Thoughts on using OEM alloys in the winter.

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Hi guys, Long story short, We bought my wife a new to us, BMW X3 this year. It has the 18" wheel package, and I'm looking for something for her for winter. I'm thinking the Nokian WRG3, as the reviews have been pretty great across the board. I'm wondering about running year round on the stock alloy wheels. They aren't polished, and she drives less than 6k miles a year. Would a good coat of wax and sealant keep the wheels in good shape? We see some mild salt here in Alberta, but not much compared to the east. Also, the car is driven mostly around town with little to no highway use. Any thoughts? Thanks, Ryan
 
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Alloys have been fine for winter, in my experience. Just clean them regularly. How do you like the X3? My wife has been small SUV shopping. We test drove a bunch of them. I think she might end up with a Q5 in the end.
 
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Having driven in Calgary, in the winter, quite a few times, no way would I keep alloys on year around. I was there early December last year during the storm of the century. Seems the West uses gravel on the roads as traction material - no joke. All of the road trash damages the wheel finish and once the pinholes form, the corrosion soon follows. Get steelies for the X3 is my suggestion.
 
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Originally Posted By: Danno
Having driven in Calgary, in the winter, quite a few times, no way would I keep alloys on year around. I was there early December last year during the storm of the century. Seems the West uses gravel on the roads as traction material - no joke. All of the road trash damages the wheel finish and once the pinholes form, the corrosion soon follows. Get steelies for the X3 is my suggestion.
Aluminum doesn't really corrode - in most applications. It oxidizes so quickly that it forms a protective layer. When this layer is scratched, a new one forms within seconds. The main exception is any kind of salty environment. If there's gravel and road salt, then corrosion is going to follow. It will typically look kind of black. It can be especially bad at a "dissimilar metal" interface like where it mounts to the hub.
 
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It depends on the finish, lawyered alloys chip and oxidise a lot more readily than powdercoat. Paint is ok.if you keep it clean and waxed but for durability and ease of cleaning podercoat definitely has it. Problem is as soon as they get any kerb rash the whole finish will lift and flake in short order..
 
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Originally Posted By: Olas
It depends on the finish, lawyered alloys chip and oxidise a lot more readily than powdercoat.
I'm dying to know what that was actually supposed to say. Or how our English friends came to refer to a finish as 'lawyered'...
 
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Originally Posted By: leeharvey418
Originally Posted By: Olas
It depends on the finish, lawyered alloys chip and oxidise a lot more readily than powdercoat.
I'm dying to know what that was actually supposed to say. Or how our English friends came to refer to a finish as 'lawyered'...
Not that difficult really. It was either a typing error or autocorrect It seems fairly clear that laquered is the likely word that should have been typed. You are a bit of a duck aren't you. Oops silly me must have hit the wrong key.
 
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As far as the OP goes i would have no issue having a second set of wheels for winter use. Though i would probably buy a set of used alloys as steels look less than pleasing on something like an X3 probably fine on say a Pathfinder.
 
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Originally Posted By: bigjl
It seems fairly clear that laquered is the likely word that should have been typed.
Perhaps to you it seems fairly clear, but I'm used to seeing the finish to which you're referring called 'clearcoat' not 'lacquer'. Add to that the fact that we throw a 'c' into the word, and I was genuinely scratching my head as to what Olas meant.
 
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Originally Posted By: bigjl
As far as the OP goes i would have no issue having a second set of wheels for winter use. Though i would probably buy a set of used alloys as steels look less than pleasing on something like an X3 probably fine on say a Pathfinder.
I don't even think used is necessarily that important since there are so many cheap new aluminum wheels available these days.
 

ryan2022

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Thanks guys. I think the issue I'm having (other than being hit with some huge expenses over the past few weeks, is it's hard to justify an extra set of wheels/tpms sensors/stems/ etc... for 5k a year. Shed end up with two sets of dried out tires before she ever wore them out. The alloys are a powder coated aluminum. I agree about not running the lacquered type in the winter....or the lawyered type. lol Pete, the X3 is great. We've only had it for a month or so, but the ride, combined with the 3.0 liter is quite nice. The no-dipstick thing took as long as the first oil change to get used to. It's actually the easiest oil change I've ever done! The Q5's are nice as well.
 
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Aluminum wheels get eaten up bad on the bead area where they use salt. I lived in Calgary for 3 years, and they only use gravel and wait for Chinooks to clear snow. In Calgary I don't think you'll have an issue, but OEM alloy wheels are so pricey I wouldn't use them in the Winter. Get a set of steelies for sure.
 
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Originally Posted By: asand1
Is there a reason you need tpms on snow tires?
The on-board computer will constantly complain if it can't detect a working TPMS.
 
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Originally Posted By: asand1
Is there a reason you need tpms on snow tires?
I don't know what kind of inspection program Alberta might have, but I know that in Pennsylvania, a car will fail inspection without functioning TPMS.
 
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Originally Posted By: leeharvey418
Originally Posted By: asand1
Is there a reason you need tpms on snow tires?
I don't know what kind of inspection program Alberta might have, but I know that in Pennsylvania, a car will fail inspection without functioning TPMS.
Wow! Even the People's Republic of NY won't fail a car for that ... yet
 
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