Tire recommendations for 2015 BMW X5

Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
2,825
Location
Ontario, Canada
What? My X5 ran OE Bridgestone's, than aftermarket snow Bridgestone's in winter, than OE Bridgestone's, than aftermarket snow bridgestone's, than aftermarket Michelin's, than aftermarket snow Michelins, and transfer case never had a hick up.
Can you imagine, on 328i I put 205/55 R16 instead of 225/45 R17 for winter, with aftermarket Continental's and nothing happened.
So tell me please how many transfer case warranties BMW refused for buying tires elsewhere? They cannot, period!
Or better yet, why would let's say Michelin Pilot PS4S destroy my transfer case on 328 xDrive but Bridgestone DriveGuard won't?
It has happened for sure. I remember one X5 in particular. He was running aftermarket winter tires. Exact same size and load rating as stock. Don’t remember the brand. Every spring, we had to replace the transfer case. On the third one, BMW said they would not warranty it again unless he was running star spec tires. So he bit the bullet and purchased a winter rim/tire package from us. His transfer case never failed again. There is a service bulletin for diag on them. The first thing to check is if the vehicle has star spec tires and they are all within 3mm of tread depth to each other. If not, we are supposed to deny the claim.

Every spring we replace dozens of transfer cases. Most techs do so many we can usually replace one in only 45 mins or so.

You have been lucky. The older E90 seem to be less picky about tire size. I run an aftermarket square set of tires on my own E90 in the winter.
 
Joined
Apr 6, 2006
Messages
2,105
Location
Toronto-ish, Canada
I think that the star rating and transfer case accounts are probably for factory staggered wheel set ups (wider in the rear than the front). The "star rated" pairings are probably guaranteed to be within the proper rolling radius to not cause transfer case damage. I've found tire sizing to be like oil grades - it's a range and different manufacturers and products can vary within the range.

I also encountered it on a previous car with a staggered setup. A particular brand/model of tire in the rear size was at the skinny/low profile end of the range and the front was at the fatter/taller end of the range and it looked weird. Different tire model/brand, same car, same sizes - looked matched.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2003
Messages
811
Location
USA
I have a friend with one of these (2017 model ready to go back now that his lease is close to being over). Great car but it absolutely annihilates tires, he opted for sort of warranty deal when he got the optional staggered tires wheel package. Has paid back massively as the big German rips through a set of $1300 Pirellis every 15000 miles and he doesn’t pay a dime. Car isn’t tracked or driven that hard I-10 from Fulshear, TX-Energy corridor and back a few days a week it’s just that bad on rubber.

Those figures are eye opening. I had an idea that tires for these Euro SUVs were an expensive cost, but $.09 per mile exceeded my expectations.
Is your friend more of an exception to the rule or his experience common for these types of vehicles?
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
2,825
Location
Ontario, Canada
Those figures are eye opening. I had an idea that tires for these Euro SUVs were an expensive cost, but $.09 per mile exceeded my expectations.
Is your friend more of an exception to the rule or his experience common for these types of vehicles?

That is actually cheaper than most. A set of the Pirelli PZero summer tires can be upwards of $4000, and wear out significantly faster than the all-seasons.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
13,600
Location
Colorado Springs
It has happened for sure. I remember one X5 in particular. He was running aftermarket winter tires. Exact same size and load rating as stock. Don’t remember the brand. Every spring, we had to replace the transfer case. On the third one, BMW said they would not warranty it again unless he was running star spec tires. So he bit the bullet and purchased a winter rim/tire package from us. His transfer case never failed again. There is a service bulletin for diag on them. The first thing to check is if the vehicle has star spec tires and they are all within 3mm of tread depth to each other. If not, we are supposed to deny the claim.

Every spring we replace dozens of transfer cases. Most techs do so many we can usually replace one in only 45 mins or so.

You have been lucky. The older E90 seem to be less picky about tire size. I run an aftermarket square set of tires on my own E90 in the winter.
Most, if not 90% of BMW drivers do not buy tires in BMW dealership. Heck, my dealership here is more than happy to sell you Continental DWS06 for X5 (no RSC), Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 (no RSC) etc.
There are failures of transfer cases in BMW's, like in any other vehicle, but I would say maintenance negligence is more to do with that than aftermarket tires.
In X5 community that I know, no one runs RSC tires, and no one had TC failure.I actually know the guy who lifted his 35d 2 inches, runs A/T tires that are not specified in manual, and he has more than 150k on the car. TC sees fluid change every 60k though, as it should.
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
2,825
Location
Ontario, Canada
Most, if not 90% of BMW drivers do not buy tires in BMW dealership. Heck, my dealership here is more than happy to sell you Continental DWS06 for X5 (no RSC), Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 (no RSC) etc.
There are failures of transfer cases in BMW's, like in any other vehicle, but I would say maintenance negligence is more to do with that than aftermarket tires.
In X5 community that I know, no one runs RSC tires, and no one had TC failure.I actually know the guy who lifted his 35d 2 inches, runs A/T tires that are not specified in manual, and he has more than 150k on the car. TC sees fluid change every 60k though, as it should.

I work in a fairly large BMW dealer (24 bays) and almost all of our customers run star spec tires. Almost never see a new vehicle sold without a factory winter tire package. We won’t sell anything else, and we sell a lot. The older E series cars are less sensitive to it. The newer F series cars seem much more sensitive to tire size. Not enough history with the G series cars yet to see what they are like.

