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#2104795 - 12/13/10 01:29 PM BMW Tire Rotation
Chester32141 Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Posts: 4
Loc: USA - Florida
My wife's Z4 has the same size tires on the front and back. The dealer told her she should not rotate her tires. They carry slightly different pressure (32/35) ... if she rotates now she can probably go another year or two w/o new tires. If she waits she will need new tires on the back soon ... They are run flat tires w/ the low pressure warning system .... am I wrong in thinking rotating these tires would be a good idea ?

Thank you for any and all input ... cool

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#2104798 - 12/13/10 01:31 PM Re: BMW Tire Rotation [Re: Chester32141]
exranger06 Offline


Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 2672
Loc: Guilford, CT
I really don't see why you couldn't rotate them. They're probably directional tires, so just swap them front to back. If the TPMS is like my mother's BMW, it uses the ABS sensors to sense different rotation speeds, so it shouldn't throw any warning lights.
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#2104815 - 12/13/10 01:45 PM Re: BMW Tire Rotation [Re: Chester32141]
Quattro Pete Offline


Registered: 10/30/02
Posts: 26535
Loc: Michigan
The reason BMW typically advises against tire rotation is that often times rear alignment has some negative camber which causes uneven wear on back tires. If you put those tires on the front, you may experience less than perfect handling (may not be of any concern to some), plus they may become noisy.

But if your rears are worn evenly, then I think I'd attempt rotating them and see what happens. If you don't like it, you can always rotate them right back.

I rotate the tires on mine, but my alignment has been adjusted slightly so that the negative camber is only very slight.
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#2104830 - 12/13/10 01:59 PM Re: BMW Tire Rotation [Re: Chester32141]
Trajan Offline


Registered: 07/16/05
Posts: 3440
Loc: SE PA
What QP said.

I don't bother, due to staggered sizes.
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#2104834 - 12/13/10 02:06 PM Re: BMW Tire Rotation [Re: Chester32141]
BobFout Offline


Registered: 03/23/09
Posts: 2682
Loc: Indiana
Rather than relying on what the dealer says, what does the owner's manual say?
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#2104857 - 12/13/10 02:33 PM Re: BMW Tire Rotation [Re: BobFout]
d00df00d Online   content


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 9351
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: BobFout
Rather than relying on what the dealer says, what does the owner's manual say?

+1
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#2104860 - 12/13/10 02:35 PM Re: BMW Tire Rotation [Re: Chester32141]
Eddie Offline


Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 6855
Loc: Florida, Cape Coral
I read that to maintain maximum performance BMW recommended rotating tires every 3,000 miles. BMW figured that the cost of doing that would would be prohibitive for a daily driver, hence don't bother. They said it takes several thousands of miles for rotated tires to adjust to the new position and during that time a decrease in cornering performance would be evident. Unless you need racing performance, I would rotate every 7-10K miles or so in a RWD recomendation or if anything is in the owners manual, I would folow that.
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#2104873 - 12/13/10 02:51 PM Re: BMW Tire Rotation [Re: BobFout]
Quattro Pete Offline


Registered: 10/30/02
Posts: 26535
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: BobFout
Rather than relying on what the dealer says, what does the owner's manual say?

Absolutely nothing.
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#2104875 - 12/13/10 02:55 PM Re: BMW Tire Rotation [Re: Quattro Pete]
Jim 5 Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 4009
Loc: Calgary Canada
Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
The reason BMW typically advises against tire rotation is that often times rear alignment has some negative camber which causes uneven wear on back tires. If you put those tires on the front, you may experience less than perfect handling (may not be of any concern to some), plus they may become noisy.

But if your rears are worn evenly, then I think I'd attempt rotating them and see what happens. If you don't like it, you can always rotate them right back.

I rotate the tires on mine, but my alignment has been adjusted slightly so that the negative camber is only very slight.


I agree. Also, staggered wheel set-up is fairly common especially on sport package equipped bmw's. I think they say no tire rotation is recommended also for this reason.

My BMW had the same tire/wheel size front/rear and I found the outside edge on the front would wear a little more (not too bad) and the inside edge on the rears would wear due to a little negative camber as well as the center of the tread would wear due to a happy accelerator pedal. Switching fronts to rears and vice-versa helped ensure I got mostly all the tread from a set of tires. I wouldn't hesitate to do it in your situation.
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#2104880 - 12/13/10 02:59 PM Re: BMW Tire Rotation [Re: Quattro Pete]
UG_Passat Offline


Registered: 05/27/08
Posts: 1095
Loc: NJ
Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
The reason BMW typically advises against tire rotation is that often times rear alignment has some negative camber which causes uneven wear on back tires. If you put those tires on the front, you may experience less than perfect handling (may not be of any concern to some), plus they may become noisy.

