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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 10-24-2013, 04:58 PM   #1
TR4G-
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What PSI for non oem tires?

I'm running Hankook Ventus S1 Noble2 all season tires now. Used to use Continental DWS, but decided to switch it up. Now I used to inflate my tires per the door jam guide to 33 and 38 (Front and back). With these new tires what should I do? Does the door jam still apply to me? Here are the specs of the new tires compared to my old

Continental: 205/50R17 93W XL - max psi 51 - UTQG 540 AA A
Hankook: 205/50ZR17 93W XL - max psi 50 - UTQG 500 AA A

What do you Guys think? Shop who installed em had them at 30 psi. I checked when I got home.


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Old 10-24-2013, 05:18 PM   #2
tachi1247
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Re: What PSI for non oem tires?

They should be exactly the same pressures if you are running the same size tire.

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Old 10-24-2013, 10:47 PM   #3
Kubica
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All xi's deserve 225 tires.

http://www.awdriven.net/autoX-tire-pressures.htm
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Old 10-25-2013, 03:11 PM   #4
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Part of tire inflation is preference. The correct size for using 17 inch wheels is 225/45/17, this is the true Plus One Size, not 205/50/17. The air pressure on the door jam is recommended minimum air pressure for the stock 16 tires. For better gas mileage, slightly better wear but slightly less handling, you can inflate the tires up to the maximum pressure listed on the tire's sidewall. In any case, I would run 2 to 4 psi more in the fronts than in the rears since there is slightly more weight in the front of the car. On my '03 325 xi with 17 inch wheels and Continental Extreme Contact Summer tires in size 225/45/17 I run 48 psi in the front and 45 psi in the rear. On my '03 330 xi Sport (which had 17 inch stock wheels) I run the exact same summer tires with the exact same tire pressures. The entire thread foot print touches the road surface and gave a slight increase in gas mileage with no signs of uneven thread wear due to increased pressure. Again, air pressure is personal preference between what the door jam sticker tells you and what the maximum pressure of the tires are on the sidewall. Next time you go for tires, I would recommend getting the correct Plus One size of 225/45/17.
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Old 10-25-2013, 03:39 PM   #5
tachi1247
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Re: What PSI for non oem tires?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomoyer View Post
Part of tire inflation is preference. The correct size for using 17 inch wheels is 225/45/17, this is the true Plus One Size, not 205/50/17. The air pressure on the door jam is recommended minimum air pressure for the stock 16 tires. For better gas mileage, slightly better wear but slightly less handling, you can inflate the tires up to the maximum pressure listed on the tire's sidewall. In any case, I would run 2 to 4 psi more in the fronts than in the rears since there is slightly more weight in the front of the car. On my '03 325 xi with 17 inch wheels and Continental Extreme Contact Summer tires in size 225/45/17 I run 48 psi in the front and 45 psi in the rear. On my '03 330 xi Sport (which had 17 inch stock wheels) I run the exact same summer tires with the exact same tire pressures. The entire thread foot print touches the road surface and gave a slight increase in gas mileage with no signs of uneven thread wear due to increased pressure. Again, air pressure is personal preference between what the door jam sticker tells you and what the maximum pressure of the tires are on the sidewall. Next time you go for tires, I would recommend getting the correct Plus One size of 225/45/17.
My car isn't an xi, but the door jamb sticker lists the correct pressure for like 3 or more different tire sizes that were equipped on various e46 models of my year. Not sure why an xi would be different.

Anyway, unless you are auto x or racing, tire pressure should really just be set to what the mfr recommends and not a "personal preference".

48 psi is crazy high too. You are significantly reducing the contact patch with a pressure that high which reduces acceleration and cornering performance as well hurts stopping distances significantly.

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Old 10-25-2013, 06:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by tachi1247 View Post
My car isn't an xi, but the door jamb sticker lists the correct pressure for like 3 or more different tire sizes that were equipped on various e46 models of my year. Not sure why an xi would be different.

Anyway, unless you are auto x or racing, tire pressure should really just be set to what the mfr recommends and not a "personal preference".

48 psi is crazy high too. You are significantly reducing the contact patch with a pressure that high which reduces acceleration and cornering performance as well hurts stopping distances significantly.

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+1. Waaay to much PSI.
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Old 10-25-2013, 07:24 PM   #7
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What PSI for non oem tires?