It is a very common failure, I would say as common as replacing valve covers due to cracking. Don’t know what to tell you, saw 4 or 5 being replaced last week.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
13,600
Location
Colorado Springs
I work in a fairly large BMW dealer (24 bays) and almost all of our customers run star spec tires. Almost never see a new vehicle sold without a factory winter tire package. We won’t sell anything else, and we sell a lot. The older E series cars are less sensitive to it. The newer F series cars seem much more sensitive to tire size. Not enough history with the G series cars yet to see what they are like.

It is a very common failure, I would say as common as replacing valve covers due to cracking. Don’t know what to tell you, saw 4 or 5 being replaced last week.
I have never seen new BMW without RSC. I am talking about later.
But my dealer here will sell you whatever you want, as long as it is Michelin, Bridgestone, Continental or Pirelli, star or no star.
I still do not understand how TC will fail if all 4 tires are same size?
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2012
Messages
767
Location
MA, USA
I understood that staggered setup may require more careful selection of tires.
BMW spec'ed tires take care of it by default.

Other manufacturers may not have the required sizes as close to each other as required by BMW.

Squared setup - any 4 tires of the same model with correct size should be within BMW spec.

Krzyś
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
13,600
Location
Colorado Springs
I understood that staggered setup may require more careful selection of tires.
BMW spec'ed tires take care of it by default.

Other manufacturers may not have the required sizes as close to each other as required by BMW.

Squared setup - any 4 tires of the same model with correct size should be within BMW spec.

Krzyś
I think where problem is with staggered setup is negligence. Rear tires wear out faster, they are neglected and TC is damaged.
But BMW is definitely not as strict as it is argued here.
Last December I purchased 328i from Passport BMW in MD. They supplied two new DriveGuard tires on front, while rear ones had 5/32. I mentioned this and tried to negotiate two additional tires, but I agreed to buy car as is before noticing this and I was not in the mood to argue after Red Eye from Denver that morning. I stopped at first Firestone in MD on my way to CO that afternoon and got two additional DriveGuards.
So, BMW is not only willing to sell you tire without RSC, but they will sell you used car with just to new tires on xDrive.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2012
Messages
767
Location
MA, USA
That sounds like receipe for disaster if central differential is not designed to handle it.

Not all AWD systems are that picky but some are. And it does not mean that they are bad just picky (or rather have low wheel speed difference tolerance).

It makes them great when tires are sized in spec but awful when you have one tire replacement.

My 2005 Subary Legacy GT was like this but I have never had single tire replacement.

Krzyś
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
2,825
Location
Ontario, Canada
I think where problem is with staggered setup is negligence. Rear tires wear out faster, they are neglected and TC is damaged.
But BMW is definitely not as strict as it is argued here.
Last December I purchased 328i from Passport BMW in MD. They supplied two new DriveGuard tires on front, while rear ones had 5/32. I mentioned this and tried to negotiate two additional tires, but I agreed to buy car as is before noticing this and I was not in the mood to argue after Red Eye from Denver that morning. I stopped at first Firestone in MD on my way to CO that afternoon and got two additional DriveGuards.
So, BMW is not only willing to sell you tire without RSC, but they will sell you used car with just to new tires on xDrive.

It is up to each dealer to do what they want, there are a lot of shady dealers. BMW says not to though. BMW also states you are allowed to have up to 3mm (about 4/32”) variance in tread depth.

I actually just finished diagnosing an E71 for a whining noise. Yup, another transfer case casualty. Has staggered tires, front and rear are different brands. 119k km on it. $8500 to replace. Guy in the bay across from me did one yesterday on a F30. I did not notice the tires though.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2012
Messages
767
Location
MA, USA
I think this "front and rear are different brands" is the problem.
Even if tires had the same nominal size they may not be close enough in size and fry transfer case.

Krzyś
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
13,600
Location
Colorado Springs
It is up to each dealer to do what they want, there are a lot of shady dealers. BMW says not to though. BMW also states you are allowed to have up to 3mm (about 4/32”) variance in tread depth.

I actually just finished diagnosing an E71 for a whining noise. Yup, another transfer case casualty. Has staggered tires, front and rear are different brands. 119k km on it. $8500 to replace. Guy in the bay across from me did one yesterday on a F30. I did not notice the tires though.
And I bet you if you measure depth there is significant difference. God knows what else owner did.
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
2,825
Location
Ontario, Canada
Owner saved money in short run. I wonder if it is first owner or subsequent one.

Krzyś

Sadly, by the plate number, it looks like they just bought it from a Ford dealer. Has a Ford dealer license plate frame on it, and plates were issued only a couple months ago. Probably needed two tires to pass the safety, so they through on the cheapest tires available. Hopefully the owner has some kind of recourse available.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
13,600
Location
Colorado Springs
Sadly, by the plate number, it looks like they just bought it from a Ford dealer. Has a Ford dealer license plate frame on it, and plates were issued only a couple months ago. Probably needed two tires to pass the safety, so they through on the cheapest tires available. Hopefully the owner has some kind of recourse available.
Yeah, it depends on dealers. Some are OK, some are just horrible human beings.
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Messages
6,169
Location
the canyons
Just ordered a set of Pirelli Scorpion Winter tires for the wife's SUV. $1700.00 for the set. A better than average price for the tires. Those tires performed well on the previous SUV.
 
Top