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  #1  
Old 04-20-2012, 01:02 AM
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2012 X5: one year tire wear data, tire rotation

Our 12 X5 is at 12500 miles and turning to be one year old next week; I know BMW claimed that tires in BMW doesn't need rotation whatsoever, as well as 15k oil change interval and lifetime ATF etc.


Our X5 is equipped 18" Michelin Latitude Tour HP ZP RFT; In the past year, I checked the tire pressure every 4 months to maintain the manufacture recommended PSI: 33 front/41 rear under 100MPH on door jam.

Last week, for my own sake and curiosity, I measured the thread depth of all four tires; Attached is the data of thread depth, I am sure there is measurement error but each thread depth was measured three times to get average and shouldn't be off too much.


It turned out the manufacture recommended PSI for rear tire is way too high, which results in excessive wear at the center of the tread.


Secondly, the front tires tend to wear more than the rear ones, rotating front to rear should extend the life of tires.


The front right tire wear pretty even, but front left wear more outter than inner of the tire, which probably indicated it might beunder inflation for some time. I may need to check the tire pressure more often. One thing doesn't make sense to me is the rear right tire, there is one thread in middle has excessive wear, I couldn't find a theory to explain that.


Since X5 has directional tires and based on these data, I rotated the tires front to rear but not side to side at DiscountTire(It's free even for OEM tires, DiscountTire rocks and owns my future business), then deflated the rear tire to 35PSI from 41PSI.


It has been a week since the tire rotation, both my wife and I didn't feel the tire rotation changed the driving in any way. For the new tires in the future, I would definitely check PSI every two months and rotate FrontToRear every 5K to prevent premature wear of the tires. and most importantly, don't inflate rear tire to 41PSI.
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:15 AM
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Old 04-20-2012, 02:06 AM
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I don't have a newer owner's manual handy, but for the E70 I looked at, the correct tire inflation pressure was closer to 32 front and 35 rear, right up to maximum load (up to seven passengers), cruising at up to 100 mph. The 41 psi figure was for one specific tire size, when carrying 7 passengers, and cruising continuously at over 100 mph. Not sure if that describes your typical driving, but I would be going with 32 F and 35 R, even up to maximum load, and a little less in the rear if running empty. Check your own owner's manual for the correct pressures in respect of your driving habits and typical loading.

In my experience with my last five BMW vehicles, with correct inflation and alignment, I have never needed to rotate tires to achieve even wear over the full tire life. My E53 was traded in at around 75,000 km and the tires were very even, with good life left. It was CPO'd by the dealer, and they wouldn't have changed them. BMW's claim is in fact grounded in solid engineering. Working in a garage decades ago I rotated a lot of tires, and did a lot of 3000 mile oil changes for customers. Now I run to 20,000 km on oil changes with my own vehicles and don't worry about it at all. That includes the X3 that we plan to keep for awhile.
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Old 04-20-2012, 02:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCL View Post
I don't have a newer owner's manual handy, but for the E70 I looked at, the correct tire inflation pressure was closer to 32 front and 35 rear, right up to maximum load (up to seven passengers), cruising at up to 100 mph. The 41 psi figure was for one specific tire size, when carrying 7 passengers, and cruising continuously at over 100 mph. Not sure if that describes your typical driving, but I would be going with 32 F and 35 R, even up to maximum load, and a little less in the rear if running empty. Check your own owner's manual for the correct pressures in respect of your driving habits and typical loading.

In my experience with my last five BMW vehicles, with correct inflation and alignment, I have never needed to rotate tires to achieve even wear over the full tire life. My E53 was traded in at around 75,000 km and the tires were very even, with good life left. It was CPO'd by the dealer, and they wouldn't have changed them. BMW's claim is in fact grounded in solid engineering. Working in a garage decades ago I rotated a lot of tires, and did a lot of 3000 mile oil changes for customers. Now I run to 20,000 km on oil changes with my own vehicles and don't worry about it at all. That includes the X3 that we plan to keep for awhile.
It's very impressive your E53 got 47k miles but still with good life left. I saw many E70 owners here complained tires worn out less than 30K.

The F33/R41 I followed is on the sticker at the driver side, these PSIs are recommended for below 100mph and 18" size of tires; if it's over 100mph, the PSI are higher at F38/R45.

However, when I checked the owner manual, it's now at F32/R36 for 18" tires under 100mph,which I believe is correct PSI by my own measurement. If over 100mph, it's F35/R41.

How can the sticker doesn't match the owner manual by that much? Did it indicate the manufacture put the wrong tire PSI sticker on my car?

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Old 04-20-2012, 03:42 PM
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Tire wear is dependent on inflation, tire characteristics, vehicle weight, driving habits, and so on. I wouldn't expect my tire life to translate directly, but it does speak to rotation not being required if other factors are managed correctly.

Looks to me like the door jamb sticker is in conflict with the owner's manual. I wonder if it was applied at the dealer, as opposed to by BMW. It would be worth asking your dealer to clarify the discrepancy, IMO. They should be prepared to search technical bulletins and see if wrong stickers were used, or when it apparently changed.

The owner's manual you show actually states 36 psi rear for fully loaded (ie 7 passengers or a combination of passengers plus luggage), which means loaded up to maximum rated GVW. If you are driving around with one or two people and little luggage, 36 psi would still be too high.
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miamipanther View Post
It's very impressive your E53 got 47k miles but still with good life left.
I got 60K miles on my '01 e53 on the 1st set of 18" Michelin Energy's amd 2nd set was at 45K with plenty of tread before the car got totalled.
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by JCL View Post
Tire wear is dependent on inflation, tire characteristics, vehicle weight, driving habits, and so on. I wouldn't expect my tire life to translate directly, but it does speak to rotation not being required if other factors are managed correctly.

Looks to me like the door jamb sticker is in conflict with the owner's manual. I wonder if it was applied at the dealer, as opposed to by BMW. It would be worth asking your dealer to clarify the discrepancy, IMO. They should be prepared to search technical bulletins and see if wrong stickers were used, or when it apparently changed.

The owner's manual you show actually states 36 psi rear for fully loaded (ie 7 passengers or a combination of passengers plus luggage), which means loaded up to maximum rated GVW. If you are driving around with one or two people and little luggage, 36 psi would still be too high.
I will contact dealer next week about the discrepancy of door sticker and manual. It would be great that other 12 x5 owner can check and post their PSI# on their sticker.

There are usually one driver and two boys (3yr, 5yr) and no luggage most time, it's typical soccer mom's car. JCL, do you think whether we should even lower the PSI to 32 since X5 has 50/50 weight distribution.
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:22 PM
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I got 60K miles on my '01 e53 on the 1st set of 18" Michelin Energy's amd 2nd set was at 45K with plenty of tread before the car got totalled.
Is it RFT? What I learned in this forum is that RFT is notorious for short thread life.
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:24 PM
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BGM, what pressures did you run?

I ran 32 psi front and rear, increasing to 35 psi rear when fully loaded (four passengers plus luggage, or 2 people plus lots of luggage). I realize the E53 is a little lighter than the E70.
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miamipanther View Post
Is it RFT? What I learned in this forum is that RFT is notorious for short thread life.
Doesn't have to be. Some tires will always wear faster than others, due to tread compound and construction, but it isn't a one to one match with being a RFT. Some RFTs are harsher, so manufacturers may have used a softer compound to improve ride, sacrificing tread life.

I had several vehicles with RFTs, and none of them wore any faster than non-RFTs. None were E70s.
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