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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 Wed, Nov-13-2019, 04:48:44 PM   #1
bullet0770
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Default Winter tire recommendation

Hi Guys,

I am looking for Winter tire setup for Cleveland OH, all I see are old threads.

I have OEM 18 rear square setup, which I would be using. What is the current favorite tire? and should I go with 245/40/18 size ?

Alpin PA4 or WS90 or anything else ?

Thanks for your help in advance.
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Old Wed, Nov-13-2019, 05:13:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: Winter tire recommendation

You may find limited stock dictates your tire choice. For snow, narrower is better and bigger sidewall is better. I typically either put snows on the stock wheels and buy wider/lighter aftermarket wheels for 3 season use, buy 4 used base model wheels that are usually smaller diameter and narrower for snows, or buy 4 front wheels for snows if stock are staggered.

For hardcore snow use, I buy the hardcore snows that have a lower speed rating and a jiggly ride. Some ride better than others. If possible, meaning my driving needs don’t require the best snow traction, I buy performance snows that have a higher speed rating. They handle better and are much more confidence inspiring if you want to go 150.
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Old Wed, Nov-13-2019, 05:27:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: Winter tire recommendation

PA4 for better dry/wet handling and decent snow handling. WS90 for better snow/ice handling but muddier dry/wet handling.

I havenít had any issue using Pirelli Snowsports 240 and Bridgestone Blizzak LM60 which are performance winter tires and competition to the PA4 which is probably the ultimate in this segment.

Iíve never driven my M or even my prior 330i mounted with tires that are more bias to snow so I canít comment on that. Itís always been about performance winters for my Vancouver winters with hills. Even with performance winters I found I didnít have issues even through a foot of fresh snow. When the snow got near 32įF/0įC then performance winters need to be carefully managed as the snow isnít as sticky and becomes more wet and slippery if conditions are deep and heavy.

In my 13 years of driving E46 RWD in the snow I only needed to shove myself out twice to get going because I pushed the tires to the point of no return in very deep/unplowed/heavy snow.

Thinner tires do seem to cut through the snow better since I used 225 square for my 330i and OEM staggered 18Ē sizes for my M. I feel my 330i setup had better stability but my M I just need to be more ďon guardĒ which could also be a factor of engines too.

In the really aggressive snow Iíve learned to take pressure out of my tires (35psi to 22-25psi) for amazing snow traction. Just remember to air up once youíre on pavement or youíll quickly overheat your tires and destroy them.

Driving an M in the snow has been one of the best rewarding feelings ever. You get to exploit the dynamics of the vehicle at super low speed and being able to control its rotation like that will give you so much joy and confidence in the carís ability to perform in all conditions. I usually drive with M track mode on for a degree of safety but when it gets gross out or if there is no traffic on the snowy roads Iíll just turn it all off for more direct control at low speeds. Once Iím at constant 50mph+ speeds Iíll keep all stability systems on since I donít need assistance to accelerate from a stop, just assistance in lateral straight line control when hitting large blocks of snow or ice which can throw stability off.
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Old Wed, Nov-13-2019, 06:49:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Winter tire recommendation

NOKIAN tyres. Best winter tire period.
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Old Wed, Nov-13-2019, 07:58:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: Winter tire recommendation

I run PA4 245/40/18 on OE staggered. Sidewalls feel like a PSS/P4S, tread is about like an all-season, and the true winter compound is magic in the cold.

If you mostly drive locally and it's your only winter vehicle, you might consider a true winter tire (not Winter Performance.) Having said that, I had WS70s on 17" square wheels at one point, and the relatively stiff M3 suspension made the tall, squishy sidewalls feel utterly inadequate. You would experience the chassis pushing and rolling laterally over the sidewall before the tire would load and set. If you do go with a real winter (softer sidewall), choose at least 18" wheels to keep the sidewall height down. Of course then you can't use chains, but that's not likely to be an issue in Ohio.