But if your rears are worn evenly, then I think I'd attempt rotating them and see what happens. If you don't like it, you can always rotate them right back.

I rotate the tires on mine, but my alignment has been adjusted slightly so that the negative camber is only very slight.


Higher Rear neg camber isn't a reason why you should not rotate the tires, because most cars these days have the rear cambers more negative than the front. If you rotate them too late... then rotating them up front don't so squat.

Originally Posted By: Trajan
What QP said.

I don't bother, due to staggered sizes.


It's due to the staggerred sizes. If they are directional tires, then you cannot rotate at all.

If the tread is assymetric, you can rotate them side to side.

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#2104917 - 12/13/10 03:37 PM Re: BMW Tire Rotation [Re: UG_Passat]
Quattro Pete Offline


Registered: 10/30/02
Posts: 26535
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: UG_Passat

It's due to the staggerred sizes.

But the OP does not have a staggered setup:

Quote:
My wife's Z4 has the same size tires on the front and back


BMW's stance is not to rotate, regardless if you have a staggered setup or not.
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#2104970 - 12/13/10 04:49 PM Re: BMW Tire Rotation [Re: Chester32141]
PandaBear Offline


Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 12559
Loc: Silicon Valley
Ignore what they say, if you have same size front/back, just rotate as much as you like front/back. If your tire is not directional, rotate any way you like. Just make sure to adjust tire pressure afterward and do it frequently, and all is well.
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#2104978 - 12/13/10 04:55 PM Re: BMW Tire Rotation [Re: Quattro Pete]
UG_Passat Offline


Registered: 05/27/08
Posts: 1095
Loc: NJ
Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Originally Posted By: UG_Passat

It's due to the staggerred sizes.

But the OP does not have a staggered setup:

Quote:
My wife's Z4 has the same size tires on the front and back


BMW's stance is not to rotate, regardless if you have a staggered setup or not.


I missed the OP saying that part. BMW's stance is because most owners are suckered into buying new tires all the time, due to uneven front to rear wear.

the camber is [censored], because VW recommends tire rotation on my Passat, even though the front camber is about -0.5 degress and the rear camber is -1.5 degrees. However, the tire rotations coincide with the 10,000 mile oil change interval-- which is way too long of an interval

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#2105003 - 12/13/10 05:25 PM Re: BMW Tire Rotation [Re: Chester32141]
Craig in Canada Offline


Registered: 04/06/06
Posts: 1995
Loc: Toronto-ish, Canada
I have an E39. I used to rotate. Even representatives from the tire manufacturers told me to rotate as long as I do it often. I would rotate every 2,000mi or so since it was easy for me to do.

Two things made me stop rotating:

1/ The E39 forum where I participate has a member who moved to Europe from the US. He shares nuggets of wisdom about how things are different "over there". One of the things he pointed out was that NO ONE rotates their tires (at least on BMWs) in Europe because they cause strange high speed handling and stability problems.

2/ I was always chasing quirkly little handling and stability problems. They weren't major, but I noticed and it bugged me. One time I was doing a routine rotation on my summer tires (Toyo T1R at the time) and I was rotating back into the positions they were in when I first put them on the car. Yes, I properly set the pressures back to exactly the same F/R pressures and splits as before I rotated. I felt an immediately change in the car - improved turn in, faster steering response and better stability. It was as if I had an alignment problem fixed or upgraded some component in the suspension.

Between these two points, I was sold. The manufacturer knows what they're talking about and I'm not going to second guess them any longer. Others have provided proof (all of Europe, apparently) and I've witnessed it firsthand at North American speeds. I won't be rotating tires on any BMW again. I'm now on a new set of tires (Michelin PS2s) and they haven't "gone off" or developed any quirky issues in the two seasons I've run them.

I know everyone won't agree, but I'm sold... If you bought a BMW for handling, stability, performance, etc.... don't rotate IMO. Maintain the car to get the most from your tires - keep your alignment in order, watch for wearing bushings and balljoints, watch your tire pressures - and replace them when needed. Some people will dial the rear camber to the most neutral allowed by the spec (instead of the center of the range) to extend rear tire life.



Edited by Craig in Canada (12/13/10 05:30 PM)

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#2105005 - 12/13/10 05:28 PM Re: BMW Tire Rotation [Re: UG_Passat]
Quattro Pete Offline


Registered: 10/30/02
Posts: 26535
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: UG_Passat
BMW's stance is because most owners are suckered into buying new tires all the time, due to uneven front to rear wear.

Well it's not like this causes them to have to buy more tires. They just buy them two at a time, not 4 at a time.
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