For those who wonder, and can’t be bothered to click on my Flikr link, I drive a 2001 BMW 325i sedan. Very basic model. Manual transmission, almost no electronics. It’s like a large go cart. It came with almost no options. Except the sports package (slightly better suspension. Large/wide tires. Smaller steering wheel.)
(I bought it used. I believe I’m the 3rd owner. 1st owner was military (hence the serious lack of options. Been there, done that) who took it to Hawaii. Eventually it ended up here, where I bought it, and spent some $$ to bring it up to spec (or at least as close as it could get at 89K miles). The doors leak when it rains. The inside of the front doors? Needs to be reupholstered or something.
Its been my daily/only driver since (replaced a 94 530i that was eating my wallet alive) with 167K on it now.
We won’t talk about the airbag recall (I’m 200th on the local dealer waiting list. Might get it replaced before next summer.). That’s a hassle of another sort. (I usually give the T a ride to visit the folks at Thanksgiving. This year, now that we know about the airbag issue (BMW says – don’t let anyone sit in the front passenger seat until it’s fixed. The airbag is off unless someone sits there. The dealer says – safety feature, can’t turn it off.), she gets to sit in the back for her part of the trip. Of course, she usually sleeps most of the way so it isn’t a big deal. Just gonna be strange.
So, Let’s talk about tires. My tire buying habit is not recommended for anyone low on cash. But it works for me. Remember that sports package part? That means there’s only a limited selection for tires. The 530i had a similar issue.( I just think BMW likes picking odd sized tires!)
I buy Kuhmos. Cheap, for that size, but tread life? Not the best. They are decent in wet weather/snow for the first 5K miles so I buy them right before Thanksgiving . Takes me thru winter and a trip up north with decent tread. But by late April, they are basically summer tires. Still good in warm weather. By October? Still some tread on them (10K -12K miles on them at that point. Still decent but then the cold weather hits and… they turn into large hockey pucks. Rocks have better traction than these things on cold roads after 15K miles.
If if I didn’t travel up north into the snow belt at least once a year, I could safely get another 5K out of them. But I do, so, November = another new set of tires.
That gives me good rubber on the road for the parts of winter when I need it.
Sure, I could spend twice as much on better tires and get two years on them but this works for me budget wise. Spreads the tire buying pain out. And I’d have to deal with less traction on 2 year old tires. Back when I lived up north I had snow tires but that is a wasted expense around here, even on bad years.
(My mechanic thinks I’m crazy for doing it this way, but he doesn’t argue, just throws the new ones on my car every fall and gives away the old ones to someone who needs something better than the bald tires they have now.)
Now, if you looked up the tires I buy, they don’t get great reviews… From people who expect them to last 30 – 40K miles like the limited warranty says, but those first 15K miles? They get the job done. I couldn’t imagine trying to get 30K from them unless you lived in Florida, or Texas.
Did I mention they’re cheap for that size?