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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 09-28-2012, 08:38 AM   #1
stoneweed1
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tire rotation

Is it necessary to rotate tires on the XI?

Any advantages/disadvantages?
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:51 AM   #2
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Depends on if they're directional. I would say yes, definitely rotate them. If directional, just do front to back. Your car has more camber in the rear and will eat the rear tires first.
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:03 AM   #3
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I'll get overall more mileage and performance by rotating every 12K?
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:05 AM   #4
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I'll get overall more mileage and performance by rotating every 12K?
I would every 5k
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:28 AM   #5
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If the fronts wear faster than the rear, or you have excessive camber wear up front, then rotate.

If they are wearing evenly, just leave them.
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:50 PM   #6
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To get the most tread life out of your tires, and since the Xis have a square set up (unless you have gone to a staggered set up), the tires should be rotated every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. If you run different air pressure between fronts and rears, don't forget to adjust it accordingly. The ONLY way to rotate radial tires IS front to back ON the same side, doesn't matter if they are directional or not. Non-directional radials Will take a set when installed new and Will Not perform correctly if taken from the right side to the left side, the worse case scenario is that the plies will begin to separate with the tires rotating in the opposite direction. If you use All-Season tires and don't put snow tires on for the winter, keep the tires with the most tread up front for better steering traction in the snow and ice.
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:21 PM   #7
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^tire shops tell you to put the new ones on the rear, as most people can't deal with oversteer. Personally I'd put the newer ones on the front, but I wouldn't recommend that to someone I didn't know.

I believe BMW recommends against rotating, but I'm not sure of the motive (free maintenance isn't really free).

Regardless, time/money is better spent on an alignment than rotating tires if you're concerned with maximizing tire life.
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:59 PM   #8
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As long as the wheels are non staggered, I would recommend rotating every 5-6k miles to keep the tire wear even all around. It will help extend your tire life and save you money in the long run.
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:14 PM   #9
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In almost all instances, the best tires, i.e. the ones with the most tread/or new ones, should go on the front. You require far most traction on the steering end than on the drive end (this relating to either 2 WD in the rear or 4WD) and it is far easier to control a car that has a blow out of a rear tire than a front tire. On a FWD vehicle, the best tires should always be on the front since it requires the traction for both steering and for movement. And if a front tire has been repaired, regardless of how much tread it has, it should be moved to the same side rear, so that if the repair fails and there is another blow out, steering control can be easily maintained.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:47 PM   #10
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In almost all instances, the best tires, i.e. the ones with the most tread/or new ones, should go on the front. You require far most traction on the steering end than on the drive end (this relating to either 2 WD in the rear or 4WD) and it is far easier to control a car that has a blow out of a rear tire than a front tire. On a FWD vehicle, the best tires should always be on the front since it requires the traction for both steering and for movement. And if a front tire has been repaired, regardless of how much tread it has, it should be moved to the same side rear, so that if the repair fails and there is another blow out, steering control can be easily maintained.
new tires should ALWAYS ALWAYS be in the REAR.

And BMW advises against tire rotations due to performance and safety.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:54 AM   #11
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My pattern: Front tires go straight to the rears. Rears swap sides and go to the front.

Running radial all-seasons.

My opinion: Rotating tires definitely improves the useful life of the tires.

Last edited by yo_marc; 10-02-2012 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:27 PM   #12
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I agree that BMW does recommend NOT rotating the tires due to the outer edges of the front tires and the inner edges of the rear tires wearing first due to the suspension geometry, but if you rotate tires every 5,000 to 10,000 miles, you will move them before this wear really takes affect, especially if you rotate them every 5,000 miles. By doing so you will greatly increase the tread life of your tires, and most tire manufacturers and tire dealers recommend it for extended tread life. Direction Radials should ONLY be rotated front to back on the same side. And I was taught, when radials first started becoming available, that you only rotate any radial on the same side of the car from front to back and visa versa, NOT using the "X" rotation pattern of the old bias ply-non radial tires. That said, if you run an un-square tire/wheel set up, you can not rotate them. I would still tend to disagree with putting the "newest/tires with the most tread" on the rear. The front end needs more traction for stability, cornering traction, steering control than the rear. Bald/half tread life tires up front and tires with more than half tread life on the rear makes for a car that will not steer very well, corner quickly, or corner safely at speed because of the reduced traction, plus less control in wet driving conditions and more prone to the front end hydro-planing.
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:02 PM   #13
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When I had a square setup I did it every 5k.
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:24 PM   #14
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... And I was taught, when radials first started becoming available, that you only rotate any radial on the same side of the car from front to back and visa versa, NOT using the "X" rotation pattern of the old bias ply-non radial tires.
Good post w/ lots of good info; except about crossing radials over the other side. You are correct in that when radials were first introduced it was not recommended to switch a radial to the opposite side of the vehicle.

However, with better materials and manufacturing processes those concerns have been withdrawn. Today virtually all the major manufacturers and general tire industry indicate that new radials are designed to have no problems if they are rotated to the opposite side, unless the tires are unidirectional.
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:37 PM   #15
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new tires should ALWAYS ALWAYS be in the REAR.
^^^ This.

When inspecting my car before I bought her a couple days ago, I noticed the owner had 2 new tires put on the car. But, whoever the idiots were who installed the new tires - they put one new tire on the driver's side front & the other was passenger side rear. So, the 2 older tires (which have about 4/32 tread left) were on the opposite corners. Wtf?

I told the guy before I take her out on the highway we need to get them properly set in the rear. Luckily there was a tire shop down the road and they didn't charge for it. You would think a shop would know how to install new tires. Guess not. I'll be getting the older tires replaced next week.
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:58 PM   #16
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Just rotated my tires after 10k. I tend to drive somewhat aggressively and the front edges get a little worn on the outside. I should have done it at 5K... Mine are directional... Front to back... back to front.
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