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Interesting read. Why do you say all xi's deserve 225s? I hadn't even heard of this. I have heard people running mostly 205s or 215s on 7 inch wide rims. Do you run 225s?


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Old 10-25-2013, 07:43 PM   #8
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205 is fine, even better for all seasons if you'll experience snow. Don't stress about this. I run mine at 34 all around. Personal preference, this is where I like it.
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:38 PM   #9
e46alfonso
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205's don't belong on a BMW especially one on coilovers, they are skinny and the sidewall flexes too much. On those tires i would run about 35psi on all corners.
my tires are 225/45 winter and 245/40 summer.
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:01 AM   #10
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205's don't belong on a BMW especially one on coilovers, they are skinny and the sidewall flexes too much. On those tires i would run about 35psi on all corners.
my tires are 225/45 winter and 245/40 summer.
the actual sidewall height on the correct size of 205 tires is about the same as the correct sidewall height on a 225 or other size. How much it flexes depends on what tires you buy. If you want less sidewall flex, buy a more performance oriented tire...

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Old 10-26-2013, 10:47 AM   #11
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205/55/17 is a great size to use for winter tires, a bit higher sidewall and smaller contact patch which puts more weight of the car pressing down on the contact patch for better traction in ice and snow. e46alfonso is correct for Plus One and Plus One Optional 17 inch tires sizes; Plus One size is 225/45/17 and Plus One optional size is 245/40/17, though living where he does in the Eastern Snow Belt, I would opt for 205/55/16 for 4 snow tires (but that is his preference and experience). Tire pressure is very much a personal preference as it will affect ride quality, handing and gas milage, as well as overall tire thread life wear. Personally I don't care for 38 psi in the front tires when the 225/45/17 summer tires are on the car, the wilder tire thread seems to be "riding" more on the outside edges than across the entire tread contact patch, which will wear the outer edges (inside and outside) of the tire quicker. As far as 45 psi in the rear, that is spot on according to the door jam decal. 48 psi in the front may be high for some people, but 38 psi is too low with a plus sized tire as you need some extra air to keep the rubber/thread contact patch flat and even on the road surface, My preference has been 43 minimum to 48 maximum. I basically use the same tire pressures when I install the 205/55/16 snow tires in the winter on the 325xi and also the same pressure on the 330xi sport when the 225/45/17 snow tires are on the car (I would rather opt for 16 inch tires and wheels for the winter on the 330xi sport, but 16 inchers do not fit because of the brakes. Lower tire pressures, and all that suggest that 48 psi is too high, are running less psi than recommended. This will add a bit of "handling" response and may help shortening stopping distances by a few feet, however, the outer inside and outside edges of the tire are being used up faster than the center of the tire, put this is their preference based on their experience.

Bottom line here is this; 205/50/17 inch tires are not a BMW/Tire Rack/Discount Tire recommended size for an '01 e46 325xi AND 30 psi front and rear is too little air, I would inflate them to front 35-40 psi and rear 43-45 psi. These 205/50/17 All-Season tires do have a smaller contact patch similar to that of 205/55/16 and will offer decent traction in the winter, but even in the Baltimore area, which sees it share of snow and icy road conditions, I would opt for a set of 4 winter tires. All Season Tires, even though all new vehicles come equipped with them, are a trade-off. They offer somewhat decent traction and handling in the spring and summer and offer some traction in the winter, whereas good summer tires offer much better traction and handling during the non winter months and winter (M&S) tires offer the best traction and handling in ice and snow for the winter. Just look around when the first snow falls and see how many vehicles on All-Season tires are either in accidents or are stuck.
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:13 AM   #12
shootthehorses
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48 psi is a crazy high tire pressure. That's going to make the car ride like hell, at least in my experience. I run mine at what the door says, which is like 29 psi if I recall correctly. I might run them at 32 if I am traveling and the car is loaded up with people and luggage.
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Old 11-04-2013, 05:19 AM   #13
Kubica
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48 psi is a crazy high tire pressure. That's going to make the car ride like hell, at least in my experience. I run mine at what the door says, which is like 29 psi if I recall correctly. I might run them at 32 if I am traveling and the car is loaded up with people and luggage.
That sounds low. Wheels bend much easier at that psi.

I would try 37psi all around to start.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:21 AM   #14
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+1, 225 tires provide much more grip than the stock 205's.

Read the door card, it tells you the suggested air pressure for basically all the tire types and sizes you'd fit to your car.
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