surface and adjust accordingly and manage risk.

I wouldn't run a summer-only tire in winter. The rubber's grip on cold/dry is one issue - encountering a patch of very thin ice or light snow or rain is another.

Winter tires aren't that costly on steelies. Changing tires really isn't a big deal. I did it on short notice Friday - on two cars.

You can transport four wheels in the back seat.
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Old Mon, Nov-13-2017, 04:37:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: Question about Tires: Michelin PS4s (and tires in general)

I used to swap out my summers for dedicated winter tires on my M3. From what I have read it is a bad idea to drive summer tires at freezing or near freezing temperatures. Rubber would get hard and brittle and could be damaged by the change in temperature. See https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiret...jsp?techid=273
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Old Mon, Nov-13-2017, 04:39:38 AM   #4
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Default Re: Question about Tires: Michelin PS4s (and tires in general)

If there is NO snow, you have some level of traction. With PSS, I notice more chirp without intending to do so from stop / low speed starts. With Conti DWs, they were noticeably more ill-behaved below 40 degrees. PSS have less noticeable fall-off but do ok down to about 25 degrees in my experience (maybe lower, just haven't had that experience). They aren't great and you can get into trouble, but I don't worry about them in non-snow situations.
With most high or max performance summer tires - and certainly any other type of tire, 1/2" of powder isn't a stopper. but with summer tires at northern road temps in winter, 1/2 inch of slush - and as bad or worse - wet but more frozen snow or mix and honestly you'll have trouble even getting out of a parking spot on level ground. I am not a timid snow person, have experience in all types of weather with many, many types of tires.
---
So the upshot is, if it starts snowing and you can leave early and get home in 15 - 30 minutes, you may be fine in 95% of the situations. If you have to wait to leave work for even an hour or so at your latitude and possible temps/accumulation, you could easily end up in a tough to stuck - or worse - situation.
If you're any good in snow and driving, Pilot AS3s or later generations will get .. ME .. home in 4" or less (no hi-siding situations in an M3). I have these on my wife's passat (well now she's in a new Q5 audi) and took them out in the worst possible situation, somewhat packed snow over ice, in a test to a neighbor's house and did in fact stick the car, but had shovel and made it out on my own. They are VERY, VERY good.
But honestly, if I were at your latitude and was going to do a 2nd set of tires, they'd be full snows on narrower rims, hands down. You can find vids of M3s and M5s out tracking 4WD suvs with all-seasons on youtube. NOTHING beats snows in snow or slush. On solid glare ice, only studs or chains will do.

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Last edited by RedM3/4; Mon, Nov-13-2017 at 04:43:48 AM.
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Old Mon, Nov-13-2017, 04:40:21 AM   #5
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Default Question about Tires: Michelin PS4s (and tires in general)

Itís not advisable to run summers in cold temps but I believe itís more of a general warning to the masses as companies have to make wanting targeting the lowest denominator of common sense.

If you decide to use the car on summers in ďdryĒ winter conditions youíll want to make sure you heat the rubber up for at least 10-15 minutes. You can even see what traction will be like in varying temperatures when you go out and learn how traction changes as the tires warm up. Youíll probably notice the most on moderately aggressive throttle. Your cold summers could lose traction with only 1/4 throttle while 10 mins later youíll be able to do 1/2 throttle. Remember itís probably easier to keep tires warmed up from gingerly city stop/go driving than just cruising on the highway so take that into account if you decide to take that one interstate off ramp in a spirited manner after being at high speed for miles at a time.

Donít quote any of those numbers as I donít run summers at all in cold temps because you never know if that emergency maneuver has to happen right when you leave your street. By then itís too late. Isnít the statistic that most car crashes happen within two mins from home?

You could also feel somewhat confident if the dry is mixed with some melting snow on the road because of salt or any other chemicals. But youíll want to be even more aware that you could lose traction at any moment where water has frozen to the road. Winter comes with more debris on the road so gravel and dust will be against you for traction whereas winters have enough siping to have tread blocks move around some of that debris. Summers are completely useless in ice or snow. Theyíll go from working OK in the dry to a death trap on any other frozen/compromised surface.

Next youíll want to think about braking. Even compared to all seasons, winters will have soft enough rubber traction to bring the vehicle to a stop much faster. Running summers in under 20įF could be dicey in that the rubber compound will be much harder than it was designed for. You could subject the tire to pothole shock and start prematurely cracking your expensive rock hard rubber.

The trouble that I go through every half year of swapping my winter tire/wheel set to summer tire/wheel set is far lower than the time and money and emotion spent on just on insurance claim. Your city/county/state insurance may even not cover you if, at least, M+S is not included on your tire sidewall.

Money spent is not lost as youíre not wearing down your unused summers in the winter and vice versa. Youíre only changing the lifetime/lifecycle of when the rubber needs replacing. Money is lost if you did crash with summers and you ended up taking out city property, injuring bystanders or at worst causing death with legal matters coming into play post crash.

My learnings are: Pay now, or pay dearly later.

Good luck on your winter driving and whatever choice you decide!!