I drive from the East Coast US out to ski country for a few months every winter, and for me the PA4s are the best compromise. They inspire total confidence at very high speeds on dry roads at any temperature (which is important on a 2500+-mile-each-way trip on straight roads crossing climate zones), and if you're a capable driver, they're perfectly adequate on packed snow. I've driven probably 25,000 winter miles on them in Idaho, Alberta, BC, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, etc including many drives over the divide on I70 with so much gravel and salt down that it felt like a rally stage, and I've not been stuck once. Clearance will get you before grip does when you've got PA4s.

Edit:
One thing I forgot to mention earlier is that although in theory the 245/40/18 is actually a slightly smaller rolling diameter than a stock 225/45/18, the tire is extremely close to the spring perch. I have Bilstein B4s on my winter M3, so I'm not sure if they're slightly shorter than stock or something, but regardless I did notice that the paint on the bottom of the perch has been rubbed by the tire despite there being just a bit of clearance when spinning the wheel by hand. As a result, I now use 10mm spacers and have rotated my spring perches. YMMV, dunno about stock hardware...
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Old Thu, Nov-14-2019, 05:03:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: Winter tire recommendation

^^^
I have ws70s on square 17s and don’t find them too “squishy”. Guess I need to sack up and drive this thing harder lol.
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Old Thu, Nov-14-2019, 01:10:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: Winter tire recommendation

PA4 if you are driving in straight snow less than a dozen times per year, xIce if above that. Nokians if you live in snow for months with no plowing.

LM60s are the single worst tire I’ve ever driven on and to this day are the only tire I’ve ever removed and thrown away that was new. The stopping performance on them was so poor that I thought something in the braking system had broken.
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Old Thu, Nov-14-2019, 07:59:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: Winter tire recommendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbonsalb View Post
You may find limited stock dictates your tire choice. For snow, narrower is better and bigger sidewall is better. I typically either put snows on the stock wheels and buy wider/lighter aftermarket wheels for 3 season use, buy 4 used base model wheels that are usually smaller diameter and narrower for snows, or buy 4 front wheels for snows if stock are staggered.

For hardcore snow use, I buy the hardcore snows that have a lower speed rating and a jiggly ride. Some ride better than others. If possible, meaning my driving needs donít require the best snow traction, I buy performance snows that have a higher speed rating. They handle better and are much more confidence inspiring if you want to go 150.
Thanks for your reply, much appreciated. I have spare 18" rear OEM square setup sitting and would like to use them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rovert604 View Post
PA4 for better dry/wet handling and decent snow handling. WS90 for better snow/ice handling but muddier dry/wet handling.

I havenít had any issue using Pirelli Snowsports 240 and Bridgestone Blizzak LM60 which are performance winter tires and competition to the PA4 which is probably the ultimate in this segment.

Iíve never driven my M or even my prior 330i mounted with tires that are more bias to snow so I canít comment on that. Itís always been about performance winters for my Vancouver winters with hills. Even with performance winters I found I didnít have issues even through a foot of fresh snow. When the snow got near 32įF/0įC then performance winters need to be carefully managed as the snow isnít as sticky and becomes more wet and slippery if conditions are deep and heavy.

In my 13 years of driving E46 RWD in the snow I only needed to shove myself out twice to get going because I pushed the tires to the point of no return in very deep/unplowed/heavy snow.

Thinner tires do seem to cut through the snow better since I used 225 square for my 330i and OEM staggered 18Ē sizes for my M. I feel my 330i setup had better stability but my M I just need to be more ďon guardĒ which could also be a factor of engines too.

In the really aggressive snow Iíve learned to take pressure out of my tires (35psi to 22-25psi) for amazing snow traction. Just remember to air up once youíre on pavement or youíll quickly overheat your tires and destroy them.

Driving an M in the snow has been one of the best rewarding feelings ever. You get to exploit the dynamics of the vehicle at super low speed and being able to control its rotation like that will give you so much joy and confidence in the carís ability to perform in all conditions. I usually drive with M track mode on for a degree of safety but when it gets gross out or if there is no traffic on the snowy roads Iíll just turn it all off for more direct control at low speeds. Once Iím at constant 50mph+ speeds Iíll keep all stability systems on since I donít need assistance to accelerate from a stop, just assistance in lateral straight line control when hitting large blocks of snow or ice which can throw stability off.
Thanks for the detailed response I saw your video as well year or so back :P. I am not looking to track the car in winter but would like a decent tires which does not take away driving experience. Also low noise would be better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rkymtnrider View Post
NOKIAN tyres. Best winter tire period.
Thanks for your reply, I don't think we have that much snow on streets, our roads get cleaned and plowed regularly here and crappy salt as well. This will be my first time driving in winters for few times before I buy a new car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan View Post
I run PA4 245/40/18 on OE staggered. Sidewalls feel like a PSS/P4S, tread is about like an all-season, and the true winter compound is magic in the cold.

If you mostly drive locally and it's your only winter vehicle, you might consider a true winter tire (not Winter Performance.) Having said that, I had WS70s on 17" square wheels at one point, and the relatively stiff M3 suspension made the tall, squishy sidewalls feel utterly inadequate. You would experience the chassis pushing and rolling laterally over the sidewall before the tire would load and set. If you do go with a real winter (softer sidewall), choose at least 18" wheels to keep the sidewall height down. Of course then you can't use chains, but that's not likely to be an issue in Ohio.

I drive from the East Coast US out to ski country for a few months every winter, and for me the PA4s are the best compromise. They inspire total confidence at very high speeds on dry roads at any temperature (which is important on a 2500+-mile-each-way trip on straight roads crossing climate zones), and if you're a capable driver, they're perfectly adequate on packed snow. I've driven probably 25,000 winter miles on them in Idaho, Alberta, BC, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, etc including many drives over the divide on I70 with so much gravel and salt down that it felt like a rally stage, and I've not been stuck once. Clearance will get you before grip does when you've got PA4s.

Edit:
One thing I forgot to mention earlier is that although in theory the 245/40/18 is actually a slightly smaller rolling diameter than a stock 225/45/18, the tire is extremely close to the spring perch. I have Bilstein B4s on my winter M3, so I'm not sure if they're slightly shorter than stock or something, but regardless I did notice that the paint on the bottom of the perch has been rubbed by the tire despite there being just a bit of clearance when spinning the wheel by hand. As a result, I now use 10mm spacers and have rotated my spring perches. YMMV, dunno about stock hardware...
Thanks for your reply. I heard WS90's are better? We get a lot of snow but streets are cleaned often. Looks like I am leaning towards PA4 and drive cautiously while driving in snow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSt|G View Post
PA4 if you are driving in straight snow less than a dozen times per year, xIce if above that. Nokians if you live in snow for months with no plowing.

LM60s are the single worst tire Iíve ever driven on and to this day are the only tire Iíve ever removed and thrown away that was new. The stopping performance on them was so poor that I thought something in the braking system had broken.
We do get a lot of snow but would say 10-15 time in snow (year dependent), last year I hardly drove in snow (other car).
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Old Sat, Nov-16-2019, 01:57:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: Winter tire recommendation

I had OEM 19's on my M3 and I put on all season Michelin PSS. Tho I live in Pennsylvania, they saved my ass a lot of time in the snow and rain. They were very grippy in the snow so even drifting in snow took some work. But I was very pleased with their performance. Also they do wear out quiet fast since mine only lasted 18k miles.
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Old Sat, Nov-16-2019, 05:42:45 PM   #10
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Default Re: Winter tire recommendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by xxwikkixx View Post
I had OEM 19's on my M3 and I put on all season Michelin PSS. Tho I live in Pennsylvania, they saved my ass a lot of time in the snow and rain. They were very grippy in the snow so even drifting in snow took some work. But I was very pleased with their performance. Also they do wear out quiet fast since mine only lasted 18k miles.
Are you talking about A/S 3+ ?
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Discussing Winter tire recommendation 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)