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TIRES
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Here is some guidance for those of you with tires on your cars.  The author is John Blezenski, a long-time and active club member.  Thanks, John!


 As you may already know, your high performance sports car can be hard on tires. In order to achieve the handling that Z3's, ///M Roadsters, Z4's and other BMW models with sport suspensions have, BMW has designed suspensions which create friction between the tires and the pavement. Friction equals increased tire wear. And, the more aggressive your driving, the more quickly your tires wear.

There are 3 things you can do to maximize tire life and safety:

  • Keep the tires properly inflated.
  • Have your tires rotated periodically. This is more difficult if your car has staggered sizes and/or directional tires but it can be done.
  • Check your tires regularly for inflation and wear.

We cannot stress too much the importance of checking your tires regularly, especially the inside edges of the rear tires. The large amount of negative camber designed into the suspension generally causes these areas to wear first. Please, please check them before going on any kind of lengthy trip. Some Club members have stories of blowing a tire and having to overnight somewhere exciting [NOT!] while waiting for suitable tires to be shipped in; the local Wal-Mart in Bullfrog, Arkansas usually doesn't carry tires to fit Z's.

When it's time for replacements, there are many resources at your disposal

  • Speak to other Z vehicle owners about their experiences.  Talk to our folks at one of our upcoming events.
  • Check the various internet-based resources
  • Check with reputable local resources

Web Resources: One of our favorite web resources is TireRack.com.  The Tire Rack web site has a huge store of information on virtually all aspects of tire construction, testing, and sizing and provides a section where you can read owner reviews of any tire you may be considering, and see how many total miles are in this experience base.  Some of these tires have reviews based on literally millions of miles of use.

You will need to decide what "class" of tire you want to put on your Z car.  Speed and temperature ratings are very important, especially if your drive agressively.  Here are a few categories of tires (per Tire Rack's classifications) you may want to consider:

Local Shopping: While the Club makes no endorsement of any one vendor, many of our members have had excellent results with Discount Tire. It seems to be a policy of all Discount Tire retail locations to match virtually any price on tires you can come up with, online or not. To be fair, remember that if you order off the internet, you'll have to pay for shipping, and the internet prices don't include mounting, balancing, valve stems, etc. Discount Tire also has a web site where you can research and price tires, but we recommend calling your local store for price matching and availability information.  Discount offers free flat repairs and free lifetime rotations and balancing for tires you purchase from them.

It is also important to consider who will handle your warranty claims and how, especially if you are considering an online purchase. Will you have to ship the tire back somewhere? Who pays for the shipping? How long will it take?

Road Hazard Insurance: Discount Tire (and other sellers) often offer road hazard insurance, also known as road hazard warranty, certificates, etc.  These provide for tire replacement in the event your tires are damaged beyond repair by hitting potholes, debris, etc. 

Here's a tip from the author: This is a strategy for dealing with Discount Tire to get the best price possible on the tires you have chosen.  First, search all your resources for the best price you can find.  If online, donít forget to include shipping, any applicable taxes, and an estimate for the installation costs.  Then use the Discount Tire web site to price the tires.  If you are interested in the road hazard warranty, include the certificates in your quote.  For some reason these are cheaper online than at the store. Take your quotes to your local Discount Tire store and ask them to beat your best deal. If your online quotes donít include sales tax, point this out to them. Iíve found they will even adjust their prices to account for that.  This strategy lets you get the tires you want at the best possible price from Discount, who has excellent service and a nationwide network of stores to handle warranty claims.  Again, no endorsement by the Club, just the opinion and experience of the author who neither is a tire engineer nor has played one on TV.


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REMEMBER: THE OFFICIAL CLUB POLICY IS TO OBEY ALL TRAFFIC LAWS AND REGULATIONS AND TO BE COURTEOUS TO OTHER DRIVERS