BTW if you go with all seasons go with DWS06 over AS3+. My buddy has no problem in his 330i and DWS06 going up snow packed mountains to ski. But my friend canít get up my slight incline in his 135i with AS3+.
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Last edited by rovert604; Mon, Nov-13-2017 at 04:53:20 AM.
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Old Mon, Nov-13-2017, 04:45:11 AM   #6
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Default Re: Question about Tires: Michelin PS4s (and tires in general)

When I lived in North Carolina I had all season tires on my 350Z and it handled extremely well in all weather conditions. Rain, snow, heat, and subzero. I would not have had that same confidence level if I had had summer tires installed year round. I did scare the life out of myself when testing my traction in the snow. Luckily I was able to correct it and lived to tell the tale.
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Old Mon, Nov-13-2017, 05:07:24 AM   #7
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Default Re: Question about Tires: Michelin PS4s (and tires in general)

They sell tires. There is NORMALLY - say in lower 48 states -
no problem until you get to r-compound tires -
or maybe something close, like under UTOG of 200,
each manufacturer has their specs as far as what can be harmful to the tire.
Wether or not you can safely drive on them varies widely by manufacturer and one's common sense and skill.
---
As an aside, I've pushed past my skill level a few times, including sticking (nearly burying to the frame) a 4wd blazer with snows trying to push someone out of mud and snow, to name my most educating teenage driving experiences! That machine was so confidence inspiring that I got ... well.... overconfident!
The most fun thing in that machine was 4 wheel low, with a final drive ration of 6.18:1. I had more than one customer grab the dash when I floored it; it would beat anything on the road to 40 MPH, at which point the lifters were floating!
I've also driven nearly bald 70 series tires, probably less than 7" wide in an inch of freezing snow (high road temp, normal snow), in a Chevelle with only 43% of the weight on the rear. It's funny how what you don't know affects your driving and thought. I remember thinking how hard it was to get going and just get home. Two weeks after the snow, I had a flat in the rear, worn through the cord. That taught me a ton about driving in the snow and attitude. ***but I can't recommend trying ANY of the above! ***

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Originally Posted by GrendelsbaneM3 View Post
I used to swap out my summers for dedicated winter tires on my M3. From what I have read it is a bad idea to drive summer tires at freezing or near freezing temperatures. Rubber would get hard and brittle and could be damaged by the change in temperature. See https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiret...jsp?techid=273
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Old Mon, Nov-13-2017, 01:41:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Question about Tires: Michelin PS4s (and tires in general)

Okay, this is perfect. Thank you guys so much for all the information... I'm very new to all these concepts.

Rovert T: I will get a set of DWS06 tires. And you recommend getting actual new rims as well, and not using the stock 19" rims? This is all very new to me. What rims do you recommend getting, RoverT? Where would you get them from?

Probably no chance of getting a halfway decent looking winter rim, eh? Haha.
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Old Mon, Nov-13-2017, 01:52:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: Question about Tires: Michelin PS4s (and tires in general)

Run winters in the winter. I'd rather be safe than in a ditch no matter what kind of weather I run into. Plus, you are no longer a liability on the road, whether that be to yourself, or to others on the road. Tires are the only thing connecting you to the road, don't you want the 'best' option in the right condition? I drove a Subaru in Maine winters for half a year on summers and had a really bad time. Whether it was a surprise snow storm or the 34 degree weather, the car did not perform well. AND that car had awd, which to most means it's unstoppable in any weather....

Could you imagine driving to the store and a storm kicks up and you're driving in an inch of snow with your family? You tried saving a few hundred $$$, but now you've risked the safety of you and your folks 'cause you cheap-ed out. Personally, I don't want to be some statistic that proves winter tires are superior than summers in sub 32degree weather. We all already know that, being ignorant to that just makes the roads less safe for yourself and those around you.

Sorry for the rant, Maine has a lot of cheap trash that either run studded tires year round (yes in the summer lol) - which is actually illegal... And on the other side of the equation you have your leased BMW and Mercedes folks that run one set of tires and typically find themselves stuck or rear ended an unsuspecting driver on the road. Don't be that guy! And good luck!

EDIT ** You posted above me while typing my response out.... **

As for a brand, get the best you can afford on the smallest tire possible. If you can run a 17" or 18" tire on a second set of wheels, I found that is the cheapest and best alternative. You can save $$$ just on swapping them yourself instead of mounting and remounting every spring and fall.... Also the more sidewall, the comfier it can be in the winter, and that's a dang good thing when it's freezing! You may lose some feel, but you're not going for laptimes on the street.
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Old Mon, Nov-13-2017, 02:06:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: Question about Tires: Michelin PS4s (and tires in general)

Thanks Sooch,

Yeah, I hear you (bad drivers). I like to get the lead out in good conditions and on empty roads, but I generally find I'm one of the slowest drivers in the winter, even with the LR4 on excellent tires, locked into "snow" mode, which keeps the revs low and sensitive to traction loss. (Before that, I drove a 2004 Discovery for years, which I'd kept in mint condition, except a ton of off-roading mods).

I'm well seasoned to winter driving; I've never been in a wreck in my life (though I've pulled a lot of people out), and I haven't received a ticket since I was 18, and that for 5 over.

It's just this 'car' thing I'm new to. Normally, I'd just find heated storage and say goodbye to the M3 for the winter. But if this winter is anything like last, then I'll actually be able to drive it for more than half of my 1 to 2-times weekly drives. If we have a hard winter, I'll keep it in the garage, but I want to drive it as much as I can and keep it young. So, here we are.

I'll start shopping for rims - Rover T, if you have an outlet for them or suggestion on what brand/size of winter rims to get, I'd love to hear it.

THANKS, guys!

Doog
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Discussing Question about Tires: Michelin PS4s (and tires in general) in